Lawmakers want to question Defense Minister after Covid probe critique

lawmakers defense braga netto
Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Federal representatives from the House’s Oversight and Control Committee approved a request to invite Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto to provide clarifications regarding his criticism of the Senate’s Covid inquiry, which is investigating the federal government.

Last week, inquiry chair Omar Aziz declared that it “had been many years since Brazil has seen the rotten side of the Armed Forces involved in government deceit,” in reference to the involvement of military officers in the alleged corruption scheme to purchase Covid-19 vaccines.

In response, Mr. Braga Netto issued a letter co-signed with the heads of the three Armed Forces, calling Mr. Aziz’s words “grave” and “irresponsible.”

“The Armed Forces will not accept any form of flippant attack against the institutions which defend the democracy and freedom of the Brazilian people,” reads the statement.

Upon hearing the lower house’s decision to call Mr. Braga Netto in to explain himself, the Senate inquiry’s rapporteur, Renan Calheiros, suggested that the upper house will do the same. 

The Defense Ministry informed that Mr. Braga Netto is currently traveling and has not been told about the House’s request.