Rio Carnaval: Riotur, LIESA Contracts Probed

Bicho de sete cabeças: Captain Guimarães (l.) with Rio mayor Cesar “The Naked” Maia (second from left).

CPI do Carnaval vai investigar contrato entre Riotur e Liesa (O Globo, Rio de Janeiro, May 11): The Rio city legislature (ALERJ) will conduct a parliamentary inquiry (CPI) into the contracts between the city-owned tourist bureau and the League of Independent Escolas de Samba of Rio de Janeiro — which was presided over officially and unofficially for many years by Captain Guimarães.

On whom, see Carnage and Carnival: The Curious Career of Captain Guimarães. On the minor flap occasioned by the charge, aired on Globo’s Fantástico: Rio: Carnival Carnage is Political Circus!

Riotur was the agency, as you might recall, that sued the producers of The Simpsons over an episode in which the hapless mid-American family visits the cidade maravilha.

Among other things, (1) Homer is kidnapped, develops Stockholm Syndrome, and eats his captors out of house and barraco; (2) Marge discovers that the police are inept and corrupt; (3) it is implied that monkeys regularly attack people in the streets; and (4) Marge visits a “samba school” in which tango and lambada are being taught by a sleepy-eyed, effeminate Argentine pimp.

The latter two representations, of course, being utterly absurd. The monkeys of the Floresta da Tijuca are shy, squirrel-sized and ring-tailed. And samba não é rumba.

RIO – Integrantes da CPI do Carnaval, da Assembléia Legislativa do Rio (Alerj), decidiram, em reunião nesta sexta-feira, que vão solicitar à Polícia Federal (PF) as fitas com as gravações que comprovam indícios de fraude no resultado do desfile das escolas do Grupo Especial do carnaval deste ano. A comissão também deve solicitar à Riotur, empresa que pertence a Prefeitura do Rio, cópia do contrato entre este órgão e a Liga das Escolas de Samba do Grupo Especial (Liesa), para obter todas as informações referentes ao funcionamento do Carnaval e a qualificaçã dos jurados.

In a meeting held Friday, members of ALERJ’s CPI of Carnaval resolved to ask the Federal Police for the tapes with recordings that provide indications of fraud in the results of the competitive parades in the Special Group of this year’s carnival celebration. The commission will also ask Riotur, a company owned by the city government of Rio de Janeiro, for a copy of the contract between this firm and LIESA, in order to obtain all information relevant to the functioning of Carnaval and the qualifications of the jurors.

Ask Globo TV for a copy of its contract, too: The winner was featured in a number of prime-time programs, aired both before and after Carnaval, that were recorded before the competition was held.

On the other hand, is this really the most urgent business that ALERJ has before it?

A CPI também deve convocar o delegado da PF Emanuel Henrique para prestar depoimento. O delegado, que participa das investigações da Operação Hurricane (Furacão, em inglês), afirmou em entrevista ao programa ‘Fantástico’, da TV Globo, que o resultado do carnaval deste ano foi manipulado.

The CPI will also summon federal police inspector Emanuel Henrique to testify. The inspector, who took part in Operation Hurricane, said on Globo TV’s Fantástico that the result of this year’s competition was manipulated.

Para a vereadora Teresa Bergher (DEM), presidente da Comissão, o mais importante é apurar:

For city council member Teresa Bergher (DEM, ex-PFL), who is presiding over the commission, the most important thing is to get to the bottom of the affair:

– Nosso objetivo é apurar, não acusar ninguém – ressaltou a parlamentar, que espera realizar no prazo de quinze dias a primeira audiência pública da CPI do Carnaval.

“Our objective is to get to the bottom of this, not to accuse anyone,” said the councilmember, who expects to hold the first public hearing in the CPI of Carnaval within 15 days.

Teresa Bergher informou ainda que já solicitou ao Ministério Público Estadual a indicação de um promotor público para participar das reuniões e acompanhar o processo de investigação. A CPI também contará com a participação de um membro da Procuradoria Geral do Município.

Bergher also said she has asked the state attorney general’s office to nominate a special prosecutor to sit in on sessions of the CPI and follow the investigation. The CPI will also have the participation of a member of the city attorney’s office.

The Naked Mayor’s party controls the CPI and does not anticipate “accusing” anyone. Oof.

I have had my suspicions about Riotur for some time now. “She speaks good English and invites you up into her room” suspicions. Having used their services and seen them in action. Buy me a beer and I will tell you stories.

The 2007 champion G.R.E.S. Beija-Flor, by the way, as I have said before and hasten to add again, totally rocks. The people who volunteer to parade in the alas are incredible. An escola de samba on the passarela is a fabulous, moving spectacle, and Beija-Flor is among the very best, no doubt. Saravá!

That, of course, is not the point here.

Sweeping stuff under the rug can come back to bite you on the ass.


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