Bolsonaro’s former secretary denies underreporting of Yanomami deaths

Bolsonaro’s former secretary denies underreporting of Yanomami deaths


The former Secretary of Primary Care of the Ministry of Health in the Jair Bolsonaro government, Raphael Parente refuted the Lula government’s accusations about the underreporting of Yanomami deaths in the previous administration, after the current government recorded a higher number of deaths

The Ministry of Health recorded the deaths of 363 Yanomami in 2023, in the first year of the Lula government. In 2022, when former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) commanded the country, 343 deaths were recorded. The Secretariat of Indigenous Health pointed out that records from 2022 and previous years were “underreported” and blamed the Bolsonaro government for the “abandonment” of Yanomami Land.

According to Parente, the accusations are a “smokescreen to mask his incompetence”. And he further explains that talking about underreporting is a way of masking the lack of effective actions by the current government to resolve the Yanomami crisis.

“The current government acted like a theater and was unable to improve the situation. The problem is complex, I’m not saying it’s something easy to solve. But it’s not going to be done with bravado. If they’re claiming that we underreported, they they have to prove it. And the media has to demand proof, not accept this statement passively”, Parente told Newspaper.

The former secretary, who held the position from June 2020 until the end of the Bolsonaro government, also highlighted that it is not possible to underreport deaths. “Death is something binary, either the person is dead or alive. In theory, it would even be possible to underreport the cause, but death itself cannot be done. Are you going to resurrect the person, say they didn’t die? That doesn’t exist,” he states.

Parente also criticized the management of the Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, in relation to the dengue epidemic in Brazil, which surpassed more than 2 million cases of the disease and almost a thousand deaths in 2024 alone.

“The Ministry of Health is fully trusting in this Butantan vaccine, which is still a promise and will not be ready for 2024 and perhaps not even 2025. They stalled, they didn’t buy imported vaccines, they didn’t incorporate technology. And now it’s too late”, he states.


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