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The Tupi Tabloid, Decline and Waterfall

Bicho de sete cabeças: Racketeer «Captain» Guimarães (left) with Rio mayor Cesar «The Naked» Maia (second from left), Carnval 2007.

A steady drip of confidential criminal intel maintains the diversified gambling racketeer Carlinhos Cachoeira — «Charlie Waterfall» — at the top of the Brazilian newshour, 24-7.

The vigorous Rashomon effect observed seems to flow in good part from an upstart regional press seeking local angles on a national story — and more power to them, I always say. But awareness of potential axes to be ground is recommended

When R7 (Record) reports on alleged crooked dealings involving this year’s Carnaval celebrations, for example, you do well to remember that its archrival, Globo, enjoys exclusive broadcast rights to the event thanks to its relationship with LIESA, the league of Rio de Janeiro samba societies.

How independent can the Liga Independente be, however, if it lives at LIESA.GLOBO.COM? See my earlier notes,

Curious, therefore, how rarely one hears questions about the broadcast and print behemoth’s ties to what back home would be called a RICO — Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization.

In the Charlie Waterfall case, meanwhile, similar concerns about abuses by media oligopolies have been bubbling up from the «progressive blogosphere» about Abril’s Veja magazine.

Recordings of the racketeer conversing with minions claim that Charlie Waterfall used agents with intelligence and police backgrounds to stage scandals and place journalistic content with the magazine, including numerous bombastic cover stories.

Example: the bribery scandal in the postal service that led to the “big monthly allowance” scandal.

I translate a selection:

In the current case, Cachoeira makes this claim during a call with someone known only as Santana — possibly an alderman from Goiânia — on March 9, 2011 at 6:29 p.m., minutes after Beija-Flor was crowned the winner of the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval celebration.

The police report does not include a word-by-word transcript, but summarizes as follows: «They talked about Beija-Flor’s victory. Carlos had some sort of business with the club, and confirms there had been manipulation of the result,» according to the report.

At the time, the victory of Beija-Flor, which celebrated the career of singer Roberto Carlos in its allegory, was vigorously questioned by samba society directors and Internet users.  The hashtag #marmelada became one of the most commented on Twitter.

R7 contacted Beijar-Flor to ask wheter the charges were accurate. Beija-Flor public relations officer  Hilton Abi Rihan denied any untoward dealings and said that no one at the school knows Charlie Waterfall.

Yes, but Beija-Flor has been supported financially over the years by fellow racketeer Anísio Abraão David — Anśio da Beija-Flor. Anísio was charged in 2007 to threatening Carnaval jurors with death, but never prosecuted.