Senator Rogério Marinho (PL-RN), former Minister of Regional Development in the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who was responsible for a large part of the execution of public works with federal funds, received millionaire donations from entrepreneurs linked to civil construction for his campaign in the 2022 elections.
Defeated in the race for the presidency of the Senate in session last Wednesday (1st), Marinho received at least two large donations from entrepreneurs linked to the cement, steel and civil construction industries. The largest amount was BRL 920,000, divided into four installments, from businessman Sérgio Henrique Andrade de Azevedo.
Marinho’s donor is the current president of the Cement Products Industry Union of the State of Rio Grande do Norte (Siprocim), an employer organization that represents entrepreneurs in the field. According to data registered with the Federal Revenue, Azevedo has interests in at least 40 companies in five Brazilian states.
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The second largest donation to the Bolsonarist senator was made by Rubens dos Santos, a businessman linked to the cement and steel industry, with more than 100 companies registered in his name. He is a partner of billionaire banker Benjamin Steinbruch and other members of the family, which controls Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN).
In the 2018 election, when he was elected federal deputy, Marinho had no major civil construction entrepreneur as a donor. Relations, therefore, may have been cultivated during the period in which he headed, in the Bolsonaro government, the Ministry of Regional Development (which encompassed two departments in the current Lula government: National Integration and Cities).
In the list of donors for last year’s election, lawyer Caio César Vieira Rocha and agribusiness entrepreneurs Odílio Balbinotti Filho and Normando Corral appear as Marinho’s donors, responsible for transferring R$ 100,000 each. The CEO of Três Corações, the largest Brazilian coffee company, Pedro Lima, donated R$75,000 to the politician.
Also appearing among Marinho’s main donors in 2022 are three members of the Rocha family, owner of the Riachuelo group: Flávio Gurgel Rocha (who has already made incursions into the political world and has even launched a pre-candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic), Lisiane Gurgel Rocha and Élvio Gurgel Rocha. They all made donations of the same amount: R$ 66,000.
Marinho’s biggest donors; read ranking
Sergio Henrique Andrade de Azevedo
Valor: R$ 920 mil;
Industry: mining and cement.
Rubens dos Santos
Valor: R$ 200 mil;
Industry: steel and cement.
Caio Cesar Vieira da Rocha
Valor: R$ 100 mil;
Valor: R$ 100 mil;
Odílio Balbinotti Filho
Valor: R$ 100 mil;
Valor: R$ 75 mil;
Flávio, Élvio and Lisiane Rocha
Value: BRL 66 thousand each, totaling BRL 198 thousand;
Reforms, Secret Budget and Codevasf
Rogério Marinho, who was already a member of the PSDB and, at the beginning of his political trajectory, of the PSB, is currently a Bolsonarist by profession. Elected for the first time as councilor of Natal in 2004, he gained national prominence as a staunch supporter of reforms that remove the rights of the working class.
Already as a federal deputy, he served as rapporteur for the Labor Reform of former President Michel Temer (MDB), then as Special Secretary for Social Security at the Ministry of Economy, headed by former Minister Paulo Guedes, in the Bolsonaro government.
In the position, created by the economic team to articulate the approval of the Social Security reform in the National Congress, he gained prominence in the main communication vehicles in the country and prestige with the top of the government and the Legislative.
As a reward for approving the project, Rogério Marinho was appointed Minister of Regional Development – a position he held from 2020 to 2022. The portfolio, in addition to focusing on topics related to the current portfolio of Cities and Regional Integration, was responsible for works by the São Francisco and Parnaíba Valleys (Codevasf).
The body was involved in a series of corruption allegations during the Bolsonaro government and is investigated by the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU). Codevasf was “the champion”, among all government institutions, in implementing amendments resulting from the Secret Budget scandal.
Hope for Bolsonarism in the Senate
With Bolsonaro’s support in the campaign for the presidency of the Senate, Rogério Marinho strengthened this week, even with the defeat in the race for the presidency of the Senate, as one of the main leaders of the opposition to the Lula government.
In a speech to the plenary, Marinho reiterated the importance of freedom of expression, signaling Bolsonarism, and criticized the so-called political action of the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
With this attitude, the senator presents himself to lead Bolsonarism in Congress, disputing the position with colleagues such as Sergio Moro (União Brasil-PR), Hamilton Mourão (Republicanos-RJ) and Damares Alves (Republicanos-DF).
Largest party in the House after the 2022 elections, the PL is currently the second most numerous, with 13 members. It lost first place to Gilberto Kassab’s PSD, which totals 15, after inflating the caption in recent days.
Editing: Thalita Pires
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