Natal Brazil

Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Governor's son is arrested

On June 13th, the Federal Police conducted an operation which resulted in the enprisonment of 13 people, one of them being Lauro Maia, son of Governor Wilma de Farias (Lauro's father is Lavoisier Maia, currently a State Representative).
Maia is accused of leading a group which commits frauds against the Public Administration. Some companies would arrange prices among themselves before the bidding process, resulting in a much higher price to be paid by the Government; several civil servants (including Attorneys and Secretaries of State) were bribed to turn a blind eye to illegalities.

The case gained national repercussion (see a wikipedia page and a report by Folha de Sao Paulo).
In Natal, newspaper Tribuna do Norte, which is controlled by a group of opposition to the Governor, published detailed reports about the affair (see here and also this note, where Tribuna recalls that Lauro Maia had also been indicted by the Federal Police in 2005, charged of using political influence to commit frauds to evade taxes).
On the other hand, the other major newspaper in Natal, Diario de Natal, which is controlled by the group which supports Wilma, published only the barely minimum about the scandal.

The Governor said that she believes in the innocence of her son.

Update, June 25th. All the 13 people were released. Members of the Government (including the chief Attorney) are saying that there was abuse of power in the Higia Operation (i.e., people were undully arrested).
The population are starting to believe that, once again, there will be political arrangements so that nobody pays for their crimes.

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