Councilor Camilo Cristóphago is impeached for racism

Councilor Camilo Cristóphago is impeached for racism


Racist speeches were leaked during the Applications CPI in 2022

The São Paulo City Council approved by 47 votes the impeachment of councilor Camilo Cristófaro (Avante) for racist speeches made in May 2022 — there were 5 abstentions and no votes against. The person who will take over the position is Dr. Adriano Santos (PSB).

The loss of the mandate depended on 37 votes in favor to happen. The City Council has 55 councilors — of the total, only Camilo Cristófaro (from Avante, target of the request), Ely Teruel (Podemos) and Luana Alves (from PSOL, author of the complaint) did not vote.

The five councilors who chose to abstain were: Abílio Francisco (Republicans), Coronel Salles (PSD), Paulo Frange (PTB), Rute Costa (PSDB) and Sansão Pereira (Republicans).

“They fixed it and didn’t wash the sidewalk. It’s a black thing, right?”said Camilo Cristófaro, in audio leaked during the Applications CPI on May 3, 2022.

Cristófaro is the first councilor impeached in São Paulo for racism and the third case of impeachment in the Chamber — the other two were Vicente Viscome and Maeli Vergniano, in 1999, in the scandal that became known as the Fiscal Mafia (a corruption scheme that involved extortion of street vendors and requests for payments for the release of permits), during the administration of mayor Celso Pitta (1997-2000). Due to his involvement in the same scheme when he was a councilor, the then state deputy Hanna Garib (PPB) also had his mandate at Alesp revoked in the same year.

In addition to the three accused of corruption, the Chamber had two councilors removed by the Electoral Court for party infidelity. They were Netinho de Paula (elected by the PCdoB and then in the PDT), in 2015, and Daniel Annenberg (elected by the PSDB and then in the PSB), in March of this year.

What did Cristofaro say in his defense?

I have never been called a racist anywhere I walk in this city. Black people are not stupid, no. He knows who works. No one is judging me here. Here they are executing me.Camilo Cristófaro, councilor for Avante, during his defense today

Cristófaro’s defense stated that his speech was not racist as it was not intended to offend. Lawyer Ronaldo Andrade stated that the councilor’s statement was made during a conversation with a friend over 40 years old when the two were in a car and Cristófaro was participating remotely in a Chamber session.

The lawyer classified the councilor’s speech as “unfortunate” and argued that the situation would not justify impeachment.

As for racism, I’m with Djonga: it’s racists’ fire. But racism, not lynching, not taking a sentence out of context and classifying it as racism. At most, it would be racial prejudice. Racism requires intent, a deliberate willingness to commit the act.

Ronaldo Alves de Andrade, lawyer for councilor Camilo Cristófaro and former judge in SP

Who takes the position

Second PSB substitute, former PM Adriano Santos takes the seat in the Chamber, after having obtained 5,813 votes in the 2020 election — (Cristófaro had 23,431 and was in his second consecutive term). The party’s first deputy was Masataka Ota, who died in 2021. Santos took over the position last year while his colleague Eliseu Gabriel (PSB) was on leave.

Cristófaro’s replacement could take over from tomorrow. In addition to the impeachment, the president of the Chamber Milton Leite (União Brasil) ordered the termination of the mandate of councilor Cristófaro. As Santos has already presented the necessary documentation to the House and sworn the oath to replace Eliseu Gabriel (PSB) during leave in 2022, there are no pending issues for him to take over the seat of the councilor who was revoked today.

*With information from UOL

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