Brazil’s Ruling Party Insists: There Was No Monthly Allowance Scheme

In a substitute report submitted to Brazil’s Joint Parliamentary Investigatory Commission (CPMI) on the Post Office, the PT (Workers’ Party) rejects the use of the term "mensalão" do describe illegal activities by the ruling party.

The mensalão refers to monthly payments allegedly made to legislators to obtain their votes for measures backed by the government.

The PT contends that the illegal fund-raising scheme concocted by Marcos Valério de Souza, popularly known as the "valerioduto" (Valério pipeline), was initiated between 1997 and 1998 during the PSDB campaign in Minas Gerais.

The PT document also denies that, during Lula’s Administration, this "caixa 2" (repository of unreported campaign funds( was transformed into a means to gather funds to buy parliamentary support.

In his official report, the rapporteur of the CPMI, deputy Osmar Serraglio (PMDB, Paraná state), retained the expression "mensalão," coined by ex-deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB, Rio de Janeiro).

The PT report reiterates the defense argument presented by the party’s former treasurer, Delúbio Soares, that the money passed along to the legislators came from loans to pay debts that had not been reported to the Federal Elections Board.

The PT report fingers the campaign to re-elect Eduardo Azeredo as governor of Minas Gerais – Azeredo is now a senator – as the origin of the "valerioduto."

"The upshot of the investigations described in earlier chapters suggests that the genesis of the scheme operated by Mr. Marcos Valério had its roots in 1997 and 1998, in the Minas Gerais election campaign, which followed the same ‘modus operandi’ as the one practiced as of 2003, that is, bank loans in Brazil or abroad, to be repaid or not; irregularities in publicity contracts with the public and private sectors, for services that were either not provided or were overbilled; and transfers of funds to political parties in the guise of loans."

The alternative report also points out that there are strong signs that the financial institutions, Banco Rural and the BMG, participated in the scheme concocted and put in practice by Marcos Valério in 1998 and revived in 2003 in cahoots with Delúbio Soares.

The companies, Brasil Telecom, Amazônia Celular, and Telemig, controlled at the time by the entrepreneur Daniel Dantas, of the Opportunity Bank, are considered the chief sources of the funds for Valério’s scheme.

The PT claims, as well, that there is evidence that Valério and Azeredo maintained a constant and intense relationship, beginning in the latter’s 1998 re-election campaign and continuing in ensuring years.

"In the period between July, 2000, and March, 2003, there were 135 phone calls between senator Azeredo and Marcos Valério, Cristiano de Mello Paz, and the SMPB, as corroborated in the appendices to this report."

Agência Brasil

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