Child abuse report names Brazil elite
A year-long investigation into child sex abuse has named politicians, judges, priests and business leaders among 200 people who may face criminal prosecutions, Brazil's congress heard on Thursday.
The vice-governor of the state of Amazonas, Omar Aziz, is accused of being a client of a network of prostitution involving 16-year-olds.
A federal deputy, two state deputies and three mayors are among the politicians accused. Five priests and a former athlete are also named.
The report is the result of a national investigation by 11 senators and 11 deputies across party lines. Some cases involve abuse against babies. Testimony was taken in 22 of Brazil's 27 states.
Maria do Rosario, a lower house deputy, says she will not bow to pressure to remove names from the list. "The pressure is strong but the truth must be free. I have absolute conviction in my principles."
Last month Patricia Saboya, one of the national coordinators of the parliamentary group which looks into child sex abuse, accused the government of doing "practically nothing" to investigate or punish those involved.
The UN estimates that there could be as many as 500,000 Brazilian child victims of sexual abuse.
The commision investigating the abuses called for an overhaul of Brazil's archaic laws. It wants cases which are categorised as "offences against public morals" to be upgraded into "sexual crimes".
Currently there is no law on rape against boys. Also, trafficking of adolscents for sex is only a crime across international borders and not within Brazil itself.
The law could also be changed to initiate public charges for sexual crimes. At the moment prosecution can only go ahead when a private complaint is filed.
A final version of the report will be voted on next week.