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how a corrupt judicial system harms Brazil

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Não são só os políticos: como o Judiciário corrupto prejudica o Brasil

The problem of combating corruption has lost its relevance in public opinion in recent years after a nationwide wave of support for this cause in the mid-2010s. Narodny Bulletin, lies in the fact that the judiciary itself, which is responsible for the conviction of those guilty of corrupt acts, has opened loopholes for systemic corruption.

In recent years, anti-corruption bodies in Brazilian courts have been relegated to the background of their original powers and, in some cases, have become politicized. Chief among them, the National Council of Justice (CNJ), created in 2004 precisely to guarantee the integrity of the judiciary, does not escape this point. As a result, according to lawyers, corruption in the courts is not severely punished.

Even in the fight against the most widespread type of corruption among judges – the sale of sentences, the inaction of the internal affairs bodies of the courts is noticeable. The CNJ, created to combat this omission, has gradually put this attribution aside. Cases of convictions by judges are rare and, when they do, the sentences are usually very lenient.

For example, in April 2021, Judge Amado Silton Rosa of the Tocantins Court (TJ-TO), head of the Sale of Sentences and Judgment Fraud Scheme, was finally convicted by CNJ after more than 10 years of trial that began in 2010. His punishment, however, was forced retirement with earnings proportional to the timing of his contributions, that is, although he was not allowed to serve as magistrate, he continues to receive a salary similar to that of a judge and was not subject to any civil or criminal penalties.

2019 Newspaper Survey State of Sao Paulo revealed that of 17 judges and judges punished by CNJ between 2007 and 2018 for selling sentences, only one was convicted by the council and was convicted of a criminal offense.

“This body, created to modernize the judiciary, as well as to fight corruption, today is effectively working towards the modernization, organization and standardization of administrative jurisprudence. But the work of the Department of the Interior as a censorship body leaves much to be desired, ”says Eliana Kalmon, former National Inspector of Justice and former Minister of the Supreme Court (STJ).

The role of the CNJ Home Office was stronger during her own administration and her predecessor, retired minister Gilson Dipp, she said. “This aroused the interest of politicians who began to nominate political candidates for the CNJ, as well as for the courts themselves. They stopped putting these more experienced judges, who had a tendency to purge the judiciary. They put softer judges, ”she says.

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The former inspector claims that one of the main achievements of her tenure as minister – the STF’s recognition that CNJ can investigate first-degree judges – was lost after her term. “It looked like a dead letter. The OVD is no longer involved in this. The disciplinary question for CNJ is like a non-existent activity. The judge opens the investigation, closes the inquiry, but only on paper. Stay in this memory of asking for one more step, one more step, and it doesn’t solve anything. In the end, they filed it.

For Jorge Derviche Casagrande, a compliance lawyer, CNJ has lost its relevance. “One thing was the CNJ, once it was installed, with its purely constitutional functions. The constitutional text that talks about the functions of the CNJ is a wonderful thing. But when we are dealing with the powers that be, and especially with the powers that be, who may not be interested in investigating, we need eternal vigilance. And over the period when CNJ was doing well, he became more and more dehydrated. While today it is a disciplinary body that is very different from the body that was created there before, ”says Casagrande.

The reflection of this “vocation crisis”, according to Casagrande, can be seen on the agency’s own social media. “CNJ’s Instagram gives advice on diet, talks about Detran, talks about your pet, but says nothing about disciplinary responsibility. It’s a joke. The fun starts at CNJ’s social media department, ”he says.

Wanted by report Narodny Bulletin Referring to corruption in the Brazilian judiciary, CNJ said it could not cooperate, arguing that the Organic Law on the National Magistracy “prevents manifestations in cases that are or could be analyzed by the Department of the Interior.”

The internal affairs of the courts are also ineffective, the expert said.

Casagrande recalls that the main reason for the creation of CNJ was the accusation of corporatism directed against the internal affairs bodies of the Brazilian courts. However, CNJ’s dehydration meant that the council gradually receded below the internal affairs departments of the organs themselves. And as a result, violations were no longer fought with the same energy.

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He explains the dynamics of corruption in these courts: “Imagine a small court with 11 ministers from a very small court. How often do ministers become president, vice president, or magistrate? They are always there. So whoever the vice president becomes the president, whoever the inspector becomes the vice president and chooses the inspector. These are positions that rotate. I am now an inspector and I will judge the guy who will also be my inspector tomorrow. This is happening in an 11-person court and it will be replicated in a 30-person court. “

Eliana Calmon says that “the magistrate today does not find support in his collegium, because the collegium is politicized, and he does not want to tire himself with discovering processes that he knows will not be implemented.” “Today, everyone who has fought corruption is condemned in the political world and in the judiciary, as can be seen from the judges who participated in Lava Jato,” she comments.

Will CPI Lava Toga solve the problem?

Given this reality of the judiciary, would the creation of the Lava Toga CPC be the light at the end of the tunnel? Experts consulted Narodny Bulletin skeptical about this possibility.

“The problem with the CPI is that it is also political. The latest CPI of the judiciary was nothing more than a game of strength. Who guarantees that the next CPI they want to create isn’t a game of power? Unknown. But institutionally, I see that the Legislature can and should explore other powers, ”Casagrande says.

Despite skepticism, he admits that “perhaps CPI Lava Toga will help CNJ rediscover itself.” “A functioning CNJ can create a better environment for Brazil. It is the Power that needs this kind of attention. The executive director is renewed every four years. The legislative branch has also been renewed; it has mechanisms for renewal. Not the judiciary. The judiciary is renewed with the death of the judge, with his resignation. It is a force that is not renewed, it is not subject to new air, ”says the lawyer.

However, according to Casagrande, this is not enough to morally shake the judicial system. It is also necessary to improve efficiency. “Philosophy must change. There must be efficiency. Lack of efficiency goes hand in hand with corruption, ”he says. In his opinion, slowness, bureaucracy and opacity favor the behind-the-scenes behavior of corrupt judges.

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Eliana Kalmon is also skeptical that the CPI Love Toga will solve the problem of corruption among judges. “I will not do it [instaurar a CPI]because the Senate itself finds it difficult to pass. It’s because? How many senators are in the hands of the Supreme Court? They have lawsuits that are not being considered, they are in the box. “

Regarding corruption at the very top of the judiciary – the High Court of Justice (STJ) and STF – the magistrate avoids speculation, but criticizes the lack of transparency. “There are only suspicions. There is behavior at the top of the judiciary that cannot be explained. But no one has proven evidence. And why not? Because they won’t let you investigate. There is no investigation into the STJ ministers, the Supreme Court … The Federal Police have already tried to open it and are closing it before any investigation is carried out. That is, there are suspicions, the Police indicate signs, Bucket [Conselho de Controle de Atividades Financeiras] indicates hints. These clues are just snippets of evidence, but evidence will never appear, because it is the Almighty who gives permission for the investigation. They closed all investigations, all attempts to initiate an investigation against the ministers of the higher courts, ”says Eliana Kalmon.

She also criticizes the lack of public support at the moment. The former judge argues that during her time as a CNJ judge, the support of the press, people and even layers of the political class was important in overcoming the internal pressures of justice in the fight against corruption. “Citizens could no longer tolerate the atrocities in the judicial system. I liked all this very much. I suffered internally from a lot of wear and tear from my peers. I just didn’t risk it, because I received support from the press, the government ministry and the political authorities themselves. The Senate was very supportive. I just didn’t fall because of it. “

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Is the device being revived?

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Is the device being revived?

The absolute majority dreamed of by António Costa and (I suspect) Marcelo Rebelo de Souza sold as an achievable dream does not exist and never has. The contraption, as a formula of power, has never ceased to be the most viable solution for António Costa. Well, the country could wake up next week with the feeling that nothing has changed, even if the winner of the election changes. The political crisis resulting from the collapse of the budget, the fate of which can be traced from the moment when the President of the Republic decided that it is necessary to “reset” political chess, will not add stability to the Parliament. Judging by all the polls, in none of the possible scenarios will the situation be better than it was, and this is only the first of Marcelo’s problems.

With the majority remaining on the left and António Costa’s demonization of the PSD, in an attempt to win the center and a useful vote from the left, the PS abandoned the demand for an absolute majority and fierce criticism. PKP and Blok. Katarina Martins has already begun drawing red lines for future revisions of the budget and government program. PCP is still wasting a few bullets to cancel a useful vote, but she will eventually choose rapprochement. With the victory of the socialists, Costa already realized that there was no other way. The eco-geingonça, a kind of reworked dream, for the majority, formed with PAN and Livre, also seems more impossible, and a reign like Guterres lasts a year.

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If the victory eventually goes to the side of the SDP, but the majority remains on the side of the left, this will mean a departure from António Costa and a more than predictable internal victory for Pedro Nuno Santos, the only socialist able to use the potential of the left parliamentary majority. He will have to make the SDP government viable, approve the budgets for 2022 and 2023, and demand new elections next year. It makes sense that in a scenario that repeats 2015, the socialists with new leadership and the majority left want to govern, but it would be political suicide if the new leader did not submit to the vote of the Portuguese. Pedro Nuno Santos has already made it clear that this is exactly what he will do.

This is also a bad scenario for the President of the Republic, even though the SDP’s victory is held hostage by the right-wing majority and Ventura’s party acts as a third force. If Chega is the main party, the instability will be even greater, Rio cannot agree and is forced to wait for the moment when the president can call elections again. That is why it is important that Rui Rio make it clear without hesitation that he will not accept conversations with Chega, only in this way will it be possible to win a victory that can grow in the next elections.

A useful vote is not just played out left and right, the political field of each of the parties capable of leading a government project is growing towards the center in order to prevent the radicalization of the alternative. The only thing that seems to have killed this campaign is the Central Bloc, stability must be achieved with PS rule on the left or PSD rule on the right.

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Even betting on Pivetta’s return to the political scene, Geller says he doesn’t discuss future opponents.

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Even betting on Pivetta's return to the political scene, Geller says he doesn't discuss future opponents.

(Photo: Playback/Internet)

Although Deputy Governor Otaviano Pivetta (no party) has repeatedly stated that he will not run in this year’s elections and under any electoral scenarios, as he returned to do double duty with Governor Mauro Mendez (DEM) as his deputy or even in speculation about a possible dispute for the Senate of the Republic, some preliminary candidates still include him in this political environment.

As did federal deputy Neri Geller (PP), who commented last Wednesday (19) in an interview with Rádio CBN Cuiabá about this possibility, perhaps pointing to a political turn or, who knows, to a personal request from the governor, Pivetta’s longtime friend. Thus, placing him as a possible opponent in a dispute in the Senate. Theoretically, this could create an “obstacle” to his provisional candidacy as Geller seeks a seat in the upper house of Congress.

Neri, who has already secured MDB’s support in the Senate race, is now looking to merge his name with the Mendez group. According to the progressive federal deputy, opponents or future compositions are not chosen in pre-election disputes, but work is only on fixing the name itself.

“I don’t discuss the possibility of opponents or squad. Today I have good relations with three parties: mine, the PP, as well as the SDP and the MBR. It is clear that Pivetta can reverse his decision not to participate in the elections and run for office in advance. But this does not affect how I act, work – respectfully, even with my opponents. However, it won’t affect me in any way. I am calm and very well positioned from an electoral point of view and, mainly, from the point of view of the support base that I am creating,” the deputy said.

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Neri also claimed that his candidacy was launched in an arc of alliances supported by former governor and former agriculture minister Blairo Maggi (PP), federal deputy Carlos Bezerra (MDB) and senator Carlos Favaro (PSD).

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LGBT phobia in politics may increase in 2022 – DW – 01/23/2022

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LGBT phobia in politics may increase in 2022 - DW - 01/23/2022

An atmosphere of hostility, attacks and threats against openly gay or LGBTQI+ politicians has been evident in several recent episodes within Brazilian political institutions, although for the average voter, a candidate’s sexual preference or gender identity has less and less influence on voting at the ballot box. – at least if we consider the major urban centers of the country.

LGBTQI+ politicians are preferred targets for the far right, and due to the polarized climate of this year’s Brazilian presidential election, many of them already fear that the agenda of customs and gender ideology will be a topic raised in the National Congress by allies of Jair Bolsonaro. , which would serve as a weapon against the centre-left and pollute the pre-election debate.

The biggest rejection of Bolsonaro, according to a Datafolha Institute survey last December, concerns homosexuals and bisexuals: 83% would not vote for the incumbent under any circumstances.

Due to the critical economic situation in the country, Bolsonaro has given way among low-income evangelical voters to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and must use this conservative debate to try to contain them.

“Bolsonaro is trying to scare this evangelical public with strange things, like saying that “your child can become a woman at the age of 7.” Today there is much more respect for the LGBTQ cause among non-ideological evangelicals, but it is clear that they are resisting this topic,” explains Renato Dorgan, specialist in political-electoral marketing, qualitative and quantitative research and co-owner of the Instituto Travessia-Estratégia e Marketing.

Dorgan believes that homosexuality in politics has gradually ceased to be a big taboo, especially after 2015, 2016, which he observes in a qualitative study he conducts with Brazilian voters. According to recent polls, more than half of the population approves of same-sex unions.

“So much so that now Eduardo Leite (governor of Rio Grande do Sul) has declared himself a homosexual, although he is a preliminary presidential candidate,” the specialist noted. Leyte lost the PSDB primary to Sao Paulo Gov. Joao Doria, but did not hesitate to use the sexual option in mid-2021 when he sought accreditation as a candidate for President of the Republic.

Shortly after the announcement of the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, a poll conducted by the Instituto Paraná Pesquisas in July 2021 showed that 75.9% of Brazilians would not change their vote if the presidential candidate was gay: 13.7% admitted, that willing to vote for a candidate decreases, while up to 5.8% increases. The survey was conducted in the municipalities of 27 subjects of the Federation with an error of 2 percentage points. The poll showed that the greatest resistance to a homosexual candidate comes from men over 60 living in the south of the country.

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Far-right uses homophobia as voting strategy, says Gene Willis

“The current government was elected because of homophobia,” former federal MP Jean Willis, who recently joined PT, told DW Brasil. Gay, Willis had direct clashes with Bolsonaro while both were MPs and came to spit in the face of the incumbent when he praised tormentor Brillante Ustra by voting to impeach Dilma Rousseff in 2016. The journalist and writer gave him a mandate for being subjected to death threats and numerous attacks. Willis advocates that “a section of the far right should use homophobia to advance elections,” a topic he has covered in recent books and articles.

He explains that he relinquished his mandate because he was and remains the target of death threats, including from members of his family, in addition to a “heavy and well-funded campaign of slander and assassination” of his reputation through “dirty lies”.

“It was obvious to me that after the cowardly and cruel murder of Mariel Franco, the threats would not be limited to threats. It was just as clear to me – but not to the left in general, and even more so to my old party, unfortunately, despite the consistent denunciations that I made, that this attack was not only on the person or on the person of Jean Willis. It was a brutal attack on everything I represented and represent,” he says.

The fact that he is an openly gay politician and activist, Willis adds, has made him “an easy catalyst for hatred and resentment in a historically homophobic and racist society” along the same lines as trying to destroy Lula’s image.

“Homophobic hostility was more pronounced on the part of heterosexual parliamentarians, especially neo-Pentecostal evangelicals and/or those associated with the security forces. This does not mean that there were no homophobic sentiments on the part of some left-wing parliamentarians and on the part of women on the right,” he said.

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Despite pre-election marketing polls, Willis insists that Brazilians will not elect a gay president today and that those in power now want to prevent this from happening in the future.

“The current government was elected because of homophobia,” says former federal MP Gene Willis.Photo: DW/C. Neher

For a gay senator, “this confrontation takes guts.”

Some scenes were notable: in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the Pandemic (CPI da Covid), in the Senate, in which capixaba senator Fabiano Contarato, at the time associated with the Network, spoke about his sexual choices and his family. Married, he and his partner have adopted two children.

“Brazil must begin to reverse centuries of structural politics based on sexism, racism and LGBT phobia. I came into politics believing that it takes courage to stand up to this.”

Contarato, now associated with PT and a possible candidate for the Espirito Santo government acronym, emphasizes that all of the country’s recent gains by the LGBTQIA+ community have been the result of judicial decisions, not political ones.

“The right to adopt is without a doubt one of the most important. It guarantees the basic right of homoaffective families and allows them to form on an equal footing with others. However, the fact that this is not yet a registered right in Brazilian law creates uncertainty about a possible annulment.”

Congress, according to the senator, ignores the debate about the protection and rights of LGBTQI +. “I am the first openly gay senator and I hope to have opened the doors to others in the near future. I humbly hope that our mandate will serve as an inspiration to other gays, lesbians, transgenders and transvestites. …everyone, even if we have to fight a lot harder to get there.”

He cites the adoption of stiffer sentences for those who commit crimes motivated by discrimination or prejudice based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation as successful benchmarks. “The House also passed Bill 2353/2021 of my own authorship, which prohibits discrimination against blood donors based on sexual orientation.”

Brazil |  Senate investigation into the pandemic
“I am the first openly gay senator and I hope to open the doors to others in the near future,” Contarato says.Photo: Leopoldo Silva/Agência Senado

The resistance is higher in the chamber

Already in the House, says Federal MP David Miranda (Psol-RJ), the deputy who accepted the mandate for Wyllys’ vacancy, LGBTQI+ programs are making little headway, especially due to resistance from the evangelical, armed and conservative wing of agribusiness. . According to him, there are about 40 projects in the Chamber that are of interest to this population, 50% with a more progressive approach and 50% with a biased and derogatory look.

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“This agenda is not moving, and if it is brought to plenary session, it will paralyze Congress. Both progressive and conservative MPs are trying to use these agendas to advance themselves. It will definitely happen this year.” Miranda predicts there will be a big debate around a project defining that public toilets are for men and women, thus avoiding embarrassment for Miranda’s transgender people.

The MP is married to journalist Glenn Greenwald, who posted on The Intercept Brasil website messages from former judge Sergio Moro with prosecutors involved in Operation Lava-Jato. The Jato Vase, as the case became known in Brazil, led to the demoralization of Lava-Jato and culminated in the decision of the Federal Supreme Court on Moro’s suspicion of trying Lulu.

Vase Jato, according to the deputy, has made him a specific target for the extreme right. “We received death threats, me, my husband, my children, my mother. We were attacked at all levels. They made fake news with our names, our lives. a welcoming field with great support,” he said.

David Miranda walks daily accompanied by bodyguards. He says he has not received permission from the President of the Chamber, commanded by Bolsonaro MP Artur Lira (PP-AL), to rely on the security of the Legislative Police. “The Chamber stopped giving me security, although I have a positive opinion from the parliamentary commission in Geneva. I pay with my money, I don’t complain. protection in the state of Rio.

DW Brasil asked the President of the Chamber for information on the number of parliamentarians under the protection of the Legislative Police, as they are threatened, and questioned the Miranda case. “For security reasons, information about the escort of parliamentarians is confidential,” the press service of the chamber said by e-mail.

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