The Public Prosecutor's Office and the People of the City of Londrina - Brazil (Integrity Award)

Filed under - Whistleblowing

Received the Award on 7 October 2001

award winner image

In June 2000, Antonio Belinati, the mayor of Londrina, a city in the State of Paraná in southern Brazil, was impeached on charges of corruption. It is estimated that a total of US$ 45 million disappeared during his three terms in office, plus millions more during the privatisation of the municipal telephone utility. The mayor's removal from office was the result of the unique combined effort of the local Public Prosecutor's Office and a coalition of civil society organisations specially created in support of the Londrina prosecutors.

The case against the mayor began when public prosecutor Bruno Galatti was appointed to investigate charges of overpricing in contracts for municipal outdoor maintenance services. It soon became apparent that irregularities were widespread. Galatti was joined by prosecutor Cláudio Esteves, and the two discovered irregularities affecting more than 200 procurement procedures, including contracts with non-existent firms that were paid for services that were never performed. From February 1999 to early 2001, Galatti, Esteves and their colleague Solange Vicentin initiated 29 legal proceedings against Mayor Belinati and 116 others. They persisted in their efforts despite the intensification of threats made against them and the characterisation of their work by Belinati's cronies as "political persecution".

The prosecutors sought the help of Londrina's civil society organisations. As the number of investigations and support from the community grew, the Movement for the Moralisation of Londrina's Public Administration was formed. A coalition of civil society organisations, numbering 80 at the height of the campaign, began holding weekly meetings to support the investigations and put pressure on the administration. Never before had so many disparate organisations rallied around a common cause.

The Integrity Award 2001 was presented to state prosecutors Bruno Galatti, Cláudio Esteves and Solange Vicentin in recognition of their dogged pursuit of administrative corruption, and to the people of Londrina for the crucial support they collectively mobilised and which ultimately led to the mayor's impeachment.

Country / Territory - Brazil   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Whistleblowing   
Tags - State of Paraná   |   Bruno Galatti   |   Cláudio Esteves   |   Solange Vicentin   |   Londrina   

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