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The Curious Case of VarigLog

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Crise da VarigLog já pode ter causado 800 demissões (A Tarde, Bahia, Brazil) — “800 layoffs possibly caused by VarigLog crisis.”

An American fund wins a lawsuit in which its Brazilian partners try to oust it from management control of the troubled VarigLog airfreight carrier. The verdict is upheld on appeal.

At the same time, criminal proceedings are filed against the representative of the U.S. fund running the airline, on charges related to legislation limiting foreign ownership of Brazilian carriers. But the seizure of the fund executive’s passport is also overturned.

This is a curious situation, involving, among other things, charges of media dirty-war tactics and coopted journalism.

Let me just try to clip some of what has been published so far before trying to puzzle out what it all means.

As A Tarde notes yesterday, in a story on layoffs at the carrier:

Os acionistas da VarigLog estão em litígio judicial. De um lado, os sócios brasileiros Marco Antonio Audi, Luiz Eduardo Gallo e Marcos Haftel foram afastados da gestão da empresa pela Justiça paulista. Hoje, o Tribunal de Justiça de São Paulo negou liminar dos três acionistas que buscavam retornar à gestão da companhia, informou o Matlin.

The company’s shareholders are involved in litigation. On one hand, Brazilian partners Marco Antonio Audi, Luiz Eduardo Gallo and Marcos Haftel were removed from management of the firm by a São Paulo court. Today [April 23], the state high court upheld the removal, refusing to issue an injunction that would have returned them to company management.

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Amazônia: NCOs Ride Herd On NGOs?

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CPI of Biopiracy, final report, 2005. Citations for “Amazon Conservation Team.”
Forbidden to enter areas and interact with Indians. Did it anyway. Worked with USAID but said it didn’t. So say a number of witnesses. Nonsense, says the ACT president, who founded an NGO for his father the monkeyman and funded it. Reading …

Top headline in the Estado de S. Paulo today (via the blog of Luis Nassif):

O Planalto vai fechar o cerco às organizações não-governamentais ONGs, na tentativa de coibir a biopirataria, a influência internacional sobre os índios e a venda de terras na floresta amazônica. A primeira ação de controle consta do projeto da nova Lei do Estrangeiro, que está na Casa Civil e será enviado ao Congresso até junho. Se a proposta for aprovada, estrangeiros, ONGs e instituições similares internacionais, mesmo com vínculos religiosos, precisarão de autorização expressa do Ministério da Defesa, além da licença do Ministério da Justiça, para atuar na Amazônia Legal. Sem esse procedimento, o “visitante” do exterior terá seu visto ou residência cancelados e será retirado do País.

The Brazilian executive branch will tighten controls on NGOs in a bid to crack down on biopiracy, international influence over indigenous peoples and the sale of land in the Amazonian forest. The first action is part of a new bill on foreign persons, being drafted in the Casa Civil and due to be sent down to Congress in June. If approved, foreigners, NGOs and similar international institutions, even those with religious ties, will need express authorization from the Ministry of Defense and permission from the Ministry of Justice to operate in the Legal Amazon. Without this permission, the foreign “visitor” will have his or her visa or residency revoked and will be deported.

The celebrated case of the Monkeyman — Dr. Roosmalen — loomed large in a Congressional commission on biopiracy a couple of years back. See

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