FARC and Brazilian Workers' Party:the general didn't tell the truth, says former Abin superior to Veja
Friday, March 25, 2005
Brazil, General Jorge Felix, and the director-general of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin), Mauro Marcelo de Lima e Silva, testifying before a commission of deputies and senators, said documents may be incorrect. They maintain the Brazilian magazine Veja, in its article "FARC's tentacles in Brazil", should not be used.— The Head Minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet of
This weekend, Veja presented testimonies by people who allegedly worked on Abin's FARC-PT investigation. These contradict the explanations that General Felix gave to the commission.
The Veja's story
Last week, the magazine Veja reported that the Workers' Party (PT) received 5 million dollars to be used for the political campaign of candidates in 2002 from the Colombian Communist armed group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP). The news appeared on by Brazilian television chanells Globo and Record.
Veja said that it used as its sources the documents from Abin and the allegations of Abin's employees. 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, said that the documents were not reliable.
The official Abin version can be seen on its website. The agency stores and archives all data collected by the intelligence service, including data that do not fulfill all Abin's criteria for consistency and accuracy. Every kind of document remains in Abin archive so it can be re-evaluated in the future. According to General Felix, Abin archives may contain data that are not relevant, tendentious or completely untrue. The documents mentioned by Veja are this sort of data.
According to Brazilian Federal Senate's website, General Félix told "the documents were archived because they don't deserve credit, and they don't present any proof related to the allegations contained therein".
The general said: "Of course Abin monitores all FARC activities, it is part of its job; however, in this specific case, there is no sustainable argument, and there is any credibility. Therefore, the papers are archived."
On 21 March Veja published another article named: "They know everything about it", contradicting Abin. The article stated that two people -- a alleged spy who was in a meeting where a supposed donation by the FARC member father Medina took place, and his former Abin superior, Colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira -- had said that the documents were not merely information ignored by the agency, due to a lack of evidence, as the General Félix argued.
Veja's wrote that the documents that mentioned the alleged FARC-PT relationship were considered very important by Abin. Veja's story told the documents were archived and the investigations into their contents ceased after the victory of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
Veja has since claimed to have interviewed the Albin spy again, whose identity the magazine chooses not to reveal, since he is allegedly still active.
According to the spy, he infiltrated the labour union movement twenty years ago. His colleagues were PT members and Communists and his task was informing the intelligence agency about the Brazilian labor movement.
According to Veja, the spy says that he came upon the FARC case accidentally. It happened when leftists invited him to be part of a pro-FARC committee, in defense of the Colombian guerrillas. The spy claims to have agreed and he began to frequent the meetings, which were almost always secret.
Veja says that, on April 13, 2002, the spy took part of a meeting together with other leftists, in Coração Vermelho (Red Heart) hacienda, near Brasilia. Veja reports that the spy heard father Olivério Medina, representative of the FARC, announcing that he would donate 5 million dollars for the campaign of the Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva in 2002.
Furthermore, according to Veja, the Abin's spy said: " Immediately I left the meeting, on April 13 and met my Abin contact, near a highway close to the Coração Vermelho hacienda. There, inside the car, I wrote the my dispatches about FARC money going to the PT. I had listened the story for the first time. Father Olivério Medina was quite happy."
The Brazilian magazine continues reporting the alleged spy story:
On April 22, I listened again to this story. It was during a meeting in a labour union. One of the friends of the FARC, a Chilean militant, said that they were 5 million dollars and that the money had been already distributed for the PT.
The Abin found the history so important that my contact, colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira, invited me to dinner (...)
My stories are based on the facts that I see and hear. I do not know if the money was delivered. I know that, among FARC's friends, this matter was treated responsibly and secretly. The money would come from Trinidad and Tobago to 300 PT businessmen, who would distribute it for the party's committees. Moreover, I wrote this in the reports that I delivered to the colonel.
Veja claims to have interviewed Colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira who was Abin's employee for seven years and who allegedly coordinated the investigation on the relations between the FARC and the Workers' Party (PT).
Colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira, aged 49, worked for Abin during seven years. He left his job in 2003 because of alleged differences related to the way the investigations were being carried out after the victory of Workers' Party (PT) in 2002 campaign. The colonel works for the Military Police in the Federal District at present time.
Veja said that the colonel told there are at least two dozen reports describing the PT-FARC relationships in Abin. Colonel Ferreira says that the document 0095/3100 mentioned by Veja last week is not even the most important one.
Veja said that Colonel Ferreira told the documents were not archived by Abin because they were dubious. The colonel said that the documents that describe the relations between PT and FARC were taken very seriously by Abin.
According to Veja, Colonel Ferreira said that in order to avoid the unathourized release of information, the reports were written inside the intelligence director José Milton Campana's office at that time . Campana got a promotion to Abin assistant-director by the current PT government.
Inside Campana's office, other people were in direct contact with the papers: an analyst and an adviser.
According to Veja, the colonel said: "We finished three reports on the case". The colonel said that Abin, with the help of the Federal Police, had traced part of the money that might have come from FARC to PT. There were three payment authorisations, for 1 million dollars each, with indications that they were part of the FARC's money. The colonel said: "we cannot affirm that it was the guerrillas' money for sure. There were indications. Strong indications, but the investigation stopped after the PT won the elections and I left Abin."
The magazine Veja emphasized that it is not deliberately accusing the Workers' Party (PT). The magazine warns that some politicians can try to obtain political advantages with the news.
Brazilian Senator Demóstenes Torres (PFL) said: " If both declarations are true, they reveal that Abin appeared to the Congress commission and it concealed the truth of the parliament's members. It is serious." The senator told he will ask an secret audience to hear the Abin's spy and the Colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira.
General Jorge Felix refused to comment the case explaining that everything were already had been told to the deputies and senators commission.
Veja's last article:"They know everything about it" was not covered by most part of Brazilian newspapers. However it appeared on television and on some journalist's blogs.
It is known that the FARC and PT politics have met since 1990. Many of these meetings occurred during the enconteurs of the Foro de São Paulo.
The peace talks between Colombia and the FARC guerrilla started in 1998, during government of the Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango.
The FARC had sent a letter to the XI Foro de São Paulo meeting congratulating Lula Da Silva for his victory in 2002 elections (Farc felicitam Brasil pela vitória de Lula - O Estado de São Paulo).
In a interview to Valquíria Rey, from BBC, in March 6, 2003 FARC commander Pastor Alape praised the independent stance of the Brazil. He told he didn't think that Brazilian government would sign any statement including FARC on the list of international terrorist organizations.
If the Brazilian government considered the FARC as a terrorist group, all FARC members could be arrested inside Brazilian territory.
Modifications in Abin
After the PT candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva assumed the government the most visible change was the association of Abin with the Cuban service of intelligence.
Abin signed at least an agreement of cooperation with the Cuban service of intelligence. The Abin general-director Mauro Marcelo de Lima e Silva was in Havana, in February, this year, discussing an agreement between Abin and the Cuban service of intelligence, the Dirección General de Inteligência (DGI). , , 
The Brazilian government denied his agents would be trained in Cuba. The government affirmed that it was only an mere bilateral cooperation agreement to resolve problems related to the terrorism and the traffic of weapons. 
Workers' Party defense
The Workers' Party (PT) released an official statement signed by the National President José Genoino repudiating the magazine's article and denying all presented facts. Part of the note tells:
- The party neither supports, in the neighboring country, any solution for the long situation of belligerence lived by Colombians who are not based on a democratic agreement, pacific and constitutional. The PT has historical position against the terrorism of State or armed groups. In addiction, there are several evidences that the PT politics is marked by respect to the self-determination of peoples and the sovereignty of nations, by a politic of not mediation in internal subjects of each country from any origin. Therefore, we would not accept, in any hypothesis, that our political life suffered the interference from foreign governments or groups of any origin.
The note says that the article is irresponsible, that it comments on facts without any sustentable evidence . It still says that the magazine denies itself when later in the text it affirms that it did not find any solid indication to proof that 5 million dollars were really sent to PT by the FARC .
Another note from the Workers' Party (PT), of February 16, 2002 called "The truth about Colombia and the FARC - and PT" tries to clarify the relationship between the party and the FARC. A portion of this note says that:
- The Workers' Party doesn't have any ties with the Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia (FARC). Together with hundred of left-wing parties and movements in Latin America (among PT, PSB, PPS and the Brazilian PDT), the FARC is part of Foro de São Paulo. In this Forum, coexist organizations of quite distinguished political and ideological profile. The Chilean Socialistic Party of President Ricardo Lagos, for example, took part of some meetings. All these organizations are not joined by any organic bond, since the Forum is, exactly, a forum of debate, and not a structure of political international coordination. In past, nevertheless, there were leaders' contacts between FARC and Brazilian politicians.
The leader of the government Deputy Aloizio Mercadante (PT) said: "If this donation existed, which I do not believe, it was not done to PT, but to individuals who are alleged connected to the party. Case they were identified and they were part of the party, they would be forced to leave."
The deputy Paulo Rocha (PT) said that the magazine does not have any proof that the money transference from FARC for PT occurred. "The magazine admits by itself that that there are no documents verifying any insinuation of this nature", he adds.
Deputy Paulo Rocha also says that the meetings between FARC delegates with Brazilian politicians were part of a FARC attempt of establishing a diplomatic representation in Brazil, which did not happened. So, according to the deputy, there were meetings between the father Olivério Medina, who worked as FARC ambassador, with parliamentarians of diverse parties. The deputy said: "Meetings can have happened, but there is no political and financial relation with the PT." For the deputy there are no reasons to create a congress investigation commission, as suggested by oppostion parties. 
The Senator Cristovam Buarque(PT) said that the case was a "sad episode, because it affected a party's credibility without anybody seeing any proof." In his opinion the case repercussion was positive "because it demonstrated that Brazil is a country capable of placing the head of its intelligence agency before the entire press and all the members of Congress and exit calmly, without a dent to its credibility."
According to the Abin directors General Jorge Armando Félix and Mauro Marcelo de Lima e Silva there is no solid evidences relating finantial help from FARC to PT. Because of that, there is no reason to start a new investigation and the case must remain archived.
The Veja admitted in its article that it is possible that the FARC delegate father Medina did not said the true when he told the FARC would donate 5 million dollars to PT campaign in Coração Vermelho hacienda. Also the magazine admitted that it cannot proof the donation occurred and it says that it is possible that the Abin documents are untrue. The magazine Veja said it didn't involve the Workers' Party, as an organization, in the case.
The National Secretary of International Relations for Workers'Party (PT), Paulo Ferreira, says that the Central Bank records show that no money entered in Brazil from Trynidad and Tobago during 2002 and 2003. 
The leftist Antônio Carlos Viana told to the Brazilian newspaper Correio Braziliense that during the encounter between FARC and PT members in Coração Vermelho hacienda there weren't any discussion about money. He said:"We believe that the path to peace in Colombia is people and Brazilian government recognizing the FARC. However we can't take any responsibility by the FARC's actions and we deny categorically any discussion about money to electoral purposes in Brazil."
According to an article in PCdoB website: "none of the participants of the enconteur in Coração Vermelho hacienda says that father Olivério Medina offered money to PT".
The President of PT in Santa Catarina Milton Mendes says:"(...)I am perplex and honestly convinced that the article is shameful, irresponsible and a pamphlet.". He criticizes Veja because the magazine said no proofs were found related to the money donation.
Accusations against PT can be used by the political opposition in negative propaganda.
The Congress Commission which heard the Abin's directors considered the case closed on alleged FARC donation to PT.
Some Brazilian comments
Some opinion excerpts from the O Estado de São Paulo Forum:
Magazines and newspapers must be careful with explosive news
I am not PT sympathizant and I have already criticized some points about the party and the government(...) There is no saint in any political party, neither in the several religions, neither in the Church. However, I can't believe that someone inside PT, after I have some knowledge about its leaders, might have received any contribution from the FARC (...) Fake dossiers have already been created relating the PSDB with foreign bank accounts and these news were denied later. The FARC donation is a campaign gossip which is already began by PT unfortunately. — Antonio Carlos Rocha da Silva / São Paulo
The news published in Veja magazine, March 13, this year, is really daring. Saying that the PT received money from the FARC is serious and grave. If the magazine published the story, there must be, at least, some kind of information.(...)The Workers'Party members deny the fact, with no exception. But you must remember that most of them have belonged to armed groups during the militar regime.(..)If the PT did not prosecute the magazine, the doubt can cause some harm.(...) — Jorge Cortás Sader Filho / Niterói
New story, old subject
The FARC/PT connection is older thant the Bible draft. In 2002 a deputy tryed to create a CPI [Congress Commission of Investigation] to investigate the donation, however he didn't get enough signatures. (...)If the article is lying, the PT have to proof and expose the magazine, then prosecute it.(...) The worst blind person is who doesn't want to see. This kind of person, the fanatic voter, is not helping in nothing Brazil. — Sonia / Rio de Janeiro
- 12-16 March: The magazine Veja publishes a story saying that the FARC member father Olivério Medina said during a meeting in Brasilia with members of the left that he would donate 5 million dollars for the political campaign of left parties. The magazine says that Abin's documents described the meeting and the money transference from FARC for the Workers Party (PT), the Brazilian ruling party.
- 12 March: Brazilian television reports the fact.
- 13 March: The Workers' Party (PT) denies any financial help from FARC. The party admitts that some politics had met FARC members, but these meetings were legal and only can only be characterized as normal political enconteurs.
- 17 March: Commission of deputies and senators hear the explanations of the persons in charge for Abin, the general Jorge Félix and Mauro Marcelo de Lima e Silva. They express the documents used by the magazine Veja are not reliable and cannot be used.
- 18 March: Remote chances for more deep investigation after the explanations of the Abin's chiefs.
- 21-23 March: The magazine Veja publishes new reportage. The magazine presents the spy and his former superior, the Colonel Eduardo Adolfo Ferreira, testimonies. According to the magazine. They say that the Abin found that the documents were important and reliable. The colonel said that after Lula's victory, the investigations on the FARC changed.
Understanding the case
What Veja says
What Abin says
What PT says
What is certain
- "Brasil - Informante do caso Farc-PT revela detalhes da história" — , 23 de Março de 2005
- Policarpo Junior. "Eles sabem de tudo" — , 23 de Março de 2005
- Kelly Hearn. "FARC funds tied to Lula" — , March 22, 2005
- "Abin rastreou dinheiro das Farcs para o PT" — , 19 de Março de 2005
- "Veja: há duas dezenas de relatórios do caso PT-Farc na ABIN" — , 20 de marzo de 2005
- "O que a Veja trouxe sobre o PT e as Farc" — , 19 de Março de 2005
- Policarpo Junior. "Os tentáculos das FARC no Brasil - As explosivas ligações de petistas com as Farc" — , March 16, 2005
- Gabriela Guerreiro,David Silberstein. "Commission considers case closed on alleged FARC donation to PT" — , March 18, 2005
- Iolando Lourenço, David Silberstein. "Leaders rebut accusations of alleged ties between PT and FARC" — , March 15, 2005
- "Brazil dismisses Colombia rebel cash report" — , March 18, 2005
- Vasconcelo Quadros. "Abin descarta envolvimento entre Farc e PT" — , March 17, 2005
- "Registros do BC desmentem ligação do PT com Farc" — , March 15, 2005
- Iain Bruce. "Lula and Chavez to boost alliance" — , February 14, 2005
- "Timeline: Colombia - A chronology of key events" — , February 16, 2005
- "Colombia's most powerful rebels" — , September 19, 2003
- Jeremy McDermott. "Analysis: Colombia's conflict spills over" — , April 5, 2002
- "Colombia deports Brazilian 'drug boss'" — , April 25, 2001
- "Leftists open Havana meeting" — , December 5, 2001