Senator Torres, of the DEM, or Democrats, is heard on 300 wiretaps conversing with a numbers racketeer and political power broker in his home state of Goiás, which surrounds the federal district of Brasilia.
The former governor of the federal district, also a DEMocrat, José Roberto Arruda, fell suddenly from grace for similar reasons.
I confess that I dislike the DEM, despite my general rule about opining on political matters — I do pay tax here, however.
No, it is more the distasteful sensation of hearing the discourse of my hometown neocons being machine-translated into Portuguese and blasted at full volume, night and day. What, I moved to another hemisphere for this? The party is known for its McCarthyite rhetoric and gestures of extreme moral indignation, but leads the current governing party, the PT, by a margin of 6 to 1 in politicians relieved of office over corruption charges — and 12 to 1 when the PSDB-DEM slate in the last elections is factored in.
If hometown papers like the New York Times really wanted to present a picture of a deep-rooted and colorful cultural tradition here in Brazil, they would take this case on as an opportunity to explain Carlismo — the political machine of Bahia, run with an iron grip by Antônio Carlos Magalhães. This was a man of legendary brutality and stupidity who is nevertheless treated with a note of adulation in Larry Rohter’s obituary — sickening as it was.
And now, at any rate, another one bites the dust, in a story broken by Leandro Fortes of Carta Capital magazine which has managed to bubble up despite the general silence of the MSM on the topic.
Senator Torres is the focus of a political crisis brought about by the federal police operation dubbed Monte Carlo, which last month dismantled a scheme of corruption and money-laundering in the underworld of illicit slot machines.
The alleged kingpin of the scheme, Carlinhos “Waterfall,” is a personal friend of Torres and exchanged 300 telephone calls with him on a line tapped by the police.
Torres was said to have been of assistance to Mr. ”Waterfall” in a bid to legalize illegal bingo pools and slot machines. The law was passed, but later, in 2007, was struck down by the Supreme Court, which recognized federal jurisdiction. These are the sort of Federal Societeers we see here in Sambodia, where sociopathy is sometimes confused with «freedom-loving». Continue reading
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