Waldogate, the scandal
that is rocking the Lula administration in
Brazil, has been under the control of organized crime since the
beginning: the video tape was released when it became convenient
to release it and its developments will only be known when
that Mafia decides that’s time to throw mud on the fan again.
The political environment is boiling, but the police case is rigorously at
ground zero. The investigations around the video tape released by weekly newsmagazine
Época containing the conversation between Waldomiro Diniz, advisor
to the President, with bookmaker Carlinhos Cachoeira have been stalled for
No big news is expected
from the testimonies scheduled for the Federal Police because the indicted
will choose to express themselves in court instead.
The blame for the paralysis
cannot be attributed to the government; as far as the government is concerned,
the quicker the dénouement, the less damage it will cause. The government
is to blame, yes, but for something else: for looking in the wrong direction,
for messing up in its assessments and for tripping over its own corrective
The parties showing no
interest in producing "new facts" are the same parties who ignited
the scandalthe great delinquents.
has been under the control of organized crime since the very beginning: the
video tape was released when it became convenient to release it and its developments
will only be known when the network in which Waldomiro Diniz got tangled up
decides that now it is convenient to throw mud on the fan again.
This is a scandal operated
by remote control and this is the reason why it is naïve to believe that
it involves only two characters and an isolated couple of corruption episodes.
Both the authorities and the press made a big mistake when they decided to
link "Waldogate" to the political sphere, the fall of a superminister
and/or the bingo issue.
Organized crime is not
a figure of speech. It is in fact very organized: it has resources and connections
and it operates within a networka wide system of interconnected vessels
linking what is licit and what is illicit and uniting political delinquency
and common delinquency.
Narcotraffic today deals
in narcotics, but it also deals in arms, people, fortunes, ideas and influence.
Narcotraffic manipulates parties and destroys governments. Apparently this
is not a concern for the government or for the press.
This is evidenced by the
fact that the bomb exploded, but nobody shows any interest in finding out
who detonated it. The press will start moving when somebody throws the next
projectilea phone tapping transcript, an audio or video tape, or a dossier.
And the government will start moving when it finally understands that the
problem is not in its operating sphere; actually, it’s in the opposite sphere.
All the attention concentrated
on Chief of Staff, José Dirceu, is wrong, diversionist and sensationalist.
The right (or left) arm of President Lula can even be punished for having
relapsed and for not paying attention to his personal and political relationships.
But Dirceu is not the problem.
When they recorded the
conversation between the advisor and the bookmaker, the delinquents in question
were not interested in destabilizing the Lula administration or burning down
one of its support pillars. What they wanted was to force any government elected
in 2002 to bend to their impositions. They were placing a bet and they played
their game hiding in a corner.
It’s ironical that it
all occurred the week of the Academy awards. The core of the biggest political
crisis of recent years is contained in a low quality video tape with bad focus
and a damaged soundtrack, which nevertheless caused a devastating effect.
In Hollywood, the prizes
went to professionals who are recognized and renowned in the industry. Here,
the prize will be given to whoever unveils the professional crooks who financed,
produced, filmed and distributed the first apparition of big time delinquency
in our country.
This time, in these Oscars
turned inside out, the press doesn’t show its cards. It receives them.
Alberto Dines, the author, is a journalist, founder and researcher at LABJORLaboratório
de Estudos Avançados em Jornalismo (Laboratory for Advanced Studies
in Journalism) at UNICAMP (University of Campinas) and editor of the Observatório
da Imprensa. He also writes a column on cultural issues for the Rio
daily Jornal do Brasil. You can reach him by email at email@example.com
This article was
originally published in Observatório da Imprensa www.observatoriodaimprensa.com.br
Translated by Arlindo