Brazilian Senator Marcos del Val said he was invited to participate in a conspiracy to impede Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from assuming the presidency. The offer was proffered by a lawmaker-ally of then-President Jair Bolsonaro, in the presence of the president, who, according to the senator, “sat in silence.”
The plan sought to lure Supreme Electoral Court President Alexandre de Moraes into making compromising comments on tape in order to detain him, paving the way for a new electoral authority to annul the October elections lost by Bolsonaro.
The explosive allegations came as the now-former lawmaker, Daniel Silveira, was arrested in the state of Rio de Janeiro yesterday morning on De Moraes’s orders, having lost his parliamentary immunity with the end of his term on Wednesday.
The new allegations add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that Bolsonaro sought to overturn the results of the October elections. Last month police found a draft decree in the house of Anderson Torres, Bolsonaro’s former justice minister and the Brasília security chief at the time of the attacks, that analysts say could have been used to intervene the electoral court and pave the way for a coup.
- Brazil’s federal police carried out new raids, the fourth phase of an operation aimed at identifying participants, funders and instigators of the Jan. 8 riots in Brasília. (Reuters)
- Brazil must make sure it addresses the problems that led to the riots in Brasilia last month, including the “politicization” of the police and the role of social media, Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes told reporters. (Reuters)
- Brazil’s cultural sector has high expectations for Lula’s new presidency, and hope his return could mean a renewal of policies that invigorated the country’s cultural sector, reports the New York Times.
- Unable to dock an aged aircraft carrier in any country for recycling, the Brazilian navy plans to sink the ship, which contains an unknown amount of asbestos, despite environmental concerns, reports the New York Times.
- Environmental enforcement agents in Brazil must overcome the costs of years of dwindling funding and staff under Bolsonaro. (Reuters)
- Feb. 2 is Iemanjá Day in Salvador — and, for the first time the deity of the sea and motherhood, who is the most-worshiped Yoruba goddess in the country, was represented with a sculpture of a Black woman. (Refinery 29)
- Peruvian lawmakers rejected a ninth bill that sought to hold early elections, yesterday. The latest proposal, from Perú Libre, would have tied a vote later this year to a referendum on calling a constitutional convention. (La República, El País, see yesterday’s post.)
- Peru’s foreign minister said the government has no “evidence” that the demonstrations were being driven by criminal groups,” contradicting allegations by President Dina Boluarte blaming social upheaval on nefarious interests. (New York Times)
- Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro criticized U.S. licenses that bar oil companies doing business with sanctioned Venezuelan state firms from paying cash to his administration. (Reuters)
- Pirate Wire Services has a two part-series looking at the armed groups involved in Colombia’s peace negotations: their motives, their modus operandi, and their relative power.
- Cattle ranching, not coca, is the principle illicit driver of Colombian deforestation, according to a new study published in Nature. The study found evidence of explosive deforestation for cattle ranching in protected areas following the peace agreement with the FARC.
- A Colombian judge caused a stir after he admitted using the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT in his decision on whether an autistic child’s insurance should cover all of the costs of his medical treatment. The case has raised a discussion over the use of AI in law. (Guardian)
- The disappearance, death and discovery of Valentina Trespalacios, a 21-year-old DJ in Colombia, has captured attention even in a country wearied by frequent femicides, in part because her U.S.-citizen boyfriend is accused of killing her, reports the Washington Post.
- The mother of a murdered five-year-old and her partner were found guilty of killing the child in 2021. The death was the culmination of months of abuse, according to prosecutors. (Buenos Aires Times)
- The number of people identifying as transvestite, transexual and transgender working in Argentina’s national government increased 456% since 2020, following a law that establishes a 1% minimum for hiring in the public sector. (Primera Mañana)
- Former football start Cuauhtémoc Blanco is a rising political star in Mexico, backed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador despite alleged ties to drug traffickers, reports Reuters.
- Alarmed by shipping chaos and geopolitical fractures, exporters from China are setting up factories in Mexico to preserve their sales to the United States, reports the New York Times.
- Tesla Inc. is expected to announce an investment in Mexico very soon as the country works to expand infrastructure and renewable energy supply to take advantage of a boom in companies relocating, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said. (Bloomberg)
- Since December 2021, Haiti has lost 11,000 apparel jobs, with more expected in the coming months, reports the Miami Herald.
- Wildfires have consumed more than 750 hectares of forest in Chile, which is undergoing a summer heatwave across southern and central swathes of the country. (Reuters)
- Sumitomo Corp and Chile power supplier Colbun have agreed to collaborate in production of green hydrogen and ammonia, reports Reuters.