The government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva removed 18 heads of the Federal Police (PF) and 26 of the 27 regional superintendents of the Federal Traffic Police (PRF) from their posts on Thursday, after firing affected soldiers from the security of the Planalto Palace after the coup of 8 January.
This was made official by the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino the removal of 26 of the 27 regional leaders of the PRFexcept for the state of Piauí, temporarily occupied, and the sacking of 18 heads of the PF, including the three most important, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.
Meanwhile, the president said the military should not get involved in politics and announced that he will meet with the military leadership (FFAA) this week.
“Do not politicize the armed forces, the commanders must have the responsibility to say that the soldier, the colonel, they have the right to vote, they have the right to choose whoever they want, but since they have a career position, they must defend the Brazilian state, I am not Lula’s army, I am not the army of (Jair) Bolsonaro, of Fernando Henrique Cardoso,” the president said during an interview with the GloboNews channel.
“They (the military) have to defend the state and the constitution and I want to speak to them openly, to say that the people who are there are there to perform functions and not to make politics,” he remarked.
The leader of the Workers’ Party commented on this “Whoever wants to do politics takes off his uniform, resigns from office and founds a political party. But as long as he’s in the military, they can’t do politics.”
The remarks appear to be aimed particularly at his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, a retired army captain, who has entrusted several key posts in his government to the military, including his own vice president, Hamilton Mourao.
During the interview, Lula supported the making of a rigorous investigation on the attempted coup of January 8 and argued that all “guilty” must be punished, whether civilian or military.
Furthermore, he said that Bolsonaro was involved in the attack by protesters and that he intended to return to the country if the plan to remove the new president was successful. Bolsonaro left Brazil on December 30 and has been in the United States ever since.
“I think his (Bolsonaro’s) decision not to give me the presidential sash, to go to Miami as if I were fleeing, the silence after what happened, gives me the impression that he knew, that he had to do with what it was. Maybe , Bolsonaro was waiting to return to Brazil in glory with a coup,” Lula said.
In the television interview, broadcast on Wednesday evening, the president took stock of the attacks on the buildings of the Presidency, the Congress and the Court of Brasilia that took place a week after his seizure of power.
“I have the impression that this was the beginning of a coup, that these people were obeying the orders that Bolsonaro has been giving for a long time, he has ordered the Court to be overrun, for a long time he has been demanding that the people be armed,” he assures.
Lula also criticized the work of the secret services. “We have information from the Army, we have information from the Institutional Security Cabinet, we have information from the Navy, the Air Force. The truth is that none of this information served to warn the President of the Republic. If I had known on Friday (January 6) that 8,000 people would have arrived, they would not have left Brasilia” heading to São Paulo, where he went to visit an area devastated by floods and landslides.
Inflation and the central bank
On the other hand, the Brazilian president has criticized the independence of the Central Bank (BC) and questioned the inflation target set by it. In this sense, he said that in Brazil “there was a lot of struggle to have an independent BC”.
“I can say from my experience that this is nonsense. It is a mistake to believe that the president of the independent BC will do more than when he was appointed by the president of the republic,” Lula said.
Congress approved in 2021, during the Bolsonaro government, the independence of the BC and its head, the economist Roberto Campos Neto, has a fixed duration of four years.
On the other hand, the president, who assumed his third term with the promise of reducing inflation and hunger, questioned the inflation target set by the BC, which will be 3.25% by 2023, with an expansion margin of up to 4.75%
“You are forced to put pressure on the economy to reach the inflation target,” Lula criticized.
The new president, who took office on 1 January, affirmed that he defends “fiscal responsibility”, without however affecting the resources allocated to social policies and investments.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.