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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Top Aide to Brazilian President Undergoes Surgery

BRASILIA – A key adviser to President Michel Temer has taken medical leave to undergo prostate surgery, the Brazilian government said Friday.

Eliseu Padilha, 71, was admitted Wednesday to a Brasilia hospital with a urinary blockage and physicians recommended removal of the prostate.

The surgery will be performed at a clinic in Porto Alegre, capital of Padilha’s home state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Padilha’s temporary absence follows Wednesday’s health-related resignation of Foreign Minister Jose Serra, 74, who suffers from back problems.

Serra and Padilha are among a number of Temer allies under suspicion in connection with a $2 billion corruption scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras.

Media accounts say that both men were linked to the scheme by plea-bargained testimony from 77 former executives of construction giant Odebrecht, one of the biggest beneficiaries of lucrative contracts from Petrobras.

Though the testimony remains under court seal, information leaked to the press indicates that Padilha negotiated with Odebrecht for illegal contributions to Temer’s PMDB party.

Serra, meanwhile, is said to have received illegal donations to his failed 2002 and 2010 presidential campaigns as standard-bearer of the PSDB, now part of Temer’s coalition.

Brazilian media report that similar suspicious surround PSDB Sen. Aloysio Nunes, one of the candidates to replace Serra as foreign minister.

 

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