U.S., Brazil and Law Enforcement

Ambassador Roberto Abdenur
Washington Times
May 12, 2005

I was surprised and dismayed to read Monday's Commentary column "Praise for piracy?" by Kenneth Adelman. With all due respect, the text is based on a series of gross misperceptions and distorted arguments.

I do not think I need to say much about the references to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mr. da Silva's historical struggle for social justice, his long-standing commitment to democracy and his credentials as a consistent and innovative world leader speak for themselves.

Having said that, let me clarify the nature and the dynamic of the relations between Brazil and the United States. Although, of course, it is only natural that our two nations have different views and outlooks on some international issues, the fact is that there is fundamental convergence in our support for democracy.

Brazil has been a bulwark of stability in its region. Presidents da Silva and Bush have developed a very friendly relationship and a smooth and fruitful dialogue. Our governments consult and work together on a wide range of subjects.

They understand and respect each other. Besides the many elements that have been at the core of the friendship between Brazil and the United States for almost two centuries, those are the factors that today underlie this particularly positive stage of our bilateral relationship.

As regards Mr. Adelman's allusions to intellectual property rights, I would like to stress that combating piracy is a national priority in Brazil, one that is shared by the Brazilian executive authorities, Congress, civil society and the business sector.

In October 2004, a new National Council for Combating Piracy and Intellectual Property Crimes was established. The council, headed by the deputy minister of justice, and with significant private-sector representation, is a watershed in the coordination of initiatives and actions among different governmental agencies and the private sector.

More law enforcement actions have been taken in the area of intellectual property rights in recent months and years than at any other time. Seizure and raids have been significantly increased.

As for the specific issue of drug patents, I must underline that it is an important component of a much broader policy Brazil has put together to fight against AIDS. This policy, of which we are very proud, has produced results at both the prevention and treatment levels that are recognized all over the world.

The intellectual property rights dimension of its programs is fully consistent with international law. The Doha Declaration on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Properties and public health leaves no doubt about that.

Embassy of Brazil

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