Newsletter n. 186

                     OF THE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT

    Phone calls that reveal a close relationship between ambassador
Julio Cesar Gomes, head of the ceremonial department of the Presidency
of the Republic, and commander Jose Afonso Assumpćao, Brazilian
businessmen and representative of Raytheon, an American corporation,
continue to have repercussions and toppling authorities. The phone
calls were bugged by the Federal Police one month ago and reveal the
existence of a strong lobby involving high-ranking officials of the
federal administration. The Raytheon corporation was the winner of a
bid for setting up the Investigation and Surveillance System of
Amazonia (Sivam). In the calls, complaints could be heard about the
delay of the National Congress to approve the contract and hints that
Brazilian congressmen may be receiving money to facilitate the
process, revealing an additional facet of the megalomaniac Sivam
project, which has become full of irregularities.
    The scandal toppled ambassador Julio Cesar, the minister of the
Air Force, brigadier Mauro Gandra, and the police officer who
requested the bugging of the phones. Other officials are expected to
fall. Affected by the incident, the National Congress requested the
establishment of a Commission (CPI) to investigate the irregularities,
which the government is trying to avoid.
    The Sivam is a project to set up a radar and satellite system to
control the Brazilian air space, monitor the environment and check the
borders. It includes the setting up of over 100 radars in Indian
areas, which according to the supporters of the project would be a
means to fight invasions. The are, however, strong accusations that
the Sivam would actually monitor the Indian Movement and the action of
missionaries in the region. Despising of all the opposition, the
Brazilian government renewed the contract with Raytheon yesterday
(November 22). The cost of the Sivam is R$ 1.4 billion (about 1.3
billion dollars) and it will monitor a 5.2-million km2 area.


    The National Defense Commission of the Chamber of Deputies in
Brasilia is analyzing the bill for a Legislative Decree proposed by
deputy Jair Bolsonaro (PPR-Rio de Janeiro) to annul the demarcation of
the Yanomami Indian area, signed in 2/16/1989. The deputies are
questioning the size of the area - about 9 million hectares - and have
not proposed any alternative. The rapporteur of the bill, deputy Elton
Ronelth (PSC-Roraima), together all the bench from Roraima, will
support Bolsonaro's bill. At a public audience held on November 23,
the president of Funai, Marcio Santilli, asked the deputies to reject
the proposal and warned that the decision may jeopardize the official
Indianist policy and the image of the Brazilian government. The
proposal is expected to be approved by the Commission before it is
referred to other commissions and then voted on in plenary at a still
unknown date.

                     Brasilia, November 23, 1995
                     Indianist Missionary Council