If you read his Twitter feed, you'll notice that quite a few followers call him O grande Lucio. We are happy and proud to have him in the team. Lúcio de Castro has earned this recognition through decades of hard work.
Lúcio holds degrees in journalism and history. He chose to be a reporter and has never wavered in his conviction about the journalist's role: to scrutinize power. He always knew that scrutinizing power didn't quite fit into the equation where the two parties are the media companies and their interests in sports event rights. He preferred to persist, and he continues to do so today.
On this path, he lost count of how many times leaders of Brazilian sports entities demanded his dismissal from media companies. He knows they succeeded every time. In each instance, he recalled the speech of the anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro, one of Brazil’s greats, as he recounted how he was defeated by powerful forces in his fight for children's literacy, for indigenous peoples, and for education in Brazil:
My failures are my victories. I would hate to be in the place of those who defeated me.
Between one failure and another, but always certain that he would hate to be on the side of those who defeated him, Lúcio won numerous journalism awards in Brazil and around the world. Including the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Award, South America’s most prestigious award, competing against works from the United States, Portugal, Spain, and Central America. His documentary series Memórias do Chumbo – O Futebol nos Tempos do Condor, an investigation spanning four countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile), exposed how the dictatorial governments that ruled the continent from the 1960s to the 1980s infiltrated soccer and used it for their purposes.
In this investigation, Lúcio managed to confirm what had previously been a rumor: that João Havelange had heeded the request of a Brazilian ambassador to secure the release of a son imprisoned in Argentina in 1978, in exchange for guaranteeing the hosting of the World Cup in that country that year. In the Brazilian chapter, he demonstrated with ample documentation how the military forces infiltrated soccer and the four-time world champion national team in 1970, even with the presence of players and officials in torture centers as accomplices. The documentary toured the world and received awards at various film festivals.
Some investigations, such as Dossiê Vôlei, managed, with extensive documentation, to reveal the "marketing agencies" set up to divert public sponsorship money from the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV), then presided over by Ary Graça, the current president of the FIVB. The Office of the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU), a Brazilian state oversight agency, investigated the CBV based on these reports and concluded that the series was entirely accurate.
Throughout his career, he conducted various reports on the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and its then-president, Carlos Arthur Nuzman. In a series of 32 reports, he exposed the embezzlement by the Organizing Committee of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. These reports served as a starting point for investigative bodies like the Federal Police and the Public Prosecutor's Office. The series received awards.
However, Lúcio believes that the greatest recognition for the series and the years dedicated to Nuzman came spontaneously from the Brazilian public on October 5, 2017. On the day Carlos Arthur Nuzman was arrested on charges of active corruption, money laundering, forming a criminal organization, and illicit enrichment, the name Lúcio de Castro trended on Twitter for hours.
Regarding the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), he managed to show the connection to a "marketing agency" closely tied to Ricardo Teixeira and their exorbitant gains. In a report in ESPN Magazine, he revealed how the parties were linked.
In addition to the aforementioned awards, he also received
- the Ibero-American UNICEF/EFE Award in 2003,
- the Vladimir Herzog Award (2012),
- the Petrobras Journalism Award twice (2017 and 2018),
- the Embratel Press Award three times (2003, 2006, and 2014),
- and the OAB Human Rights Award four times (2008/2009/2011/2013), among others.
In recent years, faced with the repeated threats to Brazilian democracy, he turned his attention to the government of Jair Bolsonaro, believing it to be the only acceptable path for a reporter at that time. In his solitary work, he managed to show how the now former president diverted public funds for fuel purchases while serving as a federal deputy. Among other cases, he revealed that corrupt individuals embezzling funds from the Ministry of Education were operating with the former president directly from the government palace. In the current year, he demonstrated, through a comprehensive report with extensive documentation, that the sports minister secured public funds for an event benefiting his own company.
Lúcio was delighted by the arrival of THE INQUISITOR, alongside such a respected team, as he believes it offers a great motivation to once again focus more attention on the wrongdoings in sports. He is certain that no environment is as conducive to abuse of power and corruption as the sports, due to the complete lack of international oversight mechanisms, among other factors. He intends to address this in reports and analyses, always certain that being on the side of the lessons of Darcy Ribeiro is far better than being in the company of the likes of Nuzman, Graça, Havelange, Infantino, Bach, and others.
For THE INQUISITOR, Lúcio will be a regular contributor and author – and, together with Federico Dario Teijeiro, our first point of contact in South America.