This Tuesday (6) begins the work of the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPMI, in Portuguese) on the 8th of January, the day of the invasion of the headquarters of the Three Brazilian Powers by coup rioters in Brasília. The session for presenting and voting on the work plan was scheduled to take place on June 1st, but was postponed to this week so as not to disturb the processing of the Provisional Measure (MP) that reorganized the ministries of the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party).
According to the rapporteur of the Commission of Inquiry, Senator Eliziane Gama (Social Democratic Party), modifications were made to the work plan, already considering hundreds of applications presented by members of the CPMI. The senator is in charge of preparing and presenting the script for the activities.
Even without work having started, there are already approximately 800 requests. "Our work plan will try to get as close as possible to the feeling of the majority of the CPMI. We will make an important work plan, concise and focused on the main object", said the senator.
The congresswoman also recently stated that false testimonies made to the CPMI will be punished with arrest warrants. "If there is false testimony at the CPMI, a request for arrest will be made. We will not accept anyone messing up the work of the commission. And I, as rapporteur, will not accept anyone thinking that they come to the commission to gloat or try to manipulate or instrumentalize the collegiate", she declared in an interview with the newspaper O Globo this Sunday (8).
Following the same line of thought, deputy Arthur Maia (União Brasil Party), president of the CPMI, stated that he will not accept that the work of the commission "falls into anarchy". "I'm not even going to put it on the agenda, I'm not going to give any credit to people who want to use the CPMI in a political way for electoral purposes", he also said in an interview with O Globo.
"I will fulfill our role, the consequence of fulfilling our role will be forwarded to the Public Ministry to carry out its actions", he said. "The CPMI investigates and presents the results of an investigation, it is not the CPMI or the National Congress that punishes people. We have to fulfill our role, the consequences are not under our power."
"I'm going to make use of all the instruments that are available, ultimately, even complaints to the Ethics Council to avoid any kind of turmoil from people who want to disrupt the work of the CPMI", said Maia.
Initially opposed to the initiation of a parliamentary investigation amid efforts to impose an agenda on the National Congress, the government changed its position after the release of CCTV recordings showing then-minister of Brazil's Institutional Security Office (GSI) Gonçalves Days among the protesters at the Planalto Palace on the day of the coup acts.
The change in attitude on the part of the government caused the opposition's determination to set up the commission to wane. Previously, the aim was to establish a narrative of negligence on the part of the Executive Branch that took power in January 2023, but now the opposition's intention is to control the damage. The opposition focuses, for example, on calling the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Flávio Dino (Brazilian Socialist Party), and Gonçalves Dias himself.
In turn, the governing base presented a series of requests for summons, which include names such as Anderson Torres, then Secretary of Public Security for the Federal District, and Mauro Cid, assistant to former President Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party). Commanders of the Military Police of the Federal District must also be summoned, together with the perpetrators of the invasions already identified and arrested.
Bolsonaro at the CPMI?
So far, there are no requests for Bolsonaro to attend, who published a post on social media on the day of the events, nor for former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro. However, possible calls for both are not ruled out as the CPMI progresses.
Senator Eliziane Gama stated that it is still too early to say whether Bolsonaro will be summoned. "What was the invasion of the headquarters of the Three Powers? It is an invasion of Houses that represent the Brazilian Republic. They understand that a coup act was clearly underway, characterized by the encouragement and questioning of the electoral process."
"We are going to present our work plan, and if we see that there is a need to call the former president, we will call", said the senator when stating that Bolsonaro "is the greatest opinion maker in the country, due to the strategic position he has" and that their positions have an impact "for better or for worse".
"We are going to make a list of his speeches and, at the same time, better understand how his conversation took place, his involvement with people who may or may not be directly linked to the January 8 process. We are going to look for the financiers [of the coup attempt]."
Churches can be summoned
Federal deputies from the Socialism and Freedom Party Pastor Henrique Vieira (state of Rio de Janeiro) and Erika Hilton (state of São Paulo) asked the CPMI on January 8 to investigate those responsible for three evangelical churches suspected of financing the coup acts: Renewed Presbyterian Church, in the state of Mato Grosso, Baptist Church of Maceió, in the state of Alagoas, and Assembly of God of Xinguara, in the state of Pará.
The subpoena for the testimony of Pastor Thiago Bezerra, from the Supreme Love Church, in the state of Goiás, was also filed. "The pastor, using the pseudonym 'Regina Brasil', coordinated a group on the instant messaging application 'Telegram' in which he referred to the Selma’s Party [Festa da Selma, in Portuguese]."
"We emphasize that it has already been exposed that ‘Festa da Selma’ was the code to summon followers of former president Jair Bolsonaro to be present at the coup act on January 8, even indicating where it was possible to board a bus to come to the capital of the country," says an excerpt from the text.
Edited by: Nicolau Soares e Flávia Chacon