Auditing Carlismo: Counting a Billion Bahian Beans

To both his admirers and his many enemies Mr. Magalhaes seemed a larger-than-life figure, like a character out of one of the novels of his friend Jorge Amado. On the campaign trail, he seemed equally at ease with the black voodoo priests who repeatedly delivered their congregations’ votes to him as with the white businessmen he made prosperous by steering lucrative contracts their way. –Larry Rohter’s New York Times obit for “The King of Bahia”

Paraiba.com.br has a backgrounder on an anticorruption investigation in Bahia that, as Terra Magazine points out, has a direct bearing on a fascinating question: Is Antônio Carlos Magalhães, like Generalissimo Franco in that old Saturday Night Live skit, really still dead?

The headline: “Feds arrest the Bahian elite.”

Its general tenor is that, mythmaking aside, there is a very interesting beancounting story being told right now about that colorful old Senator Magalhães, whom Rohter treats as though he were a character out of a tale by Uncle Remus or something.

(Bahians who practice Afro-New World religions practice candomblé, not voudoun, by the way.)

A Operação Jaleco Branco da Polícia Federal, desencadeada hoje em Salvador, se fundamenta em ação do Ministério Público. Em junho, logo após a Operação Navalha, o MP da Bahia requisitou todos os contratos que envolviam as empresas investigadas pela Operação Octopus da PF. Essa investigação posterior, pilotada pelo MP, acabou por desvendar toda a rede que atinge parte da elite baiana.

Operation [white smock like the kind worn by dentists, or a short leather jacket used by cowboys] in Salvador today was based on a suit filed by the Public Ministry. In June, after Operation Straight-Razor, the state Public Ministry subpoenaed all the contracts involving companies investigated in the federal Operation Octopus. This follow-on investigation, steered by the state prosecutor, wound up unraveling the entire network and wounding a part of the Bahian elite.

Octopus [in English in the original; where they thinking of Frank Norris?] was a probe of eight politically connected business owners in the security sector.

Fruto do trabalho da Auditoria Geral do Estado (AGE), sob a coordenação da Casa Civil do governador Jaques Wagner (PT), a “devassa” abrangeu os contratos vigentes em 2007. Esse relatório foi entregue ao MP da Bahia.

The fruit of work by the state auditor, coordinated by the Casa Civil of Gov. Wagner, the “thorough search” included all contracts still in effect in 2007. The audit report was sent to the state prosecutor of Bahia.

Governor Serra of São Paulo, of the PSDB, has said he would do a similar review of public contracting in his state over the last ten years.

Prompting cries of, “What, are you nuts? Your own party ran the state the whole time, you traitor!” from his political homies. But he seems to have meant it. Interesting man, Zé Serra.

Foi a esse material, em poder do MP, que Terra Magazine teve acesso.

It was to this material, in the possession of prosecutors, that Terra Magazine had access.

Nas linhas e entrelinhas, o que se tem é uma nítida tomografia do sistema de poder montado pelo ex-senador Antonio Carlos Magalhães e ancorado em um seleto grupo de empresários e famílias que há quase duas décadas detêm poder político e econômica na Bahia.

In what one reads, and reads between the lines, what emerges is a clear MRI of the structures of powers mounted by the late Senator Antônio Carlos Magalhães, anchored in the select group of business owners and families who have held political and economic sway in Bahia for two decades.

Alguns do presos, na operação de hoje, são festejados nos restaurantes, clubes, iates, como a fina-flor dos endinheirados da Bahia.

Some of the people arrested today are feted in restaurants, clubs, and yachts as the cream of monied high society in Bahia.

Como ponto de partida, a Operação Navalha, da PF, que em maio deste ano iluminou uma investigação sobre contratos de empresas de segurança com órgãos públicos (leia aqui).

As a starting point, Straight Razor, run by the federal police, which in May of this year looked into contracts between public agencies and private security companies [LINK]. 

O relatório de 42 páginas, seguido de anexos (tabelas e diagramas que mapeiam uma rede para burlar licitações), envolve personagens já conhecidos do noticiário político e, há alguns meses, do policial.

The 42-pp. report, with appendices (tables and diagrams that map out a network set up to rig competitive bidding processes) involves names from the political headlines who have now been part of the police blotter as well for several months.

Aos nomes dos principais presos: Marcelo Guimarães, ex-presidente do Esporte Clube Bahia e ex-deputado estadual; Antonio Honorato, presidente do Tribunal de Contas do Estado e ex-presidente da Assembléia Legislativa da Bahia; e Jairo Barão, Cleiton Andrade, Eujácio Andrade.

Among the principal names: Marcelo Guimarães, former president of the Bahia professional football club and a former state lawmaker; Antonio Honorato, president of the State Accounting Tribunal and former speaker of the Bahian legislative assembly; as well as Jairo Barão, Cleiton Andrade, Eujácio Andrade.

Influente nas administrações carlistas, Marcelo Guimarães freqüenta colunas sociais e os melhores salões baianos. Desde a Operação Navalha, reduziu suas aparições públicas; recentemente, voltou a vincular-se ao Bahia, quando o clube foi comemorar uma vitória na Terceira Divisão na escadaria da Igreja do Bonfim. Guimarães acompanhou diretores e jogadores em uma sessão de fotos.

An influential player in various Carlist administration, Guimarães is often seen in the social columns and premiere Bahian social events. Since Straight Razor, he has cut down on his public appearances; recently, he renewed his ties to the Bahia football club as it celebrated a victory in the Third Division on the steps of the Bonfim church.

In local terms, the moral equivalent of the Wailing Wall, those steps.

He joined players and executives in a photo session.

Guimarães também é dono de empresas de segurança, foco das investigações do governo e da PF. Perdeu a última eleição para deputado estadual, porém conseguiu eleger Marcelo Guimarães Filho, seu sucessor, deputado federal.

Guimarães also owns private security firms that were targeted by federal police and government investigations. He lost his last election for the state assembly, but did manage to elect his son as federal deputy.

No sumário, há a lista de “empresas selecionadas” para a investigação: Postdata Bahia Informática Ltda., Organização Bahia Serviços de Limpeza e Locação de Mão de Obra, Seviba (Segurança e Vigilância da Bahia Ltda.), Higiene Administração e Serviços Ltda., Organização Auxílio Fraterno, Ascop Vigilância e Segurança Patrimonial, Macrosel Serviços de Limpeza e Gestão Empresarial, Yumatã Empreendimentos e Serviços e Manutenção Ltda., Masp Locação de Mão-de-Obra Ltda. e Protector Segurança Ltda.

In the summary of the case, there is a list of “companies selected” for the investigation: …

Registro: no total, 21 empresas foram pinçadas para a primeira análise. De 1997 até junho de 2007, elas receberam do governo do Estado a quantia de R$ 1.379.252.584,65. Mas as acima nomeadas centralizaram os esforços da comissão de auditores.

In all, 21 companies were singled out for the preliminary analysis. From 1997 to June 2007, they received a total of some R$1.38 billion from the State government. But the names just mentioned wound up being the focus of the efforts by auditors.

De acordo com o relatório restrito, “a maior parte das empresas prestadoras de serviços analisadas iniciou suas atividades ou teve sua propriedade transferida para os grupos societários atuais no começo da década de 90, o que corresponde ao reinício das administrações carlistas”.

According to this confidential report, “most of the service providers analyzed went into business or passed into the hands of their current owners in the early 1990s, corresponding to the renewed series of the Carlist administrations.” 

Waldir Pires had defeated the Magalhães machine in the mid to late 1980s.  A mere interregnum.

Em 1990, ACM venceu a eleição para governador. Ungiu seus sucessores no cargo: Paulo Souto e César Borges. A hegemonia só foi quebrada em 2006, com a vitória de Jaques Wagner.

In 1990, ACM was elected governor and succeeded in anointing his successors in the post: Souto and Borges. His hegemony was broken only in 2006, with the victory of Wagner.

See also

Num trecho, notam os investigadores:

In one passage, the investigators note:

– É importante observar que, das organizações analisadas, apenas sete grandes empresas abocanharam um faturamento de quase 74% do total, o que corresponde a mais de R$ 1 bilhão, ficando as outras quatorze empresas com apenas 26%, ou pouco mais de R$ 363 milhões. O número das principais empresas aproxima-se, ‘coincidentemente’, do denominado G-8.

“It is important to note that, of the organizations studied, just seven large companies received some 74% of the total, or more than R$1 billion, with another 14 left with only 26%, or about R$363 million. The number of the principal companies, “coincidentally,” approximates the so-called G8.”

Uma pausa. A referência ao G-8 nos leva à “Operação Navalha”, da PF, em maio de 2007, que prendeu o empreiteiro Zuleido Veras e identificou um grupo de oito empresários envolvidos em um esquema de licitações viciadas.

An aside here: The reference to the “G-8” takes us back to Operation Straight Razor in May 2007, which arrested Zuleido Veras and identified a group of eight business owners involved in a bid-rigging scheme.

No relatório, há um cruzamento dos sócios e das famílias controladoras das empresas que receberam o maior aporte de recursos. Entre as irregularidades detectadas pelo MP e por auditores do governo, constam:

In the report, the auditors compare the partners and families that control the companies receiving the largest piece of the public pie. Among the irregularities detected by prosecutors and auditors are:

– Edital de licitação com exigências que eliminam a competitividade e concentram os serviços em grandes empresas.

“Bid soliciations with requirements that eliminate competition and concentrate the provision of services in large companies.” 

– Dispensa de licitação para contratação emergencial. Normalmente, a empresa que já prestava serviço é a selecionada para executar o contrato emergencial.

“No-bid contracts on an emergency basis. Normally, the company that is already providing the service is hired to execute the emergency contract.” 

– Pagamento indevido em virtude da não existência da totalidade dos prestadores de serviços contratados. O Estado efetua pagamento indevido por serviço que não são realizados, mas que são cobrados.

“Improper payments in cases in which not all the services contracted for were rendered. The State makes undue payments for services not rendered, but which are billed for.”

– Desvio de função dos prestadores de serviços contratados.

“Service contractors hired to provide service paid for doing something else.”

– Deficiência no controle e no acompanhamento da execução do contrato.

“Deficient controls and lack of follow-up on whether the contract was fulfilled.”

Os principais contratos investigados são da Secretaria da Educação, Saúde, Administração, Fazenda, Planejamento, Segurança Pública, Justiça e Cultura. Na mira dos investigadores, outros “grandes contratos” da Ebal (Empresa Baiana de Alimentos) – objeto de uma CPI da Assembléia baiana -, Bahiatursa, Conder, Derba, Embasa, Sucab e Sudic.

The main contracts under investigation were signed by the Education, Health, Administration, Treasury, Planning, Public Safety, Justice and Culture secretaries. In the sights of investigators are other “grand contracts” by EBAL (the state-owned Bahian Food Co.) — the subject of a parliamentary inquiry in the state assembly — as well as Bahiatursa, Conder, Derba, Embasa, Sucab, and Sudic. 

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