By Paula Buzzi
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
SANTIAGO, Chile — Labor minister Carlos Lupi resigned on Sunday after being accused of corruption by news agency Agencia Brasil. The news agency accused him of misusing public funds and supporting certain NGOs over others. Lupi is the seventh minister to resign since President Rousseff took office in January.
Suspicions surrounding Lupi’s work ethics first arose in November after Brazilian news magazine Veja reported that Lupi and some of his aids were receiving kickbacks from NGOs in exchange for government funding. Additionally, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper also reported allegations that Lupi was receiving dual government salary for six years as a federal congressional employee and state legislature of Rio de Janeiro at the same time; a violation of Brazilian law.
Lupi has denied the accusations and is confident that the truth will come out. In a statement on the labor ministry’s web site, Lupi wrote “In the face of political and personal persecution in the media that I have been suffering for two months without the right of defense and without proof, and taking into consideration the report of the Ethics Commission of the Presidency — which has also condemned me in a summary fashion based on these same media reports without giving me a right to defend myself — I’ve decided to irrevocably resign my position.” He has not yet been charged with a crime.
Lupi will be replaced by the ministry’s executive secretary, Paulo Roberto dos Santos Pinto starting on Monday.
President Rousseff has publicly thanked Lupi for all his work in her government and that she expects him to “continue contributing to the country.” She has lost six ministers to scandals this year alone which has weakened her relationship with coalition parties in congress.
Opposition groups have suggested that the scandals and resignations surrounding President Rousseffs government show that her government is tainted by corruption. President Rousseff, however rebuts those claims, stating that there has always been corruption in Brazilian governments– the only difference now is that the scandals are being made public and investigated appropriately.
For further information, please see:
BBC News – Brazil Labour Minister Carlos Lupi is Latest to Resign – 04 December 2011
CNN – Brazil’s Labor Minister Quits AmidAllegations of Corruption – 04 December 2011
Reuters – Brazilian Labor Minister Quits Amid Scandal – 05 December 2011
MercoPress – Countdown for Brazil’s Labour Minister: Sixth Cabinet Loss on Corruption Allegations – 01 December 2011