- Brazilian Intelligence Agency
Infobox Government agency
agency_name = Brazilian Intelligence Agency
nativename = Agência Brasileira de Inteligência
logo_caption = The Brazilian Intelligence Agency's Logo
December 7, 1999
preceding1 = Serviço Nacional de Informações
budget = $250 million (2007) [ [http://www2.camara.gov.br/internet/orcamentobrasil Brazilian Federal Budget] ]
chief1_name = Paulo Fernando da Costa Lacerda
chief1_position = General Director
parent_agency = Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil (Institutional Security Office)
website = [http://www.abin.gov.br/ www.abin.gov.br]
The Brazilian Intelligence Agency ( _pt. Agência Brasileira de Inteligência; ABIN) is the successor organization to the Serviço Nacional de Informações (SNI) or National Intelligence Service formed during the government of
Humberto de Alencar Castelo Brancoin the mid-1960s.
Initially intended to be a civilian agency, the SNI was quickly co-opted by the military and each branch of the armed forces (army, air force and navy) continued to operate independent intelligence services. Through the Destacamento de Operações de Informações—Centro de Operações de Defesa Interna (DOI-CODI) The SNI is believed to have participated with the
CIAand the intelligence agenciesof other Latin American nations in Operation Condor, intended to oppose the spread of left-wing ideologies and communism throughout the region.
In another attempt to bring intelligence agencies under the control of the civilian-led government as part of the process of democratization begun in Brazil in 1985, President
Fernando Collor de Melloreplaced the SNI with the shortlived (1990–94) Secretaria de Assuntos Estratégicos (SAE) or Strategic Affairs Secretariat. However, despite the dismissal of 144 SNI officers, the agency contained to be dominated by the military and effective oversight and control of the country's intelligence activities eluded the civilian government.
In 1995 President
Fernando Henrique Cardosoplaced a civilian at the head of the SAE and subsequently created ABIN. Like many other Latin American nations, Brazil faces the challenge of having to overcome a long history of involvement by the military and their related intelligence arms in domestic politics. Early on, ABIN was tainted by a wiretapping and influence peddling scandal that led to the agency being placed under the direct control of the President and the Institutional Security Cabinet rather than being responsible to the national Congress. This had once again undermined the attempt to reduce the influence of the military on Brazilian intelligence agencies and their practises.
However, successive governments have taken a number of steps to reduce the influence of the armed forces and related intelligence agencies in domestic politics. The relationships between these groups and government in Brazil, so closely intertwined for decades, is evolving. The focus of intelligence agencies appears to be moving slowly from managing internal dissent to focusing on external threats and support of the nation's democracy.
On 1st September 2008 President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvasuspended the leadership of the organisation, including its director Paulo Lacerda, and ordered an investigation into allegations that appeared in Veja magazine of phone tappingof senior figures including the heads of both the Senate and the Supreme Court [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7593265.stm "Lula suspends Brazil spy chiefs" (BBC)] ] .
ABIN's main function is to investigate real and potential threats to the Brazilian society and government and defend the Democratic State of Law, the Brazilian sovereignty and the effectiveness of the public power.
The ABIN motto is "Intelligence for the defense of society, of the democratic Rule of Law and of national interests" (A Inteligência em defesa da sociedade, do Estado Democrático de Direito e dos interesses nacionais).
Brazilian Federal Police
National Public Security Force
Military of Brazil
* Ministry of Defence of Brazil
Notes and references
* [http://www.abin.gov.br/?lang=english ABIN Official site]
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