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02-06-2004, 20:05
American Arrested in Brazil at Customs
20 minutes ago

By ALAN CLENDENNING, Associated Press Writer

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A second American in three weeks was arrested in Brazil on Friday after being accused of making an obscene gesture during new customs procedures for U.S. citizens.

Police said Douglas A. Skolnick, 55, raised his middle finger while being photographed and fingerprinted. They said he was from New Jersey but did not release his hometown.

Police accused Skolnick, who is with a tour group, of showing contempt to authorities while being checked in Foz de Iguacu, a southeastern resort town famed for its waterfalls.

The fingerprinting and picture-taking requirements were imposed in response to similar rules in the United States for citizens of Brazil and many other countries. The United States said it imposed the rules to prevent terrorists from entering the country.

American Airlines pilot Dale Robin Hersh was arrested on Jan. 14 on the same charge after making a similar gesture. The airline paid a $12,750 fine and Hersh returned home.

Skolnick "did it the same way as the American pilot," said Marcos Koren, a federal police spokesman.

A judge will decide how much to fine the American and whether to deport him or let him rejoin his tour group of about 80 Americans, most of them retirees, the spokesman said.

Officials with the American Embassy in Brasilia did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Foz de Iguacu sits at the border with Argentina and Paraguay, about 500 miles southeast of Sao Paulo.

Members of Skolnick's tour group arrived from Santiago, Chile, on a chartered flight. They were allowed into Brazil, and Skolnick's wife accompanied them to their hotel.

"They'll go and see the falls and the beauties of this region, but he won't know any of the beauty, just the inside of a cell," Koren said of the husband. The group is expected to leave Brazil on Sunday.

I'll bet he made everybody in the group just laugh and laugh! Wonder what a tour group is doing in the Tri-border? Yup, that's where I'd go on vacation.

Roguish Lawyer
02-06-2004, 20:09
Gotta love Jersey! LOL

02-07-2004, 17:01
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Wonder what a tour group is doing in the Tri-border? Yup, that's where I'd go on vacation.

That is where the watchamacallit Falls are.

02-07-2004, 17:07
Well I know that.

The Reaper
02-07-2004, 18:47
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc

Wonder what a tour group is doing in the Tri-border? Yup, that's where I'd go on vacation.

I would go back in a flash.

Have you ever been there, my brother?


02-07-2004, 18:48
Not as a tourist

02-07-2004, 19:12

The Reaper
02-07-2004, 20:11
Was there mostly on the Paraguay side, both in uniform and in civvies, had a great time.

Good people, though IMHO, the Brazilians see themselves as more than they are.

When they can claim that Islamic terrorists have attacked their capital and commerce centers and killed 3,000 of their citizens, then they can gladly take my photo as a threat. Till then, it seems to me to be a chickenshit reprisal.


02-07-2004, 23:34
Of course its a CS reprisal. But riddle me this - how many of the hijackers were Brazilian, had been in Brazil, or had Brazilian connections?

Its all CS, but shooting the finger while they take a picture isn't going to change anything and it only makes them want to do more. Its a childish gesture committed by A) A man entrusted with the lives of passengers every day that people say should be allowed to carry a handgun and B) A 50+ year-old "adult".

I'm not for the Brazilians, I am against immature acts by US citizens while visiting foreign countries. Especially when it makes the news.

02-08-2004, 07:07
Cross Cultural Communications.:)

02-08-2004, 09:20
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I am against immature acts by US citizens while visiting foreign countries. Especially when it makes the news.
I have been present on more occasions than I care to count that made me wish one needed to pass an IQ test to be issued a US passport.

02-08-2004, 10:19
Originally posted by Jimbo
I have been present on more occasions than I care to count that made me wish one needed to pass an IQ test to be issued a US passport.

And spent a day with QEFTSG before packing.

Roguish Lawyer
05-04-2004, 07:02

Brazil gang robs Air Force armory
Arsenal found in shantytown
Monday, May 3, 2004 Posted: 6:01 PM EDT (2201 GMT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) -- Armed men stole a van with assault rifles from a Brazilian Air Force armory on Monday in Rio de Janeiro and police found anti-tank rockets in a slum -- fresh signs that the city's drug gangs are expanding their arsenal and firepower.

The events occurred two weeks after police discovered an arsenal in another shantytown in the crime-ridden city that surprised even hard-boiled Rio violence experts as it contained eight Belgium-made land mines and more than 100 grenades.

The finds underscored the drug gangs' increasing firepower and sophistication at a time when authorities are struggling to crack down on their trade and the government is considering sending army troops into the city.

U.S.-made M72A2 anti-tank rocket launchers, two of which police found on Monday, can pierce more than 30 cm (1 foot) of armor, which makes even army tanks vulnerable to gangsters' fire. Armored vehicles used by police can be pierced by bullets from heavy machine guns that some gangs also have, police say.

Police found the disposable launchers along with 10 assault rifles, five grenades and plenty of ammunition in an improvised armory of the local drug lord inside the Vila Vintem slum. Nobody was arrested as bandits had fled the shanty town.

Stolen from armories?
Police investigator Reginaldo Vall Lloveras told Reuters the rockets and some of the assault rifles had apparently been smuggled into Brazil, but other weapons are used exclusively by the Brazilian army and could have been stolen from armories.

Police believe the grenades found two weeks ago were originally in the possession of the Air Force as well.

"This is not the first time this has happened in Rio," a police officer who asked not to be named said, referring to the armory heist. "The (armories) have been a frequent target of criminals and the drug dealers in Rio are arming themselves more each time."

He said five gunmen overpowered three soldiers on guard at the armory and took two others hostage after stealing guns, ammunition and bullet-proof jackets. The two soldiers were later released unharmed.

The Air Force issued a statement later saying 22 assault rifles and one automatic pistol had been stolen. It has in the past denied any disappearance of grenades from its stocks.

Gen. Jose Rosalvo Leitao de Almeida, head of arms control at the Brazilian Army, told Reuters last week the military were exercising strict control over weapons and said armory heists were rare, blaming most of illegal arms trade on smuggling.

The Brazilian government is mulling whether to send 4,000 federal troops to Rio to help police safeguard the city, which has become as famous for its crime as its scenic beaches.

Last month, police special forces occupied Rio's largest hillside slum, Rocinha, to put an end to a turf war between rival drug gangs there. At least 13 people died in the fighting, schools were shut and many people fled their homes.

Roguish Lawyer
07-19-2004, 15:23

Brazil Set to Start Shooting Down Drug Planes

Jul 19, 11:47 AM (ET)

BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil is set to start shooting down aircraft suspected of smuggling drugs across its jungles in 90 days, now that it issued a controversial new law on Monday after a six year delay.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's signature on the law, which was approved by Congress in 1998, has prompted Washington to warn that it could curtail anti-drug cooperation with Brazil if it concludes there are not sufficient precautions to satisfy U.S. law.

Publication of the measure in the government's official diary on Monday starts a 90-day clock at the end of which it goes into effect.

Brazilian Defense Minister Jose Viegas has said the law is necessary to curb constant incursions by drug traffickers from neighboring countries into Brazil.

Brazil is a major transit nation and a big market itself for cocaine from Colombia and Peru. The drug trade is fueling gang violence in Brazilian cities.

Brazilian officials estimate there are more than 4,000 unregistered small aircraft flying over the Amazon jungle, a remote area larger than the continental United States.

The rule said an aircraft would only be shot down by Brazilian fighters as a "last resort" and a series of steps would be taken before the decision is taken to open fire.

The controversy grew after Peru accidentally shot down a small plane in 2001, killing an American missionary and her child.

Brazil has its own radar tracking devices and fighter jets to carry out its plans. But it would benefit from information from the United States, which currently shares with Brazil details such as departures of suspect planes.

Brazilian fighter pilots would only fire at suspect aircraft if they refuse to identify themselves, do not land and fail to respond to warning shots, at which point they would be "considered hostile and subject to destruction," according to the published law.

It said planes would only be shot down in areas where there are no population centers and where there are "routes presumably used by drug traffickers."

07-19-2004, 16:18
We are scheduled to return to Brazil in Oct.

Sneaky, I will try to be good!