Brazilian Abin director: no proof linking FARC money to PT

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Head Minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet of Brazil's General Jorge Felix, and the director-general of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin), Mauro Marcelo de Lima e Silva say that the documents mentioned by the Brazilian magazine Veja may be incorrect. Last weekend, Veja reported that Partido dos Trabalhadores (or PT), the Brazilian ruling party and the party of president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, received 5 million dollars from FARC in its 2002 political campaign. The magazine used documents gotten from Abin itself as a source in their reporting.

Felix testified before a commission of deputies and senators to explain the allegations published by Veja. His statements make the possibility of a congressional investigation commission, as suggested by the deputy Alberto Fraga (PTB), unlikely. The leader of the government, Aloísio Mercadante, said PT will prosecute Fraga for defamation and that he considers the case finished.

The official Abin version is stated on its website. The agency stores and archives all data collected by the intelligence service. Even data that does not fulfill all the Abin criterion for consistency and veracity remain in the Abin archive so they can be re-evaluated in the future. According to Felix, Abin archives may contain data that are not relevant, tendentious or even completely untrue. The documents mentioned by the magazine Veja are a kind of this material. Since Abin cannot guarantee the veracity of these data, they should not be reported.

The general didn't say whether or not Abin confirmed the meeting between FARC delegates and PT members as stated in the documents. "I can't speak about that in front of the press", he added, explaining that the documents are a state secret.

The magazine Veja was very cautious when it reported the story. The article says that they did not find solid evidence to prove that PT received money from FARC. Veja investigated the facts described in the documents and admitted the donation could be untrue:

(...) Veja located the agent who infiltrated in the FARC meeting and it talked to two other employees from the agency [Abin], besides of looking for the left members who participated of the enconteur. The [magazine's] investigation confirmed the meeting, the place, the date and the persons. It only didn't find evidences to proof that the money went from the FARC to PT safes.(..) Could it be just a swagger of father Oliverio Medina(...) to appraise his left hosts? Yes, it could. —Veja , "FARC's tentacles in Brazil", March 16, 2005, page 46.

Although they found no solid proof relating the money transaction, and although the magazine considered the Abin's documents might be untrue, Veja said the documents were consistent enough to be sent to the President:

(...)[the documents] are known by their errors and mistakes motivated usually by a anti-communist paranoia(...)The documents reporting the transaction which the FARC promised help to left-wing candidates in Brazil are not free or errors neither. The papers way thought the hierarchy of the intelligence service suggests that the information originated from a experienced spy who is trusted by his superiors. The documents show that their informations have been hard checked. (...) The document 0095/3100 of April 25, 2002, the main one which reports the liaisons between PT and FARC members, has passed thought all the phases and it finished with a Top Secret stamp. That means that its informations had credibility and its contents were enough consistent so it could be sent to the President. —Veja , "FARC's tentacles in Brazil", March 16, 2005, page 49.

Some deputies demand further investigations of alleged FARC activities in Brazil. The Brazilian Deputy Arthur Virgílio (PSDB) said: "These investigations cannot stop... I give to PT the benefit of doubt as an institution. However the ideologic political relationship is evident." [1] The Brazilian Deputy Antero Paes de Barros (PSDB) said: "There must be more clarifications because the State interest is high in this case".

The FARC and PT are part of the Foro de São Paulo organization created by Cuban President Fidel Castro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to discuss new strategies for the left in Latin America after the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.

PT admits that some of its members have met FARC members in the past, but maintains the FARC donation are untrue. The party said if evidence showing its members received money from the FARC was found, that member would be expelled from the party. They also said if a donation occurred, it would be confirmed by the Brazilian Central Bank's records, and it has not. PT believes the alleged party relationship with FARC is being used by the political opposition in negative propaganda.

According to the president of the Joint Congressional Commission for the Control of Intelligence Activities, Senator Cristovam Buarque (PT-DF) the investigation is finished. The senator said that the accusation of the alleged donation of 5 million dollars to the PT was a sad episode because it affected a party's credibility without anybody seeing any proof.

Understanding the case

What Veja says

What Abin says

What PT says

What is certain

  • Abin documents show that the FARC donated 5 million dollar to PT 2002 political campaign.
  • The magazine said that the Abin documents may be untrue, however it is likely to be true since they were hard checked and reported by a experienced spy.
  • The documents were considered to have some credibility and the Abin's superiors might have passed them to the President.
  • The magazine did not find proofs asserting that the FARC really sent money to PT.
  • The meeting in the farm, as described in Abin documents, occurred.
  • The left Antonio Viana was at the meeting. He denies that they talked about money.

  • Abin archives have all kind of data, including those one which are likely to be totally false, the ones considered not relevant, and data that are not in a proper state.
  • Since tha data used by the magazine Veja is in the Abin archive, there is no guarantee about the data veracity. The data maybe untrue.
  • PT denies any envolviment relating FARC money donation.
  • PT says that if some of its members received FARC money, he/she will be expelled out of the party.
  • Central Bank's records don't confirm any donation of 5 million dollars to PT.
  • PT is against the narcotrafic and terrorism.
  • Some leaders and members of PT have already met FARC delegates several times.
  • The FARC and PT are part of the Foro de São Paulo, organization founded by Lula and Castro.
  • The Brazilian government refuses to recognize the FARC as a terrorist organization.
  • Venezuela is accused by Colombia of harboring FARC terrorists.
  • Venezuela and Brazil have a tied relationship. Recently Brazil and Venezuela assigned agreements of economic and military cooperation.
  • Venezuela ingressed to Foro de São Paulo recently.
  • Brazilian government have already said that it is against terrorism.