EspañolThe new Brazilian Minister of Planning Romero Jucá announced this Monday, May 23 that he will be temporarily stepping down from his position after a recording emerged of him suggesting the removal of President Dilma Rousseff would serve to halt investigations into corruption at Petrobras, Brazil’s largest petroleum company.
“I don’t want any poor intentions or manipulation to compromise this government,” Jucá said on Monday.
Minister Jucá confirmed the news first at a press conference, during which he said there is “nothing to fear.” Jucá’s lawyer said that the recordings did not reveal any illegal activity.
The incident is the first big scandal of interim President Michel Temer’s administration. A series of secret recordings from March leaked right before the Senate took its vote to temporarily suspend Rousseff and Sergio Machado, the former President of the transportation division of Petrobras, the center of the corruption scandal surrounding Lava Jato.
Jucá, recently named Minister of Planning by President Temer, had said that ousting Rousseff from power was the only way to detain Lava Jato, who was being investigated along with other high-ranking officials for money laundering and bribery.
The Lava Jato operation in March 2014 opened up the first major political scandal of the last 25 years and heightened the economic crisis, which closed out 2015 with a 3.8-percent recession — on top of the release of evidence showing billions of euros in public coffers that were diverted to high-ranking officials within the government, as well as major businesses.
Source: El Mundo.