Bolsonaro's personal secretary appears before the parliamentary commission of the coup assault | International

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Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, who was Bolsonaro's private secretary while he was president, this Tuesday before the parliamentary commission investigating the assault on the three powers in Brasilia on January 8.Eraldo Peres (AP)

Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, Jair Bolsonaro's private secretary during his four-year term, the man who carried the head of state's cell phone, appeared early Tuesday morning before the parliamentary commission investigating the attempted coup perpetrated by thousands of Bolsonaristas on January 8 in Brasilia. He has appeared in uniform, with multiple insignia. Cid, imprisoned since May in a military prison for falsifying vaccination certificates, is the weakest flank of the far-right Bolsonaro, who has just been disabled until 2030, but still faces fifteen more court cases. The former presidential order assistant has exercised his right to remain silent so as not to incriminate himself when responding to his honors, as he himself has explained.

The main reason that Cid was summoned to the commission that investigates the assault of thousands of Bolsonaristas on the offices of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court are some explosive WhatsApp messages and a draft of an official document that the police found in the mobile phone of Bolsonaro's closest aide. Magazine see He described the documents, which he published exclusively, as "the script of the coup."

To each question, the uniformed man has responded that he remains silent in view of the judicial fronts that he has open. Cid is investigated in eight criminal cases that cover a bit of everything: participating in and encouraging the coup attempt, entering the national vaccination registry so that Bolsonaro and his daughter fraudulently appear as vaccinated, or sending one of his subordinates to rescue some jewelry given to Bolsonaro by the Saudi sheikhs and confiscated at customs.

The conversations about the coup are held by Cid on WhatsApp during the tense transition between the victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, never acknowledged by word of mouth by the loser Bolsonaro, and the inauguration. One of the documents details that the intervention would include the appointment of a comptroller with the power to remove the judges from the Supreme Court until new elections are held. A coup without tanks and with the appearance of legality.

But to start this mechanism, Bolsonaro had to give the order to the military. And the pressure came via WhatsApp to the mobile of the private secretary. “Convince 01 [Bolsonaro] to save this country!”, urges an active colonel to which Cid replies: “We are in the fight”, a typical phrase to refer to daily battles. That same interlocutor increases the pressure: “Convince him to do it. Now [Bolsonaro] can't go back. You have nothing to lose. They are going to jail him, ”she warns him. The secretary responds: "He does not trust the ACE [el Alto Comando del Ejército]”.

Lieutenant Colonel Cid, who was Bolsonaro's guy for everything for four years, wanted to respond to none of this. He made sure that the president's mobile phone was charged, received visitors, organized his agenda, carried Bolsonaro's credit card with him and paid for the first lady's personal expenses. "He is the son of a general from my promotion, I consider him as a son," explained the former president, who left the Army with the rank of captain, in a recent interview. Bolsonaro stressed that his secretary "did not participate in the decisions of the Government, he was not a counselor."

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The aforementioned messages from Cid are not the only incriminating evidence that the police have found in the inner circle of the far-right ex-president. His Minister of Justice Anderson Torres had a draft decree on his computer to establish the state of emergency and close the Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro has always pleaded not guilty to instigating a coup. He insists that he did not skip "the four lines of the Constitution" at any time. In any case, his countless speeches are public in which, as president, he criminalizes the Supreme Court judges, delegitimizes the electoral process -ultimate reason for his disqualification-, feeds conspiracy theories and gives wings to the most fanatical among his followers, who the day after Lula's victory stood up in front of the barracks throughout Brazil to demand that the military cut off the path of the leftist.

Deputies and senators have been investigating the assault on Brasilia since May in parallel to the investigations of the Supreme Court, which has formally accused more than 1,200 people, keeping 211 in jail. The high court promises to punish those who participated, instigated and financed the attempt to overthrow President Lula. Among the accused, Bolsonaro and his former aide-de-camp. During the parliamentary session there have been several moments of those that will go viral on networks: a Bolsonaro member has made a homophobic comment against a leftist trans deputy, Erika Hilton, and Flávio Bolsonaro, the clan's eldest son, has come up to greet his father's former assistant .

That Sunday when thousands of Bolsonaristas wrapped in Brazilian flags violently seized the headquarters of the three powers, the former president and his shadow, Cid, were in Florida.

The most veteran observers of Brazilian politics usually warn that these parliamentary investigative commissions rarely serve to clarify the facts analyzed, but are promoted to wear down the government in power. With that in mind, it is easier to understand that the initiative to create it came from Bolsonaro parliamentarians and that Lula's Workers' Party viewed the idea with enormous suspicion for fear that it would become an incubator for false news and conspiracy theories.

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