Covid Report: Brazil’s Bolsonaro ‘Should Be Charged with Crimes Against Humanity’

Pres. Bolsonaro
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A protester holds a cross at a protest against Bolsonaro and his handling of the pandemic. File photo
With more than 600,000 fatalities, Brazil has the second-highest Covid-related death toll in the world behind only the US

BBC- Brazil’s president should be accused of a series of crimes over his handling of the country’s Covid-19 pandemic, a draft of a major inquiry report says.

The report is the culmination of a six-month inquiry that has revealed scandals and corruption in government.

President Bolsonaro has been accused of failing to control the virus that has killed more than 600,000 Brazilians.

Excerpts leaked to the media indicate that the panel wants Mr Bolsonaro to face nine charges.

Initial drafts of the report had recommended the president be charged with homicide and genocide against indigenous groups.

But these recommendations have now apparently been dropped from the 1,200 page report, which urges charges of crimes against humanity, forging documents and incitement to crime.

Despite the serious allegations, it is not clear what this means for Mr Bolsonaro, according to the BBC’s South America correspondent Katy Watson.

The draft report still needs to be voted on by the Senate commission where it could be vetoed and altered, and there is no guarantee it will lead to criminal charges.

President Jair Bolsonaro. File photo
President Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak

President Bolsonaro has dismissed the Congressional inquiry as politically motivated. He has frequently spoken out against lockdowns, masks and vaccinations.

In March, he told Brazilians to “stop whining” about Covid, a day after the country saw a record rise in deaths over a 24-hour period.

However, Mr Bolsonaro’s popularity has already been dented by the pandemic, and this report could make life much harder for him if he wants to run for a second term in Brazil’s 2022 elections.

Brazil’s confirmed Covid-related death toll is the second-highest in the world – behind only the US.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of the report’s publication, the inquiry rapporteur, Senator Renan Calheiros, said the panel wanted to punish those who contributed to “this massacre of Brazilians”.

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