Protests pro, against Brazil govt are less numerous, more peaceful

Brasilia, Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Brazilians went out for the fourth Sunday in a row to the streets of the country in acts in favor and against the Government of Jair Bolsonaro, who faces a serious political crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 50,000 and infected more than 1 million.

Both the protests in favor and those against the president registered smaller crowd than those of the previous Sundays and also took place in a more peaceful way.

The protests took place as the judicial siege on the Bolsonaro family tightened due to the preventive imprisonment on Thursday of a former close collaborator of today’s Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son.

The former policeman Fabrício Queiroz, who was also close to the president, is suspected of being an intermediary in a corrupt scheme of confiscation of wages of collaborators of Flávio’s cabinet that operated at least between 2016 and 2017 in order to benefit the legislator himself when he was a deputy Regional of Rio de Janeiro.

The largest of these took place in Brasilia, the country’s capital, where supporters and detractors of Bolsonaro gathered on the Esplanade of the Ministries, the administrative headquarters of the Executive.

After three consecutive Sundays of fierce clashes between the two groups, the police have tightened security to prevent the violent riots that were registered in various cities in the country in recent weeks.

As EFE could verify, each one of the acts marched peacefully in opposite ways, although they gathered in front of Parliament, where there was a sanitary cord to separate them.

However, no significant acts of violence were recorded. There were small incidents that were quickly controlled by the police.

Anti-Bolsonaro protesters, gathered around social, anti-fascist, and anti-racist movements, held banners calling the far-right leader “fascist” and calling for the president to be removed for his “genocidal” policy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It has become very clear, it was widely disclosed, that the majority of Brazilians do not support this murderous government policy,” Danilo Passaro, director of the organized Corinthians fan and leader of the Somos Democracia movement, told EFE.

Meanwhile, supporters of Bolsonaro carried the flags of Brazil and the United States and clamored for military intervention, the “non-interference of China in politics” of the country and the closure of Congress and the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court is taking the reins and is acting as the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It is time to restrain these abuses, because what is happening is abuse,” lawyer Geraldino Santos Nunes told EFE.

Unlike other occasions, Bolsonaro did not attend the protests, having traveled to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the funeral of a military man who died after a parachute jump.

A few protesters also protested in the cities of Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, both in the southeast, peacefully.

The rallies Sunday take place at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in Brazil and has already left some 50,000 dead and more than 1 million infected. The South American giant is the second country most affected by the pathogen in the world, behind the United States.

After registering for more than five consecutive days more than 1,000 deaths per day, as well as a record of cases in 24 hours, the country confirmed the rapid expansion of the pathogen, which led various municipalities to tighten the restrictive measures again amid the gradual reopening initiated in June.

According to the most recent bulletin of the Ministry of Health, released on Sunday night, the country today surpassed the mark of 50,600 dead and has 1,084,000 infected.

Although the day of protests this Sunday has been more modest than those registered in other weeks, political tension in Brazil continues to escalate, while Bolsonaro faces an acute political, health, economic and judicial crisis.

The week of the head of state was especially hard due to the imprisonment this Thursday of Queiroz, the former adviser considered key in the corruption investigation against Flavio Bolsonaro.

The media arrest put the president himself on the spot, as the former police officer was arrested in a house in the interior of Sao Paulo owned by Frederick Wassef, a lawyer who works with the president.

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