In the US, Jail. In Brazil, Slap on the Wrist.

     In the US, 
Jail. In Brazil, Slap on the Wrist.

    Former minister and
    banker Ângelo Calmon de Sá, 68, was
    the owner of Bahia’s Banco Econômico—one of the 10 largest
    Brazilian banks— when that institution went bankrupt in August 95.
    The bank was then US$ 1 billion in the red. His punishment,
    almost 10 years later: no corporate position for 20 years.
    by: Alana
    Gandra

    Calmon de

    While in the United States, Kenneth Lay was shown on TV arriving at court
    in Houston wearing coat, tie and handcuffs, in Brazil, the CVM (Comissão
    de Valores Mobiliários—Brazilian Securities Exchange Commission)
    has barred the former banker, Ângelo Calmon de Sá, from holding
    any corporate position for 20 years. He got the maximum penalty.

    Calmon de Sá was
    found guilty of mismanagement while he was the head of the Banco Econômico.
    Under Brazilian corporate law, the maximum sentence he can receive is a 20-year
    disbarment. The Banco Econômico went into receivership in August 1995.

    The CVM also sentenced
    other former officials of the bank as follows: Roberto Antonio Alves, (barred
    for 10 years) and Roberto Videira Brandão (barred for 5 years).

    The following former officers
    of the bank were barred for three years: Luiz Ovídio Fisher, Sérgio
    Pedro Martello, Roberto Calmon de Barros Barreto Filho, José Bandeira
    de Mello Júnior and Vital de Freitas Santos Souza Filho.

    The CVM absolved Lucilo
    Pelosi, Reynaldo Giarola, Jefferson de Souza Almeida and José Roberto
    David de Azevedo.

    No one has gone to jail
    in this case.

    No Habeas Corpus

    The Chief Justice of the
    Brazilian Supreme Court (presidente do Supremo Tribunal Federal) (STF), Nelson
    Jobim, has ruled that Vagner Rocha and Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva, who
    were arrested during Operation Anaconda (Operação Anaconda),
    will remain in jail by denying them habeas corpus as requested by their lawyers.

    Operation Anaconda is
    one of the more sensational criminal cases now in process in Brazil, involving
    the sale of court decisions and sentences. As such, it has resulted in arrests
    by the Federal Police of at least one federal judge (others are under investigation)
    and a number of lawyers.

    Mapping Crime

    Since the end of 2003,
    a commission created by government legal officers (Ministério Público),
    the Central Bank (BC), Federal Revenue, Securities Exchange Commission, the
    Federation of Banks (Febraban) and the Council for Control of Financial Activities
    (Coaf) has been trying to map the relationship of crime and money laundering
    in Brazil.

    Under study is a nationwide
    register of bank accounts which would facilitate information gathering and
    sharing. The commission says it wants special courts at the state level to
    deal with crimes involving money laundering. With support from the United
    Nations Development Program (UNDP), Brazil will also conduct a comparative
    study of Ibero-American judicial systems and their processes of judicial reform,
    to enhance the exchange of experiences on the results achieved in these countries.

    This was one of the decisions
    reached at the 14th Conference of Ibero-American Ministers of Justice, which
    took place, recently, in Fortaleza, in Northeastern Brazil.

    The conference recommended
    actions by governments and Ministries of Justice in three main areas: reform
    of judicial administration, adaptation of penal law to combat transnational
    crime, and greater agility in international judicial cooperation through the
    creation of an Ibero-American network for this purpose.

    "All this is important
    for the strengthening of democracy in these countries," affirmed the
    secretary of Reform of the Judiciary, Sérgio Renault.

    As was made clear during
    the debates, judicial reform is underway in the majority of Ibero-American
    countries. "The sluggishness of Justice is a reality in all the countries.
    For this reason there is a convergence of proposals over the need for modernization
    of the Judiciary, changes in procedural laws, and attunement of the legislation,"
    the secretary said.

    The Ministers were unanimous
    in their opinion that the use of new technologies is essential for the improvement
    of judicial administration, through integrated information systems and the
    sharing of data banks among various juridical organs and prosecutors’ offices.

    The Ministers discovered
    that the Ibero-American world is also concerned about penal reform in their
    countries, in order to suppress crimes such as narcotraffic, terrorism, money-laundering,
    corruption, and sexual exploitation, among others.

    The countries that participated
    also agreed to the creation of an Ibero-American network of international
    judicial cooperation. According to Renault, Brazil will have no difficulties
    in adapting to this network.

    "Brazil already possesses
    a good technological level and political determination for this to come about,"
    he said.


    Alana Gandra works for Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency
    of the Brazilian government. Comments are welcome at lia@radiobras.gov.br.

    Translated
    from the Portuguese by Allen Bennett.

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