“Brazil has changed, and a lot, after we took over the government, in January 2019”. This was one of the first sentences by Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) in his speech at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. This is an indisputable truth, both by supporters and opponents of the current administration.
The truthful information, however, stopped there. Experts heard by Brazil in fact after Tuesday’s speech (21) they said the president had lied “blatantly” several times in the UN rostrum.
The report selected eight lies, on different topics, in the order in which they were cited by the president. Check out:
1. “We have been without any concrete case of corruption for two years and eight months”
In addition to the “cracks”, widely publicized in the press, the CPI of Covid raised numerous cases of corruption involving the top of the Bolsonaro government. The final report of the CPI will be released soon, and will include fraud in the contract of the Indian vaccine Covaxin, as well as suspected payment of bribes.
The president is even the target of an investigation by the Federal Police for trying to interfere in the work in Rio de Janeiro. There were also allegations of fraud and administrative improbity at the Ministry of the Environment, which were decisive in the dismissal of Minister Ricardo Salles, according to analysts.
2. “Our development bank was used to finance works in communist countries, without guarantees”
The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) does not finance governments or corporations in these countries, but only Brazilian companies.
The financing, construction of equipment and the development of internal services to be acquired abroad contribute to Brazil changing its logic of international insertion.
Total loans to finance companies operating abroad are less than 2% of total BNDES financing during PT governments.
3. “Brazil has the largest investment program with the private sector in its history”
The only liquidation process for a state-owned company initiated by the Ministry of Economy was held this month by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), which contests the public interest of that decision.
The level of foreign investment in the country, in 2020, dropped to the levels of the beginning of the century, according to the UN itself.
4. “Our modern and sustainable low-carbon agriculture feeds more than 1 billion people worldwide”
Agribusiness, to which the president refers, based on the production of commodities for export, does not even feed Brazilians. About 70% of the food consumed by families in the country is produced by family farming.
The sustainability of agribusiness is also not verified, since the model is known for the indiscriminate use of pesticides and land grabbing. In the Bolsonaro government, 945 new poisons were approved in two years.
5. “Human and financial resources for strengthening environmental agencies were doubled”
In April, the government approved a 24% cut in the environment budget for 2021 compared to last year, directly impacting inspection. The budget available for the sector is the lowest since 2017.
6. “In the Amazon, we had a 32% reduction in deforestation in the month of August, when compared to August of the previous year”
According to the Imazon platform, there was an increase of 7% in the period. It is the month of greatest deforestation in the Amazon since 2012.
7. “I always defended fighting the virus and unemployment simultaneously”
Bolsonaro never encouraged immunization, opposed social isolation measures, and his government only purchased vaccines and guaranteed emergency aid after pressure from opponents.
8. “On the last 7th of September, millions of Brazilians took to the streets (…) in the biggest demonstration in our history”
There are no data to support this information. According to data from the Military Police, the most massive acts in the country’s recent history were carried out in 2016, against President Dilma Rousseff (PT): around 3.3 million people took to the streets on the same day.
On the last 7th, the biggest demonstration took place on Avenida Paulista, and brought together 125,000 Bolsonaro supporters.
Edition: Anelize Moreira