CC (Brazil) from mid-june: “Disneyland of Wiretapping. Outlaw it, no. Stop leaks, yes.” The siege of the President’s brother united government and opposition in criticism of federal police methods, but this should not be used to impede investigations. A Ministry of Justice proposal would widen the use of surveillance.” See also Behind the Music: The Estadão on the Leaky Police and Brazil: Globo and the Leaky Police. Again.
]Divulgar ações da PF interessa à sociedade, diz Lacerda: ELDER OGLIARI of the Estado de S. Paulo briefly interviews the outgoing head of the Brazilian federal police, Paulo Lacerda.
He will move on to head “the Brazilian CIA,” ABIN.
Which is actually quite an interesting development. He had been talked about as the new head of the Brazilian EPA (sort of), IBAMA.
A former ABIN chief was implicated — in some murky way, along with moonlighting U.S. security consultants, as I recall — in helping Daniel Dantas in his bid to control Brasil Telecom. You should read Lucas Figueiredo’s book on the history of the agency, The Ministry of Silence.
Some of the things the agency’s predecessor, the SNI, got up to were just jaw-dropping. The bungled attempted agitprop bombing of a concert venue with 20,000 people inside, for example, at the outset of “redemocratization.” Concerns, albeit muted ones, have long been voiced over the agency’s loyalty to the new constitutional order.
I call Mr. Lacerda, tongue in cheek, the head of “a politicized Gestapo” simply because the phrase has been heard many times in reference to the federal police — in particular over the famous raid on the Daslu luxury boutique, where the daughter of former São Paulo governor Geraldo “My opponent is in cahoots with the drug traffic and FARC” Alckmin worked as a senior buyer.
Alckmin’s state treasurer told a legislative commission under oath that Alckmin’s daughter arranged a meeting with Daslu officials to lobby for an exception from accounting rules. They wanted to use the same sort of accounting principles that Enron “innovated,” I think it is roughly fair to say.
Harvard Law professor Mangabeira Unger famously echoed this meme in a Folha de S. Paulo op-ed modeled on Zola’s famous “j’accuse” editorial in which he called the Lula government “the most corrupt in the history of Brazil.” He has since apologized — “I made the mistake of believing what I read in the newspaper,” he argued, astonishingly — and been appointed to a second- (or possibly now third-) tier strategic planning post in the Lula cabinet. See
Apparently they are firmly committed to Veritas 2.0 — the Pontius Pilate worldview, you might say — over there at Harvard Yard these days.
Most recently, Veja magazine ran an “exposé” reporting that members of the Supreme Court “suspected” that a “rotten element” inside the federal police was conducting illegal surveillance as a part of a political dirty-tricks campaign to pressure the court over a high-profile case.
Last year, Veja ran another exposé accusing Lacerda of having illegal offshore bank accounts. The source: Daniel Dantas, apparently.
Veja‘s defense of the story was pure Judy Millerism: “You are only as good as your sources.”
You see, the thing is that Veja magazine simply out and out lies. As a foreign correspondent friend of mine from another South American country whispered to me once. “No!” I exclaimed, in mock surprise.
It is a Donald Segretti-style ratfink machine for rent. Cheap.
In my observation, the federal police has done quite a credible job of policing itself, however. Corrupt feds are falling left and right. Whether they are getting all of them, or the right ones, or are merely engaged in selective “political persecution” and a Claude Raines-style “show of efficiency,” as some conspiracy theorists insinuate they might? Time will tell.
But you also need to understand the epoch-making significance of their busting the jogo do bicho of Rio de Janeiro, I believe. Any coverage of the issue that omits that topic — such as the Los Angeles Times hit-piece on Lula as “the Teflon president” — is not briefing you properly on the current scenario.
One case still pending: The curious career of Edmilson “Bruno Surfistinha” Bruno.
Lacerda replies to critics of the agency he headed.
PORTO ALEGRE – O diretor-geral da Polícia Federal (PF), Paulo Lacerda, defendeu nesta quarta-feira, 29, a instituição das acusações que sofre, entre as quais as de fazer pirotecnia e de exagerar nas buscas em escritórios e nas escutas telefônicas em suas investigações. Durante palestra na Federação das Associações Comerciais e de Serviços do Rio Grande do Sul (Federasul), em Porto Alegre, Lacerda afirmou que as críticas não se sustentam. “Desvio de milhões dos cofres públicos é fato”, sustentou, para explicar que, nesses casos, a divulgação de informações interessa à sociedade.
The director of the federal police, Paulo Lacerda, yesterday defended his institution against accusations it has suffered, among them that it engages in “fireworks” and commits excesses in the search of law offices and the use of wiretaps in its investigations. During a lecture to the Federation of Commercial and Service Associations of Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, Lacerda said those criticisms do not hold up. “Misappropriation of millions from the public coffers is a reality,” he said, explaining why, in these cases, the publicizing of information is of public interest.