Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bloody hell!

There are major protests going on in Brasilia against the current governor, Jose Roberto Arruda, who's been caught in a corruption scandal. The Arruda government is definitely a can of worms which I saw up close when I was working, providing software to the Health Ministry, a couple of years ago. We were constantly being undermined by a rival company who's boss had allegedly donated millions to Arruda's campaign. There was ongoing political manoeuvring to have us replaced, some of it within our own partners, and some protected by high-level political figures within the ministry.

To the best of my knowledge, the people I worked for, weren't actually buying influence (at least, if they were, they didn't seem all that successful at it). But it's a constant, pervasive atmosphere throughout companies supplying the government, which tends to breed a kind fatalism. The assumption is that only those who play this game can ever succeed.

Anyway, some of my friends are involved in the protests and occupation of some local government buildings. Seems like the police have now been set on them.

Update : a video. Does this show police brutality? I'm not 100% sure I can see how the fight breaks out, but once it's triggered, they certainly start reacting aggressively.

1 comment:

John Powers said...

I know it doesn't help, but I'm sorry some of your friends are in danger. It does help that you point to this action.

More generally the issue of privatizing government services has obvious problems attached. I think people "get" that, what I can't understand then is how so many willingly promote that course. I suppose it's a "lesser of two evils" calculation, nevertheless I can't understand the enthusiasm for it.