The 2006 Correio da Manhã report on paedophilia covered 3 aspects of activity in Portugal – a year 2000 report by the SIS, the Casa Pia scandal, and up to date statistics on paedophiles in Portuguese prisons.
I intend to dig a lot deeper into this trio, so I might as well start with the report issued by the SIS in the year 2000.
According to Wikipedia “The Serviço de Informações de Segurança or SIS (Portuguese for: Security Information Service) is the Portuguese Intelligence and Secret Service agency founded in 1984. The function of the SIS is to guarantee the internal security and prevent sabotage, terrorism, espionage and the practice of acts which, by their nature, can change or destroy the Rule of Law as constitutionally established.”
According to the SIS home page “The SIS remains committed to its essential mission to prevent and combat major threats, such as terrorism, organised crime, espionage and all acts that undermine the democratic rule of law.”
There are alternate dates given for the SIS report, but these do not appear to be significant. The report was entitled “A pedofilia em Portugal: ponto da situação”, or “Paedophilia in Portugal: state of play”. The director of the SIS at that time was Rui Pereira.
This information was allegedly passed to the criminal authorities, but so far I have only seen a single instance where action may have resulted.
The report claimed there were 4 black-spots for paedophilia in Portugal at the time – the Azores, Madeira, Lisbon and Porto. The report further claimed that there were 3 international paedophile rings operating in Portugal. It turns out they were based in Lisbon. It is claimed that one was led by a French person, whilst the other 2 were led by UK citizens.
In Lisbon, it was noted that paedophilia involved high status individuals in places like Eduardo VII park. A further claim was that boys of 10-14 were being picked up for sex, to take photos and to make videos. Then there is a rather odd assertion that the Easter and Christmas breaks were popular for paedophilia.
The picture in Porto is much shorter. It was claimed that most instances of paedophilia there were within the family.
“Público” reported on the situation in the Azores in Dec 2003. They had seen the year 2000 SIS report, which split paedophilia within the islands into different categories.
One area of concern was children aged 7 to 12 being harassed at school.
Another was child prostitution, which appeared to have been on-going for a period of time in known areas of the Azores. In rural areas, this was typically amongst the poor, exchanging sexual services for essential foodstuffs, such as milk. In the more affluent areas of the islands, the issue was linked to the Azores being in magazines for homosexuals as a place where one could obtain under-age sex, and take photographs and make pornographic videos.
It is important to note that this link between homosexuality and paedophilia was published in Dec 2003, but it does not appear to have drawn any response from the Portuguese gay community, suggesting the report at that time was not on their radar.
The part of the SIS report covering Madeira does not seem to have surfaced before July 2006. The report identified poverty as the underlying driver, with Madeira a destination for sex tourists who could afford to pay both for the sex and enough to make sure silence was kept. In the case of Madeira, the report also concluded there was an issue with intra-family paedophilia.
Was the SIS document a secret? The answer appears to be yes and no. In July 2006, the Casa Pia trial was in full swing. The SIS document had been mentioned in testimony by one individual, and the judge then deliberated as to whether this document could be added to others as part of the trial record. It seems it was decided it could be made public, and the ex-director of the SIS was summoned to court to validate the report was accurate, in the sense that it was the actual document produced in 2000. Rui Pereira confirmed this was the case.
The essence of the report was published on 12 July 2006 by major media sources such as Correio da Manhã and Diário de Notícias and got re-reported by large chunks of the Portuguese media. And on 13 July 2006, ILGA Portugal faxed a letter of complaint to the Prime Minister of Portugal.
The complaint was the perceived equation of homosexuality and paedophilia in the SIS report. The fax said a recent study had found same-sex paedophilia was about 5% of cases, 90% of paedophilia occurred within the family or in institutions for the care of minors, and that the SIS report stated the most likely person to abuse a child was a heterosexual male aged around 35 years.
I have not read the original SIS report, so I have no interest in working out the accuracy or otherwise of the report re homosexual tourism. Given the date of the ILGA response, it would appear that ILGA Portugal had not picked up the Público article of Dec 2003.
How then did Público become aware of the SIS report by 2003? The initial allegation in the Casa Pia case seems to have surfaced in Nov 2002, and it looks like more than one journalist was taking an interest in the developments. The person who revealed the existence of the SIS report to the court had gone to work in France, and had been given a copy of the report by a journalist who was working on the French-Portuguese paedophile connection.
Now we have a cluster of instances that possibly primed some of what occurred in the Madeleine McCann case.
Nov 2002 or thereabouts – the Casa Pia story first emerges. Around that time, journalists became aware of the SIS report and its contents. 2004 – the Casa Pia trial began and became a media firestorm due to the high profile of the defendants. July 2006 – the SIS report gets wide airing in Portuguese main stream media.
By this time, the British Ambassador to Portugal, and the British Consul on the Algarve should have been well-primed about paedophile rings and paedophile activity in Portugal and on the Algarve. I would be amazed if they weren’t.
As to how Gerry McCann came to be discussing paedophile rings on his phone the night Madeleine disappeared, that is is a question I cannot answer.
Here is the acid test. Did the year 2000 SIS report hint at Casa Pia? No, it did not, despite the fact that the Casa Pia incident was both active and long running when the report was produced.