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Demóstenes Torres and the Leaky Police

 «The lawmaker and the outlaw law breaker».Photo montage: SBT network

From the Terra news portal, further developments in the decline and fall of Senator Demóstenes Torres, this time published first in Globo’s Época weekly newsmagazine.

Senator Demóstenes Torres allegedly requested the assistance of racketeer Carlinhos Cachoeira in procuring World Cup contracts for a friend’s public relations firm in Mato Grosso.The charge was published today in Época magazine, based on telephone wiretaps by the Federal Police. The conversation allegedly took place on April 11, 2011, in which Torres asked for th help of “Charley Waterfall” to win a competitive contract …

The contract was reportedly worth BRL 13 million. 

This is just one more accusation against a senator who lobbied the Congress, the federal health regulator and the federal aviation authority on behalf of Waterfall. Torres has said his relationship with the racketeer was confined to small talk, but he admits to having received an imported stove and refrigerator from the racketeer as a wedding present.  The Senator allegedly also received a special radio set, manfactured in the U.S.and used exclusively for conversations with Charlie Waterfall.

The publicity agency is not identified.

Counterpoint: Jornal do Brasil sternly admonishes journalists who are receiving leaked evidence from federal police in order to keep the Torres story alive, one tidbit at a time. I translate:

These sorts of “exclusives” obtained by a certain element are harmful to the honest labor of journalists who do not use illicit means to obtain special privileges and make themselves appeare more competent and well-informed. “Exclusives” like this, in fact, reveal nothing more than that a crime has been committed. Only someone with this type of privilege could violate the law and the canons of ethics.

The editorialist has a point. Feeding the tabloid herd demeans the dignity of justice, which lacks a series along the lines of Law & Order to illuminate the backstage dealings of police and prosecutors.

A stellar moment along these lines was the Folha de S. Paulo exposé on alleged black-bag campaign finance, on the eve of the 2006 elections. To protect its source, a federal police agent with a personal and political agenda, the Folha agreed to protect his identity by running a fictitous cover story. That’s right, it decided to lie to the reader. I believe the reporter on that case was the sister of our Rogério, in fact.