Bolsonaro’s home raided and aides arrested in Brazil vaccine probe

As part of an investigation into the COVID-19 vaccination record of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, police raided his home on Wednesday, arrested trusted aides and confiscated his phone.

The investigation could answer questions regarding how Bolsonaro – a coronavirus skeptic and adamant COVID vaccine skeptic – was listed as having been vaccinated on his health records that were made public in Feburary.

Documents from the Supreme Court showed that federal police found evidence of Bolsonaro tampering his vaccine records during his last weeks in office as president, in late December. This was before he traveled to the United States where all foreign visitors are required to be vaccinated.

Bolsonaro confirmed to journalists that his Brasilia home was raided and reiterated the fact that he never took a COVID vaccination. He denied playing any part in the alleged forgery of documents.


“I’m not a falsifier.” I did not take the vaccination. “Period,” he added, adding that his cell phone had been seized.

The vaccine investigation is just one of several investigations that have put the former leader of the far-right under pressure. Others include investigations into allegations of voter suppression, his attacks against the legitimacy of Brazilian election, and the embezzlement or foreign gifts.

Bolsonaro denied that he had committed any wrongdoing.

In a press release, the federal police said that they had served 16 search warrants as well as six arrest warrants to prevent crimes in Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro. They did not name those who were targeted.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, which oversees the case, published court documents that included an arrest order for Mauro CID, Bolsonaro’s former personal assistant when he served as president. He remained on after he resigned to continue working with him.

Documents in court showed that the police cited evidence indicating Cid had designed a scheme where Bolsonaro would be registered as COVID-vaccinated on December 21. Documents show that the entry made at a public-health office in Rio de Janeiro suburb was subsequently removed.

Max Guilherme, Bolsonaro’s personal security officer, and Sergio Cordeiro who have been with him since the beginning of his tenure, were arrested as well in the operation on Wednesday. They are accused of falsifying their vaccination records before Bolsonaro flew to America.

Cid and her other aides were not available for immediate comment.

The police said that they were investigating an attempt to insert “false” data into a COVID-19 national database between November 2020 and December 2022.

Police said that “as a consequence, they were in a position to issue vaccination certificates and to use them to circumvent the restrictions imposed by Brazilian and American public authorities.”

Police said that the investigation pointed to “ideological reasons” for circumventing vaccination regulations, in order to maintain a discourse attacking vaccination against COVID-19.

Valdemar Costa Neto wrote on Facebook that Bolsonaro had not committed any illegal acts.