Bolsonaro signs anti-crime bill aimed at corruption and violence

Brazil has the world’s highest rates of violence.

Brazil''s President Jair Bolsonaro attends a Christmas ceremony at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 19, 2019.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fulfilled a campaign promise with the approval of an anti-crime package approved by the country's Senate earlier this month aimed at fighting deadly crimes and corruption [File: Adriano Machado/Reuters]

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed into law an anti-crime bill that toughens measures to stem a rampant deadly crime wave, although he vetoed some parts of the bill, the government said on Wednesday.

The anti-crime package, which was approved by Brazil‘s Senate earlier this month, toughens laws to tackle corruption, organised crime and violent crime practised by criminal gangs. It also simplifies sentencing in some cases.

The package was a key promise by Bolsonaro, a former army captain who surged to power last year on a campaign promising to end years of corruption and spiralling violent crime. Brazil has the world’s highest number of murders.

“The final text that has been sanctioned by the President brings progress to the anti-crime legislation in the country,” Justice Minister Sergio Moro said in a statement early on Wednesday.

Moro, a former judge who made his name jailing scores of Brazil’s business and political elite in the “Operation Car Wash” investigation during the past five years, said Bolsonaro adopted several vetoes suggested by the Ministry of Justice.

Among the vetoes by the right-wing president was a provision to triple the sentence when a crime is committed or displayed in social networks.

The bill eliminates the restriction on the collection of genetic material only in cases of willful crime committed against life, sexual freedom or sexual crime.

Bolsonaro, who ran on a law-and-order platform, won support from Brazilians tired of the warring drug gangs that have come to terrorise large swathes of the country.

Source: Reuters