According to Brazil’s most popular weekly news magazine, Veja, advisers to Brazilian Labor minister Carlos Lupi demanded kickbacks from non-government organizations with government contracts. A labor ministry spokesman denied the accusations.
Veja said the officials accused, including Lupi’s former chief of staff Marcelo Panella and former aide Weverton Rocha, who is now a lawmaker, denied the allegations.
Lupi cleared his schedule of meetings in Rio on Monday. He was in town to attend the presentation of the Jobs Map and Vocational Training Yearbook. According to a spokesperson the event has been postponed “by reason of force majeure.”
“I am now going to meet with President Dilma.”
Asked if he would talk about the allegations against his ministry, the ministry replied with a smile while handling several folders with documents: “Sure! He who owes nothing, fears nothing.”
Brazil’s Federal Police has opened 20 investigations in the northeastern state of Sergipe to investigate four entities suspected of receiving 11.2 million reais. The Comptroller General (CGU) has also discovered strong evidence of embezzlement.
President Dilma Rousseff has had five ministers resign over ethics breaches since she took office in January, bolstering her reputation as a leader who is tough on corruption but straining relations within her coalition.
Some critics, however, have also noted that she isn’t proactive, only moving after the media uncovers corruption.
President Rousseff’s cabinet with most names inherited from her predecessor and political mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has lived through the resignations of the cabinet chief Antonio Palocci and ministers of Transport, Tourism, Agriculture and Sports.
Last week Communist lawmaker Aldo Rebelo was named Brazil’s new sports minister, taking on the task of organizing the 2014 World Cup after his predecessor resigned amid corruption allegations.
Rebelo, 55, has served as head of Brazil’s lower-house Chamber of Deputies and is known as an ally of Rousseff’s government. He now has been given the key task of organizing both the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Both the outgoing minister Orlando Silva and Rebelo are members of the Communist Party of Brazil, which is an ally of Rousseff’s ruling Workers Party.