Brasília Governor to face hearings committee on coronavirus corruption

corruption coronavirus brasília
Ibaneis Rocha. Photo: ABr

Ibaneis Rocha, the governor of Brazil’s Federal District, is set to face a hearings committee launched by local lawmakers to investigate fraudulent spending during his administration’s coronavirus efforts. The request to set up the probe, spearheaded by environmentalist lawmaker Leandro Grass, already has the support of 13 of the chamber’s 24 members — the minimum threshold for being enforced.

Earlier this week, Health Secretary Francisco Araújo (alongside five other high-ranking officials) was arrested in a police operation investigating fraud in purchases of Covid-19 testing kits. Law enforcement says authorities bought low-quality materials for inflated prices. The poor-quality material purchased by Brasília authorities has a high rate of false-negative Covid-19 test results, increasing the risks of contaminated people wrongly believing that they have not been infected — and thus potentially becoming spreaders.

Governor Rocha recently escaped a lawsuit that could have led to his impeachment. He was accused of illegally using funds in his 2018 campaign — but electoral courts shelved the case.

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