Jáder Barbalho


Jáder Barbalho

Jáder Fontenelle Barbalho (b. 27 October 1944) is a powerful Brazilian politician, newspaper and television station owner, and cattle rancher from the state of Pará. He is a popular and important politician with the PMDB party and is currently (2007) a federal deputy from Pará. He is the father of Hélder Barbalho, mayor of Ananindeua, Pará, and he was married to federal deputy Elcione Barbalho. He is a national figure known throughout Brazil, albeit a controversial one.

Biography

Youth and education

Jader (as he now spells first his name) was born in Belém, capital of Pará. Jader's parents are Laércio Wilson Barbalho (father) and Joanelle Fontenelle Barbalho (mother). Jader studied Law at the Federal University of Pará (Universidade Federal do Pará), graduating in 1971, and he became a student leader during Brazil's repressive military dictatorship that was installed after the military coup of 1964.

Public offices held

*Belém city alderman (Vereador) from 1967 to 1971
*Pará state deputy (Deputado Estadual) from 1971 to 1975
*Federal deputy from Pará (Deputado Federal) from 1975 to 1983, and from 2002 to 2008
*Pará state governor (Governador do Pará) from 1983 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1994
*Senator from Pará (Senador) from 1995 to 2001. He was also the federal minister of agrarian development and reform and of social welfare (1988-1990).

candals

In the 1990s, Jader was involved in several corruption scandals and risked impeachment. Facing the threat of impeachment in connection with fraud and corruption scandals, he resigned from the Senate in October of 2002. Since then, he has lost popularity, but he was elected federal deputy.

Barbalho was implicated in a funding scandal at the regional development agency the Superintendency for Development of the Amazon (SUDAM) where over 2 billion dollars went missing. He is alleged to have used his power base in the Amazonian state of Para to influence which projects were approved by SUDAM. SUDAM was closed down in 2001 by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso because of the corruption allegations. [BBC News, 17 February 2002, [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1825076.stm "Probe of Top Brazil Politician Continues"] ] .

On February 22, 2002, Senador Antônio Carlos Magalhães gave an interview to state prosecutors in which he hinted at corruption involving Cardoso, Barbalho, the PMDB, the PFL, and the Supreme Court. The interview, which was leaked to the press, prompted Cardoso to begin sacking government appointments linked to Magalhães, most notably cabinet ministers Rodolpho Tourinho (mines and energy) and Waldeck Ornelas (social security) on February 23.

In 2002, with public opinion favouring investigation into allegations of government corruption, the opposition sought the votes of 27 senators and 171 federal deputies necessary to constitute a CPI against Barbalho. On May 8 2002, after the opposition had apparently secured these votes, Barbalho canceled a joint session of Congress and thereby prevented the opposition from bringing the issue to the floor. Afterward, political maneuverings persuaded enough legislators to change their minds, and the CPI threat was ended. On May 16 Saturnino Braga, the rapporteur of the Senate Ethics Committee, concluded that Magalhães and the government leader in the Senate, José Roberto Arruda of the Federal District, were guilty of having violated secrecy rules in the June 2000 vote that expelled Federal District Sen. Luis Estevão from Congress. After damaging testimony from the director of the Senate data-processing system, who stated that she broke into the voting system under orders from Magalhães and Arruda, the Senate Ethics Committee recommended the impeachment of Magalhães and Arruda for having broken Senate decorum. Rather than risk impeachment and a loss of political rights for eight years, Arruda resigned on May 24; Magalhães followed suit on May 30.

With Arruda and Magalhães out of office, Congress, at risk of becoming ineffectual, continued to be mired in scandal as more allegations of past corruption involving Barbalho surfaced. A growing number of investigations into fraud in the state Bank of Pará, SUDAM, and the National Land Reform Institute revealed the involvement of Barbalho when he was governor of Pará and minister of land reform. Barbalho took a leave of absence from his post as senate president on July 20. In the face of mounting evidence and the likelihood of impeachment, he resigned from the Senate on October 4, following the same path of Magalhães and Arruda. For Barbalho the loss of immunity opened up the possibility of indictment by federal police.

References

Citations

Other sources

*"Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)" (2007), a film documentary (banned in Brazil) about crime in Sao Paulo; Barbalho is a principal subject.


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