Monday, 8 November 2010
Brazil: Going postal over corruption
The Brazilian postal service, ECT, used to be a source of pride for the nation. Mail and telegrams were delivered speedily and effectively anywhere in this enormous country. No more. Under Lula's tenure, all management positions were thoroughly politicised.
This happened throughout the public service but was notorious in ECT, racked by a long succession of egregious corruption scandals. Indeed, it was because of one of those episodes that José Dirceu's giant mensalão scandal came to light, quite by chance.
Obviously, the efficiency of the postal service suffered considerably. This would not have mattered so much to Lula if it had not surfaced in another corruption scandal, this one connected to the sons of Erenice Guerra (Dilma Rousseff's dear friend and successor as Chief of the Civil Cabinet). It seems there were fraudulent contracts in the postal organisation.
Lula appointed Minister of Planning Paulo Bernardo (PT-PR) to investigate the affair, and ECT as such. On 14th October, the minister delivered his report: after the election, the whole system of allocation of executive jobs on the basis of party affiliation must end. After the election.
For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.
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