Alagoas: “Albuquerque Has Not Been Deposed!”

https://i1.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/algoas.png
Posted to the Web site of the Alagoas state assembly at 1:35 pm, December 6, 2007: “FEDERAL OPERATION: Albuquerque is in the House. The president of the state assembly is in the Chamber of Commerce where the legislature is temporarily housed, meeting with [other lawmakers].” In other words, “news of my arrest have been greatly exaggerated.”

Adversaries of Albuquerque celebrated his “arrest” at noon, but were disappointed afterwards when, in the early afternoon, they learned that the lawmaker had not even been invited to go down to the PF headquarters.

Really? At least two other news sources say that Albuquerque was, indeed, invited to give a statement in the case. Credibly.

Primeira Edição (Alagoas, Brazil) columnist Romero Vieira Belo despairs over erroneous press coverage of the corruption scandal in his state, in a column titled “Fire-Caterpillar or Babel?”

As far as I can tell, neither Primeira Edição nor Alagoas 24 Horas printed lots of nonexistent facts about the case, whereas the national news agencies did. See

But our PE columnist, decrying the quality of coverage and the factual errors committed, makes up some of the lost ground, I think, on one or two points, and particularly on the notion that Albuquerque “has not even been invited to police headquarters.”

That simply seems to be a nonexistent (negative) fact.

Louve-se essa e todas as demais operações da Polícia Federal. Ninguém mais nesse País agüenta ouvir falar em corrupção, em roubalheira, em rapinagem do dinheiro público. Mas, como ela, a corrupção, persiste, sobrevive forte e voraz, alguém tem de fazer algo. E é isso o que a PF, cumprindo ordem da Justiça, faz.

Bless these and all the other actions by the federal police. No one in Brazil can stand hearing any more about corruption, of massive thievery, of plundering of public funds. But since corruption persists, survives, strong and voracious, someone has got to do something. And that is what the feds, following a court order, are doing.

Nada, pois, a se questionar nessa particular. O que se pede, no entanto, é que a Polícia Federal, ao executar essas operações, se comunique melhor com a sociedade. A Taturana, operação desencadeada ontem em Alagoas, foi muito mal informada à opinião pública. Sem informes exatos, a mídia levou ao ar o que passava na imaginação de repórteres e locutores.

There is nothing to be questioned on this point. What we would ask, however, is that the federal police, in running these operations, communicate better with the public. Taturana, the operation it ran yesterday here in Alagos, was very poorly reported to public opinion. Without precise information, the media printed whatever passed through the imaginations of reporters and news announcers.

And that is the fault of the federal flacks?

I am just asking. I read their press release wire, and observe their agents and delegados on the boob tube and talking to the press — including Edmilson “Bruno Surfistinha” Bruno, of course — but I have never actually dealt with them, or attended a press conference of theirs, obviously.

Se, mesmo com a investigação correndo em segredo de justiça, a idéia era deixar a população bem informada, mais eficiente, em vez de ume entrevista tumultuada e de informações a conta-gotas, seria chamar a imprensa e lhe fornecer um comunicado por escrito, enxuto e coerente, detalhando os fatos.

If the idea was to keep the public informed, even as the operation was carried out under seal, it would have been more efficient, instead of a tumultous press conference and information coming out in dribs and drabs, would have been providing a written press release, polished and coherent, listing all the facts.

Caberia, inclusive, dizer quem era quem na história. Por exemplo: por que o ex-governador Manoel Gomes de Barros foi preso? Por alegada posse ilegal de armas; entretanto, à falta de esclarecimento, passou-se à opinião pública a idéia de que ele estava implicado com a fraude investigada na Assembléia.

It might have been useful, even, to tell us who was in this story. For example: Why was former governor Manoel Gomes de Barros arrested? It was for an alleged firearms violation; but due to the lack of clarification, the public received the information that he was implicated in the fraud being investigated in the Assembly.

The weapon was reportedly discovered during the serving of a search warrant issued in that case, was my understanding.

Na confusão, “prenderam” até o ex-governador Ronaldo Lessa.

In the confusion, they even supposedly arrested former governor Lessa.

Who reported that?

Um comunicado por escrito, livre dos improvisos de uma coletiva, teria evitado que a PF anunciasse a prisão do presidente da Assembléia Legislativa, Antônio Albuquerque, o que nunca aconteceu. Pelo equívoco, o deputado acabou pagando caro, pois teve seu nome divulgado pela imprensa nacional.

A written press release, free of all the improvisations of a press conference, might have prevented the feds from announcing the arrest of Albuquerque, which never happened. The lawmaker wound up paying dearly for the error, having had his name published in the national press.

His brother was also arrested, and his secretary, and a former aide. His sister has just been appointed to the state accounting board, setting off a flap.

Louve-se a ação da PF, sempre que determinada a combater as falcatruas, mas é importante que ela seja mais diligente. Sem pirotecnia, já que o objetivo não é exibir a Polícia, mas os fins alcançados. De resto, espera-se que o País encontre uma saída para o problema da corrupção. E que os culpados, nessa e em outras operações, paguem pelos seus erros. Por enquanto, não se tem notícia de julgamento e condenação de um único envolvido na Sanguessuga, Navalha, Gautama, Gabiru, Carranca, Gafanhoto…

Bless the feds, as long they are determined to combat [wrongdoing], but it is important that they be more diligent. Without pyrotechnics, given that their job is not to show themselves in a good light, but to do police work. As for the rest, one hopes Brazil will find a solution to the problem of corruption. And that the guilty, in these and other cases, will pay for their mistakes. In the meantime, there have been no news about the trial and conviction of anyone involved in the “Bloodsucker,” “Straight Razor,” Gautama, Gabiru, Carranca, or Locust scandals …

BARRIGADA

[Brain-fart]

A capa do Globo OnLine passou a tarde de ontem estampando uma saliente barriga: “Presidente da Assembléia também é detido com dezenas de pessoas acusadas de desviar R$ 200 milhões”.

The front page of Globo OnLine [sic] spent the entire afternoon yesterday displaying a striking “belly”: “President of Assembly is detained along with dozens of persons accused of embezzling R$200 million.”

There is O Globo Online, there is G1, and there is Globo.com, but I do not know of any Globo Web site called Globo OnLine.

A “belly” is Brazilian journo slang for — well, the first slang term that comes to mind is “brain-fart.” This may be folklore, but I think it refers to making an error, and then compounding in it your attempt to correct it.

You are trying to grasp something, but your fat belly keeps bumping it ahead of you, out of your reach. A metaphor for comic haplessness. I could be wrong about that, though.

PF: EQUÍVOCO

Feds: “Error”

Enquanto inchava a barriga do Globo OnLine, a própria Polícia Federal em Alagoas se encarregava de informar que a prisão de Antônio Albuquerque não passara de” um equívoco”.

Even as they were filling the bely of Globo OnLine [sic], the feds in Alagoas took it upon themselves to report that the arrest of Albuquerque had been nothing more than a “mistake.”

Globo did not source that news, that I could see, so it is hard to know where they got it from.

It often happens, it seems, that the official spokesperson says one thing and the off-the-record “leaky loos” say various other things.

The real problem may be message control.

As in “You are not authorized to talk the press, but you did anyway. I am docking your salary. Next time, you are fired.” Hard to do, though. Work rules.

Remember that scene from Buñel’s The Phantom of Liberty, with the French policemen behaving like naughty schoolchildren?

OUTRA INTERPRETAÇÃO

Another interprestation

E enquanto a PF falava em equívoco, servidores da Assembléia achavam que o nome de Antônio Albuquerque foi anunciado entre os presos só para dar importância à Operação Taturana (lagarta de fogo).

And as the feds were talking about an “error,” employees of the Assemblly thought that Antônio Albuquerque’s name had been announced as one of those arrested just to give the operation some importance.

Do these employees have names?

NO BOJO

A prisão do ex-governador Manoel Gomes de Barros não foi um equívoco, mas ninguém entendeu por que ela ocorreu no curso da Operação Taturana, vez que Mano nada tinha a ver com o esquema de fraude investigado pela Polícia Federal.

The arrest of former governor Gomes de Barros was not a mistake, but know one understood why it took place during the course of the operation, given that Mano had nothing to do with the fraud scheme investigated by the Federal Police.

My impression at this point is that it was a search warrant in the investigation that led to the alleged discovery of the alleged machine gun at the guy’s house.

FERRO ARMADO

[Bad pun on name of the guy]

O deputado Cícero Ferro foi preso, armado até os dentes, numa ação paralela à Operação Taturana. Mas seus aliados lembram: há dois anos Ferro teve todos os dentes espatifados num atentado a bala.

Lawmaker Cícero Ferro was arrested, armed to the teeth, in an action parallel to this one. But his allies recall: Two years ago Ferro had all this teeth smashed in a shooting attempt on his life.

Okay, I guess that is fair: The alleged weapons violation was discovered during investigations in the case, but are not evidence of the crime being investigated.

JÚBILO E FRUSTRAÇÃO

Celebration and frustration

Adversários de Antônio Albuquerque comemoraram sua “prisão” ao meio dia, mas se decepcionaram quando, no início da tarde, souberam que o deputado não fora sequer convidado a ir até a sede da PF.

Adversaries of Albuquerque celebrated his “arrest” at noon, but were disappointed afterwards when, in the early afternoon, they learned that the lawmaker had not even been invited to go down to the PF headquarters.

Really?

I had not learned that.

I read somewhere that he himself had said he was summoned to police headquarters to give a statement in the case.

Or maybe I misunderstood. I am now confused again.

Gazetaweb had reported:

O presidente da Assembléia Legislativa do estado de Alagoas, deputado Antônio Albuquerque (DEM), e o deputado estadual Dudu Albuquerque devem chegar em instantes à Superintendência da Polícia Federal, no bairro do Jaraguá, para prestar depoimento.

The president of the state assembly, Albuquerque, and state lawmaker Dudu Albuquerque, are due to arrive any minute now at the federal police HQ in Jaraguá to give a statement.

Albuquerque e Dudu tiveram suas casas revistadas por policiais federais, que encontraram armas nas residências. Os dois devem explicar o porte das armas nos depoimentos.Segundo o superintendente da Polícia Federal em Alagoas, José Pinto de Luna, os depoimentos estão previstos para ter início às 10h.

Albuquerque and Dudu had their houses searched by federal agents, who found weapons at the location. The two are to explain their possession of those weapons during their depositions. The state PF superintendent says the depositions are scheduled to start at 10 am.

I also read that Antônio had a license for his gun.

The most recent press release on the Assembly Web site says Antônio’s lawyer has scheduled a deposition for January 8.

Whether on the weapons charge or on the plundering of the Assembly payroll, I am not sure.

Alagoas24Horas reports that the federal police asked them to give a statement, but they used their prerogative as elected officials to schedule the statement at their convenience.

O depoimento estava marcado para a manhã de hoje, mas – conforme a decisão da juíza Amanda Lucena do Tribunal Regional Federal da 5ª Região – os nove deputados envolvidos na Operação Taturana podem agendar os depoimentos por conta do foro privilegiado, motivo pelo qual eles não foram presos. A Polícia Federal apenas cumpriu mandados de busca e apreensão.

The statement was scheduled for this morning but — according to a ruling by Judge Amanda Lucena of the federal court for the Fifth Region — the nine lawmakers involved in the case can schedule their testimony because they enjoy the right to a special forum, which is why they were not arrested. The feds merely served search warrants.

GazetaWeb today at 10:00 am:

O atual presidente da ALE, Antônio Albuquerque, chegou a prestar depoimento, mas apenas para esclarecer sobre uma arma apreendida com ele.

The current president of the Assembly, AA, did give a statement to the police, but only to explain the status of a weapon apprehended in his possession.

That is, AA did give a statement to police, but not in the principal case in which he is an investigation target.

Furthermore, he was “invited” — summoned — in the principal case, but he and the other eight investigation targets went to court to claim the option of scheduling the meeting at their convenience, out of deference to their status.

Perhaps convidado has some technical legal connotation I am not aware of.

I trust Alagoas24Horas on this point.

It sources the information and provides details, and its reporting is born out by a couple of other reports.
I think this guy has misinformed me.

In the middle of waxing moralistic about journalistic inaccuracy.

You have to boil this stuff thoroughly.

QUESTÃO LEGAL 1

Legal issue No. 1

Pergunta feita ontem nos arredores da ALE: “Se a lei diz que ninguém é culpado antes de julgado e condenado, como explicar a apreensão de bens de pessoas que ainda não foram julgadas nem condenadas?”.

Question being asked around the Assembly: “If the law says no one is guilty before being tried and convicted, how to explain the apprehension of assets of persons who have not yet been tried and convicted?”

Asked by whom?

QUESTÃO LEGAL 2

Legal issue No. 2

Explica-se: numa operação como essa, os indícios de culpa justificam a apreensão de bens materiais como garantia de ressarcimento ao estado. Trata-se de medida preventiva.

Explanation: In an operation like this, evidence of guilt is used to justify the seizure of material assets as a guarantee that the state will be reimbursed. It is a preventive measure.

QUESTÃO LEGAL 3

Legal issue No. 3

Outra indagação: “Se deputado tem imunidade e, portanto, não pode ser preso, por que Cícero Ferro foi detido ontem pela Polícia Federal?”.

Another question: “If an elected official has immunity and cannot for that reason be arrested, why was Chico Ferro arrested yesterday by the feds?”

QUESTÃO LEGAL 4

Legal issue No. 4

Explica-se: apesar da imunidade, a lei diz que o parlamentar pode ser preso em flagrante. No caso de Cícero Ferro, o flagrante se caracterizou pela posse de armas, provavelmente sem registro na Polícia Federal.

Explanation: Though they have immunity, under the law, legislators can be arrested in flagrante. In Ferro’s case, the flagrante was carrying weapons that were probably not registered with the Federal Police.

Pointing to one factual error, finger-waggingly, then erroneously reporting that another fact that was, in fact, a fact, was erroneous?

Brazilian tabloid wars: there is nothing quite like them for the filth, the fury and the FUD (David Sasaki-style fear, uncertainty and doubt).

My head is spinning.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s