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Brazzil - Behavior - November 1998





Tiazinha - Isto EShe is known as Tiazinha (Little Aunt), but she is mean as a fairy-tale stepmother. She appears daily in a segment of H, a TV program hosted in the afternoon by Luciano Huck at obscure Bandeirantes network. Dressed in a skimpy lacy panty and bra, a mask covering her eyes, and armed with a whip Tiazinha gives video lessons of domination and charm. Brazilians are falling all over this curvy brunette temptress.

The mask, she explains, helps her deal with her timidity, but it is also a way to separate the personas in Suzana Ferreira Alves, 20, who is a Communications student and has some acting experience, having worked in children's plays and TV commercials. She has been posing for printed ads since she was five.

In the highlight of her H segment teen-age boys, lying with depilation wax on their legs, are asked trivia questions. In a sado-erotic ritual, every wrong answer is followed by Tiazinha's quick hand action, with the participant losing part of his hair covering. The guests seem to enjoy the torture and the audience roars its approval at every mistake.

One of the show's questions: "Which are the South American countries that have no border with Brazil?" (Answer: Chile and Ecuador.) Those who give the right answer get the right to have Tiazinha strip herself of one of the few lingerie pieces she wears. Should parents worry that their little ones are hooked on Tiazinha? Not really, according to Dr. Alfredo de Castro Neto, former president of Associação Brasileira de Psicoterapia Infantil (Brazilian Association of Child Psychotherapy), who told Rio's daily Jornal do Brasil: "Parents shouldn't worry. Children are probably attracted by the mask. The character is kind of a female Zorro. She does some mean stuff that children adore and has all the ingredients of mystery."

Suzana these days seems to be on the cover of every magazine in Brazil and all mainstream news publications have dedicated extensive coverage to her and her antics. Influential weekly news magazine Isto É dedicated a photo essay to the sadistic TV muse posting 13 pictures of her on the magazine's WEB site and encouraging readers to copy the images to their computers' hard drives. Tiazinha - Isto E

She has a full agenda with appearances at parties and in commercials. After school and business obligations she still finds time for bodybuilding, capoeira,—a martial art and dance—jazz and ballet. Monosyllabic most of the time, Tiazinha explained recently in an interview to Diário da Manhã—a daily from Goiânia, capital of Goiás state—why she is called Tiazinha: "Because the first time I went on the air I was wearing a teacher's apron. (It's customary in Brazil for children to call their teacher tia (aunt)). On our first program we also wanted to create an image and lead people to believe that they would see an older person on the screen."

Suzana says that she was reluctant to accept the TV role and only took the job at the insistence of the program's producers and the assurance that she would be able to wear a mask to hide her identity. For her participation in the TV program she gets a $5,000 monthly check, but thanks to her celebrity she is already charging $5,500 for a single show at a nightclub where she does a mock strip-tease with the same TV accessories that made her famous.

TiazinhaNext she will be revealing much more of herself in an upcoming Playboy issue. Soon people will also be able to wear clothes, shoes and bags bearing her name, besides naturally erotic lingerie, mask, and depilatory wax.

She still lives with her parents—both from the northeastern state of Paraíba—in a house she now helps to pay for. Dona Lúcia, her mother, a devoted evangelical, seems to have overcome her initial scruples and now cheers for her daughter's career. Suzana herself is practicing less of her religion nowadays, but she always carries a white mini-bible with her and confides: "God is with me, always." Geraldo, the father, stricter than the mother, is also getting used to the daughter's celebrity and even calls her Tiazinha sometimes.


Two Bombs

In a moment when Brazil has just reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $41.5 rescue loan and looks to the international community for a renewed vote of confidence, two bombs that can wreck these efforts have exploded in the capital city of Brasília. Both could seriously compromise the second mandate of Fernando Henrique Cardoso who was reelected to the presidency in October.

The first bomb by all accounts is a collection of crude and fraudulent faxes used in an attempt to incriminate the President and his close allies. The documents show that since 1994, Cardoso and three friends have maintained a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands with a balance of $368 million. The money was deposited into the checking account of a company named CH, J & T Inc, whose initials conveniently correspond to the names of their alleged owners. So, the C would be for Covas (Mário Covas, governor of São Paulo), the H for Henrique (Fernando Henrique Cardoso), the J for Health Minister José Serra, and the T for Ray Terrence, a purported American proxy for Serra.

As baseless as it might be, the ploy was able to place the government on the defensive. And any small irregularity that might be discovered with all the attention of the media and foes focused on the rumors would be a victory for those who forged the documents. Daily Folha de São Paulo found out for example that there is a CH, J & T company in the Bahamas. But this and other discoveries couldn't prove anything against Cardoso.

It is still not clear who is behind the mud-throwing effort. The President seems to believe that former President Fernando Collor de Mello, who resigned in 1992 to prevent an imminent impeachment by Congress on corruption charges, has something to do with it. Cardoso called those responsible for the intrigue "farceurs and forgers" and went on: "It is necessary to express to the nation the indignation I feel at seeing people with no credibility whatsoever returning again to the public scene with insinuations." Collor, naturally, has denied any involvement and vowed to sue Cardoso for libel.

Hot Tapes

The second bomb involved the illegal tapping of phone conversations between top aides of the Cardoso administration. The recordings revealed candid talks in which Communications Minister Luiz Carlos Mendonça de Barros, who was being groomed to take the newly created post of Production Minister, and André Lara Resende, president of the government's National Bank of Economic and Social Development, discussed how to help Banco Opportunity win a bid at a phone privatization auction. In July, Telebrás, the state telephone holding company, offered 12 firms to the highest bidder, a $19 billion deal. Banco Opportunity's senior officers are friends of Barros and Resende. Ironically, however, the consortium led by the private bank dropped out of the bidding.

On November 23, two weeks after the tapes were first leaked to the press, four top officials resigned including the Minister and the development bank president. Foreign Trade Secretary José Roberto Mendonça de Barros, brother of the Communications Minister also stepped down "in solidarity". Later that same day, the vice president of the development bank, Pio Borges, presented his resignation too.

Speaking before Congress, Mendonça de Barros argued that the tapes had been doctored to make him look bad and that all he did was to help to raise the price of the bidding. His reasoning wasn't convincing, however, even though there were voices in the government urging him to stay to send a message to those who made the secret taping: illegal tampering will not be rewarded. But soon, the minister became too hot an issue for the government to handle.

Sérgio Amaral, the President's spokesman, called the dossier against Fernando Henrique a forgery and let it be known that it's an unthinkable and ludicrous idea that Cardoso might have money hidden in some fiscal paradise. "Of course the President does not own any companies abroad," said Amaral at a news conference. "The only assets he has overseas are two bank accounts in New York City with a total of about $23,000." He uses these accounts to collect foreign royalties for books he wrote and has declared them in his taxes.

Those who had access to some 400 pages of documents found out that CH, J & T, the President's alleged company, was controlled by a second one called Trident Corporate Services. The papers also show a heavy traffic of money from Swiss banks to the Caribbean Islands. These are documents signed by all the main characters involved including the President. The majority of the papers are in English, but clearly written by someone for whom English is not their first language.

News about the dossier started to circulate in September, the month before the presidential election that would reelect Cardoso. Three presidential candidates were offered the documents for a price that started at $4 million. Some even considered buying it, but in the end all declined convinced that the papers weren't reliable enough. Health Minister José Serra, one of the partners in the alleged scheme received some pages of the document by fax and he was the one who had the initiative to divulge the material hoping that by doing so the allegations would evaporate as totally ludicrous. The move, however, ended up giving some legitimacy to documents that some publications already had, but were afraid do divulge.



A charismatic, blue-eyed, handsome, 31-year-old Catholic priest from São Paulo has become the most talked about TV attraction in Brazil in recent weeks. Priest Marcelo Rossi's participation in the most popular television programs is a guarantee of high ratings while he preaches, dances and sings religious tunes like a pop star. His star has risen so fast that he recently became the cover subject of weekly newsmagazine Veja, the most important weekly publication in Brazil with a circulation of more than 1.2 million copies.

His masses, celebrated with song and dance in a former industrial warehouse in the Santo Amaro neighborhood in the Greater São Paulo, draws as many as 60,000 believers. In little more than a month his CD Músicas Para Louvar o Senhor (Songs to Praise the Lord) sold 1.7 million copies. Best-selling band Só Pra Contrariar has sold 3.6 million copies of its latest album Só Pra Contrariar. Some industry insiders believe the dancing priest has a good chance to surpass this number.

Evangelical pastors have complained that the priest mixed Catholic songs with evangelical ones. From the 13 cuts in the CD six are tunes sung by evangelicals. "I made a point not to limit myself to the Catholic world," he explained during a press conference sponsored by PolyGram, his recording company.

As for his continuous appearances on TV he has no apologies: "We have shown that it is possible to get the highest ratings on TV by preaching God's word and without lowering the level. But I am not a product, I'm a priest. If the TV stations are using me to get audience, I am doing the same and helping people in the process."

Very Human

Padre Marcelo was a late bloomer. Before entering the seminary he led a pretty normal life for a teen-ager, going out on dates and having sex with a few girls. As a child in Cruzeiro, a small town 125 miles from São Paulo, he thought about becoming a soccer player, a fireman or maybe a Formula One driver.

He was not that interested in religion either. In 1980 when the Pope visited São Paulo he was 13 years old and had already moved to São Paulo, but preferred to stay home doing crossword puzzles while his parents went to catch a glimpse of John Paul II. In 1989 he graduated in Physical Education.

Marcelo was 21 when two tragedies in the family brought him back to the church and inspired him to dedicate his life to the priesthood. He lost a cousin, who also was a close friend, in a car accident on the same day his aunt was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. The following year a TV series on the Pope, which he saw a dozen times, became the trigger for his religious vocation. In 1991 he entered the seminary.

He is as far as you can be from a clergy generation that believed that Marx and Christ had much more in common than in disagreement. The popular priest talks against drugs, and about heaven and hell as the more traditional priests do. He condemns homosexuality, abortion, and all kinds of contraceptives, and he is also against giving women a wider role in the Church.

His sermons are short and to the point. He likes to cite a saying: "In five minutes is God who is talking, in ten is the man, and in fifteen is the devil." Worried about the short attention span of the believers he has introduced the Byzantine rosary in his church, a prayer that takes about 10 minutes, one third of the time of the traditional rosary.

A track from Padre Marcelo's CD:

Anjos de Deus

Se acontecer um barulho perto de você
É um anjo chegando para receber
Suas orações e levá-las a Deus
Então abra o coração
Comece a louvar
Sinta o gozo do céu se derramar no altar 
Que um anjo já vem com a bênção nas mãos
Tem anjos voando neste lugar
No meio do povo e em cima do altar
Subindo e descendo em todas as direções
Não sei se a igreja subiu ou se o céu desceu
Só sei que está cheio de anjos de Deus
Porque o próprio Deus está aqui
Tem anjos voando...
Quando os anjos passeiam
a Igreja se alegra
Ela canta, ela chora, ela ri e congrega
Abala o inferno e dissipa o mal
Sinta o vento das asas dos anjos agora
Confia irmão pois é a tua hora
A bênção chegou e você vai levar
Tem anjos voando...

God's Angels

If there is some noise close to you
It's an angel arriving to receive
Your prayers to take them to God
So, open your heart
Start to praise
Feel the heaven's joy overflow on the altar
An angel is coming with blessings in his hands
There are angel flying in this place
Among the people and over the altar
Going up and down in every direction
I don't if the church went up or havens came down
All I know it is full of God's angels
Because God Himself is here
There are angels flying...
When angels go for a walk
the church is happy
It sings, it cries, it laughs and congregates
It Shakesabala hell and dissipates evil
Feel the wind of the angels' wings now
Trust, brother, because it's your time
The blessing has come and you are going to take it
There are angels flying



Rio has started a campaign to get rid of children and youngsters who beg for money in the streets. The action is an initiative of the Juizado da Infância e Juventude (Childhood and Youth Court) after a study showed that there are 932 children being exploited by adults on the streets of Rio. The same study also revealed that most of the children and teen-agers found in the streets have at least one parent.

According to judge Siro Darlan from Children's Court the intention of the campaign "is not to clean the streets, but to protect the children." The Brazilian Penal Code punishes the crime of exploiting kids with severe penalties and even prison, but the law is rarely if ever enforced.

Parents of the children caught begging will have to participate in a six-week course in which they will learn about responsibility, drugs and sex. Each family will also get a basket of food, bus tickets and clothes when they come for the meeting. Darlan was able to convince business people to adopt families of street children for a year. After the one-year period, however, they will be on their own and Darlan warns: "If nothing changes after 12 months we will apply the Penal Code."

In a move similar to what has been done in São Paulo through a program known as Dinheiro Legal (Legal Money), Rio Children's court wants to distribute cards with emergency phone and shelter addresses where the children and their families would pay for the food with the cards. Citizens are encouraged to buy these cards in newsstands and give them instead of money.



The growing number of kidnappings in Brazil has brought a boom to the bulletproof industry. Despite costs that can go as high as $70,000 for a single vehicle, companies and even individuals have increasingly looked for ways to make their vehicles impervious to bullets. The shielding goes beyond bulletproof windows. Bumpers, tires, top and even the car floor are reinforced. The cars are also equipped with sirens and walk-talkies so their owners can talk with people outside without opening the window.

One of leading companies in the sector, Israeli-based Armor Equipamentos de Proteção (Armor Protection Equipment) is shielding 47 vehicles a month nowadays. When they started in Brazil 12 years ago they didn't get more than two orders a month. There was a 30% increase in orders in 1998 compared to last year. Each month they also get up to 12 bulletproofed cars that have been hit and need to be repaired.


Third World
No More

Emerging country? This designation does not apply to Brazil anymore. At least that's what John Edwin Mein, the president of Brazil's American Chamber of Commerce thinks. To justify his belief he cites the size of the Brazilian market as well as the country's infrastructure and its Gross National Product. From 1992 to 1996 the US invested $130.4 billion in foreign countries. Of this money, $18.6 billion (9%) went to Brazil. Only the United Kingdom and Canada get more money from the US.



Central do Brasil (Central Station), the movie, is poised to go where no Brazilian film has gone before. The work, which won this year's Berlin Festival Silver Bear, is getting the red carpet treatment by Sony Pictures, the film's distributor in the United States. The company acquired the rights to the movie in January during the Sundance Film Festival.

Sony wants to see the film among the five nominated for an Oscar, not in the foreign movie category, but together with the best English-language movies. Sony would also like to see veteran Brazilian Fernanda Montenegro chosen as one of the five best actresses. Montenegro would be competing with some favorite actresses for the upcoming Oscar, including Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, and Susan Sarandon.

A long shot? Don't tell this to Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics' president, who is behind the marketing strategy to make the Brazilian work as much a household name as past foreign movies like My Life as a Dog, and The Postman.

Barker indicated that before February 1999, when the list of nominated movies is released, Sony will spend millions to accomplish that. In its campaign kicked off in late September with ads in the movie industry papers, Sony talked about the exquisite emotional experience Central do Brasil is and cited five other foreign movies that made it into the main category, among them Costa-Gavras' Z (1968), Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (1972) and The Postman( (1995).

What is the prerequisite for a foreign or any movie to compete for a place in the main category? To have played in the US before December 1st, to have premiered in the country it was made after January 1 and then to have been shown for at least six months. The film can even compete for best picture in the foreign and main categories at the same time, as happened with Z.

Sony started to put its plan into action in late November opening the movie in a few key markets. It expects that promotion, good reviews and word of mouth will help when the release expands to up to 500 screens nationwide.

Talking to Rio's daily Jornal do Brasil, Barker explained the Brazilian movie's appeal: "Central do Brasil is a universal film. It transcends the Brazilian cinema in reflecting feelings that have meaning to any culture. I am sure it will tug at Americans' heartstrings, exactly as The Postman did. The film has everything to get to the mainstream and conquer the great public."

According to Barker, preview sessions to test the public's reaction have shown the movie touching people of all ages. Starting in December, Vinícius de Oliveira, the boy in the movie and actress Fernanda Montenegro will tour 15 US cities to promote Central do Brasil..

The nominations will be announced February 9, 1999. And the Oscar awards will be given on Sunday, March 21. Brazilians hope they will have an extra incentive to be up late in front of the TV set.


The New and
the Newer

Since mid November and extending to January 23, 1999, the New York MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) is presenting a vast portrait of the Brazilian movie industry. It is a panel composed by 82 movies (17 shorts and 65 feature length ones) produced in the last 40 years.

Called Cinema Novo and Beyond and co-sponsored by the Culture Ministry, the festival is being held in the same space that the incipient Brazilian Cinema Novo (New Cinema) was presented to Americans in the late 60s. Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese were some of the Yankee movie directors who were exposed to the Brazilian cinematography at that time.

As expected in a festival about Cinema Novo, late Gláuber Rocha will have several of his works shown. They are Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, Terra em Transe, and O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro). The director with the most movies, however, will be 70-year old and still very active Nélson Pereira dos Santos, a precursor of the Cinema Novo Movement. New York will be seeing his best, like Vidas Secas, Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês, O Amuleto de Ogum, and Memórias do Cárcere.

Among other directors in the exhibit: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (Macunaíma and Guerra Conjugal), Cacá Diegues (A Grande Cidade, Xica da Silva, and Bye Bye Brasil.), Leon Hirszman (A Falecida, São Bernardo, and Eles Não Usam Black Tie), and Arnaldo Jabor (Toda Nudez Será Castigada and Tudo Bem).

The list:

From the '60s

Assalto ao Trem Pagador by Roberto Farias

Bahia de Todos os Santos by Trigueirinho Neto

O Pagador de Promessas by Anselmo Duarte

Vidas Secas by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol by Gláuber Rocha

Os Fuzis by Ruy Guerra

Noite Vazia by Walter Hugo Khouri

O Desafio by Paulo Cezar Saraceni

A Grande Cidade by Carlos Diegues

A Hora e a Vez de Augusto Matraga by Roberto Santos

A Falecida by Leon Hirszman

São Paulo S.A. by Luiz Sérgio Person

Menino de Engenho by Walter Lima Júnior

Terra em Transe by Gláuber Rocha

Memória de Helena by David Neves

A Margem by Ozualdo Candeias

O Bandido da Luz Vermelha by Rogério Sganzerla

Copacabana Me Engana by Antônio Carlos Fontoura

Macunaíma by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

O Profeta da Fome by Maurice Capovilla

O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro by Gláuber Rocha

O Anjo Nasceu by Julio Bressane

From the '70s

Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

Bang Bang by Andrea Tonacci

Toda Nudez Será Castigada by Arnaldo Jabor

São Bernardo by Leon Hirszman

Uirá by Gustavo Dahl

Iracema by Jorge Bodanski and Orlando Senna

Triste Trópico by Artur Omar

O Amuleto de Ogum by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

Guerra Conjugal by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

Lição de Amor by Eduardo Escorel

Coronel Delmiro Gouveia by Geraldo Sarno

Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos by Bruno Barreto

Xica da Silva by Carlos Diegues

Tudo Bem by Arnaldo Jabor

From the '80s

Eles Não Usam Black Tie by Leon Hirszman

O Homem que Virou Suco by João Batista de Andrade

Bye Bye Brasil by Carlos Diegues

Índia by Fábio Barreto

Pixote by Hector Babenco

Inocência by Walter Lima Júnior

Nunca Fomos Tão Felizes by Murilo Salles

Sargento Getúlio by Hermano Penna

Cabra Marcado para Morrer by Eduardo Coutinho

Memórias do Cárcere by Nélson Pereira dos Santos

A Hora da Estrela by Susana Amaral

A Marvada Carne by André Klotzel

A Cor do Seu Destino by Jorge Duran

Anjos da Noite by Wilson Barros

Anjos do Arrabalde by Carlos Reichenbach

Noites do Sertão by Carlos Alberto Prates Corrêa

From the '90s

Terra Estrangeira by Walter Salles

Alma Corsária by Carlos Reichenbach

Os Matadores by Beto Brant

Um Céu de Estrelas by Tata Amaral

Como Nascem os Anjos by Murilo Salles

O Sertão das Memórias by José Araújo

Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business by Helena Solberg

O Quatrilho by Fábio Barreto

Yndio do Brasil by Sylvio Back

Bocage, o Triunfo do Amor by Djalma Limongi Batista

Miramar by Júlio Bressane

Pequeno Dicionário Amoroso by Sandra Werneck

Boleiros by Ugo Giorgetti


Aruanda by Linduarte Noronha

Viramundo by Geraldo Sarno

Memórias do Cangaço by Paulo Gil Soares

A Pedra da Riqueza by Wladimir Carvalho

Teremos Infância by Aloízio Raolino

Eu Sou a Vida, Não Sou a Morte by Haroldo Marinho

Oxente Pois Não by Joaquim Assis

Meow by Marcos Magalhães

O Melhor Amigo do Homem by Tânia Savietto

As Três Moedas da Fonte by Cecílio Neto

Mato Eles by Sérgio Bianchi

Ilha das Flores by Jorge Furtado

Rota ABC by Francisco Cezar Filho

O Enigma de um Dia by Joel Pizzini

À Meia Noite com Gláuber by Ivan Cardoso

A Alma do Negócio by José Roberto Torero

Chapeleiros by Adrian Cooper


More Flag

Are Brazil and Brazilians excessively respectful of the flag, the national anthem, and other national symbols? Francisco Weffort, the minister of Culture, thinks so and wants to change this. In order to alter law No. 5700 from 1971—for example, it forbids applause following the performance of the national anthem and the use of the flag in consumer products—Weffort is presenting a proposal to the executive and the congress.

"We need to eliminate from the law encumbrances that inhibit the expression of love to the symbols," said the Minister during a ceremony to celebrate Flag's Day on November 19.

"Many people would love to have a cap with a little flag, but they can't because the manufacturer does not make it, afraid that he will be prosecuted by the law."

For Weffort, however, the use of the flag in a blanket or a towel would still be disrespectful and against the law.



Flávio Pimenta Alves, 28, moved to New York and asked for asylum in 1997 after the publication of his book Toque de Silêncio, uma História de Homossexualidade na Marinha do Brasil (Taps, a Story of Homosexuality in Brazil's Navy). Alves was a Brazilian Navy man, who became a celebrity after getting out of the closet and turning into an activist in favor of homosexuality. The revelation of his sexual preferences got him into hot water and according to his own account provoked the ire of the Brazilian Navy.

In his request for political asylum the gay militant, who entered the US on a tourist visa, argued that some military men had threatened him with death. The granting of asylum depends on a final decision by the Manhattan Immigration Court.


For the

According to statistics, at least 300 lives were saved last year in Brasília traffic thanks to sparrows. Very special sparrows, since this is the name (pardal in Portuguese) the residents of Brazil's capital city call the traffic radars in town. They have been credited with helping reduce car speed, the main cause of traffic deaths. This effort, however, has been thwarted lately by radar thieves. In four months these thieves have stolen 41 radars, more than half of the 76 devices available in the city.

The thieves are leaving the cameras and taking only the computers that register the occurrences of speeding, even though these machines have very little commercial value and are housed in special boxes made of concrete or steel and secured with two locks. Who is behind the vandalism? For the Brasília traffic authority these are people interested in defrauding the speed control.


A as in

After a seven-year war against the laboratories lobby, Brazil seems ready to adopt legislation creating the industry of generic medicine. The practice that exists since 1984 in the US was never adopted in Brazil and the prospects for its implementation changed only recently following concessions by the legislature.

The bill introduced in Congress by House Representative Eduardo Jorge was inspired on the Norwegian system and called for the elimination of all trade names like Tylenol or Midol. Under this proposal the labs would have to market their products only listing their active ingredients. Such a measure would cut to around 2,500 the 40,000 different brands found today on pharmacy shelves. With the changes in the legislation brought in by the labs lobby the Brazilian model will closely follow the one in the US, in which generic products are sold together with brand name medicines.

The new law will still force manufacturers to list prominently on the package the ingredients used in the drug. According to the revised bill, drug manufacturers will have to print on the packaging the main ingredient of the product with the same color and size of lettering used for the brand name.

It's expected that this measure still waiting for Senate approval will dramatically lower the prices of medicine up to 45%. The generic product will be preferred by the government's health plans and their manufacturers have already been promised fiscal incentives by Health Minister José Serra. Besides, the SUS (Sistema Único de Saúde—Unified System of Health), the federal government health program which represents 25% of the drug market, will buy only generic medicine.

One problem, however, according to Waldir Mesquita, president of Conselho Federal de Medicina (Federal Counsel of Medicine) will be to guarantee that the generic products will really have the ingredients they list on their labels. This is work for the Vigilância Sanitária (Sanitary Authority), which is chronically underfunded and understaffed.

And what are the laboratories are saying? José Eduardo Bandeira de Mello, president of Abifarma (Associação Brasileira da Indústria Farmacêutica—Brazilian Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry) thinks the new law will make things more difficult without bringing any benefit to the consumer. `'The brands will be maintained and the cost will not go down. Even if the doctors at SUS write down in their prescriptions the generic name, the pharmacists will continue selling the brand names."


Jail Birds

It's believed that theirs is Brazil's first CD entirely recorded in a prison. Detentos do Rap (Rap Inmates) has just released—easy to remember—Detentos do Rap. Marcos "MC Lapa" Santos, 23 ( free after serving two years); Eduardo "MC do Rap" Fonseca, 23 (sentenced to 12 years in prison); Ronaldo "MC Roni" da Silva, 23 (sentenced to 3 years and 9 months); and Daniel Sancy, 20 (sentenced to 7 years and 8 months) make up the new band that lives and gives their shows at Casa de Detenção Carandiru, a penitentiary in São Paulo that houses close to 7000 prisoners.

The CD, recorded by Fieldzz Discos, which examined 50 other inmate bands before settling on the Detentos, is not being hailed as the next wave in Brazilian pop music, but it has its good moments and some hard-hitting lyrics as in the opening track "Som no Inferno" (Sound in Hell):

Será que este ano eu saio de condicional?
Será que em casa eu vou passar o Natal?
Os direitos humanos pra nós é cruel
Para as autoridades somos só papel.

Will I get out on parole this year?
Will I be able to spend Christmas at home?
Human rights for us is something cruel
To the authorities we are just paper

For Florisval Alves da Silva, security director at Carandiru, the recording was encouraged by authorities. "The inmates calm down when they listen to music," he told daily O Estado de S. Paulo. "The Detentos do Rap will prove that Casa de Detenção is not the hell people say it is."

Da Silva will have a hard time making his case. Carandiru was the stage for the worst prison massacre Brazil ever saw. After a rebellion in 1992, 111 inmates were killed by police. Listen to "Casa Cheia" (Full House), for example, that's already been played on radios stations:

O Carandiru está de casa cheia
Muita maldade no ar muita droga na veia
A coisa aqui está brava
A coisa aqui está feia (...)

Falam que aqui estão nos reeducando
É mentira, eles cá tão nos marginalizando
A coisa aqui é ruim, é pior que se imagina
Já me ensinaram até a refinar cocaína.

Carandiru has a full house
Plenty of meanness in the air, lots of drugs in the veins
Things here are harsh
Things here are ugly

They say they are reeducating us here
That's a lie, they are making us criminals
Things here are bad, worse than you think
They already have taught me how to refine cocaine

At times though Os Detentos may seem more like preachers as when they sing "Violência Gera Violência" (Violence Breeds Violence):

Que o sangue do meu Senhor Jesus Cristo
Em meu peito no meu corpo se derrame
Me benza dos pés à cabeça
Me dê papel e caneta
Me lave no sangue sagrado.

May the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ
Be poured on my bosom, on my body
May it bless me from head to toe
Give me paper and pen
Wash me in the sacred blood


Ends and
butts too

Sheila Mello - Playboy"É o Tchan is music and not buttocks." With this recent declaration, Compadre Washington, the leader from the musical band É o Tchan tried to change the public focus from their two dancers' derrières to the sound the group makes. The band has made a star of artificial blonde Carla Perez, who went on to host her own and little successful TV show on SBT (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão—Brazilian System of Television).

Now, two other girls also anatomically well endowed, have become Brazil's latest erotic objects of desire. They are blonde Sheila Mello and brunette Scheila Carvalho. Both were chosen in a national referendum on Globo TV, a virtual monopoly of the Brazilian airwaves. Both were also further objectified by being shown on Brazilian Playboy's cover with a generous display of flesh inside the magazine. Sheila Mello - Playboy

An image change for the band? During the Perez reign, the famous blonde placed her hands in her knees and shook her butt while bending her knees and almost touching the floor. Now, they adapted a Hawaiian hula-hula in which the buttock also reigns supreme while the lyrics tease,

...desce, que desce, que desce balançando a bundona
sobe, que sobe, que sobe sacudindo as mamonas..

(...down, down, down swaying the big butt
up, up, up, shaking the big tits)

It is on the title track of the latest release.

Or another jewel of double entendre:

Já pegou no cabelinho?
Já peguei
Já pegou no narizinho?
Já peguei
Já pegou na orelhinha?
Já peguei
Já pegou na barriguinha?
Já peguei
Agora pare
Pegue no bumbum...

Have you grabbed her little hair yet?
I have.
Have you grabbed her little nose yet?
I have.
Have you grabbed her little tummy yet?
I have.
Stop now
Grab her butt...
Sheila Mello - Playboy

As for É o Tchan's latest star, the blonde dancer was chosen from among 2531 other national candidates. The final and popular competition happened at TV Globo's Sunday show Programa do Faustão. Playboy has reserved its November cover and 24 inside pages to exhibit Sheila Mello's nakedness. The pictures were taken on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Editora Abril, the magazine's publisher, was expecting record sales as it had when it showed Scheila Carvalho and Carla Perez before her.

This is not the first time the 20-year-old dance teacher—she started dancing when she was five—poses in the nude. She used to take it all off and give shows to her girlfriends before a camera. Before becoming the É o Tchan blonde she also worked as a telephone operator, a secretary, a receptionist, and as a cashier at McDonald's.

The sudden success has done wonders for her checking account. As a teacher she did not make more than $700 a month, now she doesn't take home less than $30,000.





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