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Cristina Fernandez and cronies must face trial on public works contracts

Monday, March 5th 2018 - 06:58 UTC
Full article 36 comments

An Argentine judge on Friday said that ex-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must face trial over alleged corruption related to the awarding of public contracts in her southern political stronghold of Patagonia. Read full article

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  • bushpilot

    Let's have us a little vote:

    Click +

    if you think Christina Fernandez continues to radiate beauty, elegance, and warmth despite her age, has dedicated her life to protecting the down trodden and continues to selflessly give her life to this cause, and who continues to be very unjustly persecuted by terrible people who must be very, very evil to so unremittingly try and destroy such a clearly angelic person.


    Click -

    if you think Christine Fernandez' physical appearance is worn out and hagish, and that she has a self-serving, lying personality, has hurt the poor of Argentina under the deceiving guise of being their champion, in order to enrich herself and her cronies, and for these despicable transgressions is wholly deserving of any justice the Argentine people are able to mete out.

    Mar 05th, 2018 - 03:39 pm - Link - Report abuse -10
  • Enrique Massot

    Cristina has asked, through her lawyer, that her trials - the public works one and the one about the memorandum of understanding with Iran - proceed as quickly as possible.

    The trial about Iran MOU will go nowhere because it attempts to criminalize an act of government fully endorsed by Congress at the time, which would require then a trial to every single legislator who voted in support of the MOU.

    The one about public works would be an eye-opener to the citizens. It is well-known that the sector is full of improprieties and many large firms profit of juicy contracts where public money goes to the pockets of a few. Will be interesting to see how much and how fast judge Bonadio progresses before encountering entrepreneurs linked to Cambiemos.

    All Bonadio needs to do is to follow the money.

    Mar 05th, 2018 - 04:55 pm - Link - Report abuse -8
  • Chicureo

    Why do people love such a despicable b*tch...???

    Mar 05th, 2018 - 08:53 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • golfcronie

    Enrique, was she NOT in charge as President at the time of the MOU?

    Mar 05th, 2018 - 10:19 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • sunpacy

    The only crony in this story is the judge Ercolini who is in the pockets of the Argentine establishments they hate Cristina as they hated Evita they invent corruption they invented off shore accounts never found anything sorry correction the found off shore accounts of Macri and all his cronies

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 01:18 am - Link - Report abuse -5
  • Enrique Massot

    @GC:

    Yes, CFK was indeed president at the time of the MOU. Still, the document was approved by Congress - hardly a backroom deal as some would want people to believe.

    @SP

    Indeed. Isn't it funny that investigations such as that of Julio Lopez and his famous bags of cash sort of stalled before going to find out who had given him the money? Some malicious observers speculate the money may come from public works companies linked to the Macri group.

    When diligent investigators went to offshore tax havens looking for Kirchner money they found instead a lot of current government officials' accounts.

    Now, the Brazilian police has accused Gustavo Arribas, head of Argentina's intelligence agency, of receiving US$ 850,000 as part of a money laundering scheme, as published by the NY Times.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/world/americas/argentina-brazil-corruption.html

    Interestingly, Arribas had already been investigated on the same case but judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral quickly closed the case in April 2017 without much ado. Now that the Brazilian police has officially released the information the judge neglected to seek, the story may change.

    All of this means that the hunt for allegedly corrupt Kirchnerists may unleash unintended consequences for many alleged corrupts in other political factions.

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 03:35 am - Link - Report abuse -3
  • golfcronie

    Enrique, am I correct in thinking that most in high positions in Latam are corrupt, because it sounds like it to me. Your polititians are corrupt, the judiciary and most certainly of the business men are. Never mind YOU are the people who have to live with it, why not change it?

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 08:40 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    @golfcronie
    It seems obvious to me that he does want to change it, but only if it's a real change. When the judiciary works together with the party in power to investigate and prosecute only opposition politicians and supporters, it doesn't really reduce corruption at all, it's just another weapon for the powerful to use against anyone who challenges them.

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 12:14 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    Reekie, do you realize that to you, all politicians are always innocent when accused of corruption ?? funny thing is that private companies, in order get “public” contracts, controlled by politicians, pay out billions in bribes...as confessed by their executives ....but if the politicians, like CFK, Lula etc, are innocent, where is all the bribe money going ?? No matter how much I think about it, I just can't seem to figure it out....perhaps you could kindly explain it ?

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 05:08 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Think

    Mr. Enrique Massot...

    I suppose..., you living in Canada and being slightly left from the centre of the Argie political centrum..., do not watch the shitty TV program called...: “Animales Sueltos”...

    Neither do I..., but somebody linked me to yesterdays episode..., and I THINK you will enjoy it as much as I did...:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WLtD4LkypbE

    Regards..., El Think...

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 06:25 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • Enrique Massot

    @GC

    Read again DT's reply--sweet, short and to the point.

    JB

    Absolutely not. Only the normal presumption of innocence should apply to politicians just like for anybody else. However, when a party in power prosecutes only its political opponents while their own members enjoy a big party, their vocation becomes suspect.

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 08:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    TWIMC
    (Specially to them Anglo Turnips not seeing what is happening in their own backyard)

    Ever heard of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Carrillion..., me Engrish mates...?

    The National Audit Office (NAO) has just informed that Carrillion is just the top of the Iceberg...

    The whole Private Finance Initiative (PFI) fiasco has been revealed to be a giant collusion and corruption scheme between them Private Sector Actorsthat the British taxpayer will have to pay for until 2040...

    According to the NAO the total sum the British taxpayer will have to pay during the next 25 years is about £200 BILLION (Yuppp..., BILLION)...

    Some 40% more than if the State had financed all them proyects itself...
    http://peoplevspfi.org.uk

    Keep focusing in Argentina's corruption..., you brainwashed Anglo turnips...
    We Argies have learned corruption from your masters...
    That's your masters wishes...
    Chuckle..., chuckle...

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 10:36 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    But you forget we're talking about south american politicians....but let's stick to Brazil....More tha 40% of Congress has been accused, many indicted - but protected by their 'privileged status'....all the testimony from dozens of different whistleblowers (who have never met each other) ties in, joining all the pieces of an enormous jigsaw puzzle...politicians can't explain where their money comes from, all sorts of documents have been presented, proving the connections and the payouts, yet you talk of 'presumption of innocence'....kind of wierd, isn't it ?

    @Stink the Chimp
    Regarding your silly remarks, re which you are very good at, they suggest that the poor Argies were influenced by the horrible “Engrish”, and that if it weren't for them, Argieland would be a paradise, with only honest politicians.. keep on dreaming...chuckle, chuckle...

    Mar 06th, 2018 - 10:54 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Enrique Massot

    @Think

    Watched the Animals...a shameful show with so-called journalist Fantino trying to corner a man of the stature of Anibal Fernandez with the silliest cliches that Cambiemos militants repeat ad nauseum...

    @JB

    You are telling me that Brazilian politicians have not been sentenced in spite of evidence presented? I don't see anything new on that.

    Let's be clear on one thing: Latin America has been and continues to be plagued by corruption and that the culprits have invariably evaded justice.

    However, corruption accusations and judicial processes used as means to push aside political opponents is a strategy that, with support from the dominant media, has replaced the tanks and the boots on the street. And yes, both Argentina and Brazil are good examples of that.

    Mar 07th, 2018 - 03:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    “However, corruption accusations and judicial processes used as means to push aside political opponents is a strategy that, with support from the dominant media, has replaced the tanks and the boots on the street. And yes, both Argentina and Brazil are good examples of that”.

    Will stick to Brazil as it's what I know best...To say that “corruption accusations and judicial processes” are used to push aside political opponents - presuming, as you believe, that they are totally innocent of such accusations - is absolutely ridiculous. And Lula, who I believe you defend tooth and nail, is a 'good example of that'....while Lula may have been a charismatic leader, speaking the language of the 'people' (reason for his “political” success), it is by no means a reason to place him above the law....one thing most people who live abroad, and defend him unconditionally, don't realize, or don't want to, is that the proof of his (passive) corruption and laundering money is abundant, documented in every which way possible...if they are not familiar with the proof, or are, but prefer to turn a blind eye to it, that is their problem....Anyone who has followed the 'toad's' trials in the lower and appelate courts, plus reading about the tons of proof, would not be so ready to declare him innocent...but the PT and its followers, not being able to 'destroy' the proof against him, try to twist the judicial process into fake news and attack the prosecutors, the judges, and anyone who dare to say anything negative about Lula....the fact that the top 'Petistas' actually 'cornered' the president of the STF in her chambers, after she had repeatedy refused to meet with them (to discuss an ongoing process), shows their petulance, in that the only law is their law, not that which is written in the Constitution and the penal code. It's the proven corruption which leads to accusations, not political differences, otherwise only the opposition would be targeted. Think about it.

    Mar 07th, 2018 - 05:34 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Enrique Massot

    JB

    “Anyone who has followed the ' trials in the lower and appelate courts, plus reading about the tons of proof, would not be so ready to declare him innocent.”

    Come on, Jack. Lula's trial is a masquerade and you know it. It was concocted with the exclusive goal of preventing Lula from running and depriving the electors of exercising their right to choose.

    The strategy is known as Lawfare, that is, the manipulation of judiciary processes to achieve political purposes.

    Of course, in this forum little is known about Brazil and you can come up with BS such as “top 'Petistas' actually 'cornered' the president of the STF in her chambers...”

    That's OK--free country--but let's take a look at the other side and go to some specifics.

    Lula da Silva is being accused of allegedly accepting US$ 1.1 million in bribes from construction company OAS to pay for a beachside apartment in Guarujá, São Paulo state.

    However, not one of 73 witnesses to take the stand has provided concrete evidence linking the apartment to Lula--only that he visited the apartment once.

    The judge has been unable to provide documents proving that the said apartment belongs to Lula, but that is of little consequence when 'higher goals' are at play.

    Lula's trial has been conducted with lightning speed--about a third of the time other similar processes take in Brazil.

    And so, those who in the past clapped when the military came out of their headquarters to “restore order,” today are cheering for the judges who are punishing 'corruption' (not any corruption--take a look at the way current president Temer got away from numerous cases).

    It is difficult for someone who hasn't lived in Latin America to understand the deep elitist nature of the dominant classes--they believe they have an inborn right to be at the top and that the people must be kept at its place--down--by any means necessary. This is what's going on in Brazil and several other countries in the sub-continent.

    Mar 08th, 2018 - 01:58 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Think

    Sr. Massot....

    You say...:
    ***“ the deep elitist nature of the dominant classes--they believe they have an inborn right to be at the top and that the people must be kept at its place--down--by any means necessary”***

    I say...:
    You mean the elitist dominant Argie class that governs us today and that never tire to publicly declare that they want and work hard for Argentina to become more like Finland...
    ... Whilst overworking and underpaying..., cash in hand..., of course..., their ranch hands and their maids..., Ius primae noctis included....?

    Mar 08th, 2018 - 02:19 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    “Lula’s trial, a masquerade” :exactly what I expected you, uninformed and adamant Lula worshipper, to say.

    “Concocted with exclusive goal of preventing Lula from running”: More BS - probably useless, but I’ll make it easy for even you to understand : in 2009, the Feds were investigating Youssef ‘n Congressman Janene for money laundering; In 2013, they started wiretapping phones/collecting info ; March 2014, ‘lavajato’ investigation was formally installed. Already in 2013 (while Dilma still rode triumphantly on Lula’s popularity), Lula’s name started to pop up, prompting the Feds to investigate further ; so Lula was already in their sights well BEFORE Dilma’s impeachment process started (mid 2015), and at which time, Lula’s extreme confidence he could elect any candidate he wanted, led him to announce he wouldn’t run again…but only AFTER Congress got rid of Dilma (Aug 2016), which Lula NEVER expected, AND with the “lavajato” already underway (03/ 2014), uncovering millionaire bribes fm Odebrecht, OAS (‘triplex’, for starters) and spoiling his succession plans, did he realize he had to re-elect himself to be protected;
    Dilma even tried appointing him Cabinet Minister (for ‘immunity’), but her attempt failed.

    Lawfare in this case, is fake news…spread by the PT;

    “You can come up with BS such as “top 'Petistas' actually 'cornered' the president of the STF in her chambers”: Wow, are you uninformed !!!

    Re the triplex, and costly alterations rqstd by Marisa L, OAS president confirmed it was a ‘gift’ for past favours (PB contracts)..extensively documented by e-mails, docs (and photos) apprehended during search warrants ;
    What did you expect Lula’s choice ‘witnesses’ to say about him ?
    The fact you refuse to see the build-up that would lead to him taking possession of the flat, ONLY interrupted because the ‘lavajato’ was on his heels, and your misguided statements, prove you are totally clueless.

    Your S. American origin does not mean you know Brazil.

    Mar 08th, 2018 - 05:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Think

    Sr. MASSOT...

    Por si no lo vió...
    The magnificent gaffe of your elitist dominant Argie cousin that governs us today...:
    From ~minute 4:00...
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8t76honXdNU

    ENJOY...
    ;-)))

    Mar 09th, 2018 - 04:24 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    LOL

    Did he say anything he really shouldn't have before he realised he was still on air?

    Also, that cousin is a ginger furry. ;) Makes me wonder what EM looked like when he was younger.

    Mar 10th, 2018 - 01:07 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Enrique Massot

    @Think

    Ha ha! Impagable! Sort of depressing to see my famous - distant - relatives' last name portrayed.

    Says my adorable 'nephew,'

    “The only possible outcome is through working.” This, as valuable, productive job positions are being lost throughout the country thanks to the current government's policies.

    “Poverty zero...is a 20-year process.” No s...t! Poverty zero, however, was touted by candidate Mauricio Macri without specifying that it would take a whole generation to achieve it--and that extreme, widespread poverty needed to happen before reaching the Promised Land.

    @DT

    Rest assured: I never looked anywhere close to my distant relative - my hair was brown while it lasted and I tanned well. :)

    Mar 10th, 2018 - 06:30 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    Now that you have assured us that you “looked nowhere close your distant relative”, and that your bald pate tanned well”, I have one simple question : -
    Does your silence with regards to my last post (see 5th above) mean you are unable to contest what I said ? ...about the time frame of events in the 'lavajato', which prove the investigation, and the trial, were not “concocted” to prevent Lula from running for president in the next elections, or that I came up with “BS such as “top 'Petistas' actually 'cornered' the president of the STF in her chambers...”? ...because ”in this forum little is known about Brazil ?” Am waiting...your silence is deafening...

    Mar 10th, 2018 - 07:20 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Enrique Massot

    @JackB

    Lula, who as president was key in reducing Brazil's poverty, is handed down a stiff prison term, even increased in appeal while Michel Temer, who was put in power by pushing aside Dilma Rousseff, is accused of similar crimes but remains the country's president.

    While in Brazil's judiciary pace Lula would be able to become candidate while on appeal instances, we see that his trial was done at lightning speeds when compared with similar processes. It follows that it would not be surprising if his appeal instances are quickly dealt with to prevent him from running - which of course was the goal from the beginning.

    However, Jack assures us, it is all done according to aseptic, neutral law principles.

    Not very credible in a country where corruption is endemic but has so far hit very few individuals besides Dilma and Lula. Oh, after all, they deserve it for trying to take the 'chusma' to a better situation. Right Jack?

    Mar 10th, 2018 - 09:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    Think you need some education on Brazil : Lula claims to have “lifted millions out of poverty”, and you believe it...so where is that new and upcoming middle class today ? the real answer is, that while Lula’s main wealth distribution program, the Bolsa Famila, did prevent millions from starving (and still does), it did not lift them out of poverty….most of the BF recipients today, are back in the same situation they were in the early 2000s, or worse, as today they don't even have jobs.

    But even if you don't agree with what I've just said, ask yourself the following : If the ‘BF’ (the concept of which was not Lula’s creation) had really “lifted anyone “out of poverty”, we'd be talking of all those who were/are recipients of the 'BF', which numbers roughly 29 to 30 million people…which is not reflected by today’s reality. Any benefit you may want to argue that they got, has vanished, thanks to the PT’s incompetent governments.

    Temer was elected as Dilma’s VP, so his taking over when she was kicked out, is totally legitimate. She was ‘sacked’ for manipulating funds the law specifically prohibited her from doing, and trying to cover it up…this led to her lack of political support which prompted Congress to get rid of her. The law today, the same law that evicted Dilma, ironically protects Temer until the end of his term…but will get him in the end.

    As to the “speed” you refer to, it is notorious that cases of corruption sent to the STF, take years to be concluded, but Lula’s case went to a lower court (as he no longer had ‘immunity’), and where things move MUCH faster. Lula’s defense, in view of all the proof against him, can do little more than try to criticize and disqualify the courts, the judges, and anyone he doesn’t like. And if you agree that corruption is endemic in Brazil, tell me why Lula be the exception? Or, perhaps his crimes should be pardoned because he’s popular ? And, just fyi, 'lavajato' has already sent dozens prison.

    Mar 11th, 2018 - 10:04 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Enrique Massot

    @JB

    Because of the limited space here, I will use a source I find credible to help you understand what is really happening in Brazil.

    Here's what Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, comments in the NY Times:

    (Lula da Silva) “is accused of having accepted a bribe from a big construction company, called OAS...an apartment owned by OAS.

    ”But there is no documentary evidence that either Mr. da Silva or his wife ever received title to, rented or even stayed in the apartment, nor that they tried to accept this gift.

    “The evidence against Mr. da Silva is based on the testimony of one convicted OAS executive…who had his prison sentence reduced in exchange for turning state’s evidence.”

    Adds Mr. Wesbrot: “The evidence against Mr. da Silva is far below the standards that would be taken seriously in, for example, the United States’ judicial system.”

    See, it all stems from the need to keep the power “where it belongs,” that is, in the hands of an all-powerful, wealthy minority that owns most of Brazil.

    In Latin America, the low and middle classes are supposed to elect representatives of the wealthy minorities. If that did not happen, in the past, the armed forces went down to the streets and restored things to “normal.”

    Now that the method has become a bit worn off, the judiciary and the big media have become the tools of choice to oust inconvenient representatives.

    Judges are unelected and are mostly members of the elites, so many of them become willing actors when those you call “the chusma” accidentally elect one of theirs into top position.

    For further reading:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/opinion/brazil-lula-democracy-corruption.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FDa%20Silva%2C%20Luiz%20In%C3%A1cio%20Lula&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection

    Mar 12th, 2018 - 01:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @EM
    Tks for trying to inform me, but Mr. Weisbrot has NO deeper insight into Lula's crimes than I do....or is he privvy to details the public knows nothing of ?
    To say “Lula is accused of having accepted a bribe”, is laughable. ONE bribe ? LOL

    To say “”But there is no documentary evidence that either Mr. da Silva or his wife ever received title to, rented or even stayed in the apartment, nor that they tried to accept this gift”, ......is the height of cynicism. He only didn't get the title in his name - or that of his wife - because the 'Lavajato' kind of screwed his plans (Oct 2014)....the fact his wife spent one year (2013/14) orienting OAS president on every detail that she wanted in the flat, and OAS's costly modifications to it - pool, private elevator, gourmet kitchen - identical to the Atibaia one - to please her, is supposed to be standard procedure in all construction companies ?
    IF Lula were being tried in the US, he would already be rotting in jail. It is clear Mr. Weisbrot is a Lula fan....
    The fact that the top1% own 95 % of Brazil, is correct, but that has NOTHING to do with Lula's fate, brought upon himself by his greed and corruption. It's no surprise you are so misinformed, listening to people like Mr. Weisbrot...
    To say ”If that did not happen, in the past, the armed forces went down to the streets and restored things to “normal.”...is pure, unadulterated BS.....the military have only intervened when and where violent street crime has disrupted public order...it has NOTHING to do with politics. I'm surprised you are so gullible.
    The 'lavajato' has recovered R$ 10 Billion, stolen from PB and other entities...and dozens of executives have confessed to paying, and receiving bribes - are we to believe they confessed for nothing ? and wanted to go to prison, for being innocent ? if someone PAID millionaire bribes, someone (politicians who had the power) received them.
    You are sorely wrong about how judges enter the service and are promoted.

    Mar 12th, 2018 - 05:06 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @EM
    “See, it all stems from the need to keep the power “where it belongs,” that is, in the hands of an all-powerful, wealthy minority that owns most of Brazil.”

    Supposing you are right, why did they wait 13 years before doing anything? Two terms with Lula as President and one and a bit of Dilma, before the 'elite' got cold feet and decided to intervene?

    @JB
    You must have been up very late! I don't think EM is talking about the military restoring order in Rio today, but metaphorically about them ousting João Goulart in the 60s. That was certainly political.

    Mar 12th, 2018 - 04:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    EM says “I will use a source I find credible....”...well, Mr. Weisbrot, despite his 'occupation' , does not sound very credible to me...his statements are just his opinion...which deny facts that are common knowledge. It's not me saying that, it is the 3 courts (lower, appelate, STJ).

    His “In Latin America, the low and middle classes are supposed to elect representatives of the wealthy minorities. If that did not happen, in the past, the armed forces went down to the streets and restored things to “normal.”....is at best, a bit confusing...but let's see : by ”wealthy minorities” I suppose he is referring to the 'elite'....ironically, today Lula is part of that wealthy minority, despite the fact that when he was elected, he wasn't...how did the miracle of transformation happen in only 8 years ?

    If EM refers - metaphorically - to the military take-over in '64 - which yes, was political (the threat of having the political regime changed drastically is definitely a political issue) - then he should not generalize (misinforming readers) and try to give the impression that the current intevention is politically oriented, and that the military step in (anywhere) at the drop of a hat....

    His last sentence about the how judges are the 'elite', shows his tendency to make silly statements...I've already given you a very brief outline as to how judges enter the service and get promoted...any lawyer, from a rich or poor background can try to be a judge...a good example is Joaquim Barbosa, the ex-president of the STF who started working as an office-boy and put himself through College, to become a lawyer etc...if on the other hand, the judges of the top courts are appointed by Presidents (supposedly based on merit), isn't that the most common procedure in democratic republics ? and, if they become part of the elite once reaching those few positions, that is just the result of a successful carreer...there are exceptions, but few.

    Yep, went to bed at about 3 AM...

    Mar 12th, 2018 - 05:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    Hope you're feeling okay today then.

    He did say in 'Latin America', not just in Brazil, and some countries have had multiple coups. Certainly not all of them were motivated by fear of communism. You agreed that the top 1% own 95% of Brazil, they wouldn't want to give that up to improve the lives of their compatriots, would they?

    If you look across Latin America, you'll see in many countries recently the leftist leaders and only them being prosecuted for corruption, despite everyone agreeing that it is widespread in all parties. Seen as a whole the pattern *is* suspicious.

    As for your judges, they may be promoted on merit, but what chance do most poor people have of qualifying as a lawyer in the first place? Even supposing it's not so bad today, what is the average age of the top judges? You said in the other thread the majority of Brazilians were illiterate back in the 60s, that would put quite a dent in your chances of going to college. Only children of the middle and upper class would have a chance.

    Mar 12th, 2018 - 10:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    @DT

    Very thoughtful points. I agree with them, from my Argentine experience and my further learnings abroad.

    ”(Jack Bauer) agreed that the top 1% own 95% of Brazil, they wouldn't want to give that up to improve the lives of their compatriots, would they?“

    This is a key point. In most developed western countries, a more capitalist mindset evolved that took into account that a certain redistribution of income had to take place in order to keep social peace.

    In most Latin American countries, however, a different type of evolution has kept the income gap between the lower and the higher incomes in abysmal proportions. Our wealthy classes are extremely backward and unwilling to, as Juan Peron told them in the early 1950s, ”give a bit in order not to lose it all.“

    Your last point crushes the half-hearted effort JB put to convince us of some sort of ”equal opportunity” in Brazil--a very biased statement if there ever was one.

    Mar 13th, 2018 - 01:31 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Don’t see EM defending Weibrot’s ‘opinions’…is it because he now sees they may be biased ?
    Ok, EM did say LatAm, not specifically Brazil, where military intervention has been nowhere as common as in some other countries.
    Given that in last 20 yrs, it’s been the ‘left’ that has sitirred up and caused chaos in society - and not necessarily for the right, ‘selfless’ reasons - provoking hatred between social classes as a means to divide and conquer – so that they can implement their ‘projects of power’ (exactly as the PT tried) - it is no surprise, even for LatAm standards, that they ‘overdid’ the stealing part, and that now would be most of those being prosecuted.
    But here in Brazil, where most parties are left of centre, a few extreme left and even less to the right of centre, politicians of all ideologies – at least to what they profess officially – are being investigated, accused and convicted. It is not the exclusive ‘privilege’ of the left, as so many like to claim.

    Today, with the hundreds of universities created over the last two decades, plenty of people from the ‘previously-excluded’ classes, have become lawyers ('n other liberal professionals). Not implying they will become great lawyers, or judges, but the door is now open to all.
    The judges of lower courts can be appointed while in their late 30s/early 40s, those in top courts, TSE (electoral), TST (labor), STJ (Justice) usually get there in their 50s, those in the STF in in their early 60s, with an exceptional few climbing the ladder more quickly.
    Rgdng the 60s, what you say is correct…but it was only the military who recognized the need to pull people out of illiteracy ;

    @EM
    DT’s ‘last point’ does not crush “the half-hearted effort JB put to convince us of some sort of ”equal opportunity” in Brazil”…Because 1st, I made no ‘effort’ to prove anything, and 2nd, far less ‘half-heartedly’. Never even suggested Brazil was a model of ‘equal opportunity', much to the contrary, it is not.

    Mar 13th, 2018 - 04:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    You two must both know more Latin American history than me. Why were there so many coups? Even Brazil had two according to Wikipedia, and Argentina about 6. The ones in the 60s and 70s were related to the cold war, but the earlier ones can't have been.

    RE the corruption prosecutions, it's true the left have been in power a lot more in the last 20 years, but IMO the explanation lies in who has more support from institutions and the press, to make sure the law is pointed at their opponents but never at them. Institutions such as the supreme court change only slowly (by design) so tend to reflect the past when more right-wing parties were in power, and the press is nearly universally owned by the rich who tend to support the 'business friendly' right for obvious reasons.

    Only in VZ did the Chavistas have enough power for enough time to take over the institutions and the press, and there the pattern is reversed; it is their opposition who get jailed for corruption while the ruling party escape investigation.

    I'm glad to hear there are now more opportunities in Brazil, though no doubt things could still be improved. Even in the UK the privately educated are very over represented at the best universities, and no doubt in professions like law, too, as well as in government. But I was right about the judges; those in the top courts would have gone to school in the 70s, and the ones in the STF in the 60s. How was state education back then?

    And if the military improved education, well, at least they did something good. You'd think the civilian politicians would have realised that an educated workforce would be better for employers and business (probably the real reason we got universal education in Britain), but apparently not.

    Mar 13th, 2018 - 07:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    I reckon that more coups have occurred in Latin America than in Europe for example, because the institutions are not as solid as they should be....they are more prone to outside interference. Other countries have had time to consolidate respectable practices, and politicians know that voters are less likely to put up with exaggerated personal ambition. Think it boils down to the culture, which in certain aspects is far from mature....I also believe it's because the LatAm countries are far newer, and it'll probably take quite a bit more time for the mentality inherited from the all powerful Portuguese and Spanish aristocracies of 150 years ago, to disappear, and to accept the fact that those times are over....just thinking.

    While the PT was riding on their success story (in 2004/2005) - significantly contributed to by the elimination of inflation by the previous government, as well as the commodity boom, instead of taking advantage of the good moment to implement deep, lasting and sustainable changes, they opted for scratching the surface, doing just enough to make them 'appear' to be helping the poor, while setting about to further their project of power....which obviously needed tons of money to work. Thus the criminal organization, installed in every level of government, to aid the stealing...which benefited all those who supported them, as well as those whom they were obliged to bring into government (PMDB in 2010).

    State education in the 60's was generally well looked upon....not sure when it started deteriorating, but today, with few isolated exceptions, it's a mess.

    Seeing today's judges in the various courts, it's clear most came from the middle class ; they got reasonable educations, but did not emerge from any “traditional” elite, as if that's the only reason they got to where they have.
    The civilians governments, as long as I can remember, were never really interested in putting country first. An educated population would demand more.

    Mar 13th, 2018 - 10:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    Yeah, I think institutions take time to build and get working smoothly. And sorry to bring up Trump again, but the seeming disdain of him and his supporters for US institutions is one of the reasons people find him alarming. They may not be perfect, but if someone tears them down they will not be at all easy to replace.

    By outside interference, do you mean from other governments and multinationals, or from groups within the country? I would say there are examples of both in various countries.

    Plus as far as I know neither Spain nor Portugal had much of a middle class, they were much more feudal societies than England and that carried over to their colonies. The US has never had a coup although it did have a nasty civil war, but maybe they were lucky.

    If state education was good in the 60s, why were so many Brazilians illiterate? Was it really bad in the decades before that or something? Anyway, you must have met lots of other students when you were at university, so you'd know what sort of backgrounds they came from. Was it more common for them to have gone to private schools like you, or to be state educated?

    “An educated population would demand more.”

    True, but I would have thought that would be better for everyone. Is it better to be super rich in a poor country, or rich in a well off one?

    Mar 14th, 2018 - 07:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    By outside interference I mean from political groups within the country, like that of Congress, trying to interfere in the the Judiciary's decisions, or like Lula's and the PT's incessant and undue pressure on the STF to rule on what they (the PT) think will benefit Lula...(i.e., the PT senators and deputies cornering the president of the STF in her chambers, after she'd refused to receive them, in order to pressure her into ruling on Lula's HC (to avoid imminent prison)).
    Ok, in retrospect it is clear Trump has his own ideas about what the institutions should do.

    Portugal and Spain had strong aristocracies (the so-called “friends of the king”) and they were given large tracts of land in the colonies, as well important political posts, in order to keep an eye on things - for the king....
    In the 60's, many more people than today still lived in rural areas, “forgotten” by the politicians, while the public schools in urban centres were reasonably good, but which were not usually frequened by the poor... Most of my classmates were from middle class background, some from upper middle class (and the wealthy) and very few came from the poor. Back then, the public system had to cope with far fewer students than today, allowing for a higher standard than today. Teachers were better paid, better qualified...but believe that going to either the public or the private schools was more of a personal option of the parents, than one being better than the other. But there were ''certain' private schools which only the elite could afford, and without a doubt were tops...and still are.
    Obviously, for any “country” an educated population is far better than an ignorant one, but when the politicians only care about themselves and their families, it's easy to understand. I'd rather be rich in a well-off country....no question about it.

    Mar 14th, 2018 - 08:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    “By outside interference I mean from political groups within the country”

    Like this?

    http://en.mercopress.com/2018/03/14/temer-makes-informal-visit-to-supreme-tribunal-chief-at-her-residence

    Anyway, I think you are right, but there has always been interference from the US and its companies too. Less so in Brazil because it's a big country, but more so in the small ones, like in Central America.

    And basically, the schools were better in the 60s, but many/most kids couldn't go to them? And now everyone can go but the schools suck? You're kind of screwed either way, and no doubt many had to leave school early to earn money, like Lula. I'm not surprised that few of your classmates came from the poor. At my university most of them seemed to be middle class, but that's a much larger portion of the population in Britain. And so there is some kind of Brazilian equivalent to Eton and Harrow? What's so great about them that only the elite can afford to go there?

    “I'd rather be rich in a well-off country....no question about it.”

    Makes sense, but apparently your politicians don't agree. It's a shame.

    Mar 14th, 2018 - 11:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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