Brazil’s Sports Minister Likely to Be 5th Rousseff’s Cabinet Member to Fall for Corruption

Orlando Silva Veja, the weekly magazine with the largest circulation in Brazil (about 1.1 million copies) claims in its last edition that the Brazilian Sports minister, Orlando Silva, has been involved in corruption actions totaling millions of dollars originally destined to promote sports among children from poor households. 

Allegedly, the program Second Half in the last eight years could have been involved in the embezzlement of almost the equivalent of US$ 23 million dollars and could include in the scam Orlando Silva’s predecessor in the job, Agnelo Queiroz, currently governor of Brasília Federal District.

The magazine, famous for exposing corruption cases that have knocked out several ministers from the cabinet of President Dilma Rousseff, says the source of information is a policeman, João Dias Ferrerira, together with Minister Silva, both members of the Communist Party of Brazil, who was arrested last year for having pocketed money from a non government organization, which received monthly installments from the Sports Ministry.

According to Ferreira the NGO received funds from the Second Half program but previously they had to agree on a percentage-skim sometimes up to 20% with the Ministry of Sports. The Communist Party would indicate members who would supply the false bills to make the operation ‘legal’.

The messenger and ‘percentage’ collector Celio Soares Pereira would receive the ‘skim’ from the NGO regularly (almost monthly) and would deliver the money to aides close to the minister. On one occasion according to Pereira, he handed the money directly to Orlando Silva in the garage of the Sports ministry.

“I collected the money from Federal District NGO representatives that received funds from the ‘Second Half’ program and I delivered it in a card box to the minister. They were all 50 and 100 real bills (equivalent to 28 and 57 dollars)”, said the messenger to Veja.

However Minister Silva sent a letter to Veja, which was published in the magazine, denying all allegations which he describes as “false, senseless, fabricated and irrational”, and at the same time announces he would begin legal actions against the ‘slanders’.

Since President Rousseff took office last January first, her cabinet has lost five ministers, four of them because of corruption claims published in the press. So far a cabinet chief, Transport, Tourism and Agriculture have had to step down, while the head of Defense went down following public derogatory remarks towards some of his colleagues.

All of this happens at a time Brazil is getting ready to host two world class sports events: soccer’s World Cup, in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics. “True or false this story could not have come at a worse time,” a FIFA representative commented.



  • Show Comments (8)

  • cassio

    To Jakob
    Thanks Jakob,
    I completely agree. This time you said the whole truth. I have actually worked for the Four Seasons Hotel in DC in the 90’s. I saw all the Brazilian politicians live and in color. The husbands would head down to the World Bank or White House ask for money while the wives and the entourage would spend days in the most expensive malls in the city. They would need to hire a small truck to follow them to the airport. I just shook my head… I hope Dilma can really tackle the graft problem AND the violence. Have a great one.

  • jakob

    Actually, I lived in Brazil for years. And actually, I do love Brazil with all her positive and negative points, but let’s get real, shall we.

    Macroeconomic situation in Brazil has improved, yes, but kids are still dying on her streets, people are still getting shot in their face for 20 reais or for a cellphone, and politicians are still by far the most corrupt in the world

    That said, I wish all the best for Brazil, and all the good folks living there

  • Cassio

    Jakob, you were doing so well until you ‘Besides’ comment
    My comments were directed at the “US Observer” offensive posting. Anyway, I have actually thrived in both countries and love both the US and Brazil. I have degrees and businesses in both. So I can tell you that the warmth and charm of the Brazilian people more than make up for 10X difference you pointed out. Especially in small towns. I can only assume that most readers here don’t really know Brazil well (yourself included). Or have not traveled well in the country outside tour companies. That would explain the shortsighted comments here. Which is surprising, since I thought this site was for people who loved Brazil. I guess I am in the wrong site. Have a nice day too.

  • jakob

    Besides, you and me and everybody in this forum (i.e. people who actually have **lived** in Brazil) know that the worst of the worst in US is still 10x better than the best of the best in Brazil! Have a nice day.

  • jakob

    my dear cassio, you better not bragging about brazuca companies doing business in US, because you know very well, things in Brazil can end up in the sh*itter in a blink of an eye.

    US, on the contrary, have a history of turning around and coming (again) on the top. (See e.g. Japanese threat in the 80s, and so on.)

    Have a nice day.

  • cassio

    Note to US OBSERVER from his comment on 10/17
    Dear US observer, to generalize “the entire country” as corrupt says volumes of the peanut sized brain you have. Take a hard look at your country which is failing morally more often than not, but hides behind its masterful hypocrisy. The only problem in Brazil, we don’t have finesse the American politician have. Be careful what you say, you might need to eat your own words someday. What if, say, in 20 years the only job you can get would be in a company from the ‘swamp’ doing business in the US. It is already happening, but I guess some news don’t reach the trailer park.

  • capnamerca

    And once again . . .
    The corrupt thief is allowed to walk away with his ill-gotten booty. The nest guy in line for the job knows he’ll be able to steal millions and walk away too. This cycle won’t stop until these crooks are prosecuted and forced to pay restitution.

    Meanwhile, as always, the poor children lose. The other thing to think about here is why Brazil won’t be able to represent itself well in the 2016 Olympics. Most of the best athletes have no way to get any training or opportunities to advance in the sports they love. Very sad.

  • us observer

    but we allready knew it
    the entire country and culture is inherently corrupt.and that is precisely why brazil is and will remain a third world swamp ,politically unstable,socially disfunctional and controlled by 14000 families who control all the wealth and corruption .

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