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Carolina Givoni e Paula Litaiff – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – In Brazil, the benefit promised by the mayor amazonian capital, David Almeida, to help families in social vulnerability in the midst of the pandemic, the so-called ‘Auxílio Manauara’, benefited businesspeople with social capital of up to R$ 100 thousand, leaving out people who live in extreme poverty. The affirmation is from the CENARIUM MAGAZINE.

The data collection was made from the list of recipients, released on Tuesday, 2, by the city hall and other agencies linked to the initiative. The validation of businessmen’s information came after consulting public domain sites with information available to any internet user.

To be eligible for the municipal benefit determined by the Mayor, the criteria included being favored by Bolsa Família – federal program. But, the decree opened gaps and those who were not part of the program also received the amount of R$ 200.

Also, the obligation to obtain the benefit was to have a monthly income per capita (individual) of R $ 178 and not have formal employment, in addition to containing children up to three years old in the family composition.

Despite all the criteria making it clear that the benefit was directed to the poor population, the amount was received by businesspeople while those who really needed it were left out.

Privileged businesspeople

Rivelino Vasconcelos Martins is the owner of the company R. M. Comércio Atacadista de Material Elétrico Ltda., With an initial capital of R $ 100 thousand declared to the Federal Revenue Service (RF) and, even so, it was approved in the list of ‘Auxílio Manaura’.

Martins owns a Small Business, which according to Complementary Law No. 123 of 2006, fits into projects that have annual gross revenue between 360 thousand and 4.8 million reais.

Screenshots of the Auxílio Manauara website and of the Federal Revenue Service, which contains information about the businessman (Reproduction / Internet)

In consultation with the address provided on the RF website, CENARIUM found that another establishment operates at the registered location. Still trying to contact, to find out if, in fact, Rivelino asked for assistance, the phone number of the businessman registered on the IRS platform does not receive calls.

Automotive workshop owner

Valnes Mota da Costa is another name with commercial registration that appears in the list of the benefit. The beneficiary has a CPF linked to a company that provides maintenance services and electrical repairs of automobiles. With CNPJ opening on 05/14/2020, the small company has an annual turnover of up to R$ 360 thousand.

Print that compares beneficiary data in the IRS database. (Reproduction / Internet)

In a visit to the site, the CENARIUM team confirmed the commercial activity, which has two active service points, and tried to speak with the owner, to confirm whether he had asked for the benefit. He was not at the establishment and also did not respond to the telephone contact made to the number available at the IRS.

Decoration trade

Another owner of a commercial establishment, Leia Leal Alves, is also one of the beneficiaries of the aid. With a company that opened on January 9, 2020, with a capital of R $ 8 thousand, the project also enters the classification of businesses with annual sales of up to R $ 360 thousand.

The main activity registered by the company is the rental of furniture and utensils. At the address informed by the IRS, CENARIUM interviewed residents, to find out if there really is a company there. However, the presence of a commercial environment between homes has not been confirmed.

Extreme poverty

During this time, a community located in the western zone of the capital of Amazonas has survived the pandemic and the period of floods and ebbings on the banks of the stream in precarious conditions and without the right to assistance.

In the region, in addition to the lack of basic sanitation and running water, residents do what they can to maintain themselves through informal work.

Gacileine shows the conditions of her residence (Ricardo Oliveira/ Cenarium Magazine)

To verify whether or not the families benefited from the municipal executive’s initiative, CENARIUM went to the place and interviewed residents of the region, who did not receive federal, state, or municipal emergency aid.

One of the heads of the family, the independent Gracileine Cavalcante Marinho, explains that lunch, the main meal in the home that contains three children, will be boiled egg with flour.

Gracilene details that, because of the pandemic, the daughters stopped studying at the São Dimas School of the Manaus City Hall, located in the same neighborhood, where the children had access to school lunches.

Raylla, eight years old, next to her mother Gracileine with her brother on her lap, the one-year-old Caleb boy (Ricardo Oliveira / Cenarium Magazine)

The non-attendance of children at school harmed the housewife even when receiving the ‘Bolsa Família’ – federal benefit. “When I tried to withdraw the Bolsa Família, it was already blocked, because I didn’t present proof of school attendance”, she lamented.

Per capita income

One of the main criteria for the exclusion of applicants for Manauara Assistance is precisely the income per individual (income per capita). Thus, the total earnings of a family, divided by the number of residents of the residence cannot exceed R$ 178.00.

For example, in a family of five, the principal has a salary of R$ 850, while the partner has an income of R$ 800 and shares the earnings with three other residents of the house who do not work. As a consequence, the income of this family is R $ 1,650.00. With the division by five, the per capita income is R$ 330.00.

In the simulation, Auxiliary Manauara would not be approved for the hypothetical family, as it is aimed at serving extremely poor individuals, who currently number 13.689 million Brazilians, as shown by data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Bizarre names

The publication of the list of beneficiaries of the Manauara Aid this month, in March, generated controversy among representatives of control bodies and Internet users. Bizarre nomenclatures made the relationship go viral on the internet.

Among the “contemplated” by the Manaus City Hall were: “Acidente dos Santos Vieira”, “Terra Brasil”, “Malandra Santos”, “Brisa Scarlatt”, “Brócolis Rosane”, among other unusual names. Questioned, the Manaus City Hall reported that there was a “typing misconception”.

Recurring misconception

It is not the first time that the Manaus City Hall has made a “misconception” in a list of beneficiaries. In Covid-19’s immunized list, in January of this year, for every ten vaccinated, two had non-existent CPFs.

In addition to distortions in the number of documents, the relationship also brought up the controversy of the vaccine “holes in rows”, with the prioritization of businessmen, Manaus City Hall suppliers, and political allies.

The episode prompted the Amazonas Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP-AM) to ask for the arrest and removal of Mayor David Almeida and 20 other civil servants. To this day, the case is under police investigation.

System ‘Filters’

To CENARIUM, the Municipal Secretariat for Women, Social Assistance and Citizenship, also responsible for the administration of ‘Auxiliary Manauara’, informed that filters were used in the system to exclude registrations that do not fit the program criteria.

And he declared that “he makes available two numbers for complaints: 98842-4777 and 98842-1018, open from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm”. And if the irregularity is proven, it will be forwarded to the Attorney General of the Municipality so that the appropriate measures can be adopted.

The Municipal Education Secretariat, responsible for the administration of the São Dimas Municipal School, informs that it continues to issue students’ school statements, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report in the CENARIUM MAGAZINE tried to contact the merchants cited in the article but did not get a return.