Corrupt Brazilian coup minister resigns

This video says about itself:

Brazil: Leaked Recording Reveals Plot to Oust President Rousseff

23 May 2016

New audio recordings show interim Minister Romero Juca speaking to Sergio Machado – former head of Transpetro – about a plot to oust Dilma [Rousseff], to avoid corruption investigations to continue.

From Reuters:

Tue May 24, 2016 2:52am EDT

Brazil’s new government loses key minister to scandal

BRASILIA | By Silvio Cascione and Maria Carolina Marcello

Brazil’s interim government was rocked on Monday by the loss of one of its key figures, Planning Minister Romero Juca, who stepped aside amid accusations he had conspired to obstruct the country’s biggest-ever corruption investigation.

Interim President Michel Temer was counting on Juca, a close confidant and experienced senator, to steer a budget bill through Congress to avoid a government shutdown next month.

However, a recording of his conversation with a suspect in the investigation threatened to stain the new, center-right administration, already unsettled by a series of policy reversals during its first week in office.

The scandal weakened Brazil’s currency on fears of further instability less than two weeks after President Dilma Rousseff was suspended to stand trial in the Senate for allegedly breaking fiscal laws, leaving former Vice President Temer to lead the country.

“Starting from tomorrow, I will step aside,” Juca, appointed by Temer after Rousseff’s suspension, told reporters in Brasilia. …

In the recording, made before Rousseff was put on trial and published by newspaper Folha de S. Paulo on Monday, Juca told a friend he agreed on the need for a “national pact” to limit the graft probe rattling the political establishment.

Asked for help by his ally, ex-senator Sergio Machado under investigation in the probe, Juca replied: “The government has to be changed in order to stop this bleeding,” Folha reported, adding that the conversations were taped “secretly.”

Juca said the conversation happened either at his home or at his office but it was not clear how the hour-long recording was made. Local media reported it may be connected with Machado who has been negotiating a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. Machado was not immediately available for comment.

Juca and other ministers in Temer’s new government are under investigation for their alleged roles in the massive bribery scheme stemming from state-run oil company Petrobras.

At a press conference earlier on Monday, Juca insisted that he would never interfere in the investigation and his comments were not incriminating in any way. …

By the end of the day, however, the scandal had reached a fever pitch in the capital Brasilia, and Juca announced his plans to take a leave of absence from the ministry until public prosecutors make public statements exonerating him.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index was knocked lower by the news, falling 0.8 percent on Monday. The local currency lost 1.8 percent against the U.S. dollar.

Temer said in a statement that Juca would support the government from the Senate to ensure that the budget and other reforms were passed.

A trained economist with over 20 years in the Senate, Juca was a key member of Temer’s new economic team that is racing to approve a series of economic measures in Congress aimed at rescuing investor confidence in the slumping Brazilian economy.

New Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles will announce on Tuesday some of those measures to include limits to public spending to close a widening fiscal gap that cost Brazil its coveted investment-grade rating.


The blow of Juca’s leave of absence followed a political about-face over the weekend, when Temer reinstated the culture ministry just over a week after announcing he was folding it into the education ministry to save money.

The decision to combine the ministries provoked the ire of famous artists and musicians, adding to a backlash against the interim government last week that included protests outside Temer’s Sao Paulo residence.

Eliane Cantanhede, a seasoned political columnist, wrote Monday on the website of the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper that tossing Juca overboard was the only option for Temer, but that it will not solve the interim president’s political problems.

“Juca is gone, but the trail of the recordings remain … and will serve as the fuel to further ignite the movements that will take to the streets against Temer,” she wrote.

(Additional reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Brad Brooks; Writing Brad Haynes and Alonso Soto; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Andrew Hay)

This video says about itself:

Brazil: Protests Outside Coup Leader’s House

23 May 2016

Hundreds gathered outside [the house of] coup leader and interim President Michel Temer.

This video says about itself:

Brazil’s Interim Foreign Minister Met With Protests in Argentina

23 May 2016

As his first official visit, the interim foreign minister of Brazil, Jose Serra, visited Buenos Aires where he met with President Mauricio Macri.

A majority of Brazil’s 200 million people are of African descent. For decades, Afro-Brazilians have faced discrimination in one of the world’s most unequal economies. But under the government of President Dilma and former President Lula da Silva, things began to change. Massive social investment, legal reforms and strong labor unions helped bring 40 million Brazilians out of poverty. Government ministries were established to protect the rights of women and Afro-Brazilians: here.

20 thoughts on “Corrupt Brazilian coup minister resigns

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  2. Wednesday 25th May 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    Politician recorded advising on corruption probe

    By Our Sports Desk

    BRAZIL’S Planning Minister Romero Juca bowed to the inevitable yesterday, resigning after being caught on tape conspiring to obstruct the Petrobras corruption investigation.

    He had admitted the authenticity of the taped conversation between himself and former senator Sergio Machado who until recently headed Transpetro, the country’s largest oil and gas transport company.

    In the tapes, Mr Juca said that best way to halt the probe at oil giant Petrobras was by impeaching suspended President Dilma Rousseff, but he claims now that his comments were taken out of context.

    However, he was also heard saying: “I am talking to the generals, the military commanders. They are fine with this. They say they will guarantee it.”

    Ms Rousseff is adamant that the tapes prove that the impeachment process is a political coup designed to protect senior figures implicated in the Petrobras scandal.

    She is accused of massaging budget figures prior to her re-election in 2014 and is due to be tried in the senate in the coming months.

    The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, which was given the tapes by Mr Machado, exposed Mr Juca on Monday as saying that impeachment was necessary to “staunch the bleeding.”

    Mr Machado is under investigation over alleged involvement in the Petrobras scandal and is said to have recorded the conversations with a view to negotiating a plea bargain by exchanging information implicating other suspects for a lower sentence.

    Mr Juca told a news conference that it was public knowledge that he was in favour of impeachment, but he claimed to have been referring to the Brazilian economy not the Petrobras investigation, which he backs.

    Dozens of top-ranking politicians and business executives have been charged or already convicted for participation in the Petrobras bribery and embezzlement scheme.

    Ms Rousseff has not come under suspicion of personal enrichment.

    Mr Juca, who was one of the main architects of the impeachment proceedings against Ms Rousseff, is also vice-president of the PMDB party, led by coup President Michel Temer.

    Three other PMDB ministers in the coup government, which took over earlier this month, are also under investigation in the Petrobras case.


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