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Torture & the PM| Amarildo Is Found

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Source: O Globo.

RIO – Amarildo de Souza was submitted to electrical shocks and asphyxiated with  a plastic sack.

I did not read where the human remains being tested in the case had been definitively identified.

According to the Rio homicide bureau, whose investigation  led to the indictment of 10 military police for the death of the assistant bricklayer, Amarildo was epileptic and did not survive the torture session, which took place in the local UPP.

The investigation also found that Major Edson Santos and his subordinates intended to extract information on the location of weapons and the drug traffic in the lower part of the hillside. At least three other residents report being tortured inside the same special police unit.

Read more

  1. Minister praises indictment of  police involved in Amarildo case
  2. Amarildo family celebrates indictment of PMs.
  3. Major allegedly diverted funds from UPP to bribe witnessses

Ten PMs from the UPP community policing station in Rocinha, among them Major  Edson dos Santos, were indicted for torture followed by death and concealment of a cadaver. An officer who came up through the ranks at BOPE, Santos commanded the UPP until the night of 14 July, when the local disappeared. It was Santos would told Amarildo’s family that the worker had left the UPP not long after having his ID checked.

Starting with the disappearance of Amarildo, four investigations were mounted by the state judicial police (PC). As the PC concluded the investigation into the death, the 15th precinct is looking into other torture cases relative to Operation “Armed Peace.” PC is investigating misconduct by some of its personnel during the first days of the case, which led to a conflict between the 15th Precinct’s captain, Orlando Zaccone and his former aide Ruschester Marreiros, who went so far as to demand the arrest of Amarildo’s wife, Elisabete Gomes da Silva.

PM internal affairs will run a parallel investigation, including the alleged embezzlement of UPP assets, which came to light during affidavits collected by the homicide bureau. The portion of the case relating to misappropriation of public funds will be investigated by the PM.

Rio procecutor Homero Freitas received the report on the case from the homicide bureau on Tuesday evening. It should formally charged shortly.

The policemen deny involvement in the July 14 disappearance after checking to discover that the man had no prison record.

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Siemens Case | The R$ 200,000 Man

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Source: Tribuna Hoje (August 9, 2013)

Pivotal figure in Siemens case may be able to explain vote-buying in the reelection of Cardoso

The emergence of José Luiz Portella in the Siemens case is solid evidence that corruption in the São Paulo subway and commuter rail sector was more than merely the fruit of isolated actions by corrupt civil servants.

Continue reading

Acts & Omissions | The Press and the Bid-Riggers

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Source: Observatório da Imprensa

By:  Luciano Martins Costa

Accustomed as we are to noisy headlines and resounding accusations during the five years in which Case No. AP 470 — “the monthly payola of the PT” — dominated the news, newspaper readers must find it odd:  the cautious tone which which the press has treated the episode involving the São Paulo state government and the misuse of public funds.

Oddly, the bid rigging scheme, with evidence of bribery, and confessed to by two gigantic European multinationals, has morphed into a mere “alleged cartel scheme.”

It is not that the press should take over the role of the prosecutor, leaking headline stories to the press about guilt and sentencing in cases still under investigation.

That is how things were done during the years in which the “payola” scandal dominated the news.  Perhaps only more attentive readers will find this curious.

On September 30, for example, Globo’s Jornal Nacional was much more assertive in its coverage than were the dailies the following morning. Curious viewers might also sense something awry in the insistence on focusing the actions of the companies involved, leaving out the fact that a scandal involving public officials is the other half of the scheme.

TV Globo explained that the bid rigging for rail transport in São Paulo began under Governor Covas, who passed away in March 2001 and was replaced by Alckmin. It continued under the Alckmin and was active during the administration of José Serra, elected in 2006.

For that reason, there is evidence that the episode has much more to it than a bid-rigging scheme among competitors and evolved into an extensive, official and consolidated corruption scheme. But the press is refusing to associate one with the other.

See, for example, how the front page of today’s Estado de S. Paulo, describes a “supposed cartel scheme,” whereas the story in the inside pages describes, “a supposed scheme of bribery paid to civil servants and the executives of state-owned firms.”

The Folha de S. Paulo runs a short article on the subject, less than the space afforded it in O Globo in Rio. The S. Paulo daily writes that a court has ordered the  opening of bank acounts of 11 indicted suspects related to the payment of bribes to politicians and civil servants, having to do with contracts in the energy and transport sector. It includes  responses from the attorneys of the accused.

Nothing to criticize in that. After all, every accused should have the right to a proportionate defense.

This is not, however, the same routine observed in other corruption cases reported by the news media over the years.

Most commonly, the strategy of the newspapers has been to run several consecutive stories , neglecting the right of defense of the accused and transforming every allegation into a scandal and often inventing jargon and nicknames in order to fix the accusations more firmly in the mind of the reader, The front pages are hopping with expression such as [“bribe pipeline, “monthly payola, the Valério pipeline”] and other inventions whose purpose is clearly to consolidate opinion than to inform.

It is also interesting to observe how, together with sparse newsflow on the supposed misconduct in the transport sector, the paper uses two basic sources each of which says essentially the same thing.

One of these sources emerged from the decision by Siemens to change its corporate governance policy, adopting transparency and taking the blame for former executives. The revelation that a cartel existed in the transport auctions originated in this change of policy.

The other source emerged from investigations into the conduct of Alstom, accused for similar reasons and which has just opened books of some of the accused, as the Jornal Nacional reported on September 30 and the newspapers on October 2 .

A question that many readers must be asking themselves is, if the press is treating two aspects of the same case, from a common sources, Uma why is it treated as separate scandal, one involving Siemens and another involving Alstom?

Brazil Summit 2013 | International Ballistic Punditry

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Source:  Observatório da Imprensa 

By: Alberto Dines

Ongoing discussion of the Economist cover — “Is Brazil blowing it?” — includes an article today by the dean of the Observatório da Imprensa, who explains this strange new world of synergies between editorial content and the event business.

Meanwhile, the Economist reporter on the story is interviewed by PortalImprensa (PT-Br)

Do you believe the Dilma Rousseff government is one of the principal reasons for the slow development of Brazil?

Yes, unfortunately. In my opinion and that of my editors, it is Rousseff who lost the confidence of the market unnecessarily. I think tihis was an enormous mistake. 

.Alberto Dines writes:

The Economist sells 1.6 million copies each week in 200 countries. Of these, fewer than 9,000 — 8,508, more precisely — are sold in Brazil, on newssstands, in bookstores and by subscription. The press edition costs R$ 505 year year — R$ 127 more than the digital edition.

If every single reader were to feel insulted by last week’s cover, they could organize a boycott and, assuming they pay for the least expensive option, the damage would come to R$ 1,080,516

With its “Brazil Summit 2013” alone, scheduled for 24 October in São Paulo, the events division of the company expect to take in $540,000 –that is, R$ 1,196,640 reais, based on the exchange rate as of September 30.

At least 300 persons have shown themselves willing to pay US$ 1,795 to attend events with Supreme Court justice de Joaquim Barbosa, publicist Nizan Guanaes, David Marcus (Pay Pal), prominent chef Alex Atala and economist-investor Gustavo Franco.

Government and pro-government figures are notable by their absence. Several state governors of the PSDB will be present: Including Marconi Perillo, subject of an ongoing bribery investigation.  Continue reading