Brasilianas.org,a Ning community anchored by economic and business journalist Luis Nassif — I am a subscriber-contributor — once again raises the specter of corruption in the relationship of the major news weeklies to organized crime.
This takes some guts, seeing as how Nassif found himself on the wrong end of a a series of defamation suits back in 2008 due to his series on unethical practices by the Editora Abril, selections from which I translated at the time.
The issue of a sneaky, leaky, personal and political agenda-driven police is one that arises fairly frequently. See
- Watergate Braziliense: The Leaky Police on the Leaky Police
- Dantas’ Inferno: “R$18 Million in Bribes to Judges, Politicians and Journalists”
Many of the journalists sharply critical of Veja — Nassif included — were themselves the target of slanderous accusations in its pages. Nassif’s apologia pro vita sua was inspiring to me: an object lesson in the validity of the old school ethics policy.
Another remarkable case, meanwhile, was the “mountain of money” scandal — my name for it — on election eve 2006. Reporters were recorded during a scrum with a federal policeman who had illegally accessed and taken pictures of evidence seized during an arrest of two campaign finance figures.
In reporting the story, the Folha did not simply protect the source’s anonymity: it subjected the reader to fictional details about the provenance of the photos. It then tried to plead the principle of confidentiality. How stupid do they think we really are?
In any event, the Folha denied it was not behaving with impartiality, while the national journalists union, Fenaj, called for an investigation into possible misconduct.
In this case, a political operator was allegedly on the payroll of a major organized criminal, who used him as a channel to combat his enemies.
Black bag operator [– my hasty translation of «araponga –Translator»] Jairo Martins, the man who taped Maurício Marinho receiving a bribe in 2005 … and handed the recording over to Policarpo Júnior of Veja magazine, has been arrested in Operation Monte Carlo; a regular source of the magazine’s, Martins was also receiving monthly payments from the gambling racketeer’s organization.
Furthermore, Brazil247 writes, and I translate:
Why the major newsweeklies continue to ignore Operation Monte Carlo and its political fallout remains a mystery. One possible explanation is the fact that Carlinhos Cachoeira and his right-hand man, police sergeant Idalberto “Dadá” Araújo, maintained close ties with a number of investigative journalists.
Dadá, for example, worked for former Veja reporter Alexandre Oltramari on the campaign that elected Marconi Perillo (PSDB) as governor of Goiás state in 2010. And it was«Charlie Waterfalks» who personally recorded the vidio showing Valdomiro Diniz demanding a bribe, which was handed over to Época magazine in 2004.
[… duty calls, more as time permits …]
A fresh surprise emerging from Operation Monte Carlo is the involvement of another figure known for his ties to black bag work and investigative journalism, the police agent Jairo Martins de Souza. It was Martins who recorded the video that set off the «big monthly allowance», or Mensalão, scandal in 2005. The video showed a former Postal Service employee accepting a BRL 3,000 bribe. The tape was handed over to Policarpo Júnior, a personal friend of Martins and currently the editor in chief and director of the Brasilia bureau of Veja magazine.
There is quite the revolving door, in fact, between the Grupo Abril and the party of the situation in São Paulo, the PSDB. The group is an official content provider and subscriber of doctrinaire op-ed material from the Instituto Millenium, the Brazilian arm of the Atlas Foundation of K Street.
The arrangement forms a closed loop — an echo chamber — by introducting Veja content into the programmning grid of TV Cultura, the what passes for public broadcasting here.
I always suspect there are also links between local friendlies and the U.S. Embassy, open or disguised. Regular observers of international development project will spot these pretty easily. See