Power

Covid inquiry brings Marielle murder back into the spotlight

A former Rio de Janeiro governor used the committee to suggest the president is linked to a murder case, in what is the latest episode of how the Covid inquiry is being used for political theater

marielle franco covid inquiry
Recently-impeached Governor Wilson Witzel suggests the Bolsonaros may be involved in a 2018 assassination. Photo: Pedro França/SF/ACS/CC BY 4.0

When the Senate’s Covid hearings began in mid-April, we warned readers that the probe would be less about holding Jair Bolsonaro responsible for his alleged pandemic wrongdoings and more about political theater. Though the inquiry has the power to request indictments and scrutinize telephone and banking records of those under investigation, the hearings have so far played host to political actors playing to the gallery — especially with campaigning season just around the corner. 

That theatrical dimension was as clear as ever on Wednesday, when recently impeached Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel took the stand.

The disgraced...

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