Newsroom, Yara Aquino and Carolina Pimentel Reporters Agência Brasil
Brasilia – On Saturday (January 7) the Ministry of National Integration released a note rebutting accusations that the minister, Fernando Bezerro Coelho, had shown favoritism in releasing funds to members of Congress and his family, given certain political parties privileged access to posts in his ministry and that there was a case of nepotism in a regional development corporation run by the ministry (specifically the “Codevasf”) that was headed by the minister’s brother.
Backing up the ministry’s note was another from the office of the Presidential Chief of Staff (“Casa Civil”) this weekend declaring that there was no “irregularity” in the minister’s brother being the acting head of the regional development corporation, Codevasf. According to Casa Civil, under the statutes of the corporation and norms from the oversight agency (“Controladoria-Geral da União”), the minister’s brother was acting as president because he was the senior member of the board of directors. The note goes on to point out that a new Codevasf president was nominated some 50 days ago to substitute the minister's brother. According to the note, after the normal confirmation process the appointee will take office.
On Wednesday, January 4, the Chief of Staff, Gleisi Hoffman, had emitted a note denying reports that she had received orders from president Dilma Rousseff to oversee the liberation of resources for the prevention of natural disasters. “Minister Fernando Bezerra is and continues to be responsible for the execution of projects and programs at the Ministry of National Integration,” said the note.
All this follows articles in the O Globo and O Estado de S Paulo that the minister had sent 90% of the funds available for disaster prevention to his home state of Pernambuco. With heavy rainfall causing dikes to burst, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and hundreds to be left homeless, in the state of Minas Gerais, the newspapers reported that president ordered the Casa Civil to look into the matter.
Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English