Photograph taken in June 2017 in which the then Brazilian Minister of Health and current head of the ruling party in the Lower House, Ricardo Barros (c) was registered. . / David Fernández / Archive
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Brasilia, Sep 16 . .- The Justice of the Brazilian state of Paraná carried out a series of raids on Wednesday in the framework of an investigation for corruption, which includes Deputy Ricardo Barros, current head of the ruling group in the Lower House.
According to the Public Ministry of Paraná, the operation refers to alleged frauds in contracts concluded between the Government of that state in the area of ​​wind energy, allegedly registered between 2011 and 2014, in which the current head of the Government of Jair Bolsonaro would have participated. in Congress.
Barros, whose offices in the state of Paraná were registered by the authorities, worked at the time as Secretary of Industry and Commerce of the governorate and, it is suspected, would have intervened directly in the businesses under investigation.
The Public Ministry of Paraná has explained that the investigation is supported by a judicial collaboration agreement signed by former directors of the Galvão Engenharia company, who accused the deputy of receiving 5 million reais (today about 950,000 dollars) in commissions for facilitating business suspects.
After leaving his post in Paraná, Barros assumed a seat in the Chamber of Deputies in 2015 and then served as Minister of Health during the government of Michel Temer (2016-2018).
A little over a month ago he was one of the promoters of a strong rapprochement between an influential group of center parties with the government of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who appointed him as head of the official group in the Chamber of Deputies.
In a note released after he was informed of the police action, the deputy assured that he is « calm » and offered « full collaboration with the investigations. »
He also stressed his « conduct free from suspicion » and reported that he has requested « access to the proceedings in order to provide further clarification to society and begin his defense. »