An investigation has been launched into the fortune of one of the Brazilian president's sons, Fábio Luiz Inácio da Silva, who from being virtually unemployed has accumulated in four years several million dollars.
Veja magazine reported that young Silva, a trained biologist was making a living from teaching English and computer lessons until his father took office in January 2002.
By December 2003, the son of the president and two partners had started three companies providing public relations services and producing video games.
Apparently the seed capital, according to weekly magazine Veja, came from Telemar, a telecommunications company in which government owned development bank BNDES has a 25% stake. At the same time public pension funds own 19% of Telemar.
Brazilian federal authorities find the intertwining of events and financial success, even for corruption laissez faire Brazil "a bit too excessive," according to the Brazilian press.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is seeking a second four-year term, is steadily gaining support as October first presidential election draws closer, according to two public opinion surveys released Tuesday, August 8.
The latest poll from Sensus and contracted by the CNT transportation association shows President Lula with a vote intention of 47.9% up from 44.1% in early July. His main rival, social democrat and former governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin comes in a distant second with 19.7% followed by Marxist Heloísa Helena Lima, with 9.3%.
However Mr. Alckmin's support actually dropped 7.5 points in the last month while Ms Lima almost doubled her share of the vote.
Those who remain undecided or saying they will cast blank or null ballots total 20.9%, which means Lula could easily win the first round with 60% of the vote, according to Sensus.
Ricardo Guedes from Sensus said the drop in support for Alckmin was as a consequence of the wave of violence hitting São Paulo, Brazil's most populous and richest state. Alckmin was governor of São Paulo until last April.
Guedes added that Heloísa Helena was benefiting at the expense of Alckmin, picking up the support of those who oppose Lula.
The Sensus poll interviewed 2,000 registered voters and was conducted between August 1 and 4 with a plus/minus error margin of 3 points.
In a second survey, this one by DataFolha, Lula's lead over Alckmin grew to 23 percentage points. According to the findings by DataFolha, Lula could win the election by a landslide, with 60% of the votes, still on the first round.
The president's strong performance in the polls comes in the wake of allegations of corruption against his party and government officials. Lula's Workers Party, or PT, and some of his close associates have been embroiled in a briberies and corruption scandal for over a year, although the president has remained unscathed.