Rio de Janeiro: Colonel Paúl on Veja and the “Counter-Coup”

The delusional is no longer marginal. –Bill Moyers

O Brasil sempre foi a casa da mãe Joana de elites sub-reptícias que fazem o que querem. (Brazil has always been a backwater whose backstabbing elites do whatever they please) — Paulo Francis.

It is they who are the “missionaries”; they who are the sectarian ones; they who are the heretics. –Reinaldo Azevedo

The film invaded the streets, the TV networks, public debates, the newspapers, the magazines, and, worst of all, the mind of every Brazilian, fascinated with the “hero” who tortures and kills criminals and is a member of the finest urban combat unit in the world, the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE), a troop of “SOCIAL HEROES,” the pride of all of us military policemen and the State Military Police of Rio de Janeiro.To our mind, the soldier is a hero, especially in the impressionable minds of young people, so that destroying this reality is an antisocial crime, pardon my emphatic way of putting it. –Col. Paulo Paulo, PMERJ

  1. The world is everything that is the case.
  2. What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts.
  3. The logical picture of the facts is the thought.
  4. The thought is the significant proposition.
    — Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1.1-4

Coronel Paulo Ricardo Paúl: A MÍDIA DO CONTRAGOLPE | REINALDO AZEVEDO | REVISTA VEJA: On his Web blog, Col. Paul, head of internal affairs for the state military police of Rio de Janeiro, reproduces a blog post by Reinaldo Azevedo of Veja magazine, in a post titled “The Media of the Counter-Coup: Azevedo of Veja.”

On Col. Paul’s blogging, see also

The coup, presumably, is a reference to the (baseless) rumor according to which the current president of Brazil — like Chávez (and Uribe) — will seek to amend the constitution to give himself a third term.

See

O artigo que transcrevo nessa postagem foi extraído do blog do jornalista Reinaldo Azevedo, da Revista Veja ([URL]), postado no dia 23 de novembro de 2007. E antes que os críticos ergam as suas vozes, altas por natureza, devo antecipar-me e esclarecer alguns aspectos.

The article I transcribe in this post was extracted from the blog of journalist Reinalo Azevedo of Veja magazine [URL], posted on November 23, 2007. And before the critics can raise their voices, loud by nature, I should anticipate them and clarify certain things.

On Azevedo, see also

O principal objetivo desse blog é colaborar para a concretização dos objetivos institucionais de atuais Coronéis da Polícia Militar do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, divulgados publicamente ([URL]), todos no sentido de resgatar a cidadania do Policial Militar através do recebimento de salários dignos e da implementação de condições adequadas de trabalho.

The principle objective of this blog is to collaborate in realizing the institutional objectives of the current colonels of the military police of the state of Rio de Janeiro, which have been publicly disclosed [URL], all in the cause of saving the citizenship of the military policeman through the receipt of worthy salaries and the implementation of decent working conditions.

That link is dead.

The blog actually lives at blogspot.com, not blogspot.com.br.

Portanto, tudo que posto nesse espaço, tem esse objetivo principal.

Thus, everything I post here has this as its principal objective.

Os artigos que escrevo, os artigos que recebo, bem como, os que eu extraio da mídia em geral, devem ter relação com os objetivos da nossa mobilização.

The articles I write, the articles I receive, as well those I extract from the media in general, should bear some relation to the objectives of our movement.

Entretanto, a relação nem sempre precisa ser direta, claramente direcionada, explícita.

However, the relation need not always be direct, clearly targeted, explicit.

“Rules were made to be broken,” said the corregedor.

Na verdade, muitos desses artigos têm a intenção de produzir reflexões, despertar o interesse pela discussão dos temas institucionais, interna e externa corporis.

In truth, many of these articles are intended to provoke reflection, awaken interest in the debate over institutional issues, both inside and outside the force.

E assim sendo, formar uma consciência crítica sobre os fatos, pois isso é fundamental.

That being the case, to form a critical awareness of the facts, for this is fundamental.

E essa consciência só surge com o conhecimento.

This awareness can only emerge through knowledge.

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“The Jornal do Brazil and the Militias of Rio”

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“What the military thinks about …. populism in Latin American; the Chávez arms build-up; combating crime in the streets.”

“The execution of Felix Tostes has once and for while destroyed the theory that militias bring peace to communities,” said Rio de Janeiro state public security secretary Beltrame.

A study conducted by the O Globo newspaper after the elections in 35 communities dominated by paramilitary groups showed that in 80% of them at least one policeman, fireman or retired soldier received a large number of votes.

Jornal do Brasil e as milícias no Rio de Janeiro: “The Jornal do Brazil and the Militias of Rio.” The letter to the editor is by communications student Carlos Leal.

Enquanto estudante de comunicação e leitor do Jornal do Brasil há mais de 10 anos, fiquei indignado com as reportagens feitas na edição de domingo (28/1/2007 [sic])* sobre a atuação de milícias paramilitares em bairros pobres e favelas do Rio de Janeiro. Seria de se esperar que um jornal com a tradição do JB adotasse uma abordagem que contextualizasse a gravidade e o absurdo da situação em que se encontra a segurança pública do Rio de Janeiro.

As a student of communications and a reader of the JB for more than 10 years, I was indignant at the reporting published in the Sunday edition … about the activiteis of paramilitary militias in poor neighborhoods and shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro. One would hope that a paper with the tradition that the JB has would adopt a treatment that would contexualize the seriousness and the absurdity of the situation in which public security in Rio finds itself.

Em um momento em que a população pobre de nosso Estado vive submetida à tirania dos traficantes de droga por um lado e do autoritarismo policial por outro, em que a criminalidade assola toda a população, em que um setor expressivo dos órgãos de segurança do Estado (principalmente as polícias civil e militar) avança em seu grau de degeneração e de corrupção tornando-se praticamente co-agente da criminalidade, observamos o surgimento das milícias enquanto expoente máximo de todo esse processo.

At a time when the poor population of our state lives in submission to the tyranny of the drug traffic on one side and police authoritarianism on the other, in which the entire population is affected by crime, and in which a substantial portion of the state agencies (especially the military and state judicial police) grow increasingly degenerate and corrupt to the point where they are practically partners in crime themselves, we are seeing the emergence of the militias as the culmination of the entire process.

Um Estado que mantém setores expressivos da população submetidos aos mais degradantes níveis de miséria, sem direito aos serviços mais básicos como saúde, educação e saneamento básico, observa seus órgãos de segurança se transmutarem em forças ilegais que passam a ingerir de forma absolutamente autoritária e claramente ilegal sobre a população, extorquindo-a e repetindo o modelo de terror já utilizado por traficantes.

A State that maintains large sectors of the population subject to the most degrading levels of poverty, with no right to such basic services as health, education and basic sanitation, watches its security forces degenerate into illegal armed groups that begin to interfere in an absolutely authoritarian and clearly illegal manner in people’s lives, extorting them and repeating the model of terror already used by the traffic.

Ao invés de declarações públicas das autoridades explicitando a gravidade da situação e se comprometendo em resolvê-la, o que observamos é um silêncio oficial que mal esconde a aprovação de setores significativos das autoridades públicas, civis e militares, da transformação das forças de segurança pública em quadrilhas organizadas para extorquir a população. E, de fato, quando não estão em silêncio, as declarações das entidades ligadas aos órgãos de segurança apontam para uma aprovação dessa transformação de setores significativos do exército e da policia em quadrilhas.

Rather than public statements by authorities, explaining the seriousness of the situation and promising to resolve it, what we see is official silence that scarcely conceals the approval of a significant number of public officials, both civilian and military, at the transformation of the police into organized gangs who extort the population. In fact, when they, too, are not remaining silent, the statements by organizations linked to security agencies point to approval of this transformation of significant portions of the army and police into gangs.

See also the O Globo (Rio) version of what does seem to be a concerted campaign:

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São Paulo Annals of Crime: “Crackdown on Hookerdom”

Subi a Rua Augusta a 120 por hora
Botei a turma toda do passeio pra fora
Fiz curva em duas rodas sem usar a buzina
Parei a quatro dedos da vitrine
Hi, hi, Johnny
Hi, hi, Alfredo
Quem é da nossa gang não tem medo
–Os Mutantes, “Rua Augusta”

Last Wednesday (March 27), commenting on statements by incoming federal Tourism minister, Marta Suplicy, that she would combat sexual tourism, Timóteo called the idea “flippant” and said that the idea of arresting foreign tourists who take 16-year-old girls to motels was “a joke.” In the middle of his speech, when questioned by city legislator Claudete Alves (PT), he asked his female colleague her age when she had her first sexual relations. —G1/Globo, March 29, 2007, on remarks by singer-alderman Agnaldo “The Romantic Voice of Brazil” Timóteo

Polícia fecha 8 casas noturnas suspeitas de prostituição em SP: “Police close 8 night clubs suspected of prostitution in São Paulo.”

The Estado de S. Paulo reports.

In October, the Estado had reported as follows:

Then essentially contradicted that claim by noting:

The department created a special unit to follow up on such crimes after they were written into the Penal Code in 2005. Before, only international trafficking in persons was recognized under national law, and the federal police was in charge of investigating it. Greater attention to the problem by São Paulo police is probably the principal explanation for the increase in [reported] victims. No children or adolescents figure in the DHPP’s statistics.

In other words, no one really knows what the actual incidence of the problem is, and the official statistics are of dubious validity.

São Paulo seems to be living through its own version of New York City’s Times Square makeover (although as I recall, Scores is still in business there, last I checked. A prominent financial technology executive lost his job after running a big tab there on the company credit card, as I recall.)

SÃO PAULO – Oito casas noturnas suspeitas de ser pontos de prostituição foram fechadas entre a noite de quinta-feira e a madrugada desta sexta-feira, 30, nas regiões central, leste e sul de São Paulo. A Operação Carrossel, do Grupo de Operações Especiais (GOE), teve como principal objetivo combater a prostituição infantil. Uma menina de 17 anos foi encontrada em uma das boates, na Rua Augusta, no centro.

Eight nightclubs suspected of being venues for prostitution were closed overnight in the dowtown, eastern, western and southern regions of São Paulo. Operation Carrossel, carried out by the Special Operations Group (GOE) [of the state judicial police], had as its principal objective to combat child prostitution. A 17-year-old girl was found in one of the nightclubs on the Rua Augusta, downtown.

Only one?

Was she hooking?

Not to be confused with COE, an elite unit of the the São Paulo military police.

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“Out Damn Spot”: The Tragedy of Blodget, Act II, Scene II


Citizen journalists are the people of the year. Pofessional public-interest and “service” journalists are objectionable vermin to be exterminated. Go figure.

Stealth marketing harms, I argue, by degrading public discourse and undermining the public’s trust in mediated communication. Doubt that an editor has an authentic voice leads to an overgeneralization of distrust as audiences come to believe that mediated speech is inauthentic or untrue even when it is not. The law of bribery as well as public discourse theory helps to show how such distrust corrupts the kind of communicative public sphere that a democracy needs. –Stealth Marketing and Editorial Integrity, Ellen P. Goodman. Texas Law Review. Austin: Nov 2006. Vol. 85, Iss. 1; pg. 83, 70 pgs

There is a general decline in trust in all spokespeople and sources of information. That means a company must tell its story consistently and in multiple venues in order to achieve trust. We live in a world—as Linda Stone describes–of continuous partial attention. –Richard Edelman, The Changing Face of Trust; see Trust 2.0: Triumph of the Shill?

“There are no second acts in American lives.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

Taint by Association: New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt takes a hard line on the Grey Lady’s giving a byline to Henry Blodget, noting that Hoyt’s predecessor’s warning about full “consider the source” disclosure on the stock blogger and barred-for-life securities research analyst went unheeded.

The column is from November 11. My delay in noting it is explained by the fact that the Times arrives here in Brazil by packet steamer and has to clear customs before reaching me.

Just kidding. Writes Mr. Hoyt:

I think there are two questions here. One is whether The Times properly identifies Blodget when he writes for the paper. I don’t think so. His name was big in financial news at one time, but many readers do not know him.

The Public Editor apparently makes suggestions but does not have enforcement power:

Byron Calame, who was then the public editor, said he thought The Times had erred by identifying Blodget only as “a former Wall Street analyst” who “writes frequently for Slate.” It wasn’t enough, Calame said, for Blodget to make a parenthetical aside in the article to “an unfortunate theory of mine — one that, along with some e-mails that caught the notice of the Securities and Exchange Commission, helped my Wall Street career go the way of eToys.” Calame’s admonition went unheeded, because the next time Blodget appeared on the Op-Ed page, last December, defending huge bonuses at Goldman Sachs, he was still “a former stock analyst” and now “the author of the forthcoming ‘Wall Street Self-Defense Manual.’” Neither he nor The Times alluded to the rest of his history.

The classic case of this: a “fake news” incident in which a Fox News affiliate ran an Intel-produced advertorial, without attribution, as its own work. It simply took the Intel promotional script and redubbed it using the voice of one of its journalists.

I tend to think of this as “reputation laundering” — or “Judy Millerism,” in homage to Dick Cheney’s successful planting of a moral panic story about aluminum tubes on the front page of the Times — but the more common term these days, I think, is “stealth marketing.” See

In it, Intel-employed anthropologist Genevieve Bell is identified only as “Genevieve Bell, anthropologist.” This tends to suggest — which is the truth, but not the whole truth — that Bell is an academic expert on the subject. But it also suggests that she is a disinterested expert.

See also

“Why would The Times give a former analyst who lied to investors a platform to write about financial markets?”

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São Paulo: Verdict in Freelance News Photographer Slaying


G1/Globo video on Barbon [Barbom], the journalist murdered in Porto Ferreira in the interior of São Paulo. Not viewable on my platform. If journalists without college degrees or a license to practice journalism are not real journalists, then the fact that the diploma-less Barbon was assassinated because of reporting he published does not count as the murder of a journalist. Or so the Brazilian national union for journalists continues to reason. Just makes you want to break out into a rousing chorus of “Solidarity Forever,” don’t it? See also Brazil: Who Is a Journalist? New Cases in Point.

Acusado de matar fotógrafo é condenado a 25 anos de prisão (G1): A man accused of murdering a freelance photographer for Época (Editora Globo) magazine four years ago is found guilty of the crime.

At the same rate, we will have a result in the case of the assassination of the Porto Ferreira (SP) journalist Barbon in 2011 or 2012. See

Um júri popular condenou a 25 anos de prisão em regime fechado o homem acusado de matar o fotógrafo Luiz Antônio da Costa, de 36 anos, em julho de 2003, quando a vítima trabalhava para a revista Época. Ele foi assassinado com um tiro à queima-roupa. A audiência aconteceu na quinta-feira (29) no Fórum de São Bernardo do Campo, no ABC paulista, cidade onde o crime ocorreu.

A popular jury sentenced to 25 years the man who killed photographer Luiz Antônio da Costa, 36, in July 2003, when the victim was working for Época magazine. He was killed with a gunshot at point-blank range. The sentencing hearing took place on November 29 at the São Bernardo do Campo courthouse in the ABC region, the city where the crime took place.

Foram oito horas de julgamento. Promotoria e defesa usaram todo o tempo disponível para tentar convencer os jurados. O advogado do réu alegou inocência, apesar de ele ter confessado o crime à polícia e à Justiça. Ao final, Renato Lyra foi condenado pelos crimes de homicídio qualificado e pelo roubo a um posto de combustíveis.

The proceedings lasted 8 hours. Prosecution and defense used the time to try to persuade the juries. The defendant’s attorney pled not guilty, though he confessed the crime to the police and to the court. In the end, Renato Lyra was fond guilty of homicide and the gas-station robbery.

Or Lira, as a lot of the contemporary coverage had it.

The Observatório da Imprensa registered official reactions from Globo, FENAJ, ANJ, RSF, and others at the time.

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Boi o Boi: Billion-Dollar Beancounter Bust in the Cidade Maravilha


White-collar perp walks: “The people like it that way.” The Caros Amigos cover story seems more and more like an astute piece of political analysis.

The Polícia Federal clips this item: state tax inspectors and accountants arrested in Rio for stealing a billion bucks in a single year, reports the Folha de S. Paulo today.

The President said today that critics of prolonging a check tax that provides key federal revenue — this is the big political story for weeks now — dislike it “because it is the one tax they cannot cheat on.”

At the heart of the case: A certain Chico Olho-de-Boi. The state assembly commission of inquiry that looked into these matters first accused him of being mixed up in the marching powder business as well.

A prosecutor told O Globo he sold a home to the Colombian drug lord Ramirez Abadia, for example. He lives in a R$4 million home in the Barra da Tijuca, G1 reports.

When cases like this hit, it is customary to linger pornographically on the fabulous homes, cars, and boats of the crooks.

The Cisco case, recall — though played here as a story about an evil foreign multinational — actually had more to do with Brazilian employees paying off Brazilian officials to avoid taxes.

Uma quadrilha de sonegação e corrupção fiscal formada por fiscais da Secretaria da Fazenda, empresários e contadores desviou cerca de R$ 1 bilhão do Estado do Rio em um ano, de acordo com o Ministério Público. Até a conclusão desta edição, 25 pessoas haviam sido presas -funcionários públicos, empresários e contadores.

An organization dedicated to tax evasion and corruption, comprising federal treasury inspectors, business owners and accountants, deprived the State of Rio de Janeiro of nearly R$1 billion in a single year, according to prosecutors. By the close of this edition, 25 persons had been arrested — public employees, business owners, and accountants.

Com salários entre R$10 mil e R$ 12 mil, os fiscais denunciados pelo MP moravam em bairros nobres do Rio, como Gávea, Ipanema, Urca (zona sul) e Itanhangá (zona oeste). “São fiscais antigos, em fim de carreira”, disse o procurador-geral de Justiça do Rio, Marfan Vieira. A operação Propina S.A., deflagrada ontem pelo Ministério Público do Rio, teve como base 2.053 horas de escutas de 107.258 ligações de 70 telefones grampeados. A Justiça decretou 31 mandados de prisão provisória -11 de fiscais da Receita Estadual- e 106 de busca e apreensão. Outros dez fiscais foram afastados do cargo.

Earning between R$10,000 and R$12,000 a month, the treasury inspectors indicted by the MP lived in upscale neighborhoods like Gávea, Ipanema, Urca and Itanhangá. “These are senior inspectors, at the end of their career,” said Rio’s state attorney, Marfan Vieira. Operation Bribe, Incorporate, carried out today by the state public ministry, was based on 2,053 hours of wiretap recordings of 107,258 phone calls on 70 telephones. The court issued 31 arrest warrants — 11 for state revenue inspectors — and 106 search warrants. Another 10 tax inspectors were suspended from their posts.

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NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS: Cops, Candidates, Camera, Action

I have no faith in our hypocritical, false, hysterical, uneducated and lazy intelligentsia when they suffer and complain: their oppression comes from within. I believe in individual people. I see salvation in discrete individuals, intellectuals and peasants, strewn hither and yon throughout Russia. They have the strength, although there are few of them. –Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Letter, February 22, 1899, to I.I. Orlov.

What is on the Brazilian boob tube?

Political TV spots; a parody of Larry Rohter’s favorite underaged blogging hooker; Brasil Urgente on Operation Saturation — later rebranded the Virada Social — and a Roda Viva interview with the public safety director of Bogotá — on which see also

Colombian and Brazilian officials have been comparing notes on common problems. Parapolitics is never mentioned in the Brazilian context, but I would venture to say that Rio suffers from it as well to a degree.

On Operation Saturation, see also:

Back in September, Causa Operaria (Trotskyite) questioned the authenticity of the operation shown in the segment from Brasil Urgente, claiming that what you see here is a reenactment for the sake of the cameras. CO cites the Folha de S. Paulo as its source. Let me check that. They wrote:

“Moments after invading, the military police discovered that the action was recorded only by a team from TV Globo and three photographers — among them, one from the Secretary of Public Security. With time, more journalists from other news organization arrived and began to pressure the police to repeat the operation. The governor’s press office intervened and argued for a “replay” of the operation, which was, in fact, done over “so that everyone could get good photos of the operation. I worked to get the journalists better pictures,” said Teresa Cristina Miranda (Folha de S. Paulo, September 12, 2007). The military police also confirmed that the second incursion was for the sole purpose of posing for journalists.”

It is worth noting that Governor Serra replaced his communications director not long after.

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