Thursday, October 27, 2011

Should Brazilians have Vergonha?

My Father-in-law came over this morning for a over breakfast visit with the boys and I. While he skimmed his paper he produced his unique ashamed and disgusted expression. (I really have to get a picture of it one day. It's adorable) He then stated:

"It is shameful how many ministers have been outed for corruption in this country!"

I understand his point.  Orlando Silva is the 4th minister to resign right? 5th? Oh wait nope, he's the lucky 6th to resign after scandalous allegations. Hell, who wouldn't be ashamed of their country after that?

Not me! I'm kind of stoked for Brazil. As opposed to the corruption just continuing, people are pointing fingers! Sure this guy has collected a pretty penny and probably owns more than 1 Toyota Corolla and all the Fisher Price toys available in Lojas Americanas. Who cares though because the game is over now... or in 30 days. Who's counting anyway?

The absolutely amazing thing is that they are all innocent, or so they say.  Obviously they are only resigning in order to protect their families and friends. President Dilma Rousseff even backed Brazilian Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi when he was up against allegations.

“I regret the minister couldn’t count on the principle of presumed innocence,” Rousseff said in a statement distributed to reporters in Brasilia."

Presumed innocence? Come on. One example of what Brazilians are dealing with is when President Rousseff had to force the resignation of 20 officials at the transport ministry after an article in Veja claimed there had been kickbacks and overcharging. And you are asking the Brazilian public to presume innocence of anyone working for the government?

I hate to break it to you President Rousseff but I think anyone working in your government should be grateful that the public isn't demanding that cavity searches are performed at the end of each day.

None-the-less, Brazilians shouldn't be ashamed of this. This is Brazil moving forward and shaking the shit out of the trees. When I moved here it felt like corruption was expected and that there wasn't much you could do about it other then vote for a different party during the next election. Now it seems that the public is expecting answers and when there aren't any they expect the government to react.

Personally, I think that is a good thing. 


  1. Is it the 5th or 6th? I've found numerous reports stating both...

  2. It's the 6th minister to fall, but the 5th accused of corruption.

  3. People get angry at these things but they don't seem to rationalize the promises that candidates make, relating to the creation of new ministries, when running for office.
    Is it that difficult to discern that the more layers of government you have the greater are the opportunities for corruption?
    The two lastest ministries whose ministers have had to resign due to corruption are Minstério do Turismo and Ministério dos Esportes. Are these two institutions even a good idea to begin with?

    Let's look at some numbers. Take into account that the ministry for tourism was created in 2003 (numbers between lines below).

    Arrivals of foreign tourists (in millions) to Brazil:


    Year 2000- 5,313,000
    2003- 4,133,000
    2004- 4,794,000
    2005- 5,358,000
    2006- 5,019,000
    2007- 5,026,000
    2008- 5,050,000
    2009- 4,802,000

    Look at the pathetic report card this loser Ministry has to offer the Brazilian taxpayer. The number of people visiting Brazil does not suffer any influence from said institution. The insignificant fluctuation of tourist arrivals, both up and down, seem to be dictated by a pattern relatred to world economic behavior. There has been NO IMPROVEMENT under the tenure of this ministry. In actual fact during the ministries existence the pre-ministry number of toursit arrivals (year 2000) has been surpassed only one one ocassion ( year 2005). Any other institution displaying these results would have gone out of business years ago.

    Now to how competitive Brazil is in tourism while compared to others. This done via The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, provided by the World Economic Forum.

    Year-2007: Brazil placed 48th

    2008: Brazil placed 48th

    2011: Brazil placed... 52th


    Yes, the country is actually less competitve now.

    Well, Brazilians voted for a government can do platform these last 8 years and there you have it: Ministério of this, of that and so forth, meanwhile the only thinbg they create is corruption and a tax burden. The growth Brazil experienced during the last 8 years were due to favorable circumstances in world markets for COMPETITIVE Brazilian products, produced in sectors which the government stays away from.

  4. Pointing the finger wont change anything but it made you feel better so i guess thats something. Corruption and government go hand in hand, be it in the states, england or brasil. if you think any long lasting positive change will come of this i suggest you do as my broke ass portuguese translation goes and "keep seated".

  5. Anon, give credit where credit is due. At least they are being held accountable in some sense. May be hardly anything but it's better than nothing at all

  6. are they being held accountable? have any been put in jail or about to be put on trial? i havent been following brasilian news so i honestly dont know. if all they did was lose their jobs then i dont really think that counts for much. but, something is better than nothing.

  7. I agree with you Rachel! Complaining, being critical and making noise are all signs of change. I believe that these types of things will prevent problems in the future!


  8. This is a topic I love to discuss with Brasilians. In my view, people get the government they deserve, in the US, in Brasil, anywhere. In Sao Paulo, an illiterate clown (literally, not figuratively speaking) received 1,348,295 votes last year running for Congress, the most among all candidates. He even had his signature forged on on the forms for his election candidacy, he could not sign himself. His wife supposedly held his hand so he could write the required literacy statement.

    Does Tiririca represent change? He voted with the rest of the Congress to give themselves a 60% raise, his first act as a politician.

    The right to vote is the most valuable asset, and most powerful weapon, an individual may possess. Yet how many Brasilians vote "em branco", or accept a toaster or blender in exchange for their promise to vote for whomever? Recall the Panico! episode where they set up a stand on a busy sidewalk, offering various applicances for votes. All day, only one person objected. One person promised 20 votes in exchange for a TV set.

    Until the citizens of Brsil care, why should the politicians care?

  9. about Brazilian politics, I feel very ashamed .. This is a historic problem in Brazil .. nothing matters to Brazil is the 7th largest economy in the world and have overtaken France and Britain in purchasing power, if our money is basically going into the hands of criminals. Right now, after much struggle and scandal, in Brazil there is greater investment in social programs, urbanization, culture, tourism and education, but by God! Were 500 years with little or almost no investment, is now a part of the population is in a good economic situation, I assure you that it was all self-effort and in no way helped the government, now is now helping with the Bolsa Familia, but by love of God, the Bolsa Familia is basically a handout! There are those who say that the Brazilians are lazy, I feel extremely offended, do not blame the population, it is wrong for politicians that people elect ... [and about why people chose the wrong people, is still more story]

  10. I think it is important to study who would be most apt to make the investements cited by Plugadão: population, or the government by taxing the population and then deciding that it is going to promote tourism, athletics, oer whatever. I think, regarding tourism, it is better for, say, two travel agencies working together (one in Brazil and the other in a country whose population are potential tourists for Brazil) to attract visitors as oppossed to any kind of state agency like Ministério do Turismo. Why then tax people, including the owners os travel agencies, to support a ministry which offers nothing in return bu corruption? Well people always say that the problem is that this or that party is in charge of said ministry and whle some parties seem to be more corrupt than others this is not the case. The case is should this ministry exist in the first place.

    Isn't it also interesting that a hybrid system of economic stimulus like the Bolsa Familia , which taxes people and then gives a certain portion of the population a monthly allowance by way of these taxes, is still alot more efficient in stimulating commerce in impoversished areas than a government agency keeping that money and deciding which economic activities it should forment. In the first scenario you have millions of people making decisions as to what they want to buy and sending a clear signal to business as to what is profitable and hence worthy of investement. The second scenario involves a bunch of technocrats trying to guess what is worthy of long term investements, usually they get it wrong and when the subsidies dry up that that sector created artifically just dies, along with all the jobs it entails.
    Yet Brazilians keep believing and repeating the same old mantra "O governo precisa fazer x, y, w" and vote along those lines. Well then they deserve the scandals which result from such thinking.

  11. Rachel,

    I agree with you 100%!!!
    Brazilians should not have any "VERGONHA" right now! The problem is when we don't hear this kind of political scandals, then something would be really wrong. Like it was when crooked Lula was in power and allowed all kinds of corruption crap going on because he was too busy building a little dirty money empire to his thug sons!! They are super wealthy for generations to come.
    Dilma is cleaning up the house and not putting up with any crap. So, this bastards have to go, get out of the way and let Brazil flourish like the people want and deserve!
    Brazilians have had enough with corruption and are learning how to pressure the government to clean house and get rid of these leaches.
    No shame! These incidents only means something good is being done and they just can't get away with it anymore.


  12. Thanks for posting this.

    I do fell very ashamed. I do get your point "at least something is going on" and it is good that Dilma is having the guts to oust them. But I guess I do not trust the political process at this point anymore. How can we be sure the new ministers are not doing the exact same thing?!!

    Also, I agree that the population gets the politician they deserve, by in large Brazilians will try to bend the rules, give something to the cop to let you walk away without a ticket etc...

    We have a great gay pride parade in Rio and Sao Paulo (millions of people) but I never heard of a spontaneous public demonstration against corruption that gathered millions of people... It is sad and very shameful but it seems that we tolerate corruption. (Americans tolerate lobbying we tolerate corruption)

  13. nice post dear blogger