Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella arrested by police

The mayor attributed his arrest to political persecution

Published in 23/12/2020 - 11:09 By Cristina Indio do Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, was arrested on Tuesday (Dec. 22) in his home in the western district of Barra da Tijuca, and was taken to the police station in Cidade da Polícia at around 6:35 am. Also arrested as part of the same operation were another five individuals targeted by accusations. Former Senator Eduardo Lopes was not found in the Rio de Janeiro address.

Upon reaching Cidade da Polícia, the mayor attributed his arrest to political persecution. “Political persecution. I fought against illegal and unfair tolls, I removed funding from Carnival, I held negotiations on Rio’s light rail (VLT),” he said, adding that he now hopes for justice.

Crivella’s lawyer Alberto Sampaio said the mayor was surprised by his arrest.

The arrests took place as part of an operation by the Prosecution Service of Rio de Janeiro State (MPRJ) and the Civil Police, and occurred in a development of Operation Hades, which probes into corruption in the city and is based on the plea bargain statements of money changer Sergio Mizrahy.

The arrest warrants were signed by Judge Rosa Helena Penna Macedo Guita, of the Second Criminal Chamber of the Justice Court of Rio de Janeiro.

All of the individuals arrested were taken to the Justice Court of Rio de Janeiro in the afternoon for a hearing.

New mayor

The president of the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Felippe, is taking over the city government, as vice-Mayor Fernando Mac Dowell died in 2018.

In a note, Jorge Felippe said that the city of Rio de Janeiro will not be without a leader in these last few days of the current administration, which ends on December 31. The congressman said he was already headed for the city hall, where he pledged to take the reins of the situation and follow what has been laid out in the state constitution.

“As acting mayor, I will advise all municipal secretaries as well as company and agency directors to keep the public apparatus at full steam. We will work diligently until the last day. I have also talked with Mayor-Elect Eduardo Paes. The transition will continue and we will provide the new team with all the necessary information. We will make sure municipal services stay operational until January 1. Rio de Janeiro has a mayor,” he declared.

Marcelo Crivella’s term of office as mayor of Rio de Janeiro ends on December 31, 2020. In the municipal elections that took place in November, Eduardo Paes was elected to lead the city as of December 1. The tenure is four years long.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga

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