Bolsonaro takes office as Brazil’s President

January 2, 2019

Bolsonaro takes office as Brazil’s President

Under strong security, Jair Bolsonaro took office as Brazil’s President on January 1st. The inauguration was organized in four stages: it began in the afternoon with an ecumenical cult in the Cathedral of Brasilia. From there, Bolsonaro paraded next to the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, in a vehicle that took him to the National Congress, where he took office as president and stated that he wants to free Brazil from corruption, crime and economic mismanagement. Soon after, he headed to the Planalto Palace, the executive branch’s head office, and, in the evening, he participated in a cocktail held in the Itamaraty Palace, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his inaugural speech, the President promised to build a “society without discrimination or division”. About 140 people attended the ceremony in the Congress. The group was made up mostly of family members and officials of the president-elect’s cabinet.

Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro is a former military officer who entered politics in 1988, when has was elected to the Rio de Janeiro State Assembly. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1991, having served 7 consecutive terms. He was the candidate who received the most votes in Rio de Janeiro in the 2014 last elections. Bolsonaro is known for his far-right political views.

General Hamilton Mourão

Mourão joined the Army in 1972, in the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras (AMAN), where he became officer in 1975 and was then an instructor. During his military career, he was part of a peace mission in Angola and was the Military Attaché at Brazil’s Embassy to Venezuela. He commanded the 6th Army Division and Military Command of the South. Leaving the active service in 2018, Mourão announced his membership in the Brazilian Labor Renewal Party (PRTB) and his intention to run for President of Brazil, along with Levy Fidelix. However, in August 2018, Mourão became Vice Presidential running mate of Jair Bolsonaro.

Paulo Guedes
Minister of the Economy

Guedes is a University of Chicago-trained economist. He is the co-founder of Banco Pactual, an investment bank, and founding partner of the BR Investments group. He also helped to create the Millenium Institute and the Brazilian Institute of Capital Markets (Ibmec).Guedes was one of Bolsonaro’s main advisers during his campaign and responsible for the economic section of the candidate’s government program. He proposed privatizing all state firms and implementing an ambitious tax reform.

Sergio Moro
Minister of Justice

Sergio Moro, the man behind the “Car Wash” operation, is the most famous Brazilian federal judge. Operation Car Wash is a criminal investigation held by the Brazilian Federal Police. It involves several crimes, such as money laundering, corruption and bribing. Over the last few years, more than 150 people were convicted for at least one of the referred crimes, including politicians, businessmen and even the former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.During his term at the Ministry of Justice, Moro is expected to fight organized crime and begin a crusade against corruption in private and public sectors.

Marcos Pontes
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

Pontes was the first Brazilian astronaut to go into space in 2006. In 1981, Pontes entered the Brazilian Air Force and left as a lieutenant colonel in 1998 when he was selected by the Brazilian Space Agency to represent Brazil at NASA working as an astronaut.Pontes holds a degree in aerospace technology from the Academy of the Armed Forces, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), one of the most renowned in Brazil, and a master’s in engineering systems from the US Naval Postgraduate school.

Luiz Henrique Mandetta
Minister of Health

Mandetta is an orthopedist that worked as a doctor in military and public hospitals. In the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, he managed health plans and was a municipal clerk. He presided over Unimed, a health insurance company, from 2001 to 2004 and took over the Secretary of Health in the city of Campo Grande from 2005 to 2010. He was elected for two consecutive terms (2010-2014 and 2014-2018) as a Representative of the right-wing party Democrats (DEM) at the Brazilian National Congress.

Ernesto Araujo
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ernesto Araujo is a career diplomat. He started his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty) in 1991. Before his appointment, Araujo was Director of the United States, Canada and Inter-American Affairs Department for two years.After almost three decades at Itamaraty, Araujo was promoted to the rank of Ambassador in June of this year. He has also served in Brazil’s embassies in Washington (USA) and Ottawa (Canada). It is expected that Araujo will draw Brazilian foreign policy closer to the United States.

Onyx Lorenzoni
Chief of the President’s Office

Lorenzoni is a Representative at the Brazilian National Congress and one of Bolsonaro’s main allies. He was responsible for contacting the congressmen to gain support to his candidacy in Parliament. Lorenzoni is also a member of the Democrats (DEM), he was reelected for his fifth consecutive term in the House of Representatives.He became well known for being the rapporteur of the “Ten measures against corruption” bill carried by popular initiative.

Tereza Cristina
Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply

Tereza Cristina holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV). Reelected for a second term in the House of Representatives, she has been a leader in several rural associations and councils.She ran for the Socialist Brazilian Party (PSB) in the 2014 general elections and led the party’s caucus in the House of Representatives. In 2018, she moved to the Democrats (DEM), composed Temer’s coalition and was chosen leader of the rural caucus. She has put into action the majority of agribusiness-related bills in Congress, such as changes regarding environmental license and lead the Commission that approved Bill H.R. 6299 of 2002, the “Pesticides Bill”.

Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez
Minister of Education

Vélez Rodríguez holds a degree in Philosophy from the Pontifical Xaverian University and in Theology from the Conciliar Seminary of Bogotá, a Master’s degree from the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ) and a PhD in Philosophy from the Gama Filho University. He is a retired associate professor from the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and author of the book The Great Lie – Lula and PT patrimonialism.

Fernando Azevedo e Silva
Minister of Defense

Fernando Azevedo e Silva is a former Brazilian army general. During his military career, he occupied the positions of military commander of the Eastern Military Command and chief of the General Staff of the Army. He headed the Olympic Public Authority during President Dilma Rousseff’s administration.This year general Azevedo e Silva advised the current chief justice of the Supreme Federal Court Dias Toffoli. Abroad, he served as Chief of Operations in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti.

Augusto Heleno
Chief of the Institutional Security Office

Augusto Heleno is another former Brazilian army general in Bolsonaro’s cabinet. Affiliated to the Progressive Republican Party (PRP), Heleno was one of the main options to be appointed Bolsonaro’s vice president, but the position was given to General Hamilton Mourão (PRTB) after he turned down.The former general became best known in 2004 when he took over the position of Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti. In 2008, he was appointed military commander of the Amazon by former President Lula.

Wagner Rosário
Office of the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU)

Wagner de Campos Rosário has been a Federal Auditor of Finance and Control since 2009. When appointed by Michel Temer in June of last year, he became CGU’s first career officer to assume the organization’s post of executive secretary and minister. Prior to joining CGU, he was part of the Brazilian Army, from where he left as a captain.

André Luiz de Almeida Mendonça
Attorney General of the Government (AGU)

Holding a postgraduate degree in Global Governance, Mendonça has been a Government Attorney since 2000. He also worked in the areas of transparency and anti-corruption in the scope of a partnership with the Office of the Comptroller General of the Government (CGU) as well as coordinated the disciplinary area of the AGU’s comptroller.

Gustavo Bebianno
Secretary-General of the President

Gustavo Bebianno is an attorney that was president of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) during the electoral campaign. Bebianno became an important ally to Bolsonaro. Until he was introduced to Bolsonaro, when the president was still a representative, the attorney had no political experience.

Carlos Alberto Cruz
Presidency’s Secretary of Government

Lieutenant general Carlos Alberto Cruz is the fourth military officer appointed by Bolsonaro to form his cabinet. Cruz is a graduate of the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras (AMAN) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas PUC-Campinas). He served as Force Commander of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) after serving as Deputy Commander for Land Operations of the Brazilian Army and as Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Roberto Campos Neto
President of the Central Bank

Santander’s treasury director for the Americas until November, Campos Neto was appointed to the presidency of the Central Bank – which will keep the status of Ministry until the adoption of measures establishing the institution’s autonomy, in accordance with the text of the first Provisional Measure edited by Bolsonaro’s government. To take over the position, Campos Neto will have to be approved by the Senate’s Commission for Economic Affairs and have his name endorsed by the plenary.

Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas
Minister of Infrastructure

Tarcisio Freitas holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Military Engineering Institute (IME) and a postgraduate degree in Project Management and Transportation Engineering.Freitas was chief of the technical section of the Brazilian Engineering Company in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti, general coordinator of the Transport Area in the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) and general and executive director of the National Infrastructure and Transport Department (DNIT).

Gustavo Henrique Rigodanzo Canuto
Minister of Regional Development

Canuto holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and a Law degree from the University Center of Brasília (UniCeub). Before becoming Minister, Canuto was the executive secretary of the Ministry of Regional Integration. He has also worked in the Civil Aviation Secretariat, the Secretariat-General of the Presidency and the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC).

Osmar Terra
Minister of Citizenship

Terra holds a degree in Medicine from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and specialized in Perinatal Health, Education and Baby Development at the University of Brasília (UnB). He also holds a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS).A member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), Terra took over a position as congressman of Rio Grande do Sul in 2007. He is now in his fifth term in the House of Representatives. During Temer’s government, Terra was Minister of Social Development from 2016 to 2018.As Minister, Terra was responsible for drastically reducing the number of beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família social program, the largest in Brazil, once having identified that thousands of people with incomes higher than those required by law were still receiving the benefit.

Marcelo Álvaro Antonio
Minister of Tourism

Marcelo Álvaro Antônio was reelected in October for his second term as representative. He took over the position as the most voted candidate in Minas Gerais, with 230,000 votes.Born in Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, Antônio was a councilor of the city before he was elected a representative for the first time in 2014. Antonio has already been a member of PRP, MDB, PR and, this year, he migrated to PSL, Bolsonaro’s party. He integrates the evangelical parliamentary front in the National Congress.

Bento C. Lima Leite de Albuquerque Jr.
Minister of Mines and Energy

Bento de Albuquerque is an admiral and currently the general director of nuclear and technological development of the Brazilian Navy. He is also a member of the board of directors of NUCLEP, company responsible for developing the Brazilian nuclear program.Having worked in the Brazilian Navy for more than 45 years, Bento held positions such as observer in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sarajevo, parliamentary advisor to the Minister of the Navy in Congress and commander of the Brazilian submarines Tamoio and Toneleiro.The admiral holds a postgraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Brasília (UnB) and an MBA in Public Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV).

Ricardo Salles
Minister of Environment

Holding a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Salles concluded a postgraduate course at the universities of Coimbra and Lisbon, Portugal. He is also specialized in business administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV).After joining the Progressist Party (PP), which supported João Doria’s (Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB) candidacy for mayor of the city of São Paulo, Salles took over the Secretariat for the Environment of the State of São Paulo in July 2016, during Geraldo Alckmin’s (PSDB) mandate.

Damares Alves
Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights

Lawyer and evangelical pastor, Damares Alves was the second woman appointed to compose Bolsonaro’s cabinet after the nomination of Tereza Cristina to the Ministry of Agriculture. Damares is Senator Magno Malta’s counsel, one of Bolsonaro’s main allies during the campaign.Along with Bolsonaro, Damares confirmed that, always linked to the Ministry of Justice, the National Indian Foundation (Funai) will now be part of the portfolio of the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights. Recently, Damares suggested that she may propose the creation of a grant to support victims of rape if the baby is abandoned at birth. In Brazil, the legislation allows abortion in cases of rape or risks to the mother’s life.