David Miranda (politician)

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David Miranda
David Miranda, 2016 (cropped).jpg
Federal Deputy from Rio de Janeiro
Assumed office
1 February 2019
City Councillor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
1 January 2017 – 1 February 2019
Personal details
David Michael dos Santos Miranda

(1985-05-10) 10 May 1985 (age 35)
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Political partyPSOL (2014–present)
(m. 2005)

David Michael dos Santos Miranda (born 10 May 1985) is a Brazilian politician. He is a Federal Congressman representing the state of Rio de Janeiro, sworn in on 1 February 2019, and affiliated to the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL).[1] Prior to that, he was a City Councilman representing the city of Rio de Janeiro.[2]

In 2019, Miranda was named by Time magazine as one of the world's next generation of new leaders.[3]

Activism and political work[edit]

Miranda led the campaign for the Brazilian government to concede asylum to Edward Snowden[4] and worked with his husband, United States journalist Glenn Greenwald to publish the revelations contained in Snowden's leaks detailing mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). He met with Luciana Genro, the PSOL candidate for the 2014 Brazilian presidential election, and obtained her commitment to extend Snowden's asylum if elected. Numerous public Brazilian figures supported the campaign, which however failed to swing the government of Dilma Rousseff.[5]

In August 2013, Miranda was detained over his work on the NSA program for nine hours by the British government at London's Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, after he had flown in from Berlin and was changing to a plane bound for home, in Rio de Janeiro.[6] His belongings were seized, including an external hard drive said to contain sensitive documents relevant to Greenwald's reporting, which was encrypted with TrueCrypt encryption software. Greenwald described his partner's detention as "clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ".[7] Miranda himself has described his treatment under UK authorities as "psychological torture".[8] In 2014, for an article by Greenwald in The Intercept, Miranda interviewed Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, and then a little known representative.[9]

In 2016, he was, along with his friend Marielle Franco,[2] elected the first LGBT councilman in Rio's history.[10] He focuses primarily on the issues of the LGBT community and other marginalized segments of the Rio population. Miranda and his family travel in a bulletproof car ever since Franco was assassinated in March 2018.[2]

In 2018, Miranda was elected a substitute for deputy Jean Wyllys, both of whom are members of PSOL. When Wyllys, an LGBT member, announced in January 2019 that he left the country due to death threats, Miranda, who had also been on the party list, took Wyllys' place in the Chamber of Deputies. Miranda himself began to receive "hundreds" of death threats after taking his seat.[2][11] Joice Hasselmann, a representative of the now-President Bolsonaro's party, and who was present when Miranda was sworn in, accused Miranda of buying his seat. In April 2019, Miranda had a breakdown. Greenwald and Miranda only leave their home with armed guards.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Miranda was raised in Jacarezinho, Rio de Janeiro. His mother died when he was five, and he moved in with an aunt. He left home when he was 13, dropped out of school, and worked in menial jobs for the next 6 years.[3][9] He was playing volleyball on Ipanema beach in February 2005 when he knocked over the drink of a visiting New Yorker, the attorney Glenn Greenwald. The couple moved in together within a week.[3][9]

Soon after they first met, Greenwald encouraged Miranda's return to education and he graduated from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) in 2014.[3] Both Greenwald and Miranda are openly gay, and are married.[2] In 2017, the couple adopted two children who are siblings.


On 11 September 2019, O Globo newspaper reported[12] that an investigation by a division of the Brazilian Ministry of the Economy identified R$2.5 million in suspicious transactions in Miranda's personal bank account during a one year period from 2018 to 2019, including deposits from current and former employees. As a result, the Public Ministry opened an investigation into his finances. According to media reports, investigators suspect Miranda of "concealing the origin" of the funds and participating in an illegal practice known as "rachadinha," in which public servants employed in the offices of elected officials kick back a portion of their salary to their boss.[13] Jair Bolsonaro's sons, Flavio Bolsonaro and Carlos Bolsonaro, are also under investigation for this practice.[14] Miranda denies the charges.

Glenn Greenwald accused the Brazilian Public Ministry, which represents prosecutors, of launching the investigation and leaking it for political reasons, due to his involvement in uncovering corruption and political bias among Brazilian prosecutors and judges involved in the Lava Jato operation.[15]

2018 center-left presidential candidate Ciro Gomes and center-right pundit Reinaldo Azevedo both described the investigation against Miranda as borne out of a spirit of police state and political persecution.[16][17]

A few days afterwards, Miranda and Greenwald opened their bank accounts for public access, and challenged the Bolsonaro family to follow suit.[18]


  1. ^ "Jean Wyllys: Gay Brazil politician will not return over death threats". BBC News. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bernstein, Fred A. (11 May 2018). "The Unflinching Courage of Rio's Gay Crusader". Out. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Nugent, Ciara (16 May 2019). "How This Black Gay Politician Is Standing Up to the Far-Right Government in Brazil". Time. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Brasileiro e ONG iniciam campanha por asilo a Snowden" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo. 17 December 2013.
  5. ^ "David Miranda: Carta aberta aos brasileiros" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo. 22 December 2013.
  6. ^ Savage, Charlie; Schwirtz, Michael (18 August 2013). "Britain Detains the Partner of a Reporter Tied to Leaks". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  7. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (19 August 2013). "Glenn Greenwald: detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation". The Guardian. London, UK.
  8. ^ "David Miranda: "I was subject to psychological torture"". Deutsche Welle. 22 August 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Londoño, Ernesto (20 July 2019). "'The Antithesis of Bolsonaro': A Gay Couple Roils Brazil's Far Right". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Rio e SP terão vereadores gays" (in Portuguese). Guia Gay de Salvador. 3 October 2016.
  11. ^ Maia, Gustavo (24 January 2019). ""Negro, gay e favelado": quem é o suplente de Jean Wyllys na Câmara". UOL. Brasília. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Relatório do Coaf aponta 'movimentações atípicas' de R$ 2,5 milhões de David Miranda". O Globo (in Portuguese). 11 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Coaf aponta 'movimentação atípica' de R$ 2,5 milhões em conta do deputado David Miranda". G1. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Entenda caso da quebra de sigilo de Flávio Bolsonaro e até onde pode ir investigação". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). 17 May 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Coaf relata movimentação atípica de R$ 2,5 milhões em conta de David Miranda". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). 11 September 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  16. ^ "David Miranda, Francenildo, The Intercept Brasil e o estado policial". Reinaldo Azevedo's UOL webpage (in Portuguese). 11 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Ciro Gomes expresses solidarity with Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda on his official Twitter page". Twitter. 11 September 2019.
  18. ^ "David Miranda aceita expor renda familiar e desafia família Bolsonaro". Rede Brasil Atual (in Portuguese). 13 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2020.

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