The president of the Brazilian Senate, Senator Rodrigo Pacheco said Tuesday (Jul 5) he will read the list of requests for new parliamentary committees of investigation during a floor session. In his social media, the leader said he “recognizes the role of investigative committees in looking into wrongdoing surrounding the Ministry of Education, illegal deforestation in the Amazon, organized crime, and drug trafficking.”

Proceedings should being in November, following the end of the elections, and regulatory procedures are yet to be defined, Senator Pacheco added.

Last week, he had remarked that having a number of investigative committees operating simultaneously is not a problem, even though he conceded that the electoral period can hinder the progress of inquiries.

Ministry of Education

Backed by 31 signatures—four above than the 27 required—opposition senators have filed the request for the creation of an investigative committee in the upper house to probe into an alleged influence peddling scheme at Brazil’s Ministry of Education. 

Efforts to start the inquiry have intensified following suspicions of interference by President Jair Bolsonaro in the probes targeting former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro, arrested during a crackdown launched by the Federal Police.

Members of the governing coalition are trying to withdraw at least five signatures from the already lodged motion. Until the request for new probes is read, senators may include or withdraw their support.

On another front, the Senate is also under pressure to start another committee, already submitted by Senator Carlos Portinho, on unfinished construction works in daycare centers, schools, and universities from 2006 to 2018.

Organized crime

Filed in April by Senator Eduardo Girão, an investigative committee on organized crime and drug dealing was proposed to look into the relationship between crime and the increase in homicides of young people in Brazil between 2016 and 2020. 

On the occasion, Senator Girão argued that a dispute between criminal organizations in 2016 led to a record number of violent deaths in the states of Acre, Amazonas, Pará, Ceará, Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte.

Source: Agência Brasil