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São Paulo | Questioning the Colonel as Candidate

The Correio do Brasil reports: elections prosecutor seeks to disqualify a candidate for the São Paulo city council in the elections scheduled for Sunday.

See also Fear of Facebook | «Folha Reporter Sent Into Hiding»: social network followers of the São Paulo military police colonel have threatened the reporter, who is said to be in hiding. The colonel is accused of delivering oblique threats with public statements like the following:

. I just hope that no crazy person steps forward looking to take justice into his own hands when he comes across [Folha reporter] Caramante.”

Prosecutors want to use Col. Telhada’s  wildly popular Facebook account to disqualify the former ROTA colonel.

According to the public ministry — the state prosecutor — the candidate’s Facebook page uses expressions that incite to violence. Along with  disqualifying his candidacy, the elections prosecutor filed two other charges, one for the irregular deployment of sidewalk placards and another for improper use of police uniform.

The nexus between civilian politics and military police in São Paulo is alarming: 30 of 31 subprefectures of the city are headed by career military police and employ career military police as their chiefs of staff.

Can you think of any better reason to attribute the adjective “police state” to the situation?

“We moved to disqualify Col. Telhada based on electioneering conducted through Facebook, which contain incitements to violence, in our view,” said prosecutor Fabiano Petean in an interview with Rádio Brasil Atual.

Col. Telhada’s page on the social network has more than 58,000 followers. … In his personal space, he posts childhood photos, episodes from his police career and information on what appears to be one of his hobbies: history and military hardware, and especially WWII aircraft.

Also posted are his electioneering activities, such as visits to jiu-jitsu and MMA and judo academies, as well as airplane shows at the Campo de Martein the northern zone of São Paulo. Telhada also recommends candidates for the city halls of neighboring cities, such as Campinas and Guarulhos, regardless of party..These candidates tend to be members of the military police..

Telhada also posts messages praising the Constitutional Revolution of 1932 and commentig recent cases, such as the death of a police trooper while on duty. “Another  PM murdered:  congratulations, bandido lovers, you must be very pleased with these results,” he wrote on September 16, after the murder of Sgt. Simões in Araraquara, inland São Paulo state.

On the other hand, Telhada congratulates ROTA for operations in which criminal suspects are killed by police: “Parelheiros, Zona Sul. Tiroteio, two bums wounded and taken to the ER, where they died. Five bums arrested,” Telhada wrote on September 18.

“Congratulations to the valiant PMs, who don’t cop out in the face of daily danger as they confront evil-doers who would bring disorder and violence down on our population.”

A childhood friend of mine is a sergeant in one of the largest metro police forces in the U.S.

In 20 years of service, including service in some of the worst gang turfs in the country, he has never fired his weapon in anger, the last I heard from him..

Here in Sambodia, since Caco Barcellos published ROTA 66 in 1992 — PDF — very little has changed.