Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Another mega scandal: the "sanguesugas" (leechers)

Another mega-scandal involving Brazilian politicians is in the news.
This time, the case involves ambulances, the federal budget, and corruption.

The problem derives from the way that Budget is voted and executed in Brazil. Every year, the budget is first drafted by the Federal Administration; then it goes to Parliament, where Deputies and Senators propose amendments; however, even if the amendments are passed into law, the Treasury is not obliged to actually release the funds to cover the amendment; the actual release of funds depends, theoretically, on the convenience and importance of the amendment, but, in practice, it depends much more on "political factors".

In this case of Sanguesugas, the scheme was:
a) the owner of an ambulance maker approached Deputies and Senators;
b) the Deputy proposes an amendment, requesting funds for ambulances at his hometown;
c) the owner employed illegal means to: get the funds released (by bribing key people in the Ministries) and sell ambulances by a price way above the market (by defrauding bidding processes);
d) part of the profits was shared with the Deputy who proposed the amendment.

The amount of fraud is into the hundreds of millions of reais.

The Federal Police investigated the case in silent, and last month arrested several people, including the chief of the scheme (the ambulance maker). A Probing Comission was created in the Congress. Investigations (the main accused are collaborating with the Police) indicated that as many as 100 Deputies were involved.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court declared that the name of 56 Federal Deputies and one Senator should be made public. These people are formally indicted of several crimes connected with the scheme. This is the biggest criminal case involving members of Parliament in the History of Brazil.

The only Senator indicted so far is Ney Suassuna, from Paraiba.

These are the 56 Federal Deputies indicted:
1. Paulo Feijó (PSDB-RJ)
2. Paulo Baltazar (PSB-RJ)
3. João Caldas (PL-AL)
4. Cabo Júlio (PMDB-MG)
5. Pedro Henry (PP-MT)
6. Vanderval Santos (PL-SP)
7. Iris Simões (PTB-PR)
8. Benedito Dias (PP-AP)
9. Lino Rossi (PP-MT)
10. Edir de Oliveira (PTB-RS)
11. Tetê Bezerra (PMDB-MT)
12. Fernando Gonçalves (PTB-RJ)
13. Almeida de Jesus (PL-CE)
14. Pastor Amarildo (PSC-TO)
15. Milton Capixaba (PTB-RO)
16. Almir Moura (PL-RJ)
17. Reinaldo Betão (PL-RJ)
18. Isaías Silvestre (PSB-MG)
19. José Militão (PTB-MG)
20. Welington Fagundes (PL-MT)
21. Mário Negromonte (PP-BA)
22. Laura Carneiro (PFL-RJ)
23. Zelinda Novaes (PFL-BA)
24. Vieira Reis (PRB-RJ)
25. Junior Betão (PL-AC)
26. Ribamar Alves (PSB-MA)
27. Eduardo Gomes (PSDB-TO)
28. Eduardo Seabra (PTB-AP)
29. Osmânio Pereira (PTB-MG)
30. Jefferson Campos (PTB-SP)
31. João Batista (PP-SP)
32. Vanderley Assis (PP-SP)
33. João Mendes de Jesus (PSB-RJ)
34. Dr. Heleno (PSC-RJ)
35. Reinaldo Gripp (PL-RJ)
36. José Divino (PRB-RJ)
37. Alceste Almeida (PTB-RR)
38. Marcos Abramo (PP-SP)
39. Nélio Dias (PP-RN)
40. Ricarte de Freitas (PTB-MT)
41. Cleonâncio Fonseca (PP-SE)
42. Benedito de Lira (PP-AL)
43. Reginaldo Germano (PP-BA)
44. Ricardo Estima (PPS-SP)
45. Neuton Lima (PTB-SP)
46. João Corrêa (PMDB-AC)
47. Amauri Gasques (PL-SP)
48. Maurício Rabelo (PL-TO)
49. Coriolano Sales (PFL-BA)
50. Marcelino Fraga (PMDB-ES)
51. Raimundo Santos (PL-PA)
52. Edna Macedo (PTB-SP)
53. Irapuan Teixeira (PP-SP)
54. Itamar Serpa (PSDB-RJ)
55. Enivaldo Ribeiro (PP-PB)
56. Elaine Costa (PTB-RJ)

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