On Wednesday morning (22), the Federal Police carried out an operation against former Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro and pastors suspected of operating a business counter at the Ministry of Education and in the release of funds from the FNDE (National Fund for the Development of Education).
Ribeiro and at least one of the pastors, Gilmar Santos, have already been arrested.
The PF also executes search and seizure warrants at addresses of Ribeiro and pastors Arilton Moura and Gilmar Santos – the latter two are linked to President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and appointed as lobbyists who worked at the MEC.
The action was called Access Paid and investigates the practice of “trafficking in influence and corruption for the release of public resources” by the FNDE.
Based on documents, testimonies and a report from the CGU (Comptroller General of the Union) it was possible to map evidence of crimes in the release of funds from the fund. In all, 13 search and seizure warrants and five arrest warrants are served in Goiás, São Paulo, Pará and the Federal District.
Pastors are centerpieces in the ministry’s trading desk scandal. as showed the Sheetthey negotiated with mayors the release of federal resources even without having a government position.
The resources are from the FNDE, an organ linked to the MEC controlled by politicians from the center, a political bloc that has supported Bolsonaro since he was threatened by a series of impeachment requests and resorted to this support in exchange for positions and transfers of federal funds. .
The fund concentrates federal resources intended for transfers to municipalities.
Mayors reported requests for bribes, even in gold.
In audio revealed by Sheetformer Education Minister Milton Ribeiro said he prioritized requests from friends of one of the pastors at Bolsonaro’s request.
In the recording, the minister also says that this meets a request from President Bolsonaro and mentions requests for support that would supposedly be directed towards building churches. The role of the pastors with the MEC was previously revealed by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.
Ribeiro left office at the end of March, a week after the revelation by Sheet.
Gilmar Santos and Arilton Moura have been negotiating, at least since January 2021, the release of commitments for work on day care centers, schools, courts or for the purchase of equipment. The resources are managed by the FNDE, an organ of the MEC controlled by politicians from the center.
Pastors enjoyed free transit in the government, organized trips for the minister with FNDE leaders and intermediated meetings of mayors at Ribeiro’s own residence.
Both had, in a hotel in Brasília, a kind of HQ for negotiating resources. There, they received mayors, municipal advisors and also members of the government.
Gilmar Santos presides over an entity called the National Convention of Churches and Ministers of Assemblies of God in Brazil Cristo para Todos, of which Arilton appeared as secretary. The religious had a relationship with President Bolsonaro since before intensifying the agenda at the MEC.
On October 18, 2019, the first year of the government, they participated in an event at Palácio do Planalto with the president and ministers. Both totaled 45 entries in the Planalto Palace. They were another 127 times at the MEC and the FNDE.
Both deny wrongdoing, as well as the former minister and members of the FNDE.
With the centrão in charge, the FNDE became a kind of political counter, with the role of pastors, an explosion of efforts to serve politicians allied to the Bolsonaro government, the absence of technical criteria and even fraud in the system.
While the government assisted allies, the MEC blocked the release of R$ 434 million from the FNDE to city halls across the country. The amounts refer to works in 1,369 municipalities, which, although able to receive federal money, the government did not carry out the transfers.
The FNDE is controlled by nominations from centrão parties. The president, Marcelo Lopes da Ponte, was an adviser to Ciro Nogueira (PP-PI), Bolsonaro’s current minister in the Civil House and one of the leaders of the bloc supporting the current federal administration.
The fund’s boards are also subdivided. The director of Educational Actions at the FNDE, Garigham Amarante Pinto, for example, is an indication of the PL, Bolsonaro’s party, and politicians from the center support Gabriel Vilar in the management, articulation and educational projects directorate of the fund.
Also with money from the FNDE, the government allocated BRL 26 million to purchase robotics kits for schools in small towns in Alagoas that suffer from deficiencies in basic infrastructure, such as lack of classrooms, computers, internet and even water. piped.
The benefited municipalities had contracts with the same company allied with the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), responsible for controlling the distribution of part of the billion-dollar budget rapporteur amendments in Brasilia, source of resources for robotics kits.
The denunciations of a “business counter” in the Ministry of Education came into the sights of parliamentarians, who tried to install a CPI in the Senate. The government, however, managed to thwart the creation of the commission.
Who is who
Pastor of a Presbyterian church in Santos (SP), he was the 3rd Minister of Education of the Jair Bolsonaro government. He took office in July 2020 following the resignation of Abraham Weintraub. With no experience in public policy, he was chosen as a nod to the religious base that supports the government. He left the government on March 28, 2022, a week after Folha revealed an audio in which he talks about prioritizing one of the pastors at Bolsonaro’s request.
From Goiânia (GO), he presides over an entity called the National Convention of Churches and Ministers of the Assemblies of God in Brazil Cristo para Todos. Alongside Arilton Moura, he negotiated the release of federal funds for education with mayors, maintaining strong dialogue in the MEC, FNDE and Planalto. Santos is a preacher with almost four decades of career, with good traffic in churches in several regions of the country. He is treated as a chief by Pastor Arilton Moura.
He is also a pastor and appeared as secretary of the national convention presided over by Gilmar Santos, whom he treats as chief. Alongside Gilmar Santos, he negotiated the release of federal funds for education with mayors, maintaining strong dialogue in the MEC, FNDE and Planalto. He has already been appointed to a commissioned position in the leadership of the MDB in the Chamber of Deputies and has also been in PT offices, such as that of Ana Júlia Carepa, who ruled Pará from 2007 to 2011. He also lives in Goiânia (GO), as does Gilmar .