10 years of the Access to Information Law: remember 10

The Access to Information Law (LAI) turns 10 years old this Thursday (18th).

Even under attacks by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), the LAI continues to be celebrated by entities, popular movements and organizations as one of the main advances in terms of public transparency in the history of Brazil.

The law regulated sections of the Constitution on the right to receive information from government agencies, and ended the possibility of “eternal secrecy” of documents.

The rule allows any citizen to request data from the federal, state or municipal public administration, from the three spheres of power: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.

::: Ministry of Labor does not exist on a federal transparency website; folder was created 2 months ago :::

Since it came into effect in May 2012, 1,079,553 requests have been sent to the federal government, according to the Federal Comptroller General’s (CGU) Panel. The average response time is 15 days.

President Dilma Rousseff (PT) sanctioned the Access to Information Law No. 12,527, on November 18, 2011. At the time, the law that created the National Truth Commission, to investigate human rights violations from 1946 to 1988, was also sanctioned , including the period of the Military Dictatorship. Both rules were approved by the Senate in the same week.

::: Army Command has no information on officers punished for political activity :::

O Brazil in fact has published, in recent years, a series of exclusive reports with information obtained via LAI. To mark 10 years of legislation, we selected 10 reports that show the importance of the tool for journalism. Read:

1) In the year in which Chapada dos Veadeiros had 552 fires, only one inquiry pointed to authorship

In October of this year, the Brazil in fact showed that, in 2020, only four police inquiries were initiated regarding fires in vegetation in Chapada dos Veadeiros, and that only one inquiry with authorship appointed by the Goiás police authorities and investigations was sent to the Judiciary.

Data from the State Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) were obtained by the report through the LAI. To read the full report, click here.

2) Launched 2 years ago, Bolsonaro’s program to replace Mais Médicos never opened a notice

Also in October this year, the Brazil in fact he pointed out that the Doctors for Brazil program, created by Jair Bolsonaro (no party) almost two years ago under the promise of replacing Mais Médicos, run by the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government, did not come off the ground.

The information was obtained from the report via LAI, sent by the General Coordination of Provision of Professionals for Primary Care (CGPROP) of the Ministry of Health. To read the full report, click here.

3) Bolsonaro sent 41 soldiers to a school in the US that trained assassins for Haitian presidents

October was also the month for the publication of a report by Brazil in fact which showed that, since 2000, Brazil has sent 82 soldiers for training at the Western Hemisphere Security Cooperation Institute (Whinsec), the former School of the Americas, headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA.

Of this total, 50% (41) in the Bolsonaro government, with 21% (17) in just the first nine months of 2021. The survey was carried out with data provided by the Army, Navy and Air Force, all via LAI. To read the full report, click here.

4) Digital TV has not democratized: 73% of authorizations in the Bolsonaro government go to Christian channels

In August, the Brazil in fact published an article that presents the two Christian broadcasters that concentrate more than half of the 49 authorizations of digital TV channels in the Jair Bolsonaro government (without a party): Fundação João Paulo II, with 22, and Televisão Independente de São José do Rio Preto Ltda. , with five.

Data obtained by the report via LAI showed that 73.4% of consignments since January 1, 2019 have benefited religious channels. To read the full report, click here.

5) Exclusive: “shadow cabinet” made a secret visit to the Ministry of Health

In June, during the work of Covid’s CPI in the Senate, the Brazil in fact revealed that the “shadow cabinet”, a group of pro-chloroquine doctors who was accused of advising non-party president Jair Bolsonaro in confronting the new coronavirus pandemic, held a secret meeting at the Ministry of Health’s headquarters in Brasília, on September 9, 2020.

The document with proof of visits was obtained by the report through the LAI, in January 2021. It lists more than 41 thousand access records to the premises in the main building of the Ministry of Health. To read the full report, click on here.

6) Bolsonaro’s Cabinet Admits It Has No Evidence About Alleged Electoral Fraud In 2018

In June, before Bolsonaro left the fight for the “printed vote”, the Brazil in fact showed that the president’s personal office at Palácio do Planalto admitted that it had no evidence on the executive’s statements regarding alleged fraud in the electoral result of the 2018 presidential election.

In response to a request for access to information, the president’s office revealed that it has no official document that reaffirms the insinuations made more than once by the president of the Republic. To read the full report, click here.

7) Foreigners control at least 17 thousand hectares of conservation units in Brazil

In January, the Brazil in fact obtained other unpublished information using the tool. The report pointed out that foreign individuals and legal entities formally control 17.3 thousand hectares of conservation units (CUs) in Brazil.

The number, obtained via LAI, refers to the sum of 39 areas, registered in the name of 27 individuals and six different legal entities. To read the full report, click here.

8) In ten years, no judge has been punished for racism in cases opened at the CNJ

In September 2020, the Brazil in fact revealed that, between 2010 and August 2020, the National Council of Justice (CNJ) received nine allegations of racist attitudes from judges in its decisions.

Of this total, six were filed, two suspended and one is pending. O Brazil in fact accessed the data via the Access to Information Act (LAI). To read the full report, click here.

9) From Lula to Bolsonaro: number of Ibama inspectors dropped by as much as 55%

Also in September of last year, the Brazil in fact he pointed out that the number of inspectors at the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (Ibama) dropped from 1,311 in 2010 to 591 in 2019, a reduction of 55%.

In 2020, there was an increase of 103 civil servants co-contracted by the agency for inspection, reaching 694, but still 47% lower compared to the beginning of the last decade.

Verification of the reduction in the number of Ibama inspectors was possible via LAI, with information obtained by the agency get to know. To read the full report, click here.

10) Discharged, Weintraub entered the US illegally with a diplomatic passport

In June of last year, the Brazil in fact was the first news outlet to reveal that, a day after announcing that he was leaving the Ministry of Education’s command, Abraham Weintraub used his diplomatic passport to travel to the United States.

The information was obtained via LAI from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE). To read the full report, click here.

Edition: Leandro Melito

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