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Sérgio de Oliveira Cabral Santos Filho (born January 27, 1963) is a Brazilian politician and journalist.[1]

Sérgio Cabral Filho
61st Governor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
January 1, 2007 – April 3, 2014
Vice Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão
Preceded by Rosinha Garotinho
Succeeded by Luiz Fernando Pezão
Member of the Federal Senate
from Rio de Janeiro
In office
February 1, 2003 – December 31, 2006
Preceded by Geraldo Cândido
Succeeded by Régis Fichtner
President of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro
In office
January 1, 1995 – January 1, 2003
Preceded by José Nader
Succeeded by Jorge Picciani
Member of a State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1991 – January 1, 2003
Constituency Rio de Janeiro
Personal details
Born Sérgio de Oliveira Cabral Santos Filho
(1963-01-27) January 27, 1963 (age 54)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Political party PMDB
Spouse(s) Adriana de Lourdes Ancelmo (2004–2011; separated)

He was elected governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro in the 2006 Brazilian general elections for state offices and the Brazilian Congress and sworn into office on January 1, 2007.

Cabral Filho was a representative in the Rio de Janeiro state legislature from 1991 to 2002 and presided over it from 1995 to 2002. In the Brazilian 2002 general elections, he was elected senator for the state of Rio de Janeiro, a position he occupied from January 2003 until December 2006, when he resigned to run in the Rio de Janeiro Gubernatorial elections, having been replaced in Brazilian Senate by Regis Fitchner.

He had also run for mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1996 on a PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party) ticket, but his election as governor happened after he had moved to the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), at which time he and his running mate, Luiz Fernando de Sousa, won 68% of the valid votes (5,129,064 votes) in the second round of voting against PPS, or Popular Socialist Party, candidate Denise Frossard who only received 32% of the valid votes. Cabral was selected to make formal apologies to 120 individuals, including Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's 36th president who would later be impeached, for human rights' abuses inflicted on them during the dictatorship that was in power in Brazil from 1961 to 1985.

On November 17, 2016, Cabral was arrested on charges of corruption.[2]


Tenure as governorEdit

Cabral became governor at a time of uncertain economic prospects and serious security challenges in his state of Rio de Janeiro. During the election campaign for governor in 2006, he had praised the "zero tolerance" security policies touted by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and had pledged to root out police corruption and improve services in Rio's favelas.[3]

After visiting Colombia in 2007 to observe that country's success in the realm of public safety, Cabral secured additional funding for the police and tasked his Public Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, with spearheading a plan to improve security.[4] In 2008, the state and city governments launched a community policing program called Pacifying Police Units, or UPPs in Rio. In contrast to previous police practices, UPPs created a sustained, long-term police presence in favelas, including the Cidade de Deus, Complexo do Alemão and Dona Marta. Their operations make use of Rio military police's BOPE units in fighting urban crime and also use their Police Pacification Units for extended policing.[5] These policies led to decreased homicide rates in the favelas where UPPs were set up and international attention for Governor Cabral.

In the area of healthcare, Cabral launched a mobile health unit service that travels around the state giving free tests to the public in local areas.

Cabral also managed to streamline management of the state's finances through tax adjustments and adoption of strict modern management techniques such as electronic bidding. These measures led Rio de Janeiro becoming the first Brazilian state to be ranked as "investment grade", by the world's most important risk rating agency, Standard & Poor's. At the time, the Agency announced in a statement that "the strong management that has prevailed in the State over the past three years" and the fact that the state was "backed by a strong and diverse economy with an estimated GDP per capita of around 25% above the average in Brazil" made it achieve a global rating of "BBB-" and a "brAAA" credit rating on national scale.[citation needed]

His first tenure as Governor was also marked by achievements for the LGBT community, especially with the creation of Rio Sem Homofobia (Rio Without Homophobia), a program that aims to combat homophobia in public policies in the state. Cabral was also the first governor of Rio de Janeiro to participate in an LGBT parade.[citation needed]

In the area of transportation, Cabral renovated the fleet of Supervia trains, which counted only 10 trains in 2007 with air conditioning. Today, all of its 100 trains have air conditioning. He was also the governor who built more kilometers of underground metro lines since the subway began operation in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Security improvements, economic growth and Rio winning the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics helped to increase Cabral's popularity and led him to an easy re-election victory in the 2010 Rio de Janeiro gubernatorial election, with more than 66% of the vote. He was seen as a key ally to Presidents Lula and Dilma and was regarded as potential vice presidential candidate.


On September 14, 2009, Sérgio Cabral received the Légion d'honneur Medal (National Order of the Legion of Honor), the highest award from the French Government. The medal ceremony took place in Paris at the French Senate.

On May 8, 2008, Cabral received an award as the 2008 Personalidade Cidadania, or Good Citizen Award, for the roster of his political and social achievements during his tenure in the legislative and executive branches of government. He was selected by 4,327 representatives from various segments of civil society, by direct voting. The prize is an initiative of Unesco, Folha Dirigida and Associação Brasileira de Imprensa (ABI).

In 2013, Cabral received the Brazilian Person of the Year award from the Spain-Brazil Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to health and public safety in state of Rio through the projects of the public health assistance units and UPPs.

Corruption charges and arrestEdit

Recently, he was accused of charging 5% on every contract awarded to Odebrecht, including the ones for restoring the Maracanã stadium and the Coperj railroad. According to the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, he was turned in for his role in Operation Car Wash by Benedicto Barbosa da Silva Júnior, the companies' director.[6][7]

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Police arrested Sérgio Cabral and seven other persons (including some former secretaries of his government), as part of Operation Car Wash.[8]

He was accused of embezzling 224 million Brazilian reals, an amount equal to more than 80 million US dollars. On December 6, 2016, the court accepted to hear the charges filed by the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF), and Sérgio Cabral was charged with crimes of corruption, gang formation and money laundering.[9][10] On the same day, Adriana Ancelmo, Cabral's wife, was also arrested.[11]

In February 2017, the MPF-RJ accused Cabral of taking part in Operation Efficiency, another operation connected to Operation Car Wash. According to prosecutors, Cabral could be sentenced to up to 50 years if convicted for these crimes. Brazilian law, however, limits the serving of sentences to 30 years.[12]

He is currently being held at the Gericinó penitentiary in Bangu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On 13 June 2017, he was sentenced for 14 years and 2 months of imprisonment for passive corruption and money laundering.[13] On 20 September 2017 he was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment for embezzlement.[14]