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Bishops warn over Collor crisis

BRASILIA (Reuter) - Brazil's Roman Catholic Church said yesterday that investigators had to get to the heart of the corruption crisis rocking President Fernando Collor de Mello's government and punish the guilty, or risk social unrest.

Congressional investigators have accused the President of profiting from corruption inside the government, but Mr Collor has denied all the charges against him. 'The ethical conscience of the Brazilian people is facing one of its biggest challenges,' the Brazilian National Bishops' Conference said. 'Frustration and social disintegration will be much greater if the truth is covered up, the facts not really found out or the guilty not punished.' It was the first statement issued by the bishops since Mr Collor's younger brother Pedro accused the President of giving his blessing to the corruption schemes.