Brazil’s Minister Falls Under Cloud of Bribery Scandal

    Brazilian Minister Silas Rondeau resigned his post

    Brazilian Minister Silas Rondeau resigned his post Brazil's Mines and Energy Minister Silas Rondeau resigned amid accusations he was bribed by a construction company that obtained contracts to provide electricity to poor rural areas in a program championed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the nation's first working class president

    Silas Rondeau, who headed Lula's Light for Everyone program, denied wrongdoing but said in a statement he was stepping down to prevent the controversy from hurting the government's push to bring energy to the poor.

    Rondeau insisted on his "absolute innocence in relation to the accusations levied against me," but Brazilian media have reported that Rondeau accepted US$ 50,000 to steer a contract to the Gautama construction company as part of a much larger scheme involving government money being siphoned off through fraudulent bidding on public projects that were overcharged or never built.

    His resignation marked the fourth time in recent years that members of Lula da Silva's Cabinet have been forced to out because of corruption allegations, but the president has remained untouched by the scandals.

    Previous scandals prompted the departures of presidential Chief of Staff José Dirceu, Finance Minister Antonio Palocci and Communications Minister Luiz Gushiken, all close allies of Lula who helped engineer his election in 2002.

    Police allege the bid-rigging and corruption involved hundreds of millions of dollars, with much of the money funneled for infrastructure improvements from Brazil's ministries of planning, transportation and energy and mines. Many of the projects under scrutiny were overcharged or never carried out.

    Authorities said government officials who helped steer the contracts to the gang were paid off in cash and gifts such as luxury cars. Dozens of suspects were arrested last week, including a congressman and a former governor.

    Rondeau will be replaced by a high-ranking Mines and Energy ministry official, Nelson Hubner. Rondeau is a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the most important political party allied with Lula's ruling Workers Party.

    Mercopress

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    • Show Comments (23)

    • AES

      Joao: The definiton of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
      There is a psychological dynamic called a self fulfilling prophecy. We cause what we expect. Since a country is but a larger manifestation of an individual that comprises it, if the citizen believes that nothing can change, nothing will change, the guilty will always go free, the government is corrupt, the law is ineffectual, there is no justice. . .the individual will behave as though the belief system is true, and if he acts as though these things are true he will be the cause of them. To expect failure is to cause it. Do accept that Brazil is a failure, was a failure, will produce a series of events and actions that will cause failure, self fulfilling the prophecy that Brazil cannot and will not succeed.

      Brazil is afraid of itself, of its right to justice, honor, prosperity, equality of opportunity. It therefore acts like that and causes it.

    • AES

      Bo. Sarcasm and irony
      The more things change the more they remain the same. Im still looking for the crooks in operation hurricane and the sentences for sale scandle to reappear in the news.

      It seems the country is afraid of itself.

      That it has no faith in itself.

    • AES

      It all ends in Dominos is a pun
      domino effect
      n.
      A cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events

    • AES

      It all ends in Dominos

    • AES

      Rondeau, even though absolutely innocent, had the honor to step down. There are very few gentlemen in the world today that would fall on their sword to protect the honor of those they represent. Well done. It is a rare man that exhibits such courage.

    • PátriaAmada

      Cocadas
      Latest news … From today’s Globo:

      The director of Gautama in the state of MaranhÀƒ£o, Vicente Vasconcelos Coni, while testifying during Eliana CalmonÀ¢€™s investigation of Operation Navalha, revealed that, to get closer and to please government authorities – not to mention to benefit GautamaÀ¢€™s business interests, he offered cocadas to the Secretary of the State of MaranhÀƒ£o.

      And I thought the menu of choice was pizza À¢€¦ Vicente, are you for real?

    • João da Silva

      To:Patria Amada
      [quote]It is not possible for a thousands of corrupt politians and judges to control millions of people. The numbers are in our favor. [/quote]

      You are right.

    • PátriaAmada

      Brazilian Pizza
      In my view, the only solution to erradicate the cancerous system in the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary branches in Brazil is for the population to stop talking and to start protesting – go out in the streets and show that you are not going to tolerate the corruption and the lies anylonger. Or, if this is not a good option, choose another but do something – anything.

      It is not possible for a thousands of corrupt politians and judges to control millions of people. The numbers are in our favor.

    • Jõao da Silva

      To:AES/Prof
      I got an interesting article from a friend of mine who talks about cars whose engine run on compressed air.He indicated me to go through the original article written in English. Since you guys like things new technology (as well as old ones,like falafel), I thought you might enjoy the article.

      http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/mar2007/bw20070319_949435.htm?campaign_id=rss_topEmailedStories

    • Jõao da Silva

      Joao: The definiton of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
      Thanks AES. I thought you would write my thoughts in words.btw, this site has gone bonkers and will write more later.

    • Jõao da Silva

      to:AES
      [quote]Quoted of the week. [/quote]

      Sorry I meant “Quote of the week”.btw, I would like to know why you made that statement.

    • Jõao da Silva

      Sarcasm and irony
      [quote] It seems the country is afraid of itself.[/quote]

      AES, Quoted of the week.

      Have been having problems with the site https://www.brazzil.com . are you having too?

    • bo

      [quote]…
      written by AES, 2007-05-24 13:13:40
      Rondeau, even though absolutely innocent, had the honor to step down. There are very few gentlemen in the world today that would fall on their sword to protect the honor of those they represent. Well done. It is a rare man that exhibits such courage. [/quote]

      Innocent?? LOL!

      Maybe you should contact the Feds and let them know the proof you have to the contrary, as I believe they have some pretty solid evidence he accepted at least one bribe. Come on now AES, when you start making comments like that you sound very naive my friend.

    • bo

      [quote]din’t hear anybody commenting abou the “Operation Navalha” by the federal police
      written by joseph, 2007-05-25 15:35:49
      i have heard plenty, Lula and his ILK are no blaming the fed police for being too agressive! What hypocricy! [/quote]

      Why haven’t we heard anything on the “Casa de Niqueis” on this site?? The bingo rooms where the judge from STJ was arrested, naturally they’re all out as well. How these people steal money and accept bribes from buying ambulances to bingo parlors, to construction projects is amazing. I’d love to see the list of corruption scandals listed since Lula has taken office, it must be very impressive.

    • bo

      [quote]…
      written by jony, 2007-05-24 16:54:03
      I din’t hear anybody commenting abou the “Operation Navalha” by the federal police bring down dozens of politicians including two former governors… why is it that We are not giving the appropriate credit that the brazilians deserve??? [/quote]

      And, it wasn’t two former governors, it was ONE. The other was the son of the former governor of Sergipe, JoÀƒ£o Alves Neto, not JoÀƒ£o Alves Filho(his father and ex-governor of Sergipe, just relinquished that office in January of this year). How do I know?? Because JoÀƒ£o Alves Neto is my neighbor and I was leaving my house to go for my walk on the beach at 6 am that morning when the Fed’s pulled up and blocked off the street.

      But getting back to your question Jony, how can anyone give credit to anyone except the federal police?? How does it help to spend money and man hours investigating these crimes, make arrests, and no one goes to jail? JoÀƒ£o Alves Neto was the LAST one of those picked up that was still in jail last Thursday…..he is now [b]FREE[/b].

      Do you want to make a wager that he will never serve one more day in jail?

      The odds would have to be at least 500-1.

    • bo

      [quote]…
      written by jony, 2007-05-24 16:54:03
      I din’t hear anybody commenting abou the “Operation Navalha” by the federal police bring down dozens of politicians including two former governors… why is it that We are not giving the appropriate credit that the brazilians deserve??? [/quote]

      Jony, I give credit to the federal police constantly. It must be very difficult risking your life as well as the life of your family here in brazil in busting these powerful figures knowing full well that within a few 24 hours after they’re picked up they’ll be out of jail and NEVER go back for another second. Must be very discouraging for them. As one of my best friends says, who is a procurado do estado and his uncle a brazilian minister, “the problem in brazil is [b]IMPUNITY![/b]

    • joseph

      din’t hear anybody commenting abou the “Operation Navalha” by the federal police
      i have heard plenty, Lula and his ILK are no blaming the fed police for being too agressive! What hypocricy!

    • ch.c.

      continued…….
      Curious that ALL the other government members who stepped down due to corruption……..also said…..THE DID NOTHING WRONG !!!!

      BUT IS CORRUPTION….NOT TOLERATED AND ACCEPTED….BY YOUR (IN)JUSTICE DEPT…..AS LONG AS THEY GET THEIR SHARE OF WHAT WAS STOLEN ???????

    • ch.c.

      It all ends in Dominos !!!!! Not at all !!!!!
      In Brazil all corruption scandals end….IN A PIZZA, as Brazilians say !

      Bu who is surprised of corrupted Brazilians politicians ?
      They are all corrupted anyway. So much that they feel normal to have pardoned those guilty in the vote buying scandal.
      But of course to hide themselves from public critics for their vote, it was a secret vote !!!!!
      Simple !

    • João da Silva

      To:jony
      [quote]why is it that We are not giving the appropriate credit that the brazilians deserve???
      [/quote]

      Our Feds really deserve the credit for arresting all the politicians involved in this operation. Both AES and I were complimenting Rondeau for stepping down like a real gentleman, without trying to hold on to his “cargo”. I question the fact that he,an Electrical Engineer with 30 years experience and with all sort of high posts during his career, is being accused of taking a mere R$100,000 bribe. I dont think that Rondeau needed it. As usual, our politicos got rid of an inconvnient technocrat and the press crucified him, before knowing the facts.

    • jony

      I din’t hear anybody commenting abou the “Operation Navalha” by the federal police bring down dozens of politicians including two former governors… why is it that We are not giving the appropriate credit that the brazilians deserve???

    • João da Silva

      [quote]Rondeau, even though absolutely innocent, had the honor to step down.[/quote]

      I agree.When it is proved that he was innocent, the press wont publish the news.

    • bo

      Quagmire
      As I’ve been saying for years, brazilians have been screwing brazilians for many years and until they can clean some of this mess up, until everytime the feds make a great bust but it “all ends up in pizza”, pointing fingers at outside influences in an attempt to justify your reality is futile.

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