Workers Party goes to
court against the MSIA
In July 1994, the Brazilian chapter of the Ibero-American Solidarity Movement (MSIA) published a pamphlet entitled "Lula and the São Paulo Forum, Agents of One Worldist Imperialism," in which it exposed the origins and activities of the São Paulo Forum and the Workers Party's (PT) ties to it, facts which were practically unknown to most Brazilians.
Exasperated with the pamphlet's broad distribution throughout the country, the PT took legal action against the MSIA, which is a Brazilian political movement associated with the ideas of American statesman Lyndon H. LaRouche. On Sept. 9, 1994, in the city of Pôrto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the PT's delegate to the state Electoral Tribunal, Maritania Dallagnol, initiated court action against the MSIA, accusing it of "electoral crimes" for having made "slanderous and defamatory statements against the PT and its president, Luís Inacio 'Lula' da Silva." At the time, "Lula" was one of two candidates favored to win the presidential elections scheduled for October and November. The PT stated that the pamphlet was a "politically fantasy-ridden, delirious and lying" publication, linking the party and its members to "a network of international drug-trafficking and terrorism which, according to its absurd thesis, seeks to destabilize governments and destroy sovereign states and their Armed Forces."
In response to the PT's action, the Electoral Tribunal requested that the Federal Police take testimony from Vitor Gruenewaldt, Nilder Costa, and Geraldo Lino, members of the MSIA's organizing committee in Brazil, and from journalist Gustavo Camargo, in charge of the MSIA's publications. This was done in October and November 1994.
After the elections, everything indicated that the case would be closed and filed. But, in July 1995, MSIA organizers received a summons to appear before the judge of Pôrto Alegre's Second Electoral Zone.
Neither the reactivation of the case, nor the fact that it was initiated in Pôrto Alegre, were accidental. The reactivation occurred after the Fifth Congress of the São Paulo Forum, held last May in Montevideo, Uruguay, during which a decision to proceed was apparently made. In addition, Pôrto Alegre is a city which the PT intends to make an example of successful party administration (it has controlled the mayor's office since 1988). In a round-table discussion during the Uruguay congress, chaired by Chilean sociologist Marta Harnecker, Pôrto Alegre Deputy Mayor Raul Pont confirmed this intention: "In Pôrto Alegre, we are living this experience. It has become a reference point ... because it is something new, and different." Harnecker lent her "consulting" services to Pôrto Alegre's mayor.
Harnecker sits on the editorial board of the São Paulo Forum's magazine, América Libre, as does her husband Manuel Pineiro, the feared chief of Cuban intelligence, the DGI.
Another factor is the political presence in Pôrto Alegre of Jair Krieschke, a longtime slanderer of the MSIA and LaRouche. In Brazil, Krieschke has made a career out of spreading the slanders of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL), and he is also an intimate friend of the former Montonero leader, the Argentine Mario Firmenich, among others.