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Rio de Janeiro: Badges for The Justice League?

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Extra (Rio de Janeiro) runs a really surprising headline today (above, white belly-band in the middle of the page): “State Assembly votes to legalize militias; only three votes against.”

Sure enough, the Web site of the Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro registered the approval of “legislative suggestion” No. 214 on April 10, calling on the state governor to send down a bill creating a “community police” force of retired police officers. (Which it seems unlikely he will do, on the face of it: He and his public security secretary have promised a crackdown on militias, the jogo do bicho, and other manifestations of “parallel power,” and seem to mean it.)

The bill’s author: Natalino (DEM-PFL), reputed leader of the Justice League and brother of the Rio city councilman known as Batman. On whom see also

Militias are heavily armed bands of retired, defrocked and moonlighting active-duty cops and firemen who run protection rackets and other black-market businesses — not necessarily excluding Bolivian marching powder, and apparently including illegal gambling and prostitution and “vote Quimby or my friend here will blow your brains out” political consultancies — in the favelas of Rio.

Aside from the informal van service, the struggle for the control of which has left quite an impressive pile of corpses lately — See Rio: “Whacking a Major Pain For the Man With the Van Was Planned” — one of the more interesting sidelines these armed entrepreneurs are engaged in is the black-market cable TV (and broadband Internet?) service known as GatoNet.

I would really like to write a feature article on that one of these days. When and if the hot lead stops flying.

It is a nasty, nasty business, and has a long history. See also

I do not quite understand the parliamentary procedure involved here, but I believe what was authorized was dispatching an invitation to the governor to use his power to initiate legislation to send down a bill with something like the following provisions.


The creation of the Community Police in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Art. 1º Fica o Poder Executivo autorizado a criar a Polícia Comunitária com a finalidade de atuar auxiliando a Polícia Civil e a Polícia Militar.

Article 1: The Chief Executive is authorized to create the Community Police for the purposes of acting in support of the state judicial and military police.

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The Brogli Imbroglio: Berluscronyism for Export?

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“… This is the second time Italians abroad have elected representatives. How do you view the performance of South American representatives in these 20 months in office?” Top to bottom: excellent, good, reasonable, bad, could not be worse, do not know. Source:
Insieme (“together”) magazine, for Brazilians of Italian descent.

THE port of Gioia Tauro is heavily infiltrated by the Calabrian mafia, which has used its control of Italy’s largest port over more than a decade to strengthen its hold on the region and expand its illegal activities internationally.

Berlusconi: assessor admite contatos na América do Sul: “Berlusconi advisor admits contacts in South America.” The report is from the EFE news agency.

As I mentioned, my wife — who is about as Italian as samba legend Adoniran Barbosa, has an Italian passport, and has in fact just brought me a nice plate of eggs and calabrese for breakfast — has been bombarded lately with campaign literature from Berlusconi’s PDL, targeting passport-holders in foreign countries who have the right to vote in the Italian elections.

See also

O senador Marcello Dell’Utri, colaborador de Silvio Berlusconi, admitiu contatos com um empresário estabelecido na Venezuela e investigado pela tentativa de comprar votos dos italianos que vivem na América do Sul para as eleições gerais de 13 e 14 deste mês, mas negou qualquer tipo de envolvimento no caso.

Senator Dell’Utri, a close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, has admitted contacts with a businessman in Venezuela who is under investigation on suspicion of trying to buy the votes of Italians living in South America for the general elections scheduled for April 13 and 14, but denies any involvement in the case.

Em declarações publicadas hoje pela imprensa italiana, Dell’Utri afirmou que não recebeu qualquer notificação de estar sendo investigado, e qualificou de “mentira” e “lixo” seu possível envolvimento na suposta tentativa de fraude eleitoral.

In statements to the Italian press, published today, Dell’Utri said he has not been advised that he is under investigatation, and called the notion of his possible involvement in alleged election fraud “a lie” and “garbage.”

O senador admitiu que Aldo Micciche, empresário condenado na Itália por quebra fraudulenta, entrou em contato com ele para oferecer ajuda na campanha eleitoral na América Latina.

The senator admitted that Aldo Micciche, a businessman convicted of [bankruptcy fraud] in Italy, contacted him to offer his help with the Latin American campaign.

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