A survey carried out by Brasil de Fato shows that one of the suspects of participating in an alleged vote-buying scheme for the federal deputy and now Minister of Sports André Fufuca (PP-MA) managed, at just 23 years old, to close at least R $7.5 million in eight contracts with Maranhão city halls between 2019 and 2023.
At least one of these contracts received funding from rapporteur amendments through the São Francisco and Parnaíba Valleys Development Company, Codevasf. The company was used for the secret budget scheme, through which parliamentarians indicated to the Budget rapporteur funds for works in their electoral strongholds without being publicly identified as authors of the amendments. In this way, the budget rapporteur made the indication without identifying the true authors of the requests, a practice that was considered unconstitutional by the Federal Supreme Court.
The suspect is Caio Rubens Vieira da Silva, who at the time of the Federal Police raid was just 18 years old and was caught hiding a bag of money when the police arrived at the place where he was, in the municipality of Santa Luzia (MA), on the night the day before that year’s election.
His father, Francisco Vieira, was with him on the day of the PF raid and, when testifying to the police that day, said that he worked for free on Fufuca’s campaign that year because of the “friendship” he had with the parliamentarian. Officially, however, neither Caio nor his father declared that they had provided service to Fufuca’s campaign and, of the cell phones seized by the PF that night, only Francisco’s was reset, without any information.
As Brasil de Fato showed, in addition to the act with the bag of money, investigators came across conversations on Caio’s cell phone in which he openly negotiates the purchase of votes, and even negotiates a football boot in exchange for a vote.
Now, a survey based on contracts published in the Official Gazette of the Union shows that the young man who is now 23 years old and lives in Santa Inês, a municipality in the interior of Maranhão where André Fufuca was also born, has built a successful career with works for city halls in the interior of the state that has the worst HDI in the country.
Urbanization, agriculture and oil refining
The success story of Caio Vieira, son of a car store owner in Santa Inês who was also caught in the PF investigation, begins in March 2018, when he founded Projeplan, at the age of 18. The company has share capital (that is, the money that the partner invests to start the company) of R$600 thousand and Caio as the sole managing partner.
The company started with activities such as “machine rental”, “building cleaning” and “immunization and control of urban pests”. Over time, Projeplan’s list of activities registered with the Federal Revenue grew and diversified and, today, the company’s main activity is the construction of buildings, but it also operates in the following areas: “manufacture of refining products oil”, “agricultural support activities”, “urbanization works”, “construction of stations and electricity distribution networks”, among others
It was with this profile that the company managed to close, since it was founded, eight contracts with five municipalities in the interior of Maranhão: Santa Luzia, Itapecuru-Mirim, Icatu, Poção de Pedras and Vitória do Mearim. The highest value contracts were signed with the city hall of Santa Luzia, a city located 46 km from where Caio lives and where he went to seek votes for André Fufuca in the 2018 elections.
Of the R$7.5 million in contracts signed by your company with city halls, R$4.7 million went to the municipality of Santa Luzia, being a R$3.7 million contract for the recovery of local roads for several villages in the city , which according to the 2022 Census has 57.6 thousand inhabitants. The contract was signed in October 2022 and was valid until April of this year. That year, Caio officially worked for the campaign of André Fufuca, who was re-elected federal deputy for Maranhão. According to the current minister’s campaign report, Caio received R$10,000 to work for the campaign.
According to the city hall’s bidding committee, the price offered by Projeplan was the lowest in the open competition to select the company responsible for the work. In addition to this contract, Projeplan signed a contract in July this year with the same city hall worth R$934,100 to pave the streets of a village called Faísa, located in the rural area of Santa Luzia. The deadline for completing the work is December 31, 2023.
When testifying before the Federal Police in 2018, Caio said that on October 6, the eve of the first round, he, his father Francisco Vieira and businessman Marcus Vinícius went to dinner at a steakhouse in Santa Luzia, where the deputy mayor of Santa Luzia was also present. city, Juscelino Junior. At the time, the young man told investigators that his father knew the vice-mayor and that he and his father had spoken there, but did not go into further detail. Re-elected in 2020, Juscelino Junior, from the PP, is to this day vice-mayor of the municipality. The mayor of the municipality is Francilene Paixão de Queiroz, known as “Franca do Macaquinho” and is also from the PP, the same party as the Minister of Sports André Fufuca.
Among the contracts signed by Projeplan, in one of them Codevasf appears as a source of resources in the Official Gazette of the Union. This is the R$ 937.8 thousand contract signed in November 2021 with the municipality of Poção de Pedras, to “ recovery of local roads” in the city, which according to the 2022 IBGE Census has 17.1 thousand inhabitants. Despite being signed with the municipality, the source of revenue for the contract was Codevasf, through an agreement.
The contract had an initial closing date of July 2022, but an addendum was signed that extended this period until December of last year. When contacted, Codevasf confirmed that the value for this contract was sent through a rapporteur’s amendment and that the transfer aimed to “boost rural development, through the promotion of production and the flow of agricultural production, the supply of commercial local areas and transport for the rural population, through the improvement of local roads that connect the municipality’s headquarters to villages”.
Of all the contracts with Caio’s company that were published in the Official Gazette of the Union, only this one had an error in the disclosure. At first, Caio did not appear to be responsible for signing the contract on behalf of the company, but there was a rectification in the Official Gazette in August 2022 so that his name appeared as being responsible for signing on behalf of Projeplan.
Also according to Codevasf, in April 2023 there was a technical inspection of the object of the agreement which found 93.3% execution. As the contract is in force until December 31st, the city hall has until February 29th of next year to report. “When the accounts are presented, there will be a new calculation of the execution percentage. If execution is pending, measures will be adopted to guarantee the good and regular application of federal resources, in accordance with the provisions of the Interministerial Ordinance MP/MF/ CGU nº 424/2016”, stated Codevasf through a press office.
The first contract signed by Projeplan with a municipality in Maranhão, according to the Official Gazette of the Union, was in June 2019 to renovate a square in the municipality of Vitória do Mearim, a city of 30 thousand inhabitants, worth R$492 thousand. The values for the project, according to the Official Gazette, came from an agreement with the federal government via the Ministry of Tourism.
With an initial deadline to be completed in 120 days, the contract for the work on the square was extended five times and the final deadline ended up being June 2021. When contacted, the ministry informed that the work used tax amendment funds (which the federal government has an obligation to pay) presented to the 2017 budget by then senator João Alberto Souza (MDB-MA) and which was 100% completed. João Alberto Souza currently does not have a mandate.
“The transfer met a proposal contemplated with resources from the parliamentary amendment to the 2017 Budget (imposing budget), in compliance with the actions of the Support Program for Tourism Infrastructure Projects of the Ministry of Tourism. The work, which received R$ 480.2 thousand from MTur through Caixa (another R$ 12.5 thousand were in local counterpart), was 100% completed in 2021 (the contract was valid until 12/31/2021) and had the accounting approved by Caixa”, said the folder. When asked which parliamentarian was responsible for the amendment, the Ministry of Tourism did not respond.
The report contacted Caio Vieira’s lawyer and also Caio’s telephone numbers that appear in the PF reports, but did not receive any response until the conclusion of this matter.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho