Monday, November 26th 2012 - 06:46 UTC

Dilma Rousseff sacks top officials involved in influence-peddling ring

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff moved quickly and with no consideration for political allies ordered the dismissal on Saturday of all government officials allegedly involved in a bribery ring, including the country's deputy attorney general.

The The president is showing no contemplations with long established corruption in the Brazilian political system

Federal police raided government offices in Brasilia and Sao Paulo on Friday and arrested six people for running an influence-peddling ring that sold government approvals to businessmen in return for bribes.

Among those under investigation is the former personal secretary of ex-president Lula da Silva, Rosemary de Noronha, who has headed the regional office of the presidency in Sao Paulo since 2005.

The bribery scandal erupted on the heels of Brazil's biggest political corruption trial that sentenced some of Lula da Silva's closest aides to prison terms for buying support in Congress for his minority Workers' Party government after taking office in 2003.

Rousseff, Lula da Silva's chosen successor, was not affected by the vote-buying scandal and she has built on his popularity by gaining a reputation for not tolerating corruption. But the ruling Workers' Party was rocked by the scandal which tarnished Lula da Silva's legacy even though he was not implicated.

The new corruption case could further hurt the standing of Lula da Silva, who remains Brazil's most influential politician.

Friday's arrests included two brothers who were recommended for positions in the federal government by Lula da Silva's former secretary Noronha, Paulo Rodrigues Vieira, director of the National Water Agency, and Rubens Carlos Vieira, director for airport infrastructure at Brazil's Civil Aviation Agency.

Police accused the brothers of recruiting second-tier government employees who would be open to bribery, while a third brother also under arrest, Marcelo Rodrigues Vieira, contacted businessmen willing to pay for false or speeded-up approvals.


Police have been investigating the bribery ring since 2010 when an official in the government accounting office who was offered 150.000 dollars for a favorable report got cold feet, returned the money he had been paid and blew the whistle.

Early on Friday, police seized computers and data from the Brasilia office of Deputy Attorney General Jose Weber de Holanda Alves, who has been dismissed and is under investigation along with a dozen other people, including a former senator.

The purge comes when a public opinion poll shows that President Rousseff has a greater vote intention for the 2014 presidential election than her predecessor and mentor, Lula da Silva.

The Ibope Institute poll shows Rousseff with a 26% support for her re-election in 2014, while the former president figures with 19% if he decides to run. The poll published in the Sunday edition of O Estado de Sao Paulo was based on 2002 ‘spontaneous’ interviews in 143 cities and towns between November 8 and 12. The seven point difference is greater than the error margin of the poll.

Ibope points out that besides the figures the poll showed that Dilma Rousseff has ceased to be seen as the 2010 option of Lula da Silva (since he could not run for a third consecutive period) and can try for re-election on her own merit because she is seen as a head of State with her own policies, personality and attitude.

9 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 Ayayay (#) Nov 26th, 2012 - 08:16 am Report abuse
2 ChrisR (#) Nov 26th, 2012 - 01:36 pm Report abuse
Absolutely the correct decision by Rousseff.

It shows just how indoctrinated the masses are though with da Silva that he retains apparent mass support.

But he was not involved, some say. OK, let's go with that, so why didn't he purge them himself?

He didn't know about it others say. OH, really? He is incompetent then: how could he possible have NOT known if he was presiding over the country? Did he walk around the corridors of power with his eyes closed and his ears mufflled?

No, it won't do whichever way his supporters want to play it.

Rousseff is handling this in the way da Silva should have done.
3 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 26th, 2012 - 07:30 pm Report abuse
Precisely so, Chris.
He heard of no corruption, smelled no corrupt practices, and never saw corruption going on all around him. Somehow he - and his family members - became very rich. Impossibly rich, considering his declared incomes.
One wonders how his government was able to emplace a country-wide web of organised corruption without him getting a whiff of it in his Corridors of Power and wherever he went throughout Brasil.

Of couse he knew, of course he was implicated .... but like, Jimmy Saville, he was a national institution who could not be officially accused.
4 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 26th, 2012 - 08:32 pm Report abuse
Good for Dilma. Tough, smart and incorruptible =) Hope she runs again in 2014 myself
5 ChrisR (#) Nov 26th, 2012 - 10:18 pm Report abuse
@4 BSK

Changed your tune haven't you?

Finally realised what a scammer old Lula is then?
6 Fido Dido (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 04:35 am Report abuse
I'm a political atheist and know the left vs right is bogus.
Dilma is doing the right thing..a great example we need here in the US and in Europe (yes, we really do, because the fraudsters aka banksters and corrupt elected non elected bureaucrats continue with their shams).

both (4 and 5) you “retards” (more brain dead knockleheads) are stuck in the left vs right paradigm and need to grow up. ChrisRetard web based moron in his mom's basement, show us links that Lula was a scammer. He, Lula failed to combat corruption, but he is the man who continue with the same programs and expended them that were created by F.H.C.
7 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 10:56 am Report abuse
#5 No
8 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 04:59 pm Report abuse
Too partisan, Fido.
Lula continued the good programmes of FC (Fernando Cardoso),
but maximised the corruptions of FC (Fernando Collor).

Thus we now have a Brasil that is advancing, but needing Dilma to cut out the corruption-cancers in a country where the cancers have been encouraged by Lula to metastase into all sectors of society.

A messy job, but somebody had to do it.

Just because Dilma accepted the PT Ticket in order to get elected doesn't mean she accepted the S.A. far-Left/socialist belief that 'anything goes' when it comes to 'squeeking the pips' of the rich/Right.

But remember that, on appointment, she immediately raised Brasil's political salaries to massively exceed any found anywhere else in the world - probably a precursor to her intended anti-corruption campaign amongst her political classes, and one that was calculated to allow her to survive the process.
9 ChrisR (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 07:35 pm Report abuse
@ 6 Fido Dildo

Still calling me names eh? I must really have rattled your cage, never mind, you will cool down and the rank stupidity you exhibit will subside to just your normal stupid, hypocritical self.

Yes, from when I was born until I was 9 YO the old run down house my parents had (private landlord who DGAF) did have a basement. Couldn’t play in it though we had the coal dropped into it through an iron grating. Then my parents had to carry the stuff into the kitchen and living room and early in the evening up to the two bedrooms to light the fires in there.

Unlike the poorly built houses you obviously have to survive in that HAVE to have basements to stop them falling apart in 10 years instead of 25 years we moved to a new council house when I was 10.

Fully brick built on the new technique of a ‘floating slab’, the walls never cracked other than settlement of the plaster (easily and permanently fixed) it was where I lived until I moved into my own (purchased) house with a view over the countryside, three large bedrooms and a garage. My new bride, still my wife, was a little younger than I. I was 24 YO.

And how did I get to that position? I worked damned hard at school and passed the eleven plus. I went to my choice of Technical High School, then to a Technical Indentured Apprenticeship at a glassworks, part of Pilkington Glass. I was their apprentice of the year OF THE GROUP when I was 19. I was their youngest ever Divisional Process Engineer (Velo) at the age of 22.

Why am I telling you this? Unlike you, a bitter and twisted person of obvious limited intellect having to leave his home country and survive in one he now hates and detests, I got where I did through perseverance, knowing what I needed to do, did it, often to the consternation of those who had tried and failed before me until I was sought out by top industrial groups to work for them.

Then I started my own businesses which I ran until I retired at the age of 65, so I don't GAF.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!