Brazil’s Congress will for the first time investigate alleged corruption cases in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva following a congressional agreement between the opposition and some groups of the ruling coalition.
The Congressional Investigation Committee will look into corruption claims in the government managed Brazilian Post Office where several of President Lula da Silva’s cronies have been named in the top jobs.
The creation of the committee represents a new Congressional defeat for the Lula da Silva administration since his Workers’ Party was unable to prevent several of its members voting the investigation.
At least 236 Deputies and 52 Senators agreed to the special Committee when only 171 and 27 votes respectively were needed.
In related news the international environmentalist group Greenpeace included Brazilian president Lula da Silva as one of the main candidates for this year’s "Golden Chainsaw Prize" which honors the "Brazilian personality whose talent, action or inaction" were decisive for accelerating the destruction of the Amazon basin rain forest.
Other candidates include José Dirceu, Cabinet chief; Antonio Palocci, Finance Minister; Roberto Rodrigues, Agriculture Minister; and the Mato Grosso and Pará state governors, Blairo Maggi and Simão Jatene.
Last week, a report from the Brazilian government revealed that in 2004 the Amazon forest lost 26,130 square kilometers, the largest deforestation since 1995.
"The nominees have been indicated as the great defenders of the destruction of rain forests at a rate equivalent to 8,600 football fields per day", underlined Greenpeace.
The winner of the Golden Chainsaw Prize will be revealed next June 6.
Almost 20% of the tropical forest that is home for 30% of the world’s animal and plants species has been destroyed to advancing farms and sawmills according to the Brazilian government report.
"If deforestation continues at the current rate, the Amazon jungle area by 2050 will become an enormous dry savannah," says Greenpeace.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.