From The Centro do Mundo » The Camp Follower


“The only good cop is a dead cop”

Source:  Diário do Centro do Mundo | Diary of the Center of the Earth


The beret of the Rio elite troop, BOPE, I think.

“Man in black, what is your mission?

“I enter the favelas and leave corpses on the ground.”

“Man in black, what is it that you do?”

“I do things even the Devil would hesitate to do ….”


Illustrations are thanks to the encyclopedic Tips on Tattooing, a site that discusses at length what is and is not acceptable in tattoos worn by military police.

Sao Paulo is a city of tats and graffiti and the smell of the Tiete River.

The coordinating body of the Rio de Janeiro Pacification Police program — the UPP — is investigating police offers responsible for handing over their weapons so that a young woman could take erotic photos with them. The young woman, 23, has come to be known as  UPP Maria. Police avoided identifying the dark-skinned girl but did reveal that she hung around UPP bases looking to seduce the troops.

useagleonpm Continue reading

Garcia Marquez | The Play’s The Thing

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… wherein I”ll catch the conscience of the King.”

Source: The BBC Brasil night shift, with a promise to deliver a package of coverage later this morning, including a feature article similar to the following.

In 1954, the Colombian daily El Espectador sent one of its cub reporters, Gabriel García Márquez, to cover a mass anti-government protest in the remote city of Quibdó, in Chocó.

After a two-day journey through the jungle, García Márquez and his photographer finally arrived at their destination, where a a surprise awaited them: in Quibdó, all was calm. El Espectador correspondent Primo Guerrero had invented the events that he sent off to Bogtota to publish.

In other words, García Márquez realized full well that the protests never took place. Be that as it may, the young journalist told Guerrero he was not going to return home empty-handed. The  two of them came to an agreement and — “with all the bells and whistles” — moved to organize a protest of their own to submit to the newsroom along with photographs.

The article appear in El Espectador with the subtitle “The secret history of a 400-hour demonstration. García Marquez states in this article that the protest lasted 13 days, “during nine of which it rained like mad.”

According to the report, protesters wept in the rain and washed themselves in the public street.

Years later, recalling the episode in an interview with reporter Daniel Samper, the writer acknowledged: “We made the whole thing up …”

Magical Realism

A characteristic of the fictional world portrayed by García Márquez was his capacity to invent “a reality that overflows its boundaries,” as Claudio Guillén has said. Hyperbole and exaggeration are part of this technique.

“How common is exaggeration in the journalism of García Márquez?” In my doctoral thesis, I studied the promiscuous relationship between journalism and literature in Latin America.

In The Newsroom

In the course of his career, García Márquez worked as a reporter for various newspapers, magazines and news agencies. Consider the course of his career.

El Universal, Cartagena | In 1948, Garcia published his first articles and earned his first column, titled ["Hits and Misses"].

El Heraldo, Barranquilla | In 1950, he began editing international news and publish his well-known column Giraffe, a title inspired by his lover Mercedes Barcha,whom he would later marry.

Crónica | Revista de reportagens e crônicas esportivas, que escreve com amigos do Grupo de Barranquilla.

Comprimido  | O periódico foi criado para ser “o menor jornal do mundo”. Foi um dos mais breves – durou apenas seis dias.

El Espectador, de Bogotá | no segundo maior jornal colombiano, o escritor publica em capítulos a grande reportagem Relato de um Naufrágo, em 1955. O texto teve grande repercussão política, motivando o exílio do escritor, que é enviado como correspondente à Europa.

Momento, da Venezuela | Na revista, García Márquez passa a experimentar. Segundo o argentino Tomás Eloy Martínez, nesse momento nasceu um “novo jornalismo” literário na América Latina.

Prensa Latina,de Cuba | O escritor passa a trabalhar na agência de notícias do governo cubano logo após a Revolução, tornando-se amigo pessoal de Fidel Castro.

Cambio, da Colômbia | Ultima revista onde García Márquez escreveu crônicas jornalísticas.

In the case of García Marquez, it is possible to detect exaggerations and inventions during the various stages of his life in journalism. At certain times, this aggressively inventive streak is presented openly and abundantly. At other times, with tact and discretion. This is the environment in which we understand what we call the the author’s trademark  “magical realism.”

Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, in his “História de um Deicídio” [ -- the only work by the author not translated into English -- ] documents the spectacle mounted by Garcia in Quibdó and says this is a reflection of his adventurous character and the pleasure he receives from unusual characters and events.

This is a theme in common with Llosa’s own best-known work, the delightful Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter.

According to Vargas Llosa, “what seduced” García Márquez about journalism was not the editorial pages but the work of the reporter in the field, “who equips himself to find the news, and if he does not find the news, invents it.”

There is something about this ruckus over factions and fictions and fractions and factoids that takes me back to my senior thesis at Pomona College oh so long ago. “Is Fiction an Illocutionary Force?” Based on the work of Moore and Wittgenstein and Austin and Searle, it was received warmly, but I could have used a semester at the Sorbonne or two, verifying my comprehension of the Nowspeak of the new sneakers, I mean sneakers, I mean peekers.

Water, Water, All Aground | Politics of Hydropower


When you want to spot emerging trends, always follow the money. Today, many of the world’s leading investors and most successful companies are making big bets on water. Do a little research, and it’s easy to see why. There simply isn’t enough freshwater to go around, and the situation is expected to get worse before it gets

Water, sewer and power — and multiple cases of alleged corruption in those spheres — will figure prominently in the election season to come.

It  remains to be seen how much the current  drought — the Serra da Cantareira reservoir is in the mid-teens of its full capacity and carbon-fueled generators are powering up  – and  measures that could avoid threats to electricity supply will bedevil the state government.

The situation will likely draw a parallel with the massive power outages of 2001, blamed for the defeat of Lula, and hold SABESP up as an example of the evils of privatization. The opposition will push for an investigation of commuter rail contracts with the Sambodian statehouse.

It always astounds me, the lack of coordinated communication in the Alckmin administration. Back home, the SEC fines companies who fail to communicate clearly with shareholders.

I think it is likely the confusion reported here by Valor here has to do with a journalistic jihad to quell the other current election-year scandal: Cartel formation among powerful foreign passenger rail contractors in Sao Paulo, with associated bribery –and a major construction failure in 2007, let us not forget the Great Smoking Hole of Sambodia.

Source: Valor Econômico. Continue reading

Petrobras Affair | Not the Better Part of Valor?

Obsessivlely acquisitiive Totvs aspires to the condition of an Oracle or Sun

Obsessively acquisitive Totvs aspires to the grandeur of an Oracle or Sun. 

Source: GGN | Luis Nassif

This year, the Brazilian opposition hopes to gain political advantage with a parliamentary commission (CPI) into the dealings leading to the purchase of the Pasadena — Texas — Refinery in 2006-7 by state-owned Petrobras.

The current president was in instrumental in setting political for Petrobras as Energy Minister. Vague rumors of bribery and cartel formation  – not to mention fudged numbers and gabbling sophismas — make their rounds. Continue reading

Brasilia | Decline of the Super-PACs?


Source: Observatorio da Sociede Cvil

BRAZIL — A majority of the Supreme Court (STF) will rule unconstitutional all donations by private companies to parties and candidates throughout the election season, a local daily says. With Marco Aurélio and Ricardo Lewandowski announcing their vote in advance, the scorecard in the constitutional challenge stands at 6-1 of the nine-member court.

The decision is an important victory for Brazilian civil society, which works for a more democratic political system free of economic influence. “It was a surprise to those of us who have fought for political reform for so long. We never imaged we would achieve this ban on politicalgiving by private industry,” says Ivo Lesbaupin, CEO of Abong –the Association of Brazilian NGOs — and its representative in the Coalition for Political Reform and Clean Elections, a movement to which a significant number of organizations and social movements subscribe.


Art and Archive | The Brooklyn Daily Eagle


Come one, come all, and welcome the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online is being replaced by Brooklyn Public Library’s new historic newspaper portal, Brooklyn Newsstand.

Brooklyn Newsstand is a newspaper digitization initiative between Brooklyn Public Library’s local history division — the Brooklyn Collection — and This partnership gives the public free access to the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper, published from 1841 to 1955.

Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, Brooklyn Public Library was able to digitize a microfilmed copy the Eagle from 1841 to 1902 and make those years searchable in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online database. With the second phase of digitization completed by, the full breadth of the Eagle, and the history it documented, is now available for general research.

Continue reading

Dilma Down, Opposition Downer

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The Folha de S. Paulo is famous for its hapless approach to the facts — as last week, when the paper published a survey purporting to show that 70% of Brazilians believe that women who dress sexy are “asking for it.”

The obverse is true, the research company hastened to clarify, but the local factoid factory does not grind to a halt for minor junk like that.

How otherwise to explain how the Datafolha survey — released on April 2 — changes the subject when it comes to light that the incumbent president should easily prevail in the first round of the election, according to the latest data?

The Estado de S. Paulo – a conservative daily and news agency that carries out the mission of a political opposition with dignity and clarity – reported the story in just that manner. Continue reading


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