On Friday, Brazil’s Secretary of Government Geddel Vieira Lima resigned from his position. He was the president’s negotiator with Congress, a man who was of Michel Temer’s inner circle of allies. But since last week, Vieira Lima had become a liability to the government, after being accused of trying to use his position for personal gain.
Vieira Lima was the sixth minister of state to resign since Michel Temer took office, back in May. We remember the circumstances of each resignation:
Romero Jucá – Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management
Romero Jucá was the first man down, only 12 days after Temer was inaugurated. Jucá lost his job after the Brazilian press published juicy conversations between him Sérgio Machado, the former president of Transpetro – a state-run natural gas company. In the dialogue, Jucá defends a “pact” to stop the “bleeding” caused by the investigations of Operation Car Wash.
Fabiano Silveira – Ministry of Transparency
Silveira resigned on May 30 after the press released rape a recording of him giving legal advice to the Senate President, who is under investigation for links to corruption at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company. Silveira also criticized Operation Car Wash, days before becoming the country’s Transparency chief.
The irony is striking.
Henrique Eduardo Alves – Ministry of Tourism
In June, Henrique Eduardo Alves stepped down from his position, after being accused of taking $442,000 in corrupt money by a whistleblower, who decided to cooperate with prosecutors working for Operation Car Wash.
Fábio Medina Osório – Attorney General
On September 9, Fábio Osório was fired after antagonizing with the President’s Chief of Staff, Eliseu Padilha. After leaving the government, Osório he said that his problems started after high-ranked officials asked him to try to tamper with Car Wash investigations.
Marcelo Calero – Ministry of Culture
Calero stepped down on November 18 and accused the President’s Secretary of Government of influence peddling. Calero informed officials that Geddel Vieira Lima tried to influence Brazil’s National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage to benefit a real estate project of his own.
Calero has told the Federal Police that Temer himself pressured him on the issue and that he taped his conversations with the President, as well as those with Vieira Lima – igniting the worst political crisis of this administration.
Geddel Vieira Lima – Secretary of Government
One week after Calero’s accusations became public – and the President himself was dragged into the scandal, Vieira Lima decided to resign. In the days leading to the resignation, political leaders from every party in the government’s coalition signed a document in his support, and House Speaker Rodrigo Maia went as far as calling Marcelo Calero’s accusations “nonsense.”
After Vieira Lima’s resignation, allies to the President expressed more disgust with the taping allegedly made by Calero than which the influence peddling he denounced.