Rio Carnaval: “Federal Remedy for LIESA Malaise”

Nocet empta dolore voluptas –Horace

Across the towering Andes, in Brazil the struggle between fascism and democracy was just as keen but less violent. The forces of democracy were represented by the U. S. S. O’Brien, U. S. destroyer No. 415, which put into the big coffee port of Santos on a good-will visit three weeks ago. Democracy won that round, not entirely to the pleasure of the Brazilians. Finding the illegal bicho lottery not much different from Harlem’s numbers game, the bluejackets hopefully plunked down their nickels on No. 415. As luck would have it No. 0415 turned up in the daily State-licensed paratodos (people’s) lottery on which the undercover bicho is based. Collecting odds of about 6,000-to-1, the sailors carried off approximately $25,000 from the local bankers. –“Fascism in the West,” Time magazine, Jul. 29, 1940

Governo anuncia verba de R$ 12 milhões para o carnaval do Rio: “Government announces R$12 million grant to Rio carnival,” reports the Estado de S. Paulo.

To LIESA, the league of independent carnival societies, more precisely.

Revenues from state-owned energy firms will provide the funds.

Two major figures at LIESA — Captain Guimarães and Anísio of Beija-Flor — are in some legal trouble at the moment on corrupution charges, as is the other grand old man of the Rio jogo de bicho, “the Big Turk.”

They allegedly bought judges and cops. Wholesale. See

As a sideline to that case, the federal police investigator in charge told Globo in an interview that the bicheiros had fixed the results of the competitive parades last year. See

Segundo o governador do Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral (PMDB), um dos objetivos é afastar “más influências” das escolas, que têm histórico de ligação com o jogo do bicho e tráfico de drogas.

According to the governor of Rio, Cabral, one of the objectives is to drive out “bad influences” on the groups, which have a history of ties to the jogo do bicho (gambling rackets) and drug trafficking.

“(As escolas de samba) precisam de autonomia para que más influências não prejudiquem um patrimônio do povo brasileiro”, afirmou Cabral, lembrando que o carnaval foi tombado [sic] como patrimônio cultural pelo Ministério da Cultura. Questionado sobre quais seriam as más influências, o governador desconversou: “Qualquer má influência”.

“The escolas de samba need autonomy so that bad influences will not do harm to a cultural treasure of the Brazilian people,” Cabral said, recalling that Carnaval had been declared a national cultural treasure by the Ministry of Culture. Asked what bad influences he meant, the governor avoided the question: “Any bad influence.”

Leaders of G.R.E.S. Império de Casa Verde here in São Paulo were found to be members of the PCC criminal organization last year.

Meanwhile, our local G.R.E.S. worked out a deal with a private sponsor: The Stock Exchange of the State of São Paulo (BOVESPA). See

It was well done, too, I thought. It is not uncommon for powerful persons — politicians and businessmen, mainly — to commission carnival themes that deify them. But this was not, I thought, one of those.

Na última quarta-feira, 6, o presidente da Mangueira, Percival Pires, renunciou ao cargo depois da divulgação de imagens suas na festa de casamento do traficante Fernandinho Beira-Mar com a advogada Jacqueline Alcântara de Moraes, que está presa por associação para o tráfico de drogas. Nos vídeos, Pires exaltava sua relação de amizade com o casal. Para a Polícia Federal, há grande intimidade entre o tráfico de drogas e a Mangueira.

Last Friday, the president of Mangueira, Percival Pires, resigned after images were published of him attending the wedding of drug trafficker Fernandinho Beira-Mar to attorney Jacqueline Alcântara de Moraes, who has been arrested on drug trafficking charges. In the videos, Pires speaks in glowing terms of his friendship with the couple. The federal police believe there is a great deal of intimacy between the drug traffic and Mangueira.

A ajuda às escolas de samba foi definida em reunião realizada no Hotel Glória, na zona sul do Rio, com representantes das escolas e da Petrobras, além do ministro da Cultura, Gilberto Gil. Na saída, Gil admitiu que o apoio do governo pode reduzir a participação da criminalidade no carnaval carioca.

Aid to the carnival societies was defined in a meeting at the Hotel Gloria, Zona Sul, Rio, between representatives of the schools Petrobras, along with Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil. Leaving the meeting, Gil admitted that the government’s support might reduce the participation of criminality in Rio carnival.

“Não é a partir disso que o Ministério da Cultura se move no sentido de um parceiro, mas ajuda. Todo aporte de recursos a ações culturais da comunidade é um fator inibidor dos riscos da ilegalidade, do convívio com a criminalidade”, afirmou o ministro. Gil não informou como será a fiscalização dos gastos das escolas.

“It is not for that reason that the Ministry of Culture is moving to partner, but it helps. Every grant of funds for cultural activities in the community is an inhibiting factor for risks of illegality, of complicity or complacency with crime,” the Minister said. He did not say how the spending of the schools will be overseen.

Gil the composer is an amazing poet (foi quando a chuva fez a curva no horizonte / deixando a Monte da Viuva sem molhar …), so it is always odd to note that, when he opens his mouth to say official things, as Minister, the bureaucrat-speak can get painfully dense.

The Culture Ministry had a corruption flap of its own recently, with charges of kickback schemes run by permanent civil servants in a small number of programs that fund urban pop music collectives.

“Pleasures bought at the cost of pain are bad for you.”


No Mínimo (Brazil) Web poll: Do you think Carnaval 2007 was fixed? Top answer: “Of course it was! In Rio, corruption runs hog wild.”

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