Narcotraffic Deals the Cards in Brazil

     Narcotraffic Deals the Cards in 

    Waldogate, the scandal
    that is rocking the Lula administration in
    Brazil, has been under the control of organized crime since the
    beginning: the video tape was released when it became convenient
    to release it and its developments will only be known when
    that Mafia decides that’s time to throw mud on the fan again.
    by: Alberto

    The political environment is boiling, but the police case is rigorously at
    ground zero. The investigations around the video tape released by weekly newsmagazine
    Época containing the conversation between Waldomiro Diniz, advisor
    to the President, with bookmaker Carlinhos Cachoeira have been stalled for
    several weeks.

    No big news is expected
    from the testimonies scheduled for the Federal Police because the indicted
    will choose to express themselves in court instead.

    The blame for the paralysis
    cannot be attributed to the government; as far as the government is concerned,
    the quicker the dénouement, the less damage it will cause. The government
    is to blame, yes, but for something else: for looking in the wrong direction,
    for messing up in its assessments and for tripping over its own corrective

    The parties showing no
    interest in producing "new facts" are the same parties who ignited
    the scandal—the great delinquents.

    has been under the control of organized crime since the very beginning: the
    video tape was released when it became convenient to release it and its developments
    will only be known when the network in which Waldomiro Diniz got tangled up
    decides that now it is convenient to throw mud on the fan again.

    This is a scandal operated
    by remote control and this is the reason why it is naïve to believe that
    it involves only two characters and an isolated couple of corruption episodes.
    Both the authorities and the press made a big mistake when they decided to
    link "Waldogate" to the political sphere, the fall of a superminister
    and/or the bingo issue.

    Inside Out

    Organized crime is not
    a figure of speech. It is in fact very organized: it has resources and connections
    and it operates within a network—a wide system of interconnected vessels
    linking what is licit and what is illicit and uniting political delinquency
    and common delinquency.

    Narcotraffic today deals
    in narcotics, but it also deals in arms, people, fortunes, ideas and influence.
    Narcotraffic manipulates parties and destroys governments. Apparently this
    is not a concern for the government or for the press.

    This is evidenced by the
    fact that the bomb exploded, but nobody shows any interest in finding out
    who detonated it. The press will start moving when somebody throws the next
    projectile—a phone tapping transcript, an audio or video tape, or a dossier.
    And the government will start moving when it finally understands that the
    problem is not in its operating sphere; actually, it’s in the opposite sphere.

    All the attention concentrated
    on Chief of Staff, José Dirceu, is wrong, diversionist and sensationalist.
    The right (or left) arm of President Lula can even be punished for having
    relapsed and for not paying attention to his personal and political relationships.
    But Dirceu is not the problem.

    When they recorded the
    conversation between the advisor and the bookmaker, the delinquents in question
    were not interested in destabilizing the Lula administration or burning down
    one of its support pillars. What they wanted was to force any government elected
    in 2002 to bend to their impositions. They were placing a bet and they played
    their game hiding in a corner.

    It’s ironical that it
    all occurred the week of the Academy awards. The core of the biggest political
    crisis of recent years is contained in a low quality video tape with bad focus
    and a damaged soundtrack, which nevertheless caused a devastating effect.

    In Hollywood, the prizes
    went to professionals who are recognized and renowned in the industry. Here,
    the prize will be given to whoever unveils the professional crooks who financed,
    produced, filmed and distributed the first apparition of big time delinquency
    in our country.

    This time, in these Oscars
    turned inside out, the press doesn’t show its cards. It receives them.

    Alberto Dines, the author, is a journalist, founder and researcher at LABJOR—Laboratório
    de Estudos Avançados em Jornalismo (Laboratory for Advanced Studies
    in Journalism) at UNICAMP (University of Campinas) and editor of the Observatório
    da Imprensa. He also writes a column on cultural issues for the Rio
    daily Jornal do Brasil. You can reach him by email at

    This article was
    originally published in Observatório da Imprensa —

    Translated by Arlindo

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