Sérgio Cabral Filho

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Sérgio Cabral Filho
61st Governor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
1 January 2007 – 3 April 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
1 February 2003 – 31 December 2006
Preceded by Geraldo Cândido
Succeeded by Régis Fichtner
President of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro
In office
1 January 1995 – 1 January 2003
Preceded by José Nader
Succeeded by Jorge Picciani
Member of a State Assembly
In office
1 January 1991 – 1 January 2003
Constituency Rio de Janeiro
Personal details
Born (1963-01-27) 27 January 1963 (age 53)
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Political party PMDB
Spouse(s) Adriana de Lourdes Ancelmo (2004–2011; separated)
Religion Roman Catholicism

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

In the 2006 Brazilian general elections, he was elected governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro; he was sworn into office on January 1, 2007.

His father is journalist Sérgio Cabral.

Cabral Filho was a state representative for the state of Rio de Janeiro between 1991 and 2002, having presided the State Assembly from 1995 to 2002. In the 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 in order to run in the Rio de Janeiro Gubernatorial elections, having been replaced in Senate by Regis Fitchner.

He had also run for Mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1996 with a PSDB ticket, but his election as governor happened after he had transferred to PMDB, in which occasion he and his running mate, Luiz Fernando de Sousa, had 5,129,064 votes in the run-off (68% of the total valid votes statewide) with PPS's Denise Frossard (who had 32% of the valid votes).

Cabral was chosen to give apologies to 120 people, including Dilma Rousseff the 36th President of Brazil, regarding human rights abuses suffered during the dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1961 to 1985.[2]

Tenure as Governor[edit]

Cabral entered the Governor's office at a time of uncertain economic prospects and serious security challenges within Rio de Janeiro. During Cabral's campaign in 2006, he had praised "zero tolerance" security policies advocated 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 their successes in public safety, Cabral secured additional police funding 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 the community policing program of Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in Rio. In contrast to previous police practices, UPPs created a sustained and long-term police presence in favelas, among those being Cidade de Deus, Complexo do Alemão and Dona Marta. The operations utilize Rio Military Police's BOPE units for initial urban combat and give way to Pacification Police Units for extended policing.[5] This policy led to decreased homicide rates in the favelas that received UPPs and international attention for Governor Cabral.

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 campaign in 2010, winning 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.

His high popularity ratings continued through his second term until protests in 2013 severely damaged his reputation as Governor. Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of Rio, targeting Cabral with slogans related to corruption, poor services and overspending on sporting events. Dozens pitched tents outside Governor Cabral's beachfront apartment in the upscale Leblon neighborhood of Rio, demanding the Governor resign.[6] Allegations of corruption surfaced as a result of the protests, causing Cabral's approval numbers to remain low while other Brazilian politicians' numbers had recovered. In July it was revealed that Governor Cabral used a state-owned helicopter to commute six miles to work and to weekends at his beach house, costing taxpayers 3.8 million reais ($1.7 million) a year. Even Cabral's UPP program was not immune from criticism, as anecdotes of police brutality and charges of UPP operations only being located close to wealthy neighborhoods forced some Rio citizens to question the program's effectiveness.[7] Already having announced his intention to leave state government, Cabral announced his plan to step down early to allow his Vice Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão time to govern before the 2014 election.[8]


Preceded by
Rosinha Garotinho
Governor of Rio de Janeiro
Succeeded by
Luiz Fernando Pezão