New Democratic Leader Emerges In Brazil
A winding trajectory took him from serving alongside current vice-president Alckmin to entering the Supreme Court at the hands of Temer, the man who conspired against Rousseff. Today he is a de facto ally of Lula da Silva and Bolsonaro’s biggest scourge.
Even before the coup attempt on Sunday, the judge of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) Alexandre de Moraes had become the scourge of Jair Bolsonaro, to the point that, even in the exercise of the presidency, he went so far as to say – to later retract – that he would no longer abide by his sentences. This tirria has become extreme since the unforgettable 8-E, a fact that reveals the magistrate as one of the main battering rams against right-wing extremism, even with methods that are beginning to be discussed by the guaranteeing Brazil.
That same day, the judge promised on Twitter that “the perpetrators of the despicable terrorist attacks on democracy and the institutions of the republic will be held accountable, as well as those who financed and instigated them, previous and current public agents who continue to engage in illegal conduct.” of undemocratic acts. The Judiciary will not fail Brazil!”
One of the most commented topics in the “red circle” of the neighboring country is what surrounded the decision of De Moraes -instructor of the cause of the failed riot in the STF- to suspend for 90 days the Bolsonaro governor of the Federal District Ibaneis Rocha .
It was an unprecedented measure and taken without investigation and without any consultation with the security apparatus or Congress, Folha de São Paulo said yesterday. De Moraes estimated that the permanence of the man who ultimately depended on a security device that not only failed, but also exhibited possible signs of collusion with the “terrorists”, would have entailed a risk of obstruction of the investigations. Said contest would also reach military chiefs, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said yesterday.
Beyond suspicions, the magistrate pointed out possible responsibilities in the official, who will be investigated for “willful conduct of omission.”
O Estado de São Paulo published an article reflecting the controversy, titled “Coup actions in Brasilia accentuate the debate on the Judiciary and ‘militant democracy’”.
Beyond the executive measures that led to the massive security shielding in the center of Brasilia, the Bolsonaro demonstrations scheduled for last Wednesday “to retake power” also ended up being canceled due to De Moraes’ warning that new acts of violence would imply more arrests and the application of fines of 20,000 reais for natural persons and 100,000 for legal entities, that is, 3,500 and 17,800 dollars, respectively.
On the other hand, the deterrence was linked to the spectacle of more than a thousand arrested on Sunday packed into a Brazilian gym waiting to be interrogated and processed.
The conditions of detention in that headquarters were the subject of controversy, something that was addressed by the relentless De Moraes, who recalled that “the prison is not a vacation colony.”
One of his former colleagues at the STF, the now retired Marco Aurélio Mello -a guarantee judge-, admitted having been “absolutely” wrong in 2017 when praising his appointment. He considered that Rocha’s suspension was “an act of force” and denounced that what was done by De Moraes, whom he said he had known “for many years”, “is not really contributing to social peace.”
Controversies aside, the toughness of the magistrate today is a help for Lula da Silva, who is not known if he emerged stronger or weaker from 8-E. Strengthened because the violence did not ignite the spark he expected in the military barracks; weakened because the threat of the most radical bolsonarism will not disappear by the arrest of a few hundred of its militants.
It should be noted, however, that although the president has promised to act with all the rigor of the law against the uprisings, he also said that he will ensure the rule of due process and constitutional rights, something that was justly denied to him by former judge Sergio Moro and all the courts that reviewed his conviction, including the Supreme Court, which belatedly realized that the mentor of the “Lava Jato” operation had not been the natural judge in the Guarujá triplex case.
The future looks complex for Lula da Silva. Just days after taking office, his popularity reaches 51.1%, according to a survey by the Atlasintel consultancy published on Wednesday. The number, far from what would be expected for a president who has just come to power, is practically the same as the one he obtained in the ballot on October 30: 50.9%. Half of Brazil does not tolerate it and millions still believe what Bolsonaro affirms, that this result was the product of fraud and that an illegitimate communist government has taken over the country.
Although De Moraes is an anchor at the moment, some of his background makes him a curious figure as a bastion of institutions.
As noted, he reached the Supreme Court in 2017, appointed by Michel Temer, the man who installed himself in the Planalto Palace after a stinking conspiracy against Dilma Rousseff, whose political trial he instigated from the shadow of the vice presidency.
Previously, he had been security secretary of the Government of São Paulo in the time of Geraldo Alckmin, the current deputy of Lula da Silva. From that position he was repeatedly denounced for the harshness with which he acted against the demonstrations of the social movements.
In the last stretch of Bolsonaro’s term, the elusive De Moraes revealed himself as a true scourge of the extreme right. He inquired into the then president’s alleged obstruction of a Federal Police investigation into corruption involving his children. In addition, he investigated the false news dissemination network set up at the headquarters of the presidency, ordered searches and arrests for this reason, and intimidated social networks to eliminate biased content, especially those linked to unfounded content.
You report fraud with electronic ballot boxes. In August of last year, De Moraes also took office on the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), in whose interest he aggressively defended the reliability of the voting system.
All these cases are continuing and the attempted coup is now added to them. In his hands is the possible blocking of the former captain’s accounts and the prosecution of three deputies who respond to him for alleged incitement to the coup.
Bolsonaro, who is still in the United States, knows that upon his return to Brazil, a fate could await him.
This article is authored by Marcelo Falak and originally published on ambito.com