Ceará government to file libel lawsuit against congresswoman

carla zambelli

The Ceará government announced that it will file a libel lawsuit against right-wing Representative Carla Zambelli, a close ally of president Jair Bolsonaro, after she falsely told Radio Bandeirantes that empty coffins were being buried in the state. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, far-right groups have claimed that local governments are inflating the numbers of victims to hurt President Jair Bolsonaro. In response to Ms. Zambelli’s statement, Governor Camilo Santana said her statement was “frivolous” and “inconsequential,” adding that it was also “an insult to healthcare professionals and the families of the victims.”

As of Friday, Ceará had 7,879 confirmed cases and 505 deaths. It is the third state with the most Covid-19 cases in the country, after São Paulo (30,374) and Rio de Janeiro (10,166). The state, however, is said to be testing over three times more than the rate of other Brazilian states.