Labor Relations | Chico The Vigilante

greve-garis3

Source: CUT | Central Única dos Trabalhadores

Maintenance unions CNTV, Sindesv and Sindvig met this morning with the federal minister of labor, Manoel Dias, to debate and suggest measures that would regulate the hiring of watchmen during the FIFA Cup in Brazil. Estimates are that 50 thousands jobs will be created in this area during the Cup. Continue reading

«Globo Downplays FIFA Association»

Sonega

Source: Brasil 24/7

Globo, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, has already brought in R$ 1.4 billion in advertising revenues for event coverage.

Despite this, last week TV Globo issued a recommendation to its journalists to avoid “positive spin” on the event.

In a memo circulated among staff, Globo calls for balanced coverage of the championship and asks that irregularities also be covered. These guidelines appear to apply mainly to the staff of the Jornal Nacional. It is no accident that the network’s flagship news program affords daily coverage of delayed public works and the rising cost of stadiums. Continue reading

Urban Planners Hail Haddad

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Sao Paulo, city of ziggurats

Source: Viomundo.

Urban planning experts hail Haddad for anticorruption effort

The city government of São Paulo, together with the state Public Ministry [prosecutor], has taken a rigorous approach to the investigation of a corruption scheme that has ruled the approval process for building projects in the city in the last eight years.

Petty and traditional corruption, which has always accompanied the obtaining of official permits for the use and occupation of urban land is something with which we are all familiar. Continue reading

Trensalão | Furthering the Plot

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IstoÉ magazine overreaches a bit in selecting a Watergate-themed headline for this week’s issue — All the Toucan Bribery Scheme’s Men. Even so, it continues to lead the way in breaking new aspects of the São Paulo cartel case. I translate because mostly because I found myself with time on my hands.

Source: IstoÉ | Viomundo .

Last week, the investigation by the antitrust authority CADE demonstrated that the formation of cartels in the commuter railway sector is a national phenomenon. This enormous swindle, investigators concluded, was repeated in various regions and was systematically manifest in São Paulo, with bid-rigging, price-fixing and subcontracting of auction losers.

The frauds, spanning the 20 years of the PSDB government of São Paulo, exhibit some peculiarities that differentiate them from  other schemes investigated by CADE, however.  The São Paulo scheme stands out for its pioneering nature (the scheme began operating in 1998, in the middle of the Covas administration), its duration, its dimensions and the sums involved — nearly half a billion reais drained away during the reign of the Toucans

More importantly, however, the S. Paulo Metrô scandal has detected the participation of public agents linked to the PSDB. In exchange for guarantees that enabled the swindle to continue and the profits of the cartel to increase.  Significant figures of the PSDB took bribes and greased the wheels of a bribery scheme that diverted public funds into poltical campaigns.

The magazine offers no conclusive details on who received what, if anything. Continue reading

Campus Fidei & The Million Man Mass

Campus Fidei in

Campus Fidei in Guaratibe, Western Zone, Rio:

Source: Folha de S.Paulo

Topic: The failure of the Campus Fidei project for hosting pilgrims in the Southern Zone of Rio.

“Campus Fidei,” a 1.32 million square meter tract of land in  Guaratiba, in the Western Zone of  Rio and scheduled site of the closing vigil and mass of World Youth Day, was installed on a clandestine tract of land, according to state prosecutors.

Among the owners of the land is businessman Jacob Barata Filho, according to Christiane Monnerat, the prosecutor assigned to the case.

Filho is the son of Jacob Barata, known in Rio as “The Bus King,” because he owns most of the bus collectives in the city.

The area, an example of the manguezal ecosystem , cannot be subjected to landfill because it lies within an area of environmental protection.

Wikipedia:

Manguezal, also called mangue or mangal, is a costal ecosystem and point of transition between inland and marine environments — a humid zone characteristic of tropial and subtropical regions.

In addition … Continue reading

São Paulo | New Songs About Buildings and Food

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Source: Artur Rodrigues | O Estado de S.Paulo

To expedite procedures and reduce corruption, Haddad disbands Aprov

Change. The agency, which became known for the scandal involving its former manager, Hussain Aref Saab, was retired yesterday, together with Contru, by the new city Secretary of Licenses, which faces the task of catching up on 25,000 applications.

Whatever happened to Hussain Aref Saab? I thought it was remarkable how little coverage was devoted to his ties with Mayor Kassab and his party.  Then I thought again.

Six months into his mandate, Fernando Haddad (PT) has instituted the Municipal Secretary of Licenses and given it the mission of acting on a backlog of at least 25,000 applications. The first official act of the new agency, headed by architect Paula Maria Motta Lara, is to put an end to Aprov, the Building Approvals office, and Contru, a zoning authority, both of which have suffered  accusations of corruption over the  years.

The closing of these offices comes as part of a restructuring program that plans to staff up with civil servants from two underused city departments, Parsolo (…) and Cadastro Setorial (…), which are also being dismantled.

The objective is to divide these human resources among specialized coordinating agencies: Residential Use (Resid), Institutional Services and Uses (Servin), Industrial and Commercial Usage (Comin), Public Housing (Parhis) and Special Activities and Security of Usage.

Although she explains the changes in terms of operational considerations, the incoming secretary says she is happy to do away with Aprov, which gained fame from the scandal involving its former chief, Hussain Aref Saab, who accumulated a fortune of 125 real properties during his tenure.

“With everything that happened, Aprov became synonymous with the worst possible scenario. Our decision was to say, “There will no more Aprov, forget that story because now there is a new municipal secretary.”

As a weapon against corruption, Paula will rely on reducing procedural delays, and said she had found cases lying around unattended since 2002. “What you saw in the cases (of corruption) we discovered were promises to expedite paperwork. “At present, it is normal to see cases that have waited five years or more. There is a mountain of paperwork. The atmosphere lacks the urgency of an office with people waiting,” she adds. Her goal is to comply with the Código de Obras — The Building Code — which provides for finalization of applications within 90 days.

Regarding the six month delay in establishing the new structure, Paula blamed bureaucratic issues: It was necessary to approve the enabling legislation for the creation of the new office, which was part of a legislative package with 11 other topics. In the meantime, Paula worked out of the office of the housing secretary, with no support except for a driver, and says the number of procedures stuck in the system at Aprov decreated  from 7,500 to 4,600,

With the new coordinators, Paula knows that the mayor will be keeping a sharp eye on the approval of «social interest housing» — the mayor has promised to build 20,000 units. Another bottleneck is the lack of a licensing program for night clubs. On Sunday, the Estado reported that, of 58 party spots  it monitored, 30 were operating without a license.

[...]

Electronic processing. Another mission to accomplish by year’s end is to reactive the electronic system adopted by ex-Mayor Gilberto Kassab, which had many problems and was suspended. For the time being, the process remains a pen and paper affair. The incoming secretary says she is also organizing amendments to the 1992 Building Code. The idea is to assign more responsibility — and punishment — to those responsible for construction projects …

It will be nice it if works out. Earlier administrations, now in the opposition, provided significant bureaucratic relief in some areas with the Poupatempo program. Haddad is an ambitious technocrat with a briefcase full of master plans. We shall see how well he can cope with the fractious municipal assembly and the state, the latter of which belongs to the national opposition.

«Chaos» In The Sambodian Subway

Eastern Zone stations  due for completion in 2014

Eastern Zone stations due for completion in 2014

«Overcrowded Metrô reflects on chaos in public transportation»

Source: Estado de S. Paulo

Translation: C. Brayton

SÃO PAULO – Scenes of S. Paulo’s overcrowded subway system have caught the attention of the foreign press. Reuters published a series of images of overcrowded trains during peak rush hour, noting that Brazil’s largest city “faces some of the worst gridlock in the world.”

The news agency says that city and its 20 million inhabitants spend up to three hours on a journey of approximately 14 km in the wealthiest neighborhoods and the principal financial center of Brazil. Continue reading

Maluf | Corruption Comes Home to Roost

Roberto Marinho Avenue -- a Sambodian Big Dig

The Maluf-inspired Roberto Marinho Avenue — a Sambodian Big Dig

G1 reports

A court in the Isle of Jersey, a European fiscal paradise, has ordered the transfer of one million pounds sterling — some R$ 4.5 million — with ties to the family of federal deputy Paulo Maluf (PP-SP) to the municipal coffers of São Paulo.

The funds were released on Friday (May 24) and deposited in the account of a law firm representing the city in London.  The money will be returned to the public coffers on May 28, since May 27 is a holiday in Great Britain.

Jersey court denies Maluf appeals Jersey, orders Maluf-owned companies to return US$ 28 million to SP

Jersey condemns Maluf to repay embezzled funds

Continue reading

Deals on Wheels | The Railway Pipeline

estacao-luz-antiga

Source: Portal ClippingMP.
Authorship: Guilherme Soares Dias | Valor Economico

I have recently received an incentive to closely and constantly keep an on the Brazilian transportation sector as a whole — not just what the ALLs and LLXs are up to.

Intercity passenger trains are being readied to circulate again in at least nine Brazilian states with plans under active study. In most of these cases, the intention is to reuse existing freight lines for medium-velocity passenger service. The plans provide for management by private sector concessionaires and ticket prices competitive with intercity buses, in a attempt to take some of the strain off crowded highways.

Brazilian roadways — constantly subject to apocalyptic weather conditions, let it be said — are a nerve-wracking way to get around, although mirabile dictu the rodoviários — bus stations — hum industriously all year long, and especially around Christman, when Northeastern families make the trek to be temporarily reunited.

In all, 1,900 km of so-called “regional trains” will get off the drawing board sometime this year. The federal ministry of transport has detailed plans for six stretches of railway, while SUDECO — the Superintendency of  Center-West Development examines two rail lines in the Brasília region. The state of Minas Gerais is studying three new lines and São Paulo is planning another five.

After a study by BNDES, the national development bank, issued a list of  64 railway lines that could be used to move passengers, the transport ministry chose 14  priority project for evaluation in 2011. Two years later, six of these are underway under the auspices of BNDES and one another, under construction by the state of Minas Gerais, should be ready by the the end 2Q13.

After the studies are conducted, the proposals will be opened up to public discusion, after which the transport ministry intends to assess tender offers for projects starting in 2014. Bids closest to completion so far include the Londrina-Maringá connection, in  Paraná, and the Bento Gonçalves-Caxias do Sul connection, in Rio Grande do Sul, where feasibility studies have been conducted and public audiences will begin next month in which residents and local governments will have their say.

According to Euler Costa Sampaio, coordinator of studies on regional and passenger rail in the transportation ministry, the rail lines will likely operate on the basis of a Public-Private Partnership or a concession model. “We want to take advantage of the new rules for the railway sector, which instituted right of way [for passenger trains] on freight train lines,” he said..

Along certain stretches, such as the connection  Londrina-Maringá, the plan is to create a double-track road, given the heavy cargo loads resulting from the line’s proximity to the Porto of Paranaguá. Studies will show that demand will be sufficient for an all-passenger service, says Sampaio. Estimated demands runs around 36,000 passengers a day and 13 million passengers a year.

Another challenge for the regional lines will be entering urban zones, in places where they might cross paths with municipal transport. “We will have to provide quality and accessibility in order to compete with the interstate bus lines. Fairs will have to be in line with what it costs to travel by bus”, a Transportes official said.

In some cases, such as the Salvador-Alagoinhas connection in Bahia, whose study will be filed in June, indications are that the rail line can be extended another 40 km to Feira de Santana. With its  568,000 inhabitants, the city is the second most populous of Bahia state and is connected to Salvador by Highway BR-324, which sufferes from intense passenger and cargo traffic.

Another stretch of track featured in the  Sampaio reporte is the São Luís-Itapecuru-Mirim triangle, in the northern state of Maranhão, where the largest petrochemical center in the Northeast is under construction.

In addition to the six rail linkages already under study, the transport ministry expects to contract studies for another six: São Cristóvão—Laranjeiras (SE), Recife—Caruaru (PE), Campos—Macaé (RJ), Itajaí— Rio do Sul (SC), Campinas—Araraquara (SP), Santa Cruz—Mangaratiba (RJ), and Bocaiúva—Janaúva (MG).

Os projetos preveem que os trens atinjam de 80 a 140 quilômetros por hora para encurtar, em alguns casos, o tempo de percurso atual. É o caso do trecho entre Brasília e Goiânia que teria viagens de 50 minutos, enquanto as de carro e ônibus duram de duas a três horas. O trecho é estudado pela Sudeco. A linha seria de uso misto, sendo aproveitada para transporte de cargas, com ligação da Ferrovia Norte-Sul em Anápolis (GO), onde está prevista uma parada.

O diretor-superintendente da Sudeco, Marcelo Dourado, ressalta que 6 milhões de pessoas moram no entorno da futura linha e devem ser beneficiadas pelo novo modal de transporte. Ele destaca ainda que haverá melhora no escoamento de produção do agronegócio. A região concentra o segundo Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) meso-regional só perdendo para Rio-São Paulo.

“Essa ligação mais rápida vai incentivar a industrialização e a conurbação da região”, acredita Dourado. Os estudos estão sendo concluídos e a intenção do órgão é que a licitação ocorra até o fim do ano, as obras comecem em 2014 e sejam concluídas em até sete anos. O custo estimado é de R$ 1 bilhão. A Sudeco estuda ainda a ligação entre Brasília-Luiziânia (GO), onde já existe linha férrea e seria necessária adaptação para o trem de passageiros. “Essa seria uma intervenção mais rápida e barata. Seriam necessários dez meses e R$ 90 milhões de desembolsos para viabilizar a linha”, afirma Dourado. O trecho seria atendido por um Veículo Leve sobre Trilho (VLT). De acordo com o superintendente da Sudeco, os dois projetos têm chegada prevista na rodoferroviária da capital federal e devem desafogar as rodovias do Distrito Federal.

O governo federal prevê ainda estudos de um trem ligando as cidades do Triângulo Mineiro e outro mais ousado, da Superintendência do Desenvolvimento do Nordeste (Sudene), que planeja o “Trem da Costa Dourada”, linha de 2 mil quilômetros ligando Salvador ao Delta do Parnaíba (PI) pelo litoral, passando pela maioria das capitais do Nordeste. Apesar do apelo turístico do projeto até mesmo os estudos encontram dificuldade para sair do papel. “O Ministério do Turismo tinha se comprometido a bancar, mas ainda não conseguimos a liberação da verba. Agora estamos negociando com o governo espanhol para financiar os estudos”, diz o superintendente da Sudene, Luiz Gonzaga Paes Landim. Ele garante que o trem é viável e afirma que o projeto poderia ser “fatiado”, com início nos trechos de maior apelo turístico como Salvador -Praia do Forte (BA), Recife-Porto de Galinhas (PE), Natal-Praia da Pipa (RN) e Fortaleza-Canoa Quebrada (CE).

Para o coordenador de transporte de passageiros do Laboratório de Transportes e Logística (LabTrans/UFSC), Rodolfo Philippi, os projetos atuais estudados pelo Ministério dos Transportes terão viabilidade reforçada pelo transporte urbano, uma vez que o aproveitamento de linhas já existentes vai possibilitar estações no centro das cidades. “Em locais maiores como Londrina, Maringá e Caxias do Sul poderá haver mais de uma estação incentivando o locomoção das pessoas dentro das cidades”, diz.

Já o presidente da Associação Brasileira da Indústria Ferroviária (Abifer), Vicente Abate, recorda que nas décadas de 60 e 70 os trens de passageiros chegaram a transportar 100 milhões de passageiros por ano. “Com o desinvestimento do governo na rede, os trens de passageiros foram perdendo competitividade e começaram a ser desativados e foram substituídos pelo transporte de rodovias. Agora devemos ter novo momento de retomada do setor”, considera.

Hoje, apenas duas linhas férreas recebem transporte de passageiros no país: a Estrada de Ferro Carajás, entre São Luís-Carajás (PA), e a Estrada de Ferro Vitória-Minas entre Vitória e Belo Horizonte. Ambas são mantidas em projetos sociais da Vale e movimentam juntas 1,5 milhão de passageiros por ano.

Good fodder for a private Wiki on the subject.

The IOU of Paulo Maluf | Jersey Court Sets Penalty

Maluf inaugurates the Roberto Marinho bridge

Maluf inaugurates the Roberto Marinho bridge

As the Brazilian culture industry begins to respond to government subsidies and incentives, it would be neat if someone took up the challenge of making a biopic on Paulo Salim Maluf or PFL Senator Antônio Carlos Magalhães.

maluf1

Source: Folha de S.Paulo.
Translation: C. Brayton

A Jersey court has ruled on the amount that current federal deputy Paulo Maluf (PP-SP) must return to the city government of São Paulo in a case involving the diversion of between 1997 and 1998 of public funds: US$28.3 million, equivalent to R$ 57 million at current exchange rates.

The sentence ordering the repayment was handed down on Friday, January 18, in Jersey, a Channel Island off the English coast.

When the court found Maluf guilty on November 16, 2012, the only pending issue was the original value of the assets misued: US$ 10.5 million

Caption: Paulo Maluf photographed at the headquarters of Eucatex, his family business.

The court found that this was the sum of money misappropriated as of February 1998 and corrected the sum as of the date of Maluf’s conviction, on November 16, 2012. Interest was set at 1% above prime, using T-Bills as a reference.

Maluf was also ordered to repay the plaintiff’s legal costs. Estimates are that these costs could run as high as  R$9 million, but the city has not yet produced an official calculation of legal fees spent on British solicitors since February 2005.

Maluf himself was ordered to return the funds because the court concluded that he and his son Flávio controlled two offshore companies, Durant International and a Kildare Financial. that received a total of US$10.5 million.

Maluf denies controlling these firms.  The Jersey court possesses documents signed by Maluf.

450px-Av_roberto_marinho_sp

According to the Jersey court, the money was misappropriated during the construction of Àguas Espraiadas Avenue (later renamed for Globo chief executive Roberto Marinho) between 1997 and 1998, when Celso Pitta, on Maluf’s recommendation, was at the helm of the city government. In its ruling, the court took special note of the fact that the scheme was executed when Maluf ran the city, between 1993 and 1996.

A Jersey court has ruled on the amount that current federal deputy Paulo Maluf (PP-SP) must return to the city government of São Paulo in a case involving the diversion of between 1997 and 1998 of public funds: US$28.3 million, equivalent to R$ 57 million at current exchange rates.

The sentence ordering the repayment was handed down on Friday, January 18, in Jersey, a Channel Island off the English coast.

Jersey court holds Maluf responsible for siphoning off US$ 22 million.

When the court found Maluf guilty on November 16, 2012, the only pending issue was the original value of the assets misued: US$ 10.5 million

eucatex

[Photo caption] — Paulo Maluf photographed at Eucatex, his family business.

When Maluf was governor, he had a highway built especially to ease his commute between the rural Eucatex and City Hall.

The court found that these funds were misappropriated in February 1998 and ordered that they be corrected as of the date of its ruling — November 16, 2012.  Interest rates were set at 1% above prime, using T-Bills as a reference.

Maluf was also ordered to repay the plaintiff’s legal costs. Estimates are that these costs could run as high as  R$9 million, but the city has not yet produced an official calculation of its legal fees spent on British lawyers since February 2005.

Maluf himself was ordered to return the funds because the court concluded that he and his son Flávio controlled two offshore companies, Durant International and a Kildare Financial. that received a total of US$10.5 million.

Maluf denies controlling these firms.  The Jersey court is in possession of documents signed by Maluf.

According to the Jersey court, the money was misappropriated during the construction of Àguas Espraiadas Avenue (later renamed for Globo chief executive Roberto Marinho) between 1997 and 1998, when Celso Pitta, on Maluf’s recommendation, was at the helm of the city government.

Maluf is legendary for his «pharaonic» public works projects, the most infamous of which is the Big Worm — Minhocão, an elevated throughway that, in the words of local motorists, mostly serves as a congested bridge between one giant pool of traffic congestion and another.

In its ruling, the court took special note of the fact that the scheme was executed when Maluf ran the city, between 1993 and 1996.

malufandlulahaddad

Lula and Haddad of the PT suck it up: Grip and grin with Maluf is price of PP support in municipal elections. Opposition parties also sought the Malufist imprimatur

 

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