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Sambodian City Hall | In Praise of ROTA


Source: Brasilianas.Org | Estado de S. Paulo

Topic: Homage to ROTA is barred for the third time and divides Haddad’s political base. Former ROTA commander turned city legislator introduces bill to render homage to his former command — known for its death-dealing and corruption.

By: Diego Zanchetta

By a margin of one vote, the concession of  an award to ROTA (the elite unit of the São Paulo police) was left pending in the Câmara Municipal of São Paulo for the third consecutive time.

The homage received 36 favorable and 14 unfavorable votes, including the “no” vote of speaker of the house José Américo (PT), which angered some members of the PT alliance and council members from the PSDB.

The rejection of the motion took place once again as council member Toninho Vespoli (PSOL) called for a roll call vote. Situation and opposition then moved to cancel the session in retaliation against the PT,which voted against the award.

An accord had been reached in which the award would be approved and then a legislative package would be passed including tax reform involving the ISS and IPTU, as well as a package of benefits for the Eastern Zone.

The Death-Dealing Discourse of Colonel Telhada

“If the PSDB’s homage to ROTA is not passed, as the deal specified, there is no reason to move on to other votes,” said Roberto Tripoli (Green), … one of the most influential members of the council, serving his seventh consecutive term.

Council member Coronel Telhada (PSDB), author of the bill, promises to obstruct any proposals by the 14 members who voted against the measure to decorate ROTA.

“I feel much more at ease now. Before, there was this talk of deals (regarding votes). Now there are no more deals. Making deals is what bandits do, and ROTA makes deals with no one,” the Military Police colonel said. “A lot of memebers speak well of ROTA to me, and use ROTA for their own private security. But when push comes to shove, they vote no,” Telhada added, without citing names.


On Tuesday the voting was left pending after registering 32 yes and 13 no.  “Until they vote this homage to ROTA, there will be no votes in this Chamber. This has nothing to do with ROTA. It has t do with the right that every member of this body has to introduce eight homages during his four year mandate,” argues Floriano Pesaro, leader of the PSDB.

Other situation leaders, such as Paulo Frange (PTB) and Rubens Calvo (PMDB) were irritated by the no votes of PT members and helped to suspend the extraordinary session today. “Given the history of ROTA, the PT will never be able to vote yes on this bill,” said Alfredinho, leader of the PT benches– the largest in the city legislature, with 11 members.


Click to enlarge

And what history is that? Shame on the Estado for not eliciting a detailed answer.

Hair raising tales of human rights abuses and criminal behavior are a constant in the literature on ROTA troopers, from Caco Barcellos, Rota 66: The Story of the Police That Kill (1993) to more recent studies by HRW. See

The PT only voted against the proposal after Juliana Cardoso (PT) convinced her colleagues to reject the bill. The government leader Arselino Tatto (PT) and presiding officer Zé Américo (PT) have concluded that party leader Alfredinho is incapable of convincing legislators to abstain, which would allow the bill to pass and not interfere with the legislative calendar.

Immediately after the suspension of yesterday’s session, the president of the House accepted a petition from PSDB legislators demanding the seat of Toninho Vespoli (PSOL) on the Human Rights Committee be filled by  Toucan leader Floriano Pesaro.