Brazil Congress: The Same Old Story, Corruption, Embezzlement, Impunity

Edmar MoreiraAnother case of political corruption has made headlines in Brazil and once again it involves the Brazilian Congress. Congressman Edmar Moreira from Minas Gerais state, in the Southeast, recently accused of tax evasion for not declaring his US$ 12.5 million Castelo de Fadas (Fairy Castle) located in Minas, has been acquitted from an impending 4-month suspension.

The punishment had been proposed by a  special report submitted to the Congress’s Council of Ethics by deputy and special rapporteur Hugo Leal from the Rio de Janeiro Socialist Christian Party – PSC.

Deputy Nazareno Fonteles (Workers Party, São Paulo), original rapporteur of the proposal, called for an immediate removal of deputy Moreira from office, as he believes such accusations against a federal representative are extremely serious.

Besides the tax scandal, Edmar Moreira is also being accused of embezzlement, as it is believed he made use of public funds for personal reasons such as paying security services for private business he owns.

Following the final readings, the Council of Ethics was still not convinced that there was enough evidence that could justify Moreira’s removal from office. By 3 votes against and 2 abstentions, the council decided on Moreira’s acquittal. Deputy Hugo Leal lamented such decision:

“Although we cannot affirm without any room for error, that Edmar Moreira made use of public funds inappropriately, it is clear that he infringed the law by misusing his indemnity funds, as he himself confessed,” declared Hugo Leal.

For Leal the lack of legal mechanisms is the main reason preventing the Council of Ethics of the Congress from acting and punishing accordingly.

The indemnity fund, a benefit provided to Brazilian Congressman, is a a monthly allowance designated to cover expenses such as renting, office costs, transportation, etc.

Each congressman is entitled to up to US$ 6,000 dollars monthly. If suspended, Moreira would be unable to preside any congress meetings, or pass any congress bills. His allowance would still continue though.

Despite the favorable decision, Leonardo Moreira, Deputy Moreira’s son and also Minas Gerais State Representative insulted Federal Congressman Nazareno Fonteles – original rapporteur of the council, by calling him “veado” (literally deer in Portuguese, but a Brazilian derogatory term to refer to homosexuals).

Fonteles still defends Edmar Moreira’s dismissal and punishment against the deputy’s son for lack of parliamentary decorum.

“I have nothing against those who follow this behavior standard (homosexuality), but the reason, he (Leonardo) insulted me this way was simply to attack me morally,” said Nazareno.

State Representative Leonardo Moreira has denied such slur and blamed on the acoustics of the room.

Images of the castle can be seen at: http://www.sneri.blog.br/wp-content/castelo-edmarmoreira.jpg

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 10 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 has already participated as an actor in three English plays in Brazil and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics, history, politics and human rights articles.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Zebu Exporters Conquer the Middle East

The sales of zebu cattle should help increase Brazilian exports to the Middle East. ...

Russia Ends Ban on Meat and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Cheers

The suspension of the Russian embargo on beef, pork, and poultry imports from the ...

Kerry Responsible for Haiti Turmoil, Says Brazilian General

The commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti says comments by U.S. ...

Brazil Exports US$ 2.5 to the Caribbean. As Much as to France.

Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, says that Caribbean countries have an enormous ...

Agreeing on Non-Proliferation Agenda Is Tiny Step, Says Brazil

Nearly halfway through a four-week conference reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), delegations meeting ...

Sharing the Joy

Although this year’s Carnaval that took place in June in San Francisco is just ...

Brazil Is Back to a Bull Market: Stocks Up 33% This Year

The capital market in Brazil is attracting great attention of investors of other emerging ...

Brazilian Exports More than Double in Four Years, Imports Grow 94%

Foreign trade hit new record highs in Brazil in 2006. Exports surpassed the goal ...

Brazil's stock market Bovespa

Barring a China or US Surprise There’s No Stopping Brazil Stocks Rally

Brazilian stocks climbed Thursday, May 4, to a new record pushing the benchmark Bovespa ...