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Cablegate: Rio Radar - Weeks of September 4 and 11, 2009

VZCZCXRO3756
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHRI #0302 2541617
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111617Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5084
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 1372
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 5290
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 3530

UNCLAS RIO DE JANEIRO 000302

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EIND EPET PHUM SOCI BR
SUBJECT: Rio Radar - Weeks of September 4 and 11, 2009

1. (U) Rio Radar is a weekly compilation of key economic, political,
commercial, and other developments in the states of Rio de Janeiro,
Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, and Sergipe. This report's
subjects:

NARCO-TRAFFICKING GANGS ATTACK POLICE IN SALVADOR

2. (U) On September 7, narco-trafficking gangs launched a series of
coordinated attacks against military police targets in Salvador,
capital of Bahia state, in retaliation for the transfer of Claudio
Eduardo Campnaha - an arrested drug kingpin - to a federal prison in
Mato Grosso do Sul. A Bahia state military police captain told us
on September 9 that since the violence began, gangs had opened
gunfire on eight police booths and incinerated six buses, wounding
at least nine persons. According to the official, the police closed
all police booths, reinforced mobile patrols throughout the city,
and launched offensive operations against the gangs, leading to 10
arrests and six gang members killed. According to a State Deputy
from Bahia, however, the police actions have failed to halt the
violence, with another bus incineration on September 9.

MULTIPLE WELLS IN PRE-SALT AREA COME UP DRY

3. (U) The BG Group, UK's third largest natural gas producer
announced on August 25 that a pre-salt well drilled in partnership
with Petrobras at BM-S-52 block in Santos Basin resulted in no
hydrocarbon finds. In July, an Exxon Mobile exploration also came
up dry in another pre-salt well in the Santos Basin. On August 26,
Sao Paulo-based newspaper Estado reported that Petrobras had failed
to find oil at another pre-salt well, BM-S-17. Rio de Janeiro-based
energy analysts disputed the report, however, arguing there was
evidence that Petrobras rigs remained operational in BM-S-17, and
speculating the press was attempting to demonstrate there still
exists exploration risk in the pre-salt area through reports
published during the lead up to the Brazilian government's
announcement of the pre-salt regulatory framework on August 31.

RIO TO LEGALIZE SHOPS WITHIN FAVELAS

4. (U) The Mayor's Office of Rio de Janeiro has launched a pilot
program to legitimize retail business inside seven major favelas.
The program, called Choque de Legalidade (Legal Impact), first
implemented in July in the Rio das Pedras favela, aims to license
heretofore illegal stores and shops. Rio de Janeiro's municipal
Special Secretariat for Public Organization will set up mobile units
in favelas to issue business licenses to commercial ventures within
the communities. The seven favelas include Rocinha, Santa Marta,
Chapeu Mangueira, Babilonia, Terreirco, Jardim do Batan and Complexo
do Alemco.

RIO'S RATE OF IDLE PRISONERS HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY

5. (U) Elionaldo Fernandes Juliao, a professor from the University
of Rio de Janeiro, reported this week that only 7.29 percent of the
22,606 prisoners incarcerated in the 44 prisons of Rio de Janeiro
state are working or studying, constituting the highest percentage
of idle prisoners in Brazil. The national average is 24 percent.
According to Fernandes, this lack of productive activity leads to
criminal activity within the prison, such as using mobile phones to
place fake kidnapping and ransom calls to victims, as well as
planning acts of violence.

PETROBRAS MOST PROFITABLE NON-FINANCIAL COMPANY IN THE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE IN SECOND QUARTER 2009

6. (U) According to Rio-based consulting firm Economatica, Petrobras
was the most profitable non-financial services company in the
Western Hemisphere between April and June 2009, with 3.9 billion USD
in net revenue. Citibank came in first overall, with 4.3 billion
USD in net revenue. Petrobras was the only Brazilian company to
make the top 10 of the Economatica ranking.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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