08 May 2012

Where to continue?


Shall we talk about the new revelation by APublica that Paulista Santista, a second division team in the Campeonato Paulista, was found to have been maintaining their youth trainees in a tiny apartment where 12 kids had to share three mattresses and fend for their own food? The kids are from Pará, sent to Santos by their parents in search of their footballing dreams. The kids were under the care of an “olheiro” (scout), whose lawyer said that “the kids were not given food because if they were left to cook it themselves they wouldn’t eat properly.” Right. It’s clearly better not to give them anything. If this had happened in South Africa or Germany in the years leading up to the World Cup, there would have been international outrage. Here, football business founded on exploiting the dreams of young boys comes first.

Or perhaps we should talk about the revoking of the multi-billion dollar Porto Olimpico project designated for Rio’s port zone? This much ballyhooed contest was won by the architect son of one of the big shots at one of Brazil’s biggest construction firms. The international competition was so clearly opaque that a posse of gringos and their indignant Brazilian partners sued to have the competition results thrown out. Incredibly, it seems as if the judiciary will be able to tell our Mayor-king what to do for once. Credibility zero.

Or would you be more interested in hearing about the legislative investigation into the backroom dealings between Rio’s Deputy Dawg Govenor, Delta constructions, Eike Batista and Carlinhos Cachoeira, aka “The Waterfall”.  This latest high-level scandal threatens to unravel the Gordian knot tied by interest peddling and opaque governance. Delta, which has received billions in no-bid government contracts under Cabral, has pulled out of the Trans-Carioca BRT project and has left the group responsible for the Maracanã travesty. Last year, a Delta helicopter carrying Cabral’s girlfriend to a birthday party for the company’s president crashed, killing everyone on board. Apparently Cachoeira was the middle man in the Cabral-Delta negotiations. Cabral was flown to the party in Eike Batista’s private jet. Let’s hope that something positive comes of this and that these delightful people don’t get to join Sickly Ricky Teixeira in Miami.

Or maybe you just want to talk about the rich and famous? Thor Batista, Eike’s lovely, yet functionally illiterate son, just had his Ferarri confiscated by the Military Police because he didn’t have a front license plate. Perhaps it had been knocked off when the young Thor killed a man who was walking his bike on the side of the highway a few weeks ago? Nice one. He of course left the scene (on counsel) but then returned to make sure the blood was cleaned up. The major media outlets blamed the cyclist. Lovely.

Or, perhaps you’re more interested in the delightful absurdities of policing a city of 13 million? Earlier this week a PM used pepper spray against a dog who dared to get close to him (click link for photo). The dog has, sadly, gained more attention than the little girl shown being sprayed in this photo. Thanks to www.riounderbelly.com for reposting. 

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