Carta dos funcionários do Banco Mundial contra Abraham Weintraub
Open Letter to the Board on new Brazilian Executive Director
June 24, 2020
The following letter was sent to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board’s Ethics Committee. It
refers to the recent nomination by Brazil of Mr. Abraham Weintraub, former Minister of Education,
as the acting Executive Director for EDS15 (Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Dominican Republic,
Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, and Surinam).
* * *
Dear Mr. Schoenleitner and Ms. Shuaibu,
The WBG Staff Association wishes to call to the attention of Board’s Ethics Committee the record
of Mr. Abraham Weintraub, who is expected to start work at the WBG in the capacity of acting
Executive Director in EDS15.
Many staff have been deeply disturbed to learn the following:
• According to multiple sources, Mr. Weintraub published a racially-charged tweet mocking
the Chinese accent, blaming China for the Covid-19 virus, and accusing them of “world
domination”, prompting the Federal Supreme Court to open an investigation on racism
charges (racism being a crime in Brazil). Mr. Weintraub has allegedly suggested that
Supreme Court judges should be jailed.
• Mr. Weintraub is on record for public statements against the protection of the rights of
minorities and the promotion of racial equality (his last act as Minister of Education was to
revoke guidelines to promote quotas for Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples in
tertiary education). He is quoted as hating the term “indigenous peoples”.
While his nomination has been condemned by multiple client countries, the Staff Association
understands that the choice of this Executive Director lies with Brazil, and Brazil alone. That said,
we can and must ensure that the behavior and actions of our sitting Board members model the
Code of Conduct for Board Officials—requiring highest standards of integrity and ethics in their
personal and professional conduct—and align with our operational policies, such as our
Indigenous Peoples policy. We therefore formally request the Ethics Committee to review the
facts behind the multiple allegations, with a view to (a) putting his nomination on hold until these
allegations can be reviewed, and (b) ensuring that Mr. Weintraub is put on notice that the type of
behavior for which he is accused is totally unacceptable in this institution.
The World Bank Group has just taken a clear moral stand to eliminate racism in our institution.
This means a commitment by all staff and Board members alike to call out racism wherever we
see it. We trust the Board’s Ethics Committee shares this view and will do everything in your
power to enforce it.
Delegate Assembly of the WBG Staff Association
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