President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) made a public demonstration in defense of the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, stating that the criticisms against him would be “fake news” planted by opponents “who cannot accept the loss of money and spaces for their criminal activities”. But he did not indicate who these opponents were or what their alleged connection to criminal actions would be.
Lula defended his minister in a post on X (formerly Twitter) after a series of reports from the newspaper State of S.Paulo reveal this week that two women suspected of being members of the criminal faction Comando Vermelho met several times with authorities from the ministry led by Dino.
“My solidarity with minister Flávio Dino, who has been the target of absurd artificially planted attacks. He has already said and reiterated that he has never met the wife of a criminal faction leader. There is not a single photo, but for several days they have insisted on the absurd lie”, wrote Lula.
But, contrary to what the president stated, Dino has not been accused of having met directly with a member of the Red Command. He has been accused by the opposition and public opinion of being hierarchically responsible for the authorities that received Luciane Barbosa Farias, known as the “Amazonian drug lady” and wife of a Comando Vermelho leader, and the former PSOL-RJ deputy, Janira Rocha.
The two met with Rafael Velasco, head of the National Secretariat for Penal Policies (Senappen), with Sandro Abel Sousa Barradas, Director of Penitentiary Intelligence at Senappen, with Paula Cristina da Silva Godoy, from the National Ombudsman for Penal Policies (Onasp) and with the Secretary of Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Justice, Elias Vaz, who tried to take the blame for the episode, claiming he was unaware of his interlocutors’ involvement in organized crime. There are photographs of meetings that took place inside the Ministry of Justice.
New reports from State of São Paulo This Wednesday they showed documentation that indicates that the Amazonian drug lady’s demands to the Ministry of Justice were progressed within the department. One of them, according to the ministry, would be related to the complaint against the use of body scanners on pregnant women during visits to inmates in the prison system.
Elias Vaz said he did not know about Luciane’s connections with Comando Vermelho and promised that the procedures for joining the ministry will be reviewed. The Ministry of Justice has not referred to the suspicion that the former PSOL deputy is also allegedly financed by the criminal faction.
Evidence of the presence of alleged members of the Red Command in the Ministry of Justice emerges at a time when Dino is competing for Lula’s nomination for a position as minister at the Federal Supreme Court.
O State of S.Paulo It also brought evidence of Luciene’s connections with another of Lula’s ministries, Human Rights, headed by Silvio Almeida. The ministry would have paid tickets and daily allowances for the drug lady to participate in an event in Brasília. Luciene moved freely through the ministries of Lula’s government as a representative of an NGO that defends the rights of prisoners but is financed by Comando Vermelho, according to police investigations.
Lula says that Dino defends democracy and fights “savage armamentism”
The news about the actions of Luciene and former PSOL deputy, Janira Rocha, with the Lula government and their connection with organized crime were published based on public documents by the newspaper State of S.Paulo. They were later echoed by parliamentarians opposing the government, such as senator Sergio Moro (União-PR) and the president of the Chamber Security Committee, Ubiratan Sanderson (PL-RS).
In his post on the old Twitter, Lula said that criticism of Dino had been “planted”, but did not specify by whom. He stated:
“These actions awaken many adversaries, who are not satisfied with the loss of money and space for their criminal activities. Hence the fake news spread in a clear coordinated action.”
The president took the opportunity to praise Dino’s actions and once again attribute the blame for the violence in Brazil to “savage armamentism”. He used the term to refer to former president Jair Bolsonaro’s policy of increasing citizens’ individual freedoms by reducing bureaucracy in the process of purchasing and licensing weapons.
“The Ministry of Justice has coordinated actions of enormous importance for the country: the defense of democracy; the fight against savage armament; the fight against organized crime, trafficking and militias; and the protection of the Amazon,” he wrote.