Power

Center of vaccine scandal has close ties to key government figures

Roberto Dias is accused of demanding bribes in a Covid vaccine purchase deal and appears before the Senate's pandemic hearings committee

vaccine roberto dias brazil
Luiz Henrique Mandetta (center) glances over Roberto Dias, the former logistics director accused of asking for bribes. Photo: Anderson Riedel/PR

Roberto Dias, the Health Ministry’s former logistics director, is testifying before the Senate’s Covid hearings committee today. Implicated in corruption scandals concerning vaccine purchases made by the government and fired after allegations of his involvement in a cash-for-jabs scheme, he is surrounded by circumstantial evidence linking him to influential politicians within the Bolsonaro administration.

Investigators suspect that these links allowed Mr. Dias to remain in government after a turbulent year for the Health Ministry and irregularities found in a contract he signed to purchase Covid-19 tests. Not only did Mr. Dias keep his job, but President Jair Bolsonaro also...

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