09 December 2010

Wikileaks, the USA, Brazil, military operations, profit, and mega-events

Yeah, Wikileaks. http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/12/09BRASILIA1383.html

1. (S)SUMMARY: On November 10 at 22:13, Brazil experienced a blackout that plunged 18 of Brazil's 27 states into darkness for periods ranging from 20 minutes to 6 hours. A government commission is investigating, with a draft report and recommendations expected mid-December. GOB has recently begun to focus more attention on infrastructure security, both within the President's office and at Mines and Energy (MME), while an intensive process is also underway to develop recommendations to avoid outage problems in the future. The newly heightened concerns about Brazil's infrastructure as a result of this blackout, combined with the need to address infrastructure challenges in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, present the United States opportunities for engagement on infrastructure development as well critical infrastructure protection and possibly cyber security. Mission encourages USG agencies, including DOD, DHS, FCC, TDA and others, to explore these opportunities in the near-term. END SUMMARY


Some notable phrases from the summary: "Opportunity for engagement"; "infrastructure protection", DOD = Department of Defense, DHS = Department of Homeland Security, FCC = Federal Communications Commission, TDA = Trade and Development Agency. The wikileaks site has an excellent summary of the extended posting written by Natalia Viana.


Viana explains: The U.S. is not alone in the effort to profit from the Olympics. On November 11, 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres led a delegation of 40 Israeli companies to Rio de Janeiro. "Just as we did with the Olympics in Greece and China, we are offering special technologies of communication and security," he said during the visit.

And it is good to know that jorunalists and researchers are not the only people having trouble getting in touch with officials from the Ministry of Sports: 

Kubiske also complained that the Brazilian government has made many promises but done very little planning or taken any other action to date. "Articulating the big picture goals and leaving details to the last minute may be a typically Brazilian approach, but could lead to problems,” Kubiske wrote in her cable. She complained that the U.S. embassy has not been able to get in touch with the Brazilian Ministry of Sports, noting that the UK government - which will host the Olympics in 2012 – has also been unsuccessful in such efforts.


Athough I was optomistic about the chances of getting to explore the archives of SUDERJ and get access to information from the 2014 LOC (which three years after Brazil was selected as WC host still does not have an official website), I have been ignored in all of my attempts via phone and email to gain access to people and information. Not entirely true: I received this email from Saint-Clair Milesi, press secretary for Brazil 2014: 

Dear Mr. Gaffney,

Thanks for your contact. The Local Organising Committee is 100% funded by FIFA and does not build stadia or infrastructure. Construction work is a responsibility of the owners of the stadia and the three levels of governments.

We are structured in three main areas: Strategic Planning and Operations Support (headed by Joana Havelange), Operations (headed by Ricardo Trade) and Communications (Rodrigo Paiva). The committee is growing as necessary and we have about 40 people working with us, but we also work with consultants Ernst&Young and Arena (stadia consultants).

Best regards,

Saint-Clair

My reply which has yet to be answered: 

Dear Saint-Clair,
Thank you for your reply. I understand that the construction work is the responsibility of the owners of the stadium projects, but these projects are heavily influenced by FIFA and the LOC (in terms of financing, architecture, locale, etc). I have several questions regarding the organization of the 2014 World Cup.
Does the LOC have information regarding the 12 projects and how they are being managed within the structure of the LOC? 
Though there are of course many people working within the LOC, am I to understand that the executive committee itself is run by 4 or 5 people?
What is the role of the consultancy groups? Do they provide economic analyses or work with urban planners to ensure that the stadia will have post-cup uses? Does FIFA pay these consultancy groups as sub-contractors or does the CBF finance the work of Ernst&Young and Arena? I also understand that the CBF receives money from the Minstry of Sport. How does this money go into the financing of the World Cup?
Is there a website that identifies the structure of the LOC and the roles, responsibilities and qualifications of the people involved? If not, will this information be made available? Is there information regarding all of the World Cup stadium projects and their associated infrastructures that the LOC will make available to the general public? How are the positions within the LOC filled - by concurso publico or by ad-hoc hiring?
Thank you in advance for your help and I look forward to our continued communication.
Warm Regards,
Chris Gaffney

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