[Valid Atom 1.0]

sábado, 2 de outubro de 2010

#lula : Lurian Lula da Silva: Assalto ao apartamento foi mal contado

" Nós pagamos apenas DEZ seguranças para a filha do Lula"



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#Lula demite presidente e diretor dos Correios Carlos Henrique Custódio -...



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#dilma #lula : Maior mentiroso do Brasil é Lula ao dizer que não sabia



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#dilma As maravilhas de Lula e mesa ainda muitas vezes vazia



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

Scandal in Lula´s government

What's Lula being charged of?
Short answer: members of Lula's Party, PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores - Worker's Party) have already admitted that they commited a crime: using illegal money to fund the election campaigns; there are accusations and evidences that members of PT have used illegal money also to pay a monthly bribery to legislators; also, there have been cases where it was shown that members of the Worker's Party were collecting money and receiving presents from private companies.
Lula is charged of either being corrupt or being uncapable.
Some say that Lula knew about the scheme (if not all the scheme, at least enough pieces to take an action), and, even if he didn't receive any monies, he endorsed the scheme by keeping quiet. The remedy would be the impeachment of Lula.
Others say to believe that Lula didn't know about the scheme, which would have been setup by some Ministers and members of the Worker's Party; in such case, Lula would be uncapable of governing Brazil. The remedy would be to let Lula linger on until 2006, and beat him in elections.
For a more detailed answer, read below.

How Lula organized his government

President Lula President Lula won the Presidential elections in 2002, and was sworn in office on January 1st of 2003, for a term until December 31st 2006.
Lula obtained 56% of votes for Presidency, on second round. Howevever, Lula´s Party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Worker´s Party, known in Brazil as PT), had only 17% of seats in Brazilian Parliament (77 out of 513 Federal Deputies and 10 out of 81 Senators). Other leftist parties, like PDT and PSB, had few seats; the oppositionist parties, PSDB and PFL, had about 26% of the seats.
Right after the elections, middle sized parties like PTB, PP and PL didn´t have an expressive share of the Parliament. However, because Brazilian legislation allows it (read more about the Brazilian law on Political Parties), there was a noticeable number of Deputies changing parties in 2003 (read this page about Brazilian politicians changing Parties); as a result, the middle sized parties, combined, gained the power to influence results of votations. It was important for Lula to gain the support of those parties, and he indeed dit it: PL was already with the government, and PP and PTB (who had given support to Lula's adversary, José Serra, in the second round of the 2002 elections) joined in early 2003.
The question is: why? Why medium sized Parties, with ideologies quite different from the Workers Party's, led by people who were openly criticized by Lula and PT for adhering to any government in seek of self benefits, would join the government coalition? Roberto Jefferson (read further below) says that they joined because the Government promised them payments.

One of Lula´s first measures was to expand the Cabinet. With new Ministries and Secretariats (for example, Ministry of Cities, Secretariat of Fish, Secretariat of Women, among others), the Cabinet reached 36 seats. Most Ministries were assigned to members of PT; a noticeable number of Ministers, particularly those appointed to the newly created Ministries, were personal friends of Lula´s who had lost elections in 2002.
From the beginning, a group of Ministries became known as the "hard nucleus" of the government. Finance Minister Antonio Palocci conquered the confidence of investors. José Dirceu, Chief of Staff, was called by Lula himself as "the captain of my team"; the Chief of Staff, among others, has the task to intermediate the relationship between the Legislative and the Executive; also, Dirceu, by decree of Lula, was given the power to fill all the appointable positions in the Government and in the State companies. The other Ministers of the hard nucleus were Luiz Gushiken (Chief of Communication) and Luis Dulcci (Chief of Presidential Advisory).
Read more about José Dirceu.

Jose Dirceu
José Dirceu

The first two years of Lula´s government saw a continuation of the predecessor Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Antonio Palocci maintained the relations with the IMF; he maintained the basics of the economic policy: fiscal surplus, floating currency, inflation target; minimum wage had a modest real increase; the Social Security of the civil service was changed.
The social programs didn´t take off as expected. The most famous of all, the Zero Hunger, had much more marketing than results. The First Job program managed to employ no more than a few thousand youths.
With the continuity of the economic policy and the slow pace of the social programs, a few sectors of PT started to criticize Lula and Palocci.

Lula's first scandal

In February 2003, Lula´s government had a first ethical challenge. Magazine Época published a report showing a case of corruption in the Government.
The affair involved Waldomiro Diniz, the main advisor of Minister José Dirceu, who was in charge of talking to Members of Parliament; these talkings included, among other subjects, the appointment of affiliates to positions in the government, and the releasing of budgets; that´s to say that Waldomiro Diniz was high in the hierarchy of the Government.
Diniz was caught on a tape demanding bribery. The tape was recorded by Carlos Cachoeira, a man in the business of bingos and illegal lotteries. Cachoeira was interested in signing a contract with the Government of Rio de Janeiro to run an instant lottery; Waldomiro was the representative of Rio´s government.
The tape was recorded by Cachoeira himself. Cachoeira said that he recorded the tape because Diniz was demanding bribery. Indeed, the tape shows Diniz clearly asking Cachoeira to make a donation to the campaign of Benedita da Silva, the then candidate of PT to Rio´s government, and also asking a "one percent for myself".
Diniz was fired right away by Lula. The opposition parties, however, didn´t find it enough; they alleged that Diniz might have misused his powers, and only a Probing Comission could investigate all the his acts; moreover, given the widely known friendship between Diniz and José Dirceu, the opposition wanted to investigate how much the latter was aware of Diniz acts.
The opposition managed to collect the number of signatures to create a Probing Comission in the Senate. However, the government employed the strategy of not appointing their representatives for the Comission; this omission was considered legal by the President of Senate, José Sarney (Lula´s ally), and the Comission was not created.
The opposition filed a suit at the Supreme Court, demanding that the President of Senate appointed the members of the Comission. In June 2005, the Court sentence: Probing Comission is a constitutional right of the minority, and as such can not be dodged by the omission of the dominant Parties.

A bribery of R$ 3,000 which changed the country

On May 14th 2005, Veja magazine (the most important in Brazil) published a bombastic denounce, which would change the political scenario in Brazil.
Veja website posted fragments of a tape showing an employee of the Brazilian Post Office (Correios SA, State owned), called Marcos Marinho, talking to two anonymous people. The subject of the conversation was how Marinho could help his interviewers win biddings going on at the Post. The tape clearly shows the moment when one of the men hands over a packet of bills to Marinho, who grabs it and puts it in his pocket, without even counting the money (which, later on, was known to be R$ 3,000.00, or a bit more than US 1,000.00 - one thousand dollars).
According to Marinho, there was a scheme set up inside the Correios ("It's possible to steal anything in the Correios", he said). Contractors could contact key people in the company, make a "contribution" and win biddings. These key people would be those appointed by political Parties; the "contributions" would be passed to the Parties which had appointed those people.
Marinho said more. According to him, the Correios "belonged" to Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro, PTB. This Party appointed the Director of Purchases of the Post, who in turn appointed Marinho to his position. Marinho would have the powers to "help" contractors, and the "contributions" (like the R$ 3.000,00) would be eventually sent to PTB.
Still according to Marinho, the President of PTB, Federal Deputy Roberto Jefferson not only was aware of the scheme, but was its mentor. Marinho said that Jefferson controlled personally the collection of funds not only at the Correios, but also at other State companies in which PTB had appointed directors.
Read more about Roberto Jefferson.

Roberto Jefferson pledges innocence

Roberto Jefferson
Roberto Jefferson

The tape came like a bomb.
The Opposition Parties started right away a movement to create a Probing Comission. The government said that Marcelo Marinho was acting all by himself, and denied any corruption scheme within the State companies.
In a much awaited speech at the Tribune, Roberto Jefferson denied all the charges vehemently. He said that some people had shown the very same tape to him and tried to blackmail him, to avoid public exposure of the tape; Jefferson said he refused to pay, and in response the angry blackmailers sent the tape to Veja.
Read more about Roberto Jefferson.
In the first moments, Lula and his government gave full support to Jefferson. Jefferson´s Party, PTB, was an important member of the coalition which supported the government. While the opposition was trying to collect signatures for a Probing Comission, the government was employing all means to persuade Deputies and Senators from supporting further investigation (according to the Government, the Federal Police and the Public Prosecution were doing a good enough job).
Then, the Brazilian media had a fundamental role. The major Brazilian magazines and newspapers looked for (and found) more details about the scheme of corruption mentioned by Marcos Marinho.
Marinho mentioned the Department of Technology of the Correios as a focus of corrution; reporters found out that the Director of that Department had indeed been appointed by PTB. Marinho also mentioned IRB (the State owned Re-Insurance company); not only had the directors been appointed by Jefferson, but it was also discovered that an ex-director had resigned a few months ago, alleging that he could not stand any more "all the pressure to collect money for PTB"; Veja
So, despite all efforts, the government could not stop the Probing Comission; even members of Worker´s Party, who had put themselves in an embarassing situation with the Waldomiro affair, had to sucumb to the public opinion and give support to the investigation.

With the creation of the Probing Comission (which became known as the "CPI dos Correios"), Jefferson was isolated. Lula and Dirceu still declared support to Jefferson, but, for a couple of weeks, all the major magazines and newspapers scrutinized his life. It became public that a nephew of Jefferson´s was gaining lots of money with the Re-Insurance company; next, Epoca published that Jefferson passed the ownership of a radio station to an ex-employee, but never passed him any profit (see Epoca #368). Jefferson tried to talk to Dirceu and other high officials; nobody knows what they tried to achieve, but whatever it was, it failed.

Roberto Jefferson talks

Then, Jefferson talked. On June 6th, he gave an interview to newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
Bowing to the evidences, he admitted that all people appointed by him and PTB to occupy positions in State companies had the obligation to "speak" to contractors and try to get "financial contributions" to the Party. According to him, there was no illegality: contractors should be convinced to spontaneously make the contribution, as allowed by law; there should be no kind of favours in exchange for the contributions.
Jefferson didn´t give names, but he implied that this practice was employed by all Parties of the coalition. Because PT had occupied all Ministries which had large budgets, the Parties were fighting over the big State companies, and trying to get money out of the contractors.
The news that Parties were using state companies to get money should shake the country, but it became pale when Jefferson came up with his next accusation.
Jefferson talked about the mensalão. Jefferson said that Deputies were been paid a monthly amount of money to vote in favor of the government; also, a few Deputies had been paid a larger amount to change Parties and join the government coalition. He gave names of a few Deputies who were receiving the payments: José Janene, leader of PP; Waldemar Costa Neto, leader of PL; Sandro Mabel, from PP.

Roberto Jefferson introduces Marcos Valério and the "mensalão"

Marcos Valério
Marcos Valério

On June 12th, another explosive interview to the same paper, Folha de São Paulo.
Jefferson introduced a new person to Brazilians: Marcos Valério. Valério is the owner of a few marketing and publicity companies in the State of Minas Gerais. His companies sell services to the government and to big corporations, both public (the publicity of Banco do Brasil, for example, is conducted by Valério) and private. Brazilians had never heard about Valério until then.
According to Jefferson, Valério was the "operator" of the mensalão. He collected money from unknown sources and paid the Deputies.
More: the entire scheme had been created with the approval of Minister José Dirceu, the treasurer of the Worker´s Party, Antonio Delubio, and the general secretary of the Worker´s Party, Silvio Soares.
On June 14th, Jefferson speaks before the Comission of Ethics and reafirms all his accusations. On June 16th, under the impact of Jefferson's statements, José Dirceu leaves the Government.
On June 30th, as though to show that he is the most important voice in the Republic, Jefferson talks yet again to Folha de São Paulo, and says that there is a scheme at giant electricity company Eletrobrás, by which R$ 3 million were monthly paid to the Worker's Party. The very same day, the entire board of Eletrobrás is fired.

The investigations - and the consequences

All through the period, the Brazilian media was investigating the accusations and counter allegations (read the blog for description of the weekly magazines).
Jefferson was investigated by many instances. Besides the Federal Police and the Federal Attorneys, three instances were created within the Parliament: a Comission of Ethics (whose final decision may only be the impeachment of Jefferson), the Internal Affairs (which may apply administrative penalties) and the Probing Comission. According to Brazilian Constitution, a Probing Comission has the same investigatory prerrogatives as of the Judiciay Power; the Probing Comission can break secrecies (banks, phone companies and the Tax Agency must turn any information in to the Comission); the Comission may summon people to talk, and lying to the Comission is a crime (a few people, however, appeared before the comission with a preventive habeas-corpus, which exempted them from being arrested if they didn´t answer all questions).
The Comission requested tons of documents to the banks where, according to Jefferson, there had been large withdraws related to the affair: Banco Rural and Banco do Brasil. Also, the Comission summoned many people: Marcos Valério, Delúbio Soares and his wife, Fernanda Somaggio (ex-secretary of Marcos Valério), a few politicians.
Below, a summary of what the investigations have found so far:

June 14th - in an interview to IstoÉ, Fernanda Karina Sommagio, ex-secretary of Marcos Valério, says that she saw bags full of cash at the office; she says that Valério had frequent contacts with José Dirceu, Delúbio and Sílvio Pereira. This interview put definitely put Valério, until then an anonymous entrepreneur, into the center of the scandal.
June 21st - President Lula says in a public event: "Nobody in this country has more ethical authority than me." Lula refused to talk to the media, and mentioned in several occasions "a conspiration of the elites against the metal worker President". Since this date, Lula has attended more outdoor events, where he talks directly to the (usually poorer classes) public.
June 22nd - the Supreme Court orders the Senate to install a Probing Comission to investigate the Bingos affair.
June 25th - Marcos Valério talks to Veja. He denies all charges. He says that he indeed withdrew millions in cash, but it's because he deals with cattle, and many farmers wouldn't accept cheques. He admits he had met José Dirceu and Delúbio Soares, but only for small talks.
July 1st - preliminary analysis of the bank statements show a strange coincidence: between August and October of 2003, when Valério withdrew large amounts of cash, there was an intense moviment of Deputies and Senators, who moved to PL, PTB, PP and PT, the government coalition.
July 2nd - Veja obtains an important document. The small bank BMG loaned money to the Worker's Party, and the subscribers were José Genoíno, Delúbio Soares and Marcos Valério. This shows that Valério was assuming debts in the name of PT; when the loan was due, Valério paid the interest and renewed the principal. The Worker's Party had not paid back to Valério, but said that the debt was registered in their account books; the Electoral Tribunal said that the Party's account had no such register.
July 6th - Marcos Valério forgets the story about the cattle, and says that the cash was used to pay employees and contractors. He admits that, in some occasions, he undersigned loan operations to the Worker's Party; he said he did so because he had became good friends with Delúbio; he denies he had had any advantage off of these loans.
July 14th - a report by Coaf, an agency in charge of watching cases of money laundering, reveals that the amount of about R$ 326,000 was withdrawn from one of Valério's accounts and paid to Henrique Pizzolato, then director of Banco do Brasil; shortly after the withdraw, Pizzolato bought a flat of R$ 400,000 in Copacabana. Pizzolato was fired the same day.
July 15th - Talking to Jornal Nacional, the most watched news program in Brazil, Marcos Valério admits that he contracted many loans on behalf of the Worker's Party, which were used to pay past expenses of campaign. If this were true, he would be admitting guiltiness of an electoral crime, which prescribe shortly and whose penalties are very light. He denies any payment to legislators, and denies to have had any advantage.
July 16th - Delúbio Soares endorses Valério's declarations. He admits to have commited electoral crimes (collected money without reporting to the Electoral Justice), but nothing more than that.
July 17th - Lula talks. While visiting France, he gave an interview to an unknown Brazilian journalist who works as a free lancer in France. Lula admits that the Worker's Party commited electoral crime, but that this "happens systematically in Brazil".
July 19th - A preliminary report by the Probing Comission shows the names of some Deputies who received money from Marcos Valério's accounts. This report was based on statements provided by the branch of Banco Rural, in Brasília (that's to say: a very preliminary report, to be much expanded). The report includes the names of João Paulo Cunha, ex-President of the Deputies Chamber; José Janene, leader of PP; Paulo Rocha, Josias Gomes and Professor Luizinho (all of PT); Bispo Rodrigues (PL).
July 22nd - after a report by Jornal Nacional, Silvio Pereira, the Secretary of the Worker's Party, admits that he received a Land Rover as a present from GDK, a contractor of Petrobrás whose revenues increased much after Lula took office; both Sílvio and GDK say that it was just a gift. Sílvio resigns from PT.
July 26th - Renilda de Souza, wife of Marcos Valério, speaks before the Comission; she denies all charges against her husband, and says that José Dirceu was aware of all transactions.
July 29th - After analyses of the bank statements, a few more Federal Deputies are listed as having received money from Valério's account. Until then, there were eighteen Deputies whose names had been confirmed as having received money. Also, João Genu, Secretary of PP, and Jacinto Lamas, treasurer of PL, appear as having withdrawn large amounts.
August 2nd - José Dirceu and Roberto Jefferson stay face to face in public for the first time since the start of the affair. Jefferson reaffirms his accusations, and adds another one: José Dirceu authorized Jefferson to send someone to Portugal to accompany Valério in talks with Portugal Telecom; according to Jefferson, Portugal Telecom would give Valério R$ 20 millions (receiving money from foreigner companies is against Brazilian laws), to be shared between PT and PTB; Portugal Telecom would pay that money because the State owned Re-Insurance Company of Brazil would buy US$ 600 million in Certificates of Deposit of Banco Espírito Santo, controlled by Portugal Telecom. Further investigation showed that the trip to Portugal indeed happened, but Dirceu denied any illegality.
August 12th - Duda Mendonça, the publicist who helped Lula win the elections in 2002, admits that the Worker's Party paid him about R$ 15 million deposited in a bank account opened in Bahamas. This is an admission that Lula's campaign was paid with illegal money, and could be grounds for the impeachment of Lula and his vice-President, José de Alencar.
August 13th - Waldemar Costa Neto, President of PL, Party of the vice-President José de Alencar, tells to Época magazine that he charged R$ 10 million to give support to Lula, in 2002. Moreover, Waldemar says that Lula and José Dirceu knew about the deal.
August 13th - Lula talks to the Nation. He denies he had any knowledge of what was going on. He promises to punish all guilties. He says that the government and his Party have to apologize to the Nation.
August 21st - An ex-advisor attacks Antonio Palocci, Minister of Finances. He says that, when he was the mayor in Ribeirão Preto, a large city in São Paulo, Palocci collected R$ 50,000 monthly from contractors to pass on to the Party. Palocci denies the charges and promptly calls an interview, where he answered all questions.
August 23rd - Lula ratings take a dip. The popularity of the President had been seeing a steady decline since the start of the crisis; in July, the ratings remained nearly stable. However, in August, after the investigations developed a little, the ratings had a steep fall. Click to read more about Lula's rating falling.

Update August 24th. The folks at Wikipedia have been doing a better jog in keeping updated news about the scandal. Read more about Brazil's scandal in wikipedia.

Check out more details at the Brazil Blog.



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#DILMA Scandal Puts Bumps in Path of Brazil Leader’s Protégée

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Until last week, Dilma Rousseff, the candidate hand-picked by Brazil’s president to succeed him, appeared to be cruising to an easy first-round victory in an election next month that would make her the first woman to become president in the country’s history.

Mauricio Lima/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, right, and Dilma Rousseff, whom he has chosen to succeed him, in Campinas on Saturday.

Roberto Jayme/Reuters

Mr. da Silva in August with Erenice Guerra, his chief of staff, who was forced to resign last week amid an ethics scandal.

Riding the coattails of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will probably go down as his country’s most popular president, Ms. Rousseff extended her lead in the polls enough that she seemed poised to capture a majority of votes in the Oct. 3 election and avoid a second round.

But then a political scandal involving Mr. da Silva’s chief of staff — who succeeded Ms. Rousseff in the post in April so that she could campaign — exploded onto the headlines here, suddenly threatening to push the election to a runoff and sully the da Silva government’s reputation.

Erenice Guerra, the former right-hand woman of Ms. Rousseff, resigned Thursday amid a flurry of local news reports accusing her of trafficking in influence under Mr. da Silva’s nose. Ms. Guerra, they contend, took part in a lobby run by her son that helped businesses gain access to contracts and state bank loans for public works projects in exchange for money — some of which was reportedly intended to help finance political campaigns.

Ms. Guerra has denied the allegations and tried to blame the opposition for them, referring to Ms. Rousseff’s rival candidate, José Serra, as “unethical and already defeated.” In her resignation letter she wrote of a “sordid campaign to defame” her image, her work and her family, and said she needed “peace and time” to defend herself from the accusations. She declined to comment further in an interview request.

Mr. da Silva has weathered scandals before and emerged unscathed, but this is the second political crisis in a month involving his Workers’ Party. The other recent controversy, in which the tax records of Mr. Serra’s daughter and other members of his party were illegally released, seemed to resonate little with average voters, though it did appear to hurt Ms. Rousseff’s preference rating among voters in the highest income and education brackets, a very small portion of the electorate.

Poll numbers taken last week, before the more recent scandal started to gain its full momentum, showed that Ms. Rousseff had actually extended her lead over Mr. Serra, the former governor of São Paulo.

But analysts said the accusations of influence peddling had the potential to gain more traction with voters, and Mr. Serra is starting to pursue the issue vigorously, saying Ms. Rousseff was either a bad administrator for not knowing about it or had committed a crime if she did know.

“This may change the votes of well-educated, well-informed people,” said Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and it has the potential to push the voting to a second round. But he said it was unlikely to affect the final outcome.

Alexandre Barros, managing director of Early Warning Consulting, a political consultancy in Brasília, said, “Most voters don’t understand what is going on with these scandals.” He speculated that by forcing out Ms. Guerra, Mr. da Silva “will divert bullets from the scandal itself and neutralize whatever ill effects it could have” for Ms. Rousseff.

This year’s election has been about continuity, and few Brazilians seem willing to risk upsetting the economic momentum that Mr. da Silva’s government has built over eight years.

Neither Ms. Rousseff nor Mr. Serra has come close to matching the charisma or political skills of Mr. da Silva, a former union leader with a fourth-grade education whose humble beginnings have resonated with many Brazilians. But Ms. Rousseff has had the popular president — and his accomplishments — in her corner. He brazenly hit the campaign trail with her, trumpeting her administrative skills, and saying he would probably take a role in the new government.

Mr. da Silva’s influence has been too much to overcome, political analysts said. Under his leadership, Brazil became the eighth largest economy in the world, enjoyed relatively low inflation, increased prosperity for all economic classes and became a bigger player on the international diplomatic stage.

“A very popular president with an 80 percent approval rating is very hard to campaign against,” said David Fleischer, a political science professor at University of Brasília. Mr. da Silva “totally engaged himself in Dilma’s campaign and was able to transfer his approval rating, votes and charisma.”
Mauricio Lima/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

José Serra, Ms. Rousseff’s rival in the presidential race, is trying to use the scandal to chip away at her lead in the polls.

Mr. Serra, an experienced politician and a popular former governor, has run an ineffectual campaign in which he has tried to show he is a better continuation candidate than Ms. Rousseff, who had never before run for political office, analysts said.

“He thought his experience would compensate for Lula’s popularity,” Mr. Sotero said. “But he did not explain to the Brazilian people what he is for.”

Mr. Serra created confusion, analysts said, when he included images of him side by side with Mr. da Silva in campaign television spots, as if to identify himself with the president. But days later, he began to sharply criticize the government.

He also alienated former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, fearing that Mr. Cardoso was too unpopular with the masses, even though he set the stage for Brazil’s recent economic success and has been a unifying opposition force.

Still, the latest allegations against Ms. Guerra raise serious questions about the da Silva government, analysts said. Two of Mr. da Silva’s three chiefs of staff have resigned in disgrace. A 2005 vote-buying scandal led José Dirceu to step down, damaging the reputation of the Workers’ Party, which Mr. da Silva helped found.

No direct link has been made between Ms. Rousseff and any possible influence peddling. But Mr. da Silva’s government is not taking any chances. The president has remained in Brazil rather than fly to New York where he had been scheduled to give a speech on Thursday at the United Nations.

Mr. da Silva also reacted quickly to try to contain the growing scandal, asking for Ms. Guerra’s resignation five days after the allegations surfaced; he waited 10 days to ask for Mr. Dirceu’s resignation in 2005.

Ms. Rousseff, while on a campaign stop on Saturday, told reporters that she had known nothing about a supposed lobbying arrangement. “I was never made aware of that,” she said.

But various investigations, which are barely under way, are unlikely to produce any results until after the first round of voting. Anything short of direct evidence showing that Ms. Rousseff was involved in malfeasance is unlikely to upend her chances in the first round now, analysts said.

“Brazil is living a great moment,” said Mr. Sotero, the Brazil Institute’s director. “Brazilians are happy where they are, and they want more.”

Like Americans, “they are very practical people,” and in the end, he said, “they vote their pockets.”



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#DILMA Brazil's destiny assured under former Marxist guerrilla

Brazil goes to the polls today looking almost certain to elect a former Marxist guerrilla as the country's first-ever female president.

Brazil's destiny assured under former Marxist. Dilma Rousseff is standing on a big government tax and spend platform
Dilma Rousseff is standing on a big government tax and spend platform Photo: AP

Dilma Rousseff, who spent three years in jail in the early 1970s for her part in a struggle to topple Brazil's then military dictatorship, is aiming to build on the legacy of the country's hugely popular socialist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

She is standing on a big government tax and spend platform that might be expected to send investors running for the hills.

On the contrary, Brazilian bonds have just notched up their eighth consecutive monthly gain as investors bet on a continuation of the remarkable growth story that many believe will make Brazil the world's fifth-biggest economy within 15 years.

The exuberance is not restricted to the government debt market, with the main Bovespa index of Brazilian stocks close to an all-time high after leaving developed markets for dead over the past 10 years.

Rousseff, a former energy minister, has big shoes to fill. Lula da Silva is in the unique position of enjoying an 80pc approval rating after eight years in power. He has presided over an extraordinary transformation of Latin America's biggest economy which is forecast to grow at around 7pc this year. Since his election in 2002, Brazil's inflation rate has tumbled from 17pc to under 5pc, the Brazilian real has more than doubled in value against the US dollar and two years ago the country was awarded its first investment-grade credit rating.

Unsurprising, therefore, that Rousseff should have promised more of the same, including an extension of the social welfare programmes that have pulled millions of Brazilians out of poverty. But therein lies one of a long list of challenges facing the incoming president. Sceptics say it is not clear where the money will come from to pay for all the things that desperately need fixing, from a woeful education system to creaking infrastructure and transport bottlenecks. Brazil's budget deficit has doubled to 3.4pc since the financial crisis.

The cost of raising money has already pushed real interest rates to some of the highest in the world. The base rate is 10.75pc and the futures market points to a 12.5pc borrowing cost by the end of next year. The fear is that the private investment needed to drive sustainable economic growth is being crowded out by the government's need for cash.

However, Brazil is blessed with many competitive advantages. Compared with its emerging market peers, Brazil is actually well diversified, with large and developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing and service sectors. With a population of almost 200m, the fifth-biggest in the world, it also has a strong labour pool.Exports have grown strongly in recent years and now include aircraft, electrical equipment, cars, biofuels, textiles, shoes, iron ore and agricultural commodities. And there's a strong domestic consumption story as well, with more than 30 million estimated to have joined the television- buying, fridge-using middle class in recent years.

Spending will continue to be underpinned by very favourable demographics, with two-thirds of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 and a median age of only 29 years. A young, increasingly affluent population, not yet saddled with the debts afflicting the West, is very much in the consumption sweet spot.

Another important driver of Brazil's growth in future years will be its emergence as an energy superpower. The discovery in 2007 of potentially enormous deposits of oil and gas off its coast have been estimated at between 80 and 100 billion barrels, which would put it among the world's top five producing countries.

Brazil is not without its challenges – it is still a relatively poor and unequal country, even by the standards of Latin America. But it has enough going for it to ensure that not even the election of a reformed Marxist firebrand will knock it off its destined path.




Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

Presidente Paraguay viaja a Brasil por infección

ASUNCION (Reuters) - El presidente paraguayo, Fernando Lugo, debió viajar de urgencia a Brasil el sábado por una infección de alto riesgo en medio de un tratamiento contra el cáncer, lo que desató nuevos temores sobre la posibilidad de que no pueda concluir su mandato en el 2013.

Lugo, de 59 años, fue hospitalizado el jueves debido a lo que los médicos describieron inicialmente como una alergia, pero estudios posteriores confirmaron una infección en la faringe que de no ser tratada podría extenderse al tórax y afectar los pulmones y el corazón, explicó el infectólogo Eugenio Báez.

El avión privado que trasladaba al mandatario despegó del aeropuerto Silvio Pettirossi en las afueras de Asunción con destino Sao Paulo, donde el presidente ya fue tratado en dos ocasiones tras recibir el diagnóstico de linfoma no Hodgkin con afectación ósea a comienzos de agosto.

Antes de viajar, Lugo delegó el poder en su vicepresidente, Federico Franco, un médico de tendencia liberal que ha mantenido varios roces con el mandatario desde que ambos asumieron en agosto del 2008 para un período de cinco años.

Báez dijo que la infección podría tratarse con un drenaje quirúrgico en el hospital Sirio-Libanés de Sao Paulo, donde el presidente realizó su tercera sesión de quimioterapia hace una semana.

"Es una zona de mucho riesgo porque tiene la posibilidad de escurrirse hacia abajo, donde están los pulmones", dijo.

El tratamiento podría llevarse a cabó en Paraguay, pero Báez dijo que prefirieron que el presidente sea examinado por el mismo equipo médico que lo está atendiendo desde hace dos meses en Brasil.

(Reporte de Daniela Desantis y Mariel Cristaldo, editado por Marion Giraldo e Inés Guzmán)



Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters




Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters

#DILMA : Luiz Gushiken (PT-SP ) ex-secretário de Comunicação do governo federal. Réu por peculato



Roberto Rodrigues, 60, presidente da Abag (Associação Brasileira de Agribusiness) (leia perfil)

Assistência Social

Benedita da Silva, governadora do Rio de Janeiro de abril a dezembro de 2002 (leia perfil)

Casa Civil

José Dirceu, deputado federal reeleito pelo PT-SP e principal articulador político no partido (leia perfil)

Ciência e Tecnologia

Roberto Amaral, 62, cientista político e vice-presidente do PSB (leia perfil)


Miro Teixeira, deputado federal pelo PDT-RJ (leia perfil)


Gilberto Gil, 60, cantor e compositor, que participou da campanha presidencial de Lula em 1989 (leia perfil)


José Viegas Filho, embaixador do Brasil na Rússia(leia perfil)

Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio Exterior

Luiz Fernando Furlan, presidente do Conselho da Sadia (leia perfil)

Desenvolvimento Agrário

Miguel Rossetto, vice-governador do Rio Grande do Sul pelo PT(leia perfil)


Cristovam Buarque, governador do Distrito Federal de 1995 a 1998 (leia perfil)


Agnelo Queiroz, deputado federal pelo PC do B-DF (leia perfil)


Antonio Palocci, coordenador da equipe de transição (leia perfil)

Integração Nacional

Ciro Gomes, candidato derrotado à Presidência pelo PPS (leia perfil)


Márcio Thomaz Bastos, advogado criminalista (leia perfil)

Meio Ambiente

Marina Silva, senadora reeleita pelo Acre (leia perfil)

Minas e Energia

Dilma Rousseff, ex-secretária de Olívio Dutra no governo do Rio Grande do Sul (leia perfil)

Ministério das Cidades

Olívio Dutra, ex-prefeito de Porto Alegre e governador do Rio Grande do Sul (leia perfil)

Planejamento, Orçamento e Gestão

Guido Mantega, assessor econômico de Lula(leia perfil)


Ricardo Berzoini, deputado federal reeleito pelo PT de São Paulo (leia perfil)


Humberto Costa, candidato do PT derrotado ao governo de PE, coordena área de políticas sociais da equipe de transição (leia perfil)

Segurança Alimentar

José Graziano Filho, coordenador do projeto Fome Zero (leia perfil)

Relações Exteriores

Celso Amorim, atual embaixador no Reino Unido (leia perfil)

Trabalho e Emprego

Jaques Wagner, deputado federal reeleito pelo PT-BA (leia perfil)


Anderson Adauto, deputado federal eleito pelo PL-MG(leia perfil)


Walfrido Mares Guia, deputado federal pelo PTB-MG e coordenador da campanha presidencial de Ciro Gomes (PPS) (leia perfil)

Secretaria-Geral da Presidência

Luiz Dulci, secretário-geral do PT (leia perfil)

Secretaria de Comunicação

Luiz Gushiken, ex-presidente do Sindicato dos Bancários de São Paulo (leia perfil)

Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social

Tarso Genro, ex-prefeito petista em Porto Alegre por duas vezes (entre 1993 e 1996, e entre 2000 e 2001) (leia perfil)

Secretaria de Direitos da Mulher

Emilia Fernandes, senadora pelo PT-RS, que não se reelegeu(leia perfil)

Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos Humanos

Nilmário Miranda, deputado federal e candidato do PT derrotado ao governo de Minas Gerais (leia perfil)

Secretaria de Imprensa e Divulgação da Presidência

Ricardo Kotscho, jornalista e assessor de imprensa de Lula (leia perfil)

Corregedoria-Geral da União

Waldir Pires, deputado federal (PT-BA) (leia perfil)

Advocacia-Geral da União

Álvaro Ribeiro da Costa, ex-sub-procurador-geral da República (leia perfil)


André Singer, jornalista (leia perfil)

Gabinete de Segurança Institucional

Jorge Amando Félix, general do Exército (leia perfil)

Banco Central

Henrique Meirelles, ex-diretor do BankBoston e deputado federal eleito pelo PSDB-GO (leia perfil)


Sphere: Related Content
26/10/2008 free counters