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Brazil Crime Show Host May Have Ordered Killings to Boost Ratings

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Brazil Crime Show Host May Have Ordered Killings to Boost Ratings
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SAO PAULO, Brazil —  In one murder after another, the Canal Livre TV show had an uncanny knack for being first on the scene, gathering graphic footage of the victim.
Too uncanny, say police, who are investigating the show's host, state legislator Wallace Souza, on suspicion of commissioning at least five of the murders to boost his ratings and prove his claim that Brazil's Amazon region is awash in violent crime.
"The order to execute always came from the legislator and his son, who then alerted the TV crews to get to the scene before the police," state police intelligence chief Thomaz Vasconcelos charged in an interview with The Associated Press.
The killings, he said, "appear to have been committed to get rid of his rivals and increase the audience of the TV show."
Souza's lawyer, Francisco Balieiro, said his client vehemently denies the accusations. Balieiro claimed political opponents were trying to smear him with false accusations, and that the only witness is a disgraced police officer hoping for leniency in nine murders he is charged with.
"There is not one piece of material proof in these accusations," Balieiro said.
More at the link:,2933,538927,00.html?test=latestnews

i just saw a news report about this... if true, UNBELIEVABLE corruption... almost unthinkable!!!


Souza remains free because of legislative immunity that prevents him from being arrested as long as he is a lawmaker. He is being investigated by a special task force, and state judicial authorities will decide whether the case goes forward.
  Vasconcelos said the crimes appear to have served the Souzas in two ways: They eliminated drug-trafficking rivals, and they boosted ratings.

Heh, kinda like starting a war to sell arms?

Corruption Scandal in Brazil Moves Closer to President
SÃO PAULO -- The corruption scandal involving José Sarney, the head of Brazil's senate, moved closer to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva after a former tax official said she was pressured to stop an audit of Mr. Sarney's family businesses.
Mr. Sarney, also a former president of Brazil, has been an important da Silva ally, although a member of a different political party.
The tax official, Lina Maria Vieira, is a former head of Brazil's equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service. In statements to Brazilian newspapers published over the weekend, Ms. Vieira said that Dilma Rousseff, Mr. da Silva's chief of staff, contacted her late last year to request that she "facilitate" the audit of Mr. Sarney's family businesses.
Ms. Vieira says she interpreted Ms. Rousseff's words as a request to end the audit. Ms. Vieira, who has since left her post, says she denied the request. Further details about the audit aren't available because it is protected by confidentiality laws.
Ms. Rousseff has denied Ms. Vieira's allegations.
Mr. da Silva has sought to shield Ms. Rousseff, who is his hand-picked successor as president, from scandals that could hurt her prospects in an election that is likely to feature corruption allegations as a major theme. After two terms, Mr. da Silva isn't eligible for re-election.
Asked about Ms. Vieira's allegations while attending a conference in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, Mr. da Silva called them a "fantasy."
Opposition politicians accuse Mr. Sarney of a range of improprieties, including secretly arranging lucrative no-show jobs at the senate for family members and associates. They are pressuring Mr. Sarney to step down as senate president.
Federal police say they are investigating some of the claims. Mr. Sarney denies wrongdoing and says he doesn't plan to resign.
When allegations against Mr. Sarney surfaced two months ago, Mr. da Silva initially stood by the senate president. However, Mr. da Silva has since moved to cut his ties with Mr. Sarney, signaling in a news conference late last month that he would no longer back him.
Mr. Sarney's fate remains unclear. Last week he won a small victory after the head of the senate ethics committee shelved a series of formal complaints against him brought by opposition senators.
Mr. Sarney may still be forced to step down, some political analysts say. If Mr. Sarney keeps his post, he wouldn't be the first Brazilian politician to survive a scandal.
His two chief defenders in the Senate are Renan Calheiros, a former senate president making a comeback after being ousted in a corruption scandal, and Fernando Collor, a former president of Brazil who was impeached in a 1992 corruption scandal and is now a prominent senator.
Write to John Lyons at
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A10
BTW - Lend $10 Billion To Drill ... Brazil?
[SIZE=-1]Energy: We didn't hear the administration crow about it, but Brazil is about to get $10 billion from U.S. taxpayers to develop its offshore oil reserves. It's not a bad idea, but something's still wrong with the big picture. ...[/SIZE]

Regarding a remark in the article about Thomas Shannon the new Ambassador to Brazil, "....he will make sure that U.S. Brazil relations advance"
Is it maybe time to send Mr. Shannon a few emails?


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