By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil weekly news magazine IstoÉ had exclusive access to a document from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty) containing information on the excessive issuance of diplomatic passports granted under current Minister Ernesto Araújo’s administration.
In the first four months of this year alone, Itamaraty granted 986 diplomatic passports, with which a citizen may enter any country without a visa, and enjoy benefits during boarding and deplaning.
This averages out to almost 250 diplomatic passports per month. The figure is surprising, given that in 2018, only 1,200 such special documents were issued throughout the entire year, for a monthly average of 100 passports. This means that the monthly average has increased by 150 percent during the Bolsonaro administration.
Most importantly, at least 500 of these passports have been granted to government ministers, deputies, and senators. The list of beneficiaries includes individuals who are no longer part of the government, such as former minister Ricardo Vélez Rodrigues. Political figures such as former Senate President Renan Calheiros also obtained the document, and the governor of the Federal District, Ibaneis Rocha, is also on the list.
Members of the Liberal Social Party (PSL) who, theoretically, fight against privileges, have also requested the document. Senator Soraya Thronicke obtained the document for herself and her daughter, Isabela Thronicke.
In addition to politicians, passports were additionally issued to their relatives, such as wives and children, and even the famous Brazilian Pastor R. R. Soares and his wife were granted diplomatic passports last Tuesday, June 4th, even though neither of them holds any political or official position in the Brazilian government.