Brazil Believes It Has Broken the Smuggling Mafia’s Back

    Between January and July of this year, seizures of contraband products throughout Brazil rose 130%, compared with the same period in 2004.

    This information appears in the first report on the activities of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice’s National Council to Combat Piracy and Intellectual Property Violations (CNCP).


    The report, entitled Brazil Against Piracy, also indicates an 80% decline in the entry of illegal products from Paraguay through the city of Foz do Iguaçu, in the southern state of Paraná.


    When he presented these figures, the president of the Council and executive secretary of the Ministry, Luiz Paulo Barreto, said that the results are due to the unprecedented partnership between the Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police, and the Federal Revenue agency, which expedited tightening the repression.


    “Many people said it would be very hard to put an end to those convoys of 200, 300 buses traveling together, entering Brazil and breaking the law, with no regard for the powers of the government.


    “But now, with this joint effort, there are no more convoys in Brazil, and the last ones to try it have been imprisoned, and the merchandise is immediately impounded.”


    According to the president of the CNCP, 3.3 million virgin CDs and DVDs, “which are raw materials for piracy,” were seized throughout the country in the first six months of this year. This number, according to Barreto, is a thousand times greater than the 3.3 thousand units seized in 2004.


    “In Brazil we have turned the corner in the process of fighting piracy. Nowadays one can perceive a global awareness on the part of society that piracy is evil and must be combated the same as other, more serious crimes.”


    The president of the CNCP said that the argument that counterfeit products are cheaper than the genuine articles is unjustifiable.


    “The price paid for a pirated product is really much higher. Piracy finances criminal activities that are potentially much more harmful, such as drug and arms trafficking, and pays for the drugs that invade our schools and the violence that pervades our streets. So, in fact, the lower price that consumers think they are paying involves an extremely high social cost.”


    The installation of the Council last November followed a recommendation by the Parliamentary Investigation Commission that was created by the Chamber of Deputies to look into piracy and tax evasion in the country.


    Barreto explained that the CNCP defined a plan to combat piracy through 99 measures in the repressive, educational, and economic spheres.


    Barreto emphasized that society has an essential role to play in the fight against piracy.


    “In Brazil, at present, there is a clear perception that the fight against piracy is not only up to the federal and state governments but is a responsibility of the entire country.”


    Agência Brasil

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