Rio: “Whacking a Major Pain For the Man With the Van Was Planned”

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Underground Rio van service vehicle, loaded with black-clad corpses wearing combat boots. See Rio de Janeiro: “Carobinha Death Toll Reaches 10″

Transporte alternativo irregular: milícia tramou morte de major: “Underground alternative transport news: Militia plotted to kill police major”

Extra (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) reports.

RIO – A Polícia Civil e a Corregedoria da Polícia Militar descobriram um plano de assassinato de um major da PM que, lotado no Departamento de Transportes Rodoviários do Estado (Detro), é encarregado de reprimir o transporte alternativo irregular. Segundo informações passadas ao Disque-Denúncia (2253-1177) e ao presidente do órgão, Rogério Onofre, o oficial, não identificado por razões de segurança, seria executado por policiais de uma milícia que explora veículos piratas.

The state judicial police and the military police internal affairs division have discovered a plan to assassinate a military police major who, assigned to the state transportation department (Detro), is in charge of cracking down on irregular transportation services. According to information received by the anonymous tip hotline and Detro president Rogério Onofre, the officer — whose name was not given for reasons of security — was to be executed by policemen from a militia that operates pirate transportation services.

There is nothing funny about the ongoing “van wars,” which may well have nasty synergies with other “wars” in recent years, such as the “nickel-hunter [one-armed bandit] wars” and the “drug wars” and the political trenches. On which see also

Extra had reported that evidence exists linking a Rio city councilmember and alleged militia warlord — if we may introduce that colorful term for elected officials whose mandate may rest on a “vote Quimby or my friend here will blow your brains out” campaign strategy — to this illegal business.

Militias also reputedly profit from bottled cooking gas (propane), bingos (gambling halls) and GatoNet (pirated cable TV signal), among other things, possibly including Bolivian marching powder, cargo hijacking, gunpoint real-estate speculation, Paraguayan Marlboro sales & distribution, and other activities you generally tend to associate with the late, fictional Tony Soprano, a misunderstood and controversial but legitimate businessman from suburban New Jersey.

We await a fuller sorting out of the whole mafia-parapolitical conundrum there in the Cidade Maravilha — and elsewhere in Brazil.

Who executed the “strict” Col. Rodrigues here in São Paulo, for example? And why? See also

Entre os suspeitos estão um soldado, lotado em uma batalhão da Zona Sul, e um sargento, que trabalha na Zona Norte. Os dois seriam donos de linhas de Kombis que circulam entre o Shopping Carioca, em Vicente de Carvalho, a Penha e o Jardim América.

Among the suspects is a police private from a Southern Zone battalion and a sergeant from the Northern Zone. The two allegedly control VW van routes that connect the Shopping Carioca shopping center in Vincente de Carvalho with Penha and Jardim América.

Segundo o plano, o major seria executado por dois seguranças de uma cooperativa. A dupla seria responsável pelo pagamento de propinas a PMs que trabalham no trânsito. De acordo com investigadores, em troca do dinheiro, esses policiais militares permitem que vans e Kombis irregulares circulem sem problemas pela Zona Norte.

According to the plan, the major was to be executed by two security guards from a van cooperative. The two men are allegedly in charge of paying bribes to military policemen assigned to traffic duty. According to investigators, in exchange for this money, these policemen let irregular vans and [VW vans] circulate freely through the Northern Zone.

De acordo com a denúncia, a decisão de matar o major foi tomada em uma reunião entre donos de cooperativas de vans e policiais. O encontro teria acontecido na última quarta-feira, na região da Leopoldina. Na segunda-feira, o oficial havia determinado a apreensão, de uma só vez, de oito veículos piratas.

According to the anonymous tip, the decision to kill the major was taken at a meeting of policemen and the owners of van cooperatives, said to have taken place last Wednesday in the area of Leopoldina. On Monday, the offcer that ordered the apprehension of eight “pirate” vehicles.

Somente este mês, o Detro apreendeu 340 veículos que faziam transporte irregular de passageiros. Em dezembro do ano passado, 865 foram recolhidos.

This month alone, Detro has seized 340 vehicles being used for irregular passenger service. In December 2007, 865 were apprehended.

Governo alertado

Government alerted

Procurado pelo jornal “Extra”, Rogério Onofre disse que, apesar da descoberta do plano, o major continua trabalhando normalmente no Detro. Ele informou ainda que o órgão vai intensificar a fiscalização. Onofre também revelou que enviou ofícios sobre o caso para a Chefia de Polícia Civil, a Corregedoria da PM, a Secretaria de Segurança Pública e o gabinete do governador Sérgio Cabral.

Sought for comment by this newspaper, Onofre said that, despite the discovery of the plan, the major continues working normally at Detro. He also said the agency is going to intensify its oversight, and that he has sent formal reports on the case to the chief of the state judicial police, the military police internal affairs division, the state secretary of public security and the governor’s office.

– A denúncia tem fundamento, por isso mobilizei o governo. Na segunda-feira, terei uma reunião com o governador. Estamos com dificuldades em algumas áreas de fiscalização, e vou solicitar o apoio da Polícia Civil para nossas operações – disse o presidente do Detro.

“The tip is well-founded, which is why I mobilized the government. On Monday, I will have a meeting with the governor. We have problems in the area of oversight, and I am going to ask for judicial police support for our operations,” said the Detro president.

Get this man a bodyguard.

O caso será investigado pela Delegacia de Homicídios. Procurados pelo “Extra”, os delegados Roberto Cardoso e Ricardo Barboza preferiram não comentar o assunto.

The case will be investigated by the Homicide Division. Sought out for comment, [two Homicide supervisors] preferred not to comment on the case.

Não é a primeira vez que um encarregado de fiscalizar o transporte alternativo é alvo de um plano de assassinato. Em 2003, o chefe de gabinete da extinta SMTU, Paulo Roberto da Costa Paiva, foi morto a tiros após receber ameaças.

This is not the first time someone monitoring alt.transport have been targeted for assassination. In 2003, the chief of staff of the SMTU, Paulo Roberto da Costa Paiva, was shot to death after receiving threats.

No. 2 man at the now-extinct Secretary of Municipal Transport.

Extinct why?

Searching the news morgue …

An unnamed Rio city councilmember was interviewed in connection with that proverbial “gangland-style slaying” at the time.

No newsflow on the dramatic solution of that crime pops up immediately in a quick google of the case.

Mayor Cesar “Chairman” Maia said at the time:

— O assassinato do Paulo Roberto, que era o segundo homem da SMTU, foi um fato chocante para todos nós e que, claro, está ligado a um tipo de máfia. Agora, gostaria que essa ação tivesse sido feita meses atrás, imediatamente.

The murder of Paulo Roberto, No. 2 man at the SMTU, shocked all of us and, obviously, is connected with some kind of mafia. Now, I wish this action had been taken months ago, immediately.”

He is referring to a police response to the assassination, shutting down a few van lines, not to the assassination itself.

The van line racket obviously continues in business.

And speaking of “some kind of mafia”: I keep coming back to the photo below of Mayor Cesar “Chairman” Maia photographed with one of the Big Three bicheiros of Rio –the former military torturer “Captain” Guimarães, perennial president of LIESA, with whom his city government signed a contract that gave Globo an exclusive contract to broadcast Rio Carnaval, worldwide.

Capt. Guimarães (l.) — a military torturer turned king of the
jogo do bicho – with Rio mayor Cesar “Chairman” “The Naked” Maia (second from left): Fat Tuesday and the Rede Globo meet the hog heaven of the hard men. See also Carnage and Carnival: The Curious Career of Captain Guimarães and Rio: “Mayor ‘Concerned’ Over Militia-Themed Soap Opera”.

What’s New World Portuguese for “racketeering-influence and corrupt organization”?

And why does should that term not be applied to the public-private business ecosystem in question? Including Globo? If Brazil had our gringo RICO act, in other words, would Globo not potentially qualify?

I cannot for the life of me understand why not.

Especially after one of its TV reporters was indicted for spying for the mafia under cover of his work as a Globo journalist. Not a story Globo has followed up on zealously, as you can imagine.

But then I am not a lawyer.

A 2004 federal police estimate put the number of illegal vans operating at Rio — and providing a sorely needed service, let it not be forgotten — at 6,000.

Here in São Paulo, it’s the perueiros doing the alt.transport and complaining they get doubly taxed by two forms of organized crime: The PCC and the city government. Wherein lies another long and knotty saga.

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