A new scandal has once again hit the Fundação Sarney in the state of Maranhão, in the Brazilian Northeast. According to dailyÂ newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the institution, which has been involved in a money laundry scheme and is now on the verge of financial collapse, promoted an unusual fund raising event.Â Â
The Foundation, which in the past had had Mr. José Sarney – a former Brazilian president and the current president of the Brazilian Senate – as its president rented the place for a hugeÂ bashÂ titledÂ "Sexy Party,"Â in its historical patio, formerly a convent during Brazil's colonial years.
Convento das Mercês (Mercy Convent), in São Luiz, capital of Maranhão, was inaugurated back in the 17th century by Father Antonio Vieira, a Portuguese Jesuit priest who is also one of Brazil's best writers and orators and one of the major critics of the Brazilian colonialism during that period.
A female band, "Female Angels " opened up the show,Â playing Sexy House, their musical style, along with some sensual performance to entertainÂ the guests.
The invitation that read "Set your fantasies free" prohibited the entrance of patrons under 18. The party organized by promoter Alexandre Maluf gathered 1500 people.
"Everything was done withÂ extreme responsibility," said Maluf. "Even free condoms were distributed," he informed. Ticket prices varied from 60 to 150 reais (between US$ 34 and US$ 84).
In July, O Estado published several articles denouncing that Fundação Sarney, a private-owned institution, was part of a money laundry scheme.Â The accusations were dropped by the senators, and the investigation died.
Following the incident the newspaper was censored by the Justice and a gag order was imposed forbidding the publication from publishing any more articles on the federal police investigation on the Sarneys.
One of the alleged schemes involved a generous donation to the Foundation of US$ 270,000 by Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petrobras and other federal money.
The Federal Court ruled that the foundation return the convent, listed by Brazil's National Heritage, but the institution has ignored the ruling for now.
You can get an idea of what took place in the party in this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUelX2T
Edison Bernardo DeSouza is a journalist, having graduated in Social Communication Studies at Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, Brazil . He lived in the US and Canada for close to 12 years and participated in volunteering activities in social works agencies. DeSouza currently lives in São Paulo where he teaches English as a Second Language for both private English Language Institute and Private High-School. He isÂ currentlyÂ participatingÂ as an actor in twoÂ English MusicalsÂ in Sao Paulo – Brazil and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics, history, politics and human rights articles.
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