Journalists working off the books in the furtherance of a racketeering influenced corrupt organization: the final report of a bicameral congressional commission of inquiry due out this week dedicates 349 pages to the issue, according to Exame magazine.
Some 85 pages of this chapter in one report are dedicated to Policarpo Júnior, Veja bureau chief, who is the target of an indictment for criminal conspiracy. Policarpo is the author of accusations against former presidential chief of staff José Dirceu and reporting on a corruption scheme in the Transportation Ministry. Federal police wiretaps show that the editor spoke often with Cachoeira about information used in investigations.
Policarpo is described as a “journalist eager and willing to carry out the racketeer’s wishes.” Concerning a conversation between the two in which Policarpo asks Cachoeira to “dig up some dirt” on federal deputy Jovair Arantes (PTB-GO), Cunha suggests that the editor is requesting illegal surveillance or some other illegal form of investigation.” At another point, he cites a request by Waterfall that a certain note be published in a column in the magazine. The e-mail was sent, but the text was not published..
Veja magazine continues to mount a vigorous defense — «it was mere bad journalism, not criminal behavior» — which we will get to. But first, the tale of Cachoeira and the 12 disciples.
Source: Observatório da Imprensa
Partial translation: C. Brayton
Since CPMI rapporteur Odair Costa (PT) announced that he would request the indictment of five journalists in his final report in the Cachoeira case, the press and the opposition have been howling in unison about a supposed affront to freedom of expression and an attempt at revenge by the PT government, against those who attacked the party over the “monthly payola” case.
Documents contained in the final report show journalists selling services or space in their publications, and in doing so helping an acknowledged criminal organization to achieve its criminal ends.
Or short of that, forming an association to destroy common enemies of the criminal plot and the publication.
Veja magazine’s bureau chief in Brasília, Policarpo Junior is the best-known player on this team.
But the group is much larger than Policarpo.
The CPMI report names 12 journalists who allegedly contributed to the criminal scheme at various times and who were caught red-handed in activities that were suspect, to say the least, such as tapping telephones and falsifying financial and bank records of companies — some of them fronts — that operated in its name.
Of these 12, Odair moved to indict the five against whom the evidence was most conclusive.
Cunha has asked the federal public ministry (MPF) to continue its investigations against the other seven, based on evidence already gathered by the Commission.
These are the journalists the CPMI is being asked to indict:
Crime reporter for the Federal District, TV host of DF Alerta on TV Brasília-Rede TV, and radio host of Na Polícia e nas Ruas on Rádio Clube 105,5 FM..
According to the CPMI, Relâmpago used his TV and radio air time to “bash” the enemies of the Cachoeira conspiracy or public figures standing in the way of its criminal enterprises.
In 2011, he received three payments to personal accounts in the amount of R$ 300,000 each.
Relâmpago’s ties to Cachoeira were revealed by Carta Maior on 30 March, in a report headlined “Cachoeira gang cultivated ties with the media.“
According to the CPMI, Relâmpago violated Article 288 of the Penal Code, which justifies his indictment on charges of criminal conspiracy.
A former managing partner and political editor of Opção magazine, in Goiás, Patricia was in constant touch with Cachoeira and other gang members.
She also received payments from the group from time to time, deposited into both her personal account and the magazine’s, in exchange for “publishing items of interest to the criminal conspiracy and deconstructingg the public image of its enemies in the media,” the CPMI concludes.
The docuent also suggests that the magazine may actually belong to the Cachoeira group.
The funds received by the journalist exceed R$150,000.
The CPMI called for her indictiment on suspicion of conspiracy and money laundering.
A journalist and lawyer, Unes has worked for O Estado de S.Paulo, O Popular, TV Anhanguera and TV Record.
The CPMI says he was among the most highly paid of the Cachoeira journalists.
Unes founded and edited the online newspaper A Redação which, the CPMI says, was later bought out by the Cachoeira mafia.
Unes received a total of R$1.85 million, according to wiretap transcripts in the case.
Not all of the sums mentioned were confirmed by the inspection of the journalists banking records and the shell corporations of the criminal organization.
The CPMI requested his indictment for conspiracy and money laundering.
Carlos Antônio Nogueira, o Botina
According to the final report, Botina claims to be the owner of the O Estado de Goiás newspaper, but in fact is a minority partner of Cachoeira’s in the business. Wiretaps suggest that Goiás governor Marconi Perillo is, or was, another silent partner in the paper.
Botina also owns WCR Comunicação e Produção and Canal 5.
Follwoing Cachoeira’s instruction, Botina used the newspaper to create political factoids: fabricating news stories embarrassing to adversaries or public figures in order to promote the activities of the organization.
Most of these pieces were produced by WCR Produção e Comunicação, which received payments from Cachoeira front companies in the amounts of R$ 460,000, R$ 1.42 million and R$ 584,000, among others, in the last year..
Policarpo heads the Brasilia bureau of Veja magazine. Acording to the rapporteur of the CPMI, he has helped Cachoeira carry out his illegal activities, eliminating or crippling his client’s competition through character assassination of common enemies. The relationship began in 2004. Although the media and opposition now consider his subpoena as an affront to freedom of the press, he in fact testified in 2005 before the CPI of Bingos, as Carta Maior revealed in such stories as “The encounters of Policarpo with Cachoeira’s men” … The CPMI has called for Policarpo’s indictment on a charge of conspiracy.
Here are some other journalists the CPMI want investigated by the federal prosecutor.:
Luiz Costa Pinto, o Lulinha
He is the owner of the agency Ideias, Fatos e Textos (IFT), which supplied services to the lower house of congress when João Paulo Cunha (PT-SP) presided — a fact that led to mutual recriminations during the so-called «monthly payola». Cunha was later absolved by the Supreme Court.
According to the CPMI, this journalist was hired by the Cachoeira organization to place articles favorable to the group in the news organizations where they worked. Between February 2011 and May 2012, he was paid R$ 425,000 by Delta, funneled through the accounts of IFT..
Cited in a number of federal police wiretaps as a sort of PR consultant, Humberto was also hired by Goiás govenor Marconi Perillo (PSDB). In 2011 and 2012, he was paid R$ 187,000 in deposits paid by Delta into the account of CT Pontocom Ltda, Humberto’s firm since 2001.
Magno José, o Maguinho
The CPMI charges that blogger Magno José, o Maguinho, also received funds from the criminal organization for services rendered. Magno edits the blog Boletim de Novidades Lotéricas, which advocates for the legalization of gambling in Brazil. There is no proof as yet, however, that he was funded by Cachoeira. He is a suspect on account of articles published on his blog and based on conversations among other investigation targets.
Having worked at the Jornal de Brasília, O Estado de S.Paulo, O Globo, and IstoÉ magazine, he is currently editori in chief of the blog QuidNovi. He is credited with breawking the Loterj affair, which resulted in the dismissal of Lula’s presidential chief of staff Waldomiro Diniz. Conversations recorded by police among gang members indicate the the journalists received an apartment and a car in exchange for favorable testimoney. He is also the author of accusations against the governor of the Federal District, based on illegal wiretaps conducted by Idalberto Matias, aka «Dadá», a surveillance expert. Pedorsa was also the person who leaked the impending Operation Monte Carlo to Cachoeira. Nevertheless, the CPMI did not find sufficient grounds for indictment.
Alves is a journalist for the Correio Braziliense and editor of the blog Última Parada.
According to the CPMI, phone taps show him in frequent contact with the criminal group. He was acclaimed by the organization for his 2011 article promoting the establishment of off-shore electronic gambling sites that could be accessed inside Brazil. For services render, Alves received a number of presents, as he himself attests in a PF wiretap. The CPMI, however, found insufficient evidence of his contribution to criminal acts and called for a new investigation.
Eumano Silva, o Doni
Former Época bureau chief for the federal district, Doni also provided essential services to the Cachoeira organizations by publishing favorable coverage. The CPMI found no conclusive proof in this case, however, and forwarded it to the federal prosecutor for further investigation.
In Brazil, they call it jabaculê — «payola».
It is not very different from the time-honored Mexican gacetilla, save that it is a much better protected secret. Moonlight writing grey and black propaganda for fun and profit. Nice work if you can get it.