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Curious Triangulations | A Sambodian Revolving Door


I am using CMap Tools, a draft of which appears above, as a way to manage the cast of characters and the relationships involved in the scheme involving the São Paulo state press secretaries and their use of relations with contractors and subcontractors to move money from the public to the private sphere.

Screenshot from 2015-04-24 18:31:11

Or so many observers are alleging. I am studying the documents from the Diário Oficial — worst transparency failure ever! — to see what I can see.

It is interesting to discover that Appendix, the focus of all this fuss, describes itself as a producer of bespoke software and programming.

In any event, consider this network analysis a draft, and send suggestions.

The case of the blogger who received R$ 70,000 per month from the Alckmin government to speak ill of the Workers Party — is a mere thread that leads to a more intricate story. Let’s go through it, step by step.

First of all, the Folha de S. Paulo reported that a gentleman named Gravataí Merengue (editor of the Web site Implicante, which spreads negatives rumors about the government on the Web) is the beneficiary of an odd triangulation: the Alckmin government (through its press secretary, currently the former Veja journalist Marcio Aith) pays public funds to the PROPEG PR agency, which in turn hands over the R$ 70,000 to the blogger.

Next, the Diário do Centro do Mundo (Diary of the Center of the World) demonstrated that Gravataí (his real name is Fernando Gouveia) has a powerful partner: Cristina Ikonomidis.

This woman is very close to José Serra and worked for various PSDB administrations (always with the backing of Serra) before officially joining the company founded by Merengue. In the meantime, she “rendered services as chief of communication for the PSDB secretary of culture — from which Appendix (Gouveia’s firm) had obtained contracts.

And now, another revelation: Cristina Ikonomidis is married to Juliano Nobrega (sone of the former minister and consultant Mailson da Nobrega). Juliano, meanwhile, was second in command to Aith, working inside the Palace … not far from Alckmin!

Pay attention to the network of of relationships here: Márcio Aith is the Secretary of Communications (appointed by Serra) and Juliano Nóbrega was his closest aide.

Both of them, installed in the Palace, approved payments to PROPEG. This agency would then forward the money (subcontract) to the company belonging to Gravataí Merengue which would soon add Cristina Ikonomidis — Juliano’s wife — as a partner.


And one more underhanded maneuver: Cristina Ikonomidis only became an official partner of the company receiving R$ 70,000 per month after her husband left his post working with Aith.

This occurred in January or February 2015. Hmmm … and where did Juliano go to work next? At CDN — one of the most powerful PR firms in Brazil.

And by the purest of coincidences: Juliano’s resume states that since January of this year, as a CDN employee, he is assigned to handle the account of guess who? SABESP!

Bingo again.

SABESP is known for irrigating the PSDB-friendly media with funds [that is,  advertising funding] in the same measure in which it has ceased to invest in the water supply of São Paulo’s citizens.

According to the Folha, “at least one of the service orders that authorized payment to Appendix were signed by Juliano Nóbrega, top aide to the Subsecretary of Communications for the state government and husband of Cristina.”