Blood Diamonds: Letter to President Dos Santos

Human rights defender Rafael Marques de Morais sent a letter to president Dos Santos, in his capacity as the highest magistrate in the country, on February 15, urging him to take action on human rights abuses. In the letter, the author denounced the failure of the Attorney General’s office in investigating cases of assassination and torture in the diamond-rich provinces of Lundas, in northeastern Angola. The Office of the Attorney General is, by law, a branch of the Presidency. Last November, the attorney general’s office notified Rafael Marques de Morais that it had shelved the criminal complaint he had lodged a year earlier against nine generals, after a preliminary hearing. As body of evidence, Rafael Marques de Morais filed his book Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola, published in Portugal in 2011. The book detailed cases involving the murder of more than 100 people, and more than 500 tortured. […]

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Blood Diamonds: Letter to President Dos Santos

Human rights defender Rafael Marques de Morais sent a letter to president Dos Santos, in his capacity as the highest magistrate in the country, on February 15, urging him to take action on human rights abuses. In the letter, the author denounced the failure of the Attorney General’s office in investigating cases of assassination and torture in the diamond-rich provinces of Lundas, in northeastern Angola. The Office of the Attorney General is, by law, a branch of the Presidency. Last November, the attorney-general’s office notified Rafael Marques de Morais that it had shelved the criminal complaint he had lodged a year earlier against nine generals, after a preliminary hearing. As body of evidence, Rafael Marques de Morais filed his book Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola, published in Portugal in 2011. The book detailed cases involving the murder of more than 100 people, and more than 500 tortured. The […]

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Manuel Vicente: Transparently Corrupt

By Ana Silva   The scheduling of Election Day on August 31 casts a new light on the recent press conference that presented the Performance Report on Executive Activity for the first quarter of 2012. Manuel Vicente, Minister of State for Economic Coordination, lavished detailed praise on the government’s economic advances during his presentation to the media. He referred to newly constructed factories, schools and social housing, as well as investments in transportation infrastructure, and highlighted the launch of provincial radio broadcasters and regional television stations. The minister’s account may have led casual observers to believe that Angola is enjoying a period of true social and economic progress. The country’s economic growth is unequalled, thanks above all to the rise in oil production and prices on the international market. Yet the scene that Vicente described left out the vast majority of Angola’s population, which continues to live in abject misery, […]

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Kero: Manuel Vicente Goes Shopping with State Money

The Kero hypermarket, probably the biggest in Angola, might be considered a model of private investment due to the way it has improved the range, and quality of consumer goods available in the country. But it has also proved to be a model example of how Angola’s top officials continue to ignore the distinction between public and private property and have turned themselves into the country’s top entrepreneurs. Kero has been operating for a year, in Luanda’s Nova Vida suburb. In an interview with the weekly paper O País, Kero’s Brazilian Director-General, João Santos, revealed how much MONEY had been invested by a group of Angolan businessmen in partnership with Banco Privado Atlântico: “The US$35 million is a combination of private capital and resources freed up by the partnership with Atlântico.” The hypermarket occupies a surface area of 7,500 square metres and a total area of 11,000 square metres. A […]

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Mercedes-Benz and Influence Peddling in Angola

In this new investigation, Maka Angola exposes the role of foreign investment in broadening, and institutionalizing corrupt dealings with the country’s political leaders. This case involves the “general distributor of Mercedes-Benz cars for Daimler in Angola”. On 12 July 2009, the Minister of State and head of the Military Bureau in the Presidency of Angola, General Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior “Kopelipa”, set up the company Auto-Star Angola, with himself as majority shareholder. The deputy director of the Office of National Reconstruction (GRN), Manuel José Cardoso do Amaral Van-Dúnem, and the faithful depository of General Kopelipa’s businesses, were each granted a 10 percent shareholding. The businessmen Herculano Adelço de Morais and António de Lemos, received 30 and 10 percent of the shares respectively. The website of the Belgian company Societé de Distribution Africain (SDA) announced the creation of Auto Star with the intention of setting up “a Belgian and Angolan […]

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