Brazil’s Left-Wing Supreme Court Imprisons Prominent Conservative Based On U.S. Border Patrol Error

 A prominent Brazilian conservative who was a senior aide to former president Jair Bolsonaro has been imprisoned without trial in the South American country for four months, justified by what appears to have been an error on a U.S. government website.

Lawyers for Filipe Martins, who considers himself a political prisoner of the left-wing Brazilian Supreme Court (STF), say the court is using the error on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) website as proof to imprison him. Martins was arrested on February 8 at the order of STF Minister Alexandre de Moraes, who is using records showing travel to the United States — and the lack of corresponding Brazilian immigration records — as evidence that Martins defrauded the immigration system by leaving the country undetected.

According to the incorrect CBP travel history records used to keep Martins imprisoned obtained by The Daily Wire, there was a log of Filipe entering the United States with inconsistencies. But representatives of Martins, who served as the special adviser for international affairs to Bolsonaro, say he never left his country on the day being alleged. There is evidence showing he made Uber and food purchases in Brazil, and also that he took a domestic flight. 

The prolonged imprisonment comes as the STF faces widespread criticism for overstepping its authority to punish opponents. He has not yet been given a trial and remains imprisoned on the grounds that there is a risk he would flee the country, despite the correction. His lawyers say the government is holding him for political reasons.

“It has been widely known that de Moraes has been fearing the growth of conservatives,”  Martins’ attorney, Ana Barbara Schaffert, told The Daily Wire. “This extended, unfounded imprisonment indicates that they are trying to torture him into confessing to anything that fits their narrative, because there is nothing legally that can detain him in jail.”

A correction was made to the CBP I-94 website last week after Martins’ defense team submitted additional documentation to officials to prove Martins did not travel to the United States on December 30, 2022, on a presidential flight with Bolsonaro before the inauguration of the next president, as is alleged. New I-94 records show that Martins’ last entry to the U.S. was in September 2022, when he accompanied Bolsonaro to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

An incorrect travel history was used by the Brazilian Supreme Court to show that Filipe Martins traveled to the U.S. on December 30, 2022. Martins’ lawyers and an updated document from CBP dispute he ever left the country on that date.

In a determination letter to Martins’ lawyers, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated it conducted a review of the situation and “made any corrections to records that our inquiries determined were necessary.”

The lawyers say the update should lead to Filipe’s release.

“We finally have an official document that can be used as a legal basis that Martins never entered the United States on December 30, 2022,” Schaffert said. “We hope de Moraes takes this into account and releases Filipe immediately.”

An updated document from the CBP shows Filipe Martins’ last entry to the U.S. was in September 2022, despite accusations from the STF.

Martins’ legal defense filed a petition for his release and is awaiting an official response.

De Moraes also used as evidence an outdated Microsoft Word file with a list of passengers for the December 30 presidential flight that had been updated numerous times, as well as a blog post speculating he “evaporated” from Brazil, according to Schaffert. 

“It was merely a draft of a supposed list, which would never be used as evidence for an arrest in any normal process,” Schaffert said.

Martins was a popular powerhouse in the Bolsonaro administration due to his youth, large social media following, and conservative and pro-American ideology. He was nicknamed the “Jared Kushner” of the Bolsonaro administration while in his previous diplomatic position, which led to a meeting with former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Martins is also being investigated by the STF for allegedly contributing to a document questioning the 2022 Brazilian presidential election that led to the return of socialist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power after serving a jail term for corruption.

This investigation was not cited as the official reason for Martins’ jailing, according to his lawyers.

Bolsonaro, who was president from January 2019 to December 2022, has been under investigation by the STF for making accusations of voting fraud, and his involvement in orchestrating riots on government buildings in January 2022. He is currently barred from holding or running for office in Brazil until 2030 for casting doubt on its electronic voting system in a meeting with diplomats at the presidential palace, the New York Times reported

By using the power of his position, de Moraes has been on a mission to crack down on conservatives and free speech in the country. The New York Times accused de Moraes of using “a broad interpretation of the court’s powers” to “investigate and prosecute, as well as to silence on social media, anyone he deems a menace to Brazil’s institutions.” De Moraes also signaled to deputies that he fears conservatives will make gains in the Brazilian Congress in 2026, reported CNN Brazil.

Filipe Martins and his wife Anelise Hauagge. (Photo: Instagram)

De Moraes’ crusade led to a feud with billionaire Elon Musk after demanding the censorship and suspension of users on X accused of “fake news.”

“He demanded that X suspend accounts of people who raised corruption concerns while insisting that X pretend the suspension was for violating our terms of service!” Musk tweeted in April. “We obey the laws of countries even if we disagree with them, but this required violating the laws of Brazil.”

De Moraes opened a probe into Musk for “disobedience” and waging a “disinformation campaign” against the court.

“The flagrant conduct of obstruction of Brazilian justice, incitement of crime, the public threat of disobedience of court orders and future lack of cooperation from the platform are facts that disrespect the sovereignty of Brazil,” de Moraes said.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanded answers last month after reports emerged suggesting the FBI assisted in cracking down on critics and journalists.

“In Brazil, news outlets have recently reported that the FBI, on behalf of the Brazilian government, reached out to two U.S. residents, including a journalist targeted in some of the censorship orders by Brazilian courts,” said Jordan’s letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Brazil’s Left-Wing Supreme Court Imprisons Prominent Conservative Based On U.S. Border Patrol Error Brazil’s Left-Wing Supreme Court Imprisons Prominent Conservative Based On U.S. Border Patrol Error Reviewed by Your Destination on June 18, 2024 Rating: 5

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