November 5, 2013
Merco Press News, 11/05/2013
The FAB said in a statement that the two air bases at Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte and at Recife in the state of Pernambuco — are hosting 86 airplanes and nine helicopters, and more than 2,000 Brazilian and foreign military personnel who were taking part in the drill called Cruzex 2013.
“Cruzex also develops cooperation and good relationship between the participant Air Forces considering training experience sharing in a coalition environment,” said the FAB in the statement.
The exercise, held at the command of the FAB’s Brigadier Mario Jordao in charge of the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, Paraiba and Pernambuco, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, will last till Nov. 15, aiming to provide advanced training for military personnel in a modern-war environment. The first military drill of the kind was conducted in 2002.
November 5, 2013
Stan Lehman – Associated Press, 11/04/2013
Brazil’s intelligence agency monitored French spies it suspected of involvement in the 2003 explosion at a satellite launch base, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said Tuesday, though it was finally determined they played no role.
The newspaper said it had obtained documents from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency that showed its agents had tracked French spies near the Alcantara Rocket Launch Center in the northeastern state of Maranhao a year before the blast. When the explosion occurred, killing 21 engineers and technicians, suspicion fell on the French.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said the agency known as ABIN carried out at least three operations against what it called a “network of spies” from France’s foreign intelligence agency and its activities in the French-Brazilian Technical and Scientific Cooperation Center and in Brazil’s National Space Research Institute.
November 4, 2013
Bradley Brooks – Huffington Post, 11/04/2013
The Brazilian government confirmed Monday that its intelligence service targeted U.S., Russian, Iranian and Iraqi diplomats and property during spy activities carried out about a decade ago in the capital Brasilia.
The relatively low-key surveillance was reported by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, based on documents it obtained from Brazil’s Abin intelligence agency.
It describes surveillance that pales in comparison to the massive spy programs carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency, efforts detailed in thousands of documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
November 4, 2013
Anna Jean Kaiser – USA Today, 11/02/2013
The news of a second decapitation this year in Brazil has raised questions about whether such heinous crimes may deter foreign visitors considering a trip for next summer’s FIFA World Cup.
João Rodrigo Silva Santos, a former Brazilian professional soccer player, was kidnapped and brutally decapitated this week in the city’s West Zone. His wife, Geísa Silva, an officer in one of Rio’s Police Pacification Units (UPP), found his head in a backpack left on their front door step in the early hours of the morning.
Less than four months ago, details of another gruesome decapitation made international headlines. In the rural interior of Brazil’s northeastern region, a referee at an amateur soccer game was decapitated by angry spectators after he stabbed a player who refused to leave the field. The player died on the way to the hospital.
November 1, 2013
Jeré Longman – The New York Times, 10/31/2013
It was midafternoon that Sunday when Otávio Jordão da Silva Cantanhede left on his bike to play pickup soccer. His father said he did not see him tuck a knife into his shorts or slide a blade into his backpack.
At 19, short and thin, Cantanhede rode through the remote town in northeastern Brazil with his younger brother George. They headed for the neighborhood of Centro do Meio, a few miles away down a red dirt road.
The lumpy soccer field had wooden goal posts with no nets. Grass had worn bare in spots, exposing the sandy soil. Informal matches were played there. One team usually wore shirts, while the other played bare chested. No bleachers or scoreboard obstructed the verdant backdrop of palm trees and banana trees and mango trees that gave wide shade to stray dogs.
October 25, 2013
Loretta Chao – Wall Street Journal, 10/24/2013
Industry organizations representing the world’s major technology firms sent a letter this week to Brazilian congressmen asking them not to pass a controversial regulation about Internet data storage, citing potentially damaging effects to both Brazilian and foreign companies.
Officials including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have been pushing a requirement for Internet data relating to Brazilian citizens be stored in Brazil after allegations surfaced this year that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted Brazilian users, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. It was later revealed that Ms. Rousseff herself and Brazil’s state-controlled oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, PETR4.BR +1.37% or Petrobras, may have been targets of spying as well, straining U.S.-Brazil relations and sparking concerns throughout Brazil over the country’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
In the letter to congressmen, a number of organizations representing companies including Google Inc. GOOG -1.12% and Facebook Inc. FB -0.87% argued that the proposed amendment has negative implications across all industries that make use of cross-border data transfers. “Global data flows rely on data centers dispersed all over the world,” it said, according to a copy of the letter viewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Thus, in-country data storage requirements would detrimentally impact all economic activity that depends on data flows.”
October 23, 2013
BBC UK, 10/22/2013
Prosecutors in Brazil say they have identified four police officers who allegedly tortured a bricklayer in a Rio de Janeiro favela.
Amarildo de Souza has not been seen since 14 July, when he was questioned by officers investigating drug-related activities in the Rocinha shanty town.
Witness accounts and a recording of a phone call have helped identify the four main suspects.
October 21, 2013
Charles Parkinson – In Sight Crime, 10/16/2013
Authorities in Brazil are concentrating public security on high-profile organized crime groups and in World Cup 2014 host states, providing an opportunity for lesser known criminal groups to expand in peripheral regions, according to a new report from Southern Pulse.
Southern Pulse, a boutique risk analysis firm based in the Washington DC area, says limited federal security resources are concentrated on two criminal organizations — Sao Paulo’s First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) and Rio de Janeiro’s Red Command (Comando Vermelho – CV). The Special Secretariat for Security of Large Events (SESGE), meanwhile, is focusing its $700 million World Cup budget on Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and dividing the rest among the other ten World Cup host cities, which the report says “ignores problems in the other 16 Brazilian states.”
The report emphasizes the danger of this policy.
“Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, states across Brazil have been left outside the international spotlight attracted by international sporting events,” Southern Pulse says. “They represent disparate pockets where local and state governments face an uphill battle against criminal systems as complex as those presented by the PCC and CV.”
October 16, 2013
Vivienne Walt – Time Magazine, 10/14/2013
Although four months have passed since Edward Snowden’s explosive NSA surveillance leaks, the most revealing details have not yet been published, and could be rolled out in the international media over the coming weeks and months, beginning with U.S. spying activities involving Spain and France. That’s according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the Snowden story last June, and whose life has been drastically upturned since. “There are a lot more stories,” he said on Monday in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives. “The archives are so complex and so deep and so shocking, that I think the most shocking and significant stories are the ones we are still working on, and have yet to publish.”
Greenwald was speaking in a packed university gymnasium to hundreds of journalists, who are gathered here this week for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, a two-yearly event that rotates around the world, bringing together writers, television producers and editors to share information and collaborate on work. Here, Greenwald was something of a hero — the entire thrust of the conference centers on ferreting out secrets and wrongdoing—and the journalist received a rock-star welcome. And while Rio was chosen as the location for the conference years ago, it proved a fortuitous spot. Greenwald recently revealed on Brazil´s hugely popular Globo TV that the NSA had spied on President Dilma Rousseff, as well as the government oil company Petrobras. The news caused a furor in Brazil, not least from Rousseff herself, and she canceled a White House visit, originally scheduled for next week.
October 16, 2013
Associated Press- Washington Post, 10/15/2013
Brazil’s Federal Police and a Senate investigative panel said Tuesday they want to question National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to learn more about the spying program that targeted Latin America’s biggest country.
According to information leaked by Snowden, President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked and data on billions of emails and telephone calls flowing through Brazil were monitored by the NSA.
“For our investigation, questioning Snowden is a top priority,” said Jose Alberto Freitas, the head of the intelligence sector of Brazil’s Federal Police, before a Senate committee investigating the NSA spy program. “He could provide technical details that will help our investigation advance.”