SAO PAULO – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, opposition leader and Sao Paulo Gov. Jose Serra, Cardinal Claudio Hummes and other politicians and public figures were the targets of espionage for several years after Brazil’s military dictatorship ended, the press reported Sunday.
Lula, Serra, Hummes and other prominent people were spied on for 16 years by former agents of the 1964-1985 military regime, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said.
The “intense” surveillance took place between March 1983 and May 1999, with the agents keeping detailed records of the day-to-day activities of political and religious leaders, the newspaper said.
The files, which consist of thousands of pages of reports, photographs and press clippings, were in boxes sealed by the Sao Paulo state Public Archives 10 years ago.
The watchers were investigators, chiefs and retired members of the defunct DOPS, one of the police agencies dismantled in 1983 by Sao Paulo Gov. Franco Montoro, who was a target of the spying program.
University of Sao Paulo researchers plan to restore and microfilm the files, which had been in storage since 1999.