President Jair Bolsonaro yesterday revoked the National Security Law, a remnant of Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-85) used against critics of him or his government. He also vetoed five pieces of legislation on crimes against the democratic rule of law that replaced it— including one about the military and one about false news.
The passage about the military, the base of the coalition of forces that supports it, proposed a higher penalty when public agents commit crimes against the rule of law. In an authoritarian escalation, the president himself has attacked the electoral system and the other government powers.
But Bolsonaro declined to veto the article that would have extinguished the LSN, contrary to allies.
In the case of fake news, framed as a crime of deceptive mass communication that could affect the electoral process, the Planalto cited legal uncertainty in defining what is untrue.
Congress, which had already endorsed the bill, can now maintain or overturn the vetoes. There is no deadline for this analysis.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon