Conjunct action


O Globo - 09/12/2004

The Mercosur countries continue to test the creation of a common group to combat piracy and smuggling in the region. In an unprecedented attempt to join forces, representatives from the four countries will participate in a seminar in Rio, in the second quarter of 2005. In addition to discussing strategies, they will train police officers, with the help of 50 members of Interpol and customs officers from around the world.

Does this seminar next year, which has not yet been set, still signify an important movement, despite the diplomatic slowness? or lack of haste? that characterizes agreements involving several countries. But it is progress.

? Am I excited about this meeting? says Deputy Julio Lopes, vice president of the extinct Piracy CPI, foreseeing a huge public destruction of pirated CDs seized recently.

As we know, Paraguay's strong pirate tradition, with its historical reasons already mentioned here, has hindered dialogue with other neighboring countries. Not that Paraguay is the only villain, because there are no saints in this story, but its connection with the pirate industry is far from being resolved only by external pressure. The union helps, but does not solve.

In this climate of good neighborhoods, it is also symptomatic that the Paraguayan government is officially inviting the main deputies of the extinct CPI of Piracy to visit Asunción. The objective is the official delivery of the commission's report to the authorities. CPI president Luiz Antonio de Medeiros, vice president Julio Lopes and the rapporteur, Josias Quental, should participate in the meeting in the neighboring country.

? For those who would not accept discussing the subject at all, is such an invitation extremely relevant? says Julio Lopes. ? The idea is to take the report to the Paraguayan Supreme Court for consideration.

Let's not forget that one of the most cited names in the CPI report is that of Argentine citizen Júlio Osvaldo Domingues Dibb, also called ODD. He is a trader based in Paraguay and linked to several industries suspected of piracy, especially in the tobacco sector. More than that, he has a son who is a senator, which can cause embarrassment in the institutions. It can, but it won't.

In time: last week a new request for habeas-corpus was denied to the Chinese-born Chinese trader Law Kin Chong. It was not such an easy victory. At the time of the decision, three supreme ministers voted against the merchant's release, while two other ministers, including the rapporteur, voted in favor of his freedom. Remember: Law was arrested in early June, for allegedly trying to corrupt the then CPI president, Luiz Antonio de Medeiros.