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Antonio Palocci Filho (born 4 October 1960) is a Brazilian physician and politician, and formerly Chief of Staff of Brazil under President Dilma Rousseff. He was the finance minister of the Brazilian federal government from 1 January 2003 to 27 March 2006, when he resigned in the wake of reports of conduct unbecoming of his office during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He resigned as Chief of Staff on 7 June 2011.

Antonio Palocci
Antonio Palocci
Chief of Staff of the Presidency
In office
1 January 2011 – 7 June 2011
PresidentDilma Rousseff
Preceded byErenice Guerra
Succeeded byGleisi Hoffmann
Federal Deputy for São Paulo
In office
1 February 2007 – 1 February 2011
In office
1 February 1999 – 1 January 2001
Minister of Finance
In office
1 January 2003 – 27 March 2006
PresidentLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Preceded byPedro Malan
Succeeded byGuido Mantega
65th and 67th Mayor of Ribeirão Preto
In office
1 January 2001 – 31 March 2002
Preceded byLuiz Roberto Jábali
Succeeded byGilberto Maggioni
In office
1 January 1993 – 31 March 1996
Preceded byWelson Gasparini
Succeeded byLuiz Roberto Jábali
State Deputy of São Paulo
In office
1 February 1991 – 1 January 1993
Councillor of Ribeirão Preto
In office
1 January 1989 – 1 February 1991
Personal details
Antonio Palocci Filho

(1960-10-04) 4 October 1960 (age 58)
Cosmorama, São Paulo, Brazil
Political partyWorkers' Party (formerly)
ResidenceBrasília, Brazil


Early life and careerEdit

Palocci was raised in Ribeirão Preto, in the state of São Paulo. His father was an artist and teacher. During his youth as a medical student at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School, Palocci took part in several radical movements. He was one of the founders of the Workers' Party and was its president in São Paulo from 1997 to 1998.

After graduation, Palocci worked for five years as a civil servant at the Ribeirão Preto regional office of the São Paulo State Public Health Secretariat. He implemented the Workers’ Health Ward and was the director of the regional office of the public health service.

When Palocci was 28 years old, after occupying positions in various labour unions, including the CUT (linked to the Workers Party) he ran for election as a city councilman (vereador) for the first time. Since then, Palocci has never lost an election. However, he completed only one of his terms (as mayor of Ribeirão Preto, from 1993 to 1996.

Political careerEdit

Palocci was elected councilman in Ribeirão Preto in 1988. He did not finish his term but stepped down to for the office of state deputy and won. In 1992, he resigned his term as deputy to become mayor of Ribeirão Preto, after winning the local election. It is during his administrations as mayor that Palocci is alleged to have led a major slush fund operation (see below) for the Workers' Party, a scheme denounced by a former secretary, Rogério Buratti [pt].

In 1995, he received the UNICEF’s Child and Peace prize for his work for the rights of infants and adolescents. In 1996, he received the Juscelino Kubitscheck Award from SEBRAE-SP, the São Paulo chapter of the Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas (Brazilian Service for Assistance to Small Businesses), for being the mayor of the city in São Paulo state who offered the best support to small business. In 2002, he received the Mário Covas Award from SEBRAE again for his work on behalf of local small businesses.

Palocci was elected federal deputy in 1998. In 2000, he resigned his office so that he could run again in the mayoral election in Ribeirão Preto. He won the election, and was again mayor of Ribeirão Preto from 2001 to 2002. He resigned in 2002 to work on Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's campaign for the Brazilian presidency. In 2003, when Lula was elected, Palocci officially resigned as the mayor of Ribeirão Preto, was nominated the Finance Minister of Brazil and became a key figure in the new government.

Along with former minister José Dirceu (who resigned and subsequently lost his political rights due to involvement with the Mensalão scandal), Palocci was considered one of the most influential and strong ministers of Lula’s government.

On 1 January 2011, President Dilma Rousseff appointed him Chief of Staff. He resigned in July 2011.[1]

Mayoral corruption allegationsEdit

In 2005, Antonio Palocci was involved in allegations related to the Mensalão scandal, after being accused by Rogério Buratti, his former secretary in the Ribeirão Preto municipal government. According to Buratti, between 2001 and 2004, Palocci received a R$50,000 monthly payment from Leão & Leão, a garbage collection company. Investigations are still underway and no conclusive findings have been reached.[when?]

Palocci denied this allegation and accused the prosecutors of illegally leaking the preliminary results of an ongoing investigation for political motivations related to the upcoming presidential elections.

Ministerial abuse of powerEdit

A new scandal began to unfold in 2006 after a parliamentary inquiry heard testimony from two witnesses who claimed that the minister might have visited a manor house in Brasília suspected of functioning as a hub for fraudulent operations within the government, with the participation of some of his closest aides.[2] Palocci had previously claimed that he had never been to that house.

The main witness in the case was Francenildo Costa, the groundskeeper of the property. He believed the minister had visited the house "on at least ten occasions" and said he recognized Palocci as the man he had seen in the meetings of governmental officials at the house.

A few days after Costa's deposition, his bank statement (from government-run Caixa Econômica Federal) was leaked to the press. It indicatec that the groundskeeper had a balance of R$38,860 (about US$18,000.00), which would be incompatible with his income. Congressmen argued that this questionable balance implies bribery potential for contradicting the minister, apparently in an attempt to tarnish the Minister's credibility as a witness. The groundskeeper justified the figures by claiming that the money had been deposited by his alleged biological father, a relatively well-off businessman from the state of Piauí, in order to prevent a legal dispute over paternity.

Costa's explanation was promptly accepted but not further investigated. The court, the Right wing opposition, and the corporate media turned their full attention to the leaking of the bank statement as a breach of Costa's financial privacy rights. The Right wing opposition and a great part of the corporate media called the release of Costa's bank statement state-orchestrated harassment. The Federal Police of Brazil began an investigation into the case, which soon spiraled into a media circus for the Labor Party: officials and directors at the Caixa Econômica Federal confessed to releasing Costa's bank statement. The alleged chain of command went up as far as the Ministry of Finance, and the bank's chairman said that he handed the details of the account to Palocci personally. The minister denied this, but resigned on March 27, 2006, and was replaced by economist Guido Mantega.[3]

Political offices
Preceded by
Erenice Guerra
Chief of Staff of the Presidency
Succeeded by
Gleisi Hoffmann


  1. ^ "Brazil's chief minister Antonio Palocci resigns". BBC. 8 June 2011.
  2. ^ Perry Anderson Palocci (March 31, 2011). "Lula's Brazil". London Review of Books.
  3. ^ "Ententa o chamado "caseirogate" e a cronologia dos fatos que derubbaram Palocci" [Understand the so-called "caseirogate"and the chronology of the facts that demolished Paloccio] (in Portuguese). 27 March 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2017.