General Eduardo Pazuello, former Minister of Health in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), has held only two external meetings since taking office on June 1st as secretary for Strategic Studies, a body linked to the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic.
The only two appointments on Pazuello’s official agenda in the 84 days he was in office were inside the Palácio do Planalto, in meetings of the General Secretariat of the Presidency. The first meeting lasted two hours. The second, just an hour and a half. According to official records, he did not hold any meetings outside the Planalto’s facilities.
The rest of Pazuello’s agenda is entirely filled with “internal dispatches”. The report calculated the proportion of internal orders in relation to the hours worked by the general and concluded that 99.2% of the hours worked were filled with this type of activity. Only 0.8% correspond to meetings outside the secretariat.
During the period in his current position, Pazuello has also been twice “on duty” to Manaus, where his family resides. The reasons for the trips to the capital of Amazonas were not disclosed by the Presidency of the Republic.
The Transparency Portal, which contains the official justifications for issuing airline tickets by the Executive, has not yet been updated with the information. O Brazil in fact requested clarification on travel from the General Secretariat of the Chair.
::Bolsonaro and Pazuello gather without masks in an act in RJ; remember::
On Monday (16) and Tuesday (18) of the last week, Pazuello’s official diary was empty, not even the “internal orders” appear on the date. On the previous Sunday (15), the commitment “trip to Manaus” appears. Pazuello took his first shift of the week on Wednesday. On Friday, he didn’t have any commitments either.
The former minister was also in the capital of Amazonas from 13 to 16 July (Tuesday to Friday). At the time, he also did not make any entry in the official agenda during the trip.
The prevalence of internal orders in Pazuello’s agenda contrasts with the transversal character of the body he occupies. Among the secretariat’s attributions are the “articulation and dialogue with federal public administration bodies from different areas and Powers, such as ministries, in addition to private entities”.
The position falls within the Senior Management and Advice (DAS) at level 6, the highest available. The gross remuneration is R$16,944.90. Pazuello adds the salaries with his military remuneration, of R$31,083.96, totaling approximately R$47 thousand monthly gross.
Remember the main controversies involving Eduardo Pazuello
Crisis in Manaus
The military is considered one of the alleged responsible for the crisis that left Manaus (AM) without enough oxygen to treat its patients during one of the peaks of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. In the first 54 days of 2021, 5,288 people died from covid-19 in Amazonas, more than in the entire past year.
The MPF (Federal Public Ministry) opened an investigation against the former minister, the state secretary of Health of Amazonas, Marcellus Campêlo and other officials of the Amazonian government and the federal government, for administrative improbity.
The objective is to raise “aspects related to facts that are already the object of other proceedings in progress”, which deal with covid-19.
Among the topics investigated are the processes for acquiring vaccines and organizing the immunization plan, the amounts allocated to the purchase of drugs with no effect against the coronavirus, and the low budget execution for actions to control the pandemic.
::Pazuello is subject to investigation for administrative improbity in the fight against the pandemic::
Newspaper report The State of São Paulo, of May 30, 1996, brought details about the arrest of businessman Alberto Pazuello, brother and partner of the former minister, at his home in Manaus. He was accused of participating, in the 1990s, in “A Firma”, an extermination group that operated in the region.
With the participation of police officers and the support or connivance of state public security authorities, the first death squads emerged during the dictatorship and were precursors of the militias.
Alberto Pazuello went to prison on charges of possession of drugs and weapons, rape, violent indecent assault and private imprisonment. According to the report at the time, it was the second time he had been arrested.
::Brother of Pazuello was accused of participating in an extermination group in Amazonas::
Enrichment in Manaus
Pazuello’s family has always been an active part of the cycles of exploitation of natural resources in the northern region of the country, from the rubber cycle to the occupation promoted by the dictatorship started in 1964. The former minister became a partner at JA Leite Navegação, one of the exponents of logistics in the rivers of the region.
The company belonged to his father, Nissim Pazuello, who died in 2018. In 1968, when it was bought, the company was already one of the strongest operating companies in the sector, created in the 19th century during the rubber boom.
The former minister was only 5 years old when he became a partner in the company, in 1968, and was represented, like his brothers, by Artur Soares Amorim, who had been Roberto Campos’ chief of staff at the Ministry of Planning, right at the beginning of the government. Castelo Branco, in 1964.
In 1952, the father of the former minister participated in the creation of the Amazon Oil Company (Copam) and, three years later, of the Amazon Navigation Company (Conave).
:: Pazuello family: from enrichment alongside the “King of the Amazon” to political collapse::
In January 2005, then Lieutenant Colonel Pazuello forced a soldier under his command to pull a cart as a punishment for indiscipline. In the episode, the soldier was harnessed to equipment at the horse’s designated location and a colleague was transported on a bench. At the time, all the other soldiers who served in the unit attended the act.
The episode took place in Rio de Janeiro, at the Army’s Central Ammunition Deposit, at the time run by the then lieutenant colonel. The case generated a Military Police Inquiry (105/05) to investigate mistreatment and persecution of the punished soldier. The Attorney General’s Office of the Military Public Ministry, however, acquitted the former minister, considering it a “regular disciplinary act” to put the soldier to drive a cart.
::Pazuello forced a soldier to pull a cart instead of a horse in barracks::
On May 17, senator Alessandro Vieira (Cidadania-SE) also asked the CPI to break the telephone, fiscal, banking and telematic secrecy of Pazuello, Carlos Bolsonaro, Ernesto Araújo, “Markinho Show”, Fabio Wajngarten and Carlos Wizard. For the congressman, they are involved in a supposed “Parallel Ministry of Health”.
The Ministry of Health would have signed 2 contracts without a bidding process in the total amount of R$ 28.9 million for renovations in Rio de Janeiro. The agreements would have been annulled because the AGU (General Attorney of the Union) denied the two waivers of bidding and asked for an investigation to investigate “indications of collusion between the civil servants and the contracted company”.
Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) also asked for the breach of telematic, telephone, banking and fiscal secrecy of the former minister to investigate contracts made by the Ministry of Health in Rio de Janeiro, without a bidding process, of companies to renovate the portfolio’s buildings.
The pandemic would have been used as an argument for the works to be considered urgent. The Attorney General’s Office (AGU) asked for an investigation to find out if there was any kind of collusion in the suspicious hiring.
::In the CPI of covid, senator asks for a breach of confidentiality of Carlos Bolsonaro::
During his tenure at Saúde, Pazuello spent at least R$88 million on advertisements for covid-19 that ignored prevention, promoted a lack of isolation, placed chloroquine as a protagonist and even exalted agribusiness.
A commercial released in July and August, for example, says: “In the midst of the most serious crisis in history, one sector was fundamental for the country. While many had to stop, Brazilian agribusiness continued to work”.
The same advertising piece brings the testimony of a truck driver asking for the return of activities. “Let’s go back, guys, let’s move on. But one taking care of the other”, he says.
In the campaign “Coronavirus, early treatment”, there was an attempt to make the hashtag “#don’t wait” to be used by the population. In advertising, it was said that the sooner the treatment started – with drugs without proven efficacy -, the greater the chances of the person’s recovery.
::Service x early treatment: understand the confusion between government and influencers::
The former minister was also seen walking around without a mask at the Manauara mall, in Manaus, during the month of April this year. The catch was taken by a professional photographer, who shared the images on social networks.
According to the photographer’s report, when asked about the use of safety equipment, Pazuello would have mocked and asked: “Well, you have to buy it. Where do you buy this?”
::Pazuello walks around without a mask, mocking and revolting; “Garbage from history”, says deputy::
The Brazilian Army decided to open a disciplinary investigation to investigate the participation of the former minister in an act in favor of the president in May in Rio de Janeiro. Bolsonaro and motorcycle supporters passed through the city, and Pazuello took part in all the action.
At one point, he even climbed into a sound car with the president and the two used the place as a kind of platform. In the episode, the general was unmasked. Four days earlier, he had apologized to Covid’s CPI for doing the same thing in the Manaus mall episode.
Edition: Leandro Melito