|06SAOPAULO530||2006-05-16 14:13:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Consulate Sao Paulo|
VZCZCXYZ0001 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHSO #0530 1361413 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 161413Z MAY 06 FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5062 INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 6201 RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7104 RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2433
UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000530
1. "Frightened Society"
Economic columnist Celso Ming commented in center-right O Estado de
S. Paulo (5/16): "The facility with which organized crime is
successfully spreading terror can be analyzed from several points of
view. One of them is the economic viewpoint. This is a nation of
the informal economy.... It is a nation of smuggling and illegal
arms trade. Such schemes cannot exist by themselves. They need
other informal and illicit structures such as money laundering and
the formation of mafias. They lead to other [society] deforming
activities like blackmail and corruption.... This situation results
in other relations of power (political relations) that oppose the
State and try to create parallel institutions.... An essential part
of such games is the promiscuity of relations between the two
worlds, the formal and the informal. Police sectors playing the
double standard game abound. They include the governor, who, through
his secretary of public security, negotiates with these people, and
can also be seen in the involvement of politicians whose electoral
campaigns are partially financed by organized crime. The
authorities' lack of power is a consequence of such promiscuity....
Severely sick, the society is frightened. History has shown us what
happens when fear replaces hope."
2. "Terrorist Attack"
The lead editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (5/16)
remarked: "Never in Brazil's history has a criminal organization
gone so far in confronting governmental institutions.... The tragic
balance of the attack has shown the increase of organized crime's
insolence, which has placed in a defensive position those who are
responsible for public security and should persecute it instead....
In Brazil, where for a long time society has been the hostage of
organized crime, what has prevailed is an absurd tolerance of
criminals.... This is why the situation only deteriorates."
3. "We Must Not Be Intimidated"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo (5/16) editorialized: "The attacks are no
longer targeting only public security agents, but now include
actions aimed at spreading panic among the population. Dozens of
burned urban buses are emblematic of such intimidating tactics....
On the one hand, the gang imprisoned in penitentiaries and its
followers outside them are attempting to form terrorist
organizations. On the other hand, the population, especially those
living in the Greater Sao Paulo area, is facing an unprecedented
situation and has been compelled to quickly develop new reaction
patterns.... What the bandits who have caused savagery want, is that
the population bends to their fear tactics and retreats so that they
can carry out their criminal activities more freely.... Both the
authorities and the population must vehemently fight such an
affront. It is not a time to retreat. The government must transmit
confidence to the people. It must tell the citizens to return to
work and to school for the police will restore public order and will
face with its maximum force the gangs that are violating the rule of
law. The moment is a decisive one: either we react with firmness or
we will be doomed to become accustomed to terror."