Pular para o conteúdo

Lula’s first measures are an encouragement. Now it’s time to fight for more!

By Henrique Canary. Translated from portuguese by Daniel Kraucher
Tania Rego/Agência Brasil

The first measures signed by Lula yesterday during the inauguration ceremony at the Planalto Palace have just been published in the Official Gazette. In total, there were 13 orders, including decrees and provisional measures. Some measures are technical and obvious, such as the creation of new ministries and the restructuring of the administrative structure. But most have social, political and economic content. Among the main measures are:

– A decree that determines the fight against deforestation and reestablishes the Amazon Fund, with R$ 3.3 billion from international donations. This fund, created in 2008, was in practice extinguished in 2019 by Bolsonaro, who decreed the dissolution of its Guiding Committee (COFA) and Technical Committee (CTFA). The fund is considered a pioneering initiative in the fight against deforestation and the environmental crisis, having invested, since its creation, at least R$ 1 billion in projects. Still in the environmental area, Lula determined the change of rules for the investigation and punishment of environmental crimes, in a first initiative to end the “general liberation” of environmental crimes. The sworn-in president also revoked permission for mining on indigenous and environmental protection areas and determined that the Ministry of the Environment propose new regulations for the National Council for the Environment (Conama) in no more than 45 days.

– An order for the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) to reassess within a period of 30 days the secrecy decisions on information in the Bolsonaro government. This is the correct way to start the end of secrecy procedure, which is regulated by the Access to Information Law. Among the main documents to have, in perspective, their secrecy broken, are Bolsonaro’s vaccination certificate and information about the participation of former Health Minister, General Eduardo Pazuello, in a coupist demonstration in Rio de Janeiro.

– In the social area, the main measure signed by Lula was, without a doubt, the one establishing the new Bolsa Família [family grant] in the amount of R$ 600 per family, plus R$ 150 per child up to 6 years old. In total, 21 million families will benefit. The program, like the former Bolsa Familia, once again requires the families to follow basic rules such as the child’s vaccination card being up-to-date and regular school enrollment. Lula also determined the recreation of “Pro-Catadores”, a program to support recyclable material collectors; and also signed a decree that determines the inclusion of people with disability in the regular education system, extinguishing the segregation previously determined by Bolsonaro’s decrees. Finally, still in the social domain, Lula signed a decree removing impediments to social participation in the construction of public policies, which enables democratic management measures, also in opposition to the policy adopted by the previous government.

– In the economic area, the measure that maintains the exemption of federal taxes (PIS/Cofins) on fuel for another year. This measure, despite having been controversial within the transition team, was necessary to prevent an immediate increase in prices, while the government does not find a long-term solution. Lula also signed an order for the ministers to draw up proposals for the withdrawal of Petrobras, Correios and Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC) from the “National Privatization Program”. This measure is extremely progressive and constitutes a first step towards the definitive end of privatization unleashed in recent years.

– Finally, in the Justice domain, Lula began reviewing the regulation on weapons. The registration of new restricted weapons by Hunters, Shooters and Collectors (CACs) has been suspended. Lula also suspended authorizations for new shooting clubs until a new regulation is issued, in addition to other restrictive measures.

Generally speaking, Lula’s measures are a breath of fresh air after the barbarism created by the Bolsonaro government. But they are only a first step. Its importance is directly proportional to the size of the battles that still lie ahead. The right-wing, the “big-center” and the investors from Faria Lima Avenue will not allow this dynamic to continue indefinitely. There will be resistance on the other side. It will be necessary to face the rich and powerful. It’s the only way to transform the important commitments that Lula made during the campaign into real, flesh-and-blood measures that will change Brazil forever. Yesterday was a party day. Today begins the days of struggle.

Marcado como: