By Fábio Pannunzio, on the Blog do Pannunzio
Finding the whereabouts of the former Brazilian deputy Wagner do Amaral Salustiano is not an easy task. Sentenced to nearly seven years in prison, his is target of a series of court cases for unsuccessful business cases, none of the telephone numbers that appear under his name answered the various calls from us.
At the addresses that he declares as his residence, there are no news of him either.
Wagner Salustiano’s lawyers are also a mystery. None of those nominated as his representatives for his many court cases appear to represent him at the moment. They do not provide the address or phone number of their client either nor his current lawyers. The Blog do Pannunzio was unable to contact him.
Twenty years ago, Wagner Salustiano was still a respected parliamentarian with prominence in the so-called Evangelical Bench, a group of deputies elected by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and other minor denominations interested in creating a political space for the Neo-Pentecostal movement.
Salustiano was twice a federal deputy. He ended his career as a state deputy for the PSDB of São Paulo. His parliamentary glory was ephemeral – and it perhaps provides the explanation for the ex-parliamentarian’s disappearance these days. He was one of the stars of some of the biggest political scandals of the 1990s and 2000s – the Sanguessugas (Leeches) in Brasilia and Nossa Caixa in São Paulo.
In 1998, Salustiano coordinated the actions of the Evangelical Bench in the Federal Chamber. He was an active parliamentarian and much in demand for the tasks assigned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. On May 28 of that year, a Thursday, he was chosen for a mission of the highest responsibility: falsely verify the birth of a child to Bishop Romualdo Panceiro, who at that time was already projected as one of the cardinals of Bishop Edir Macedo.
The child concerned in this fraud was born in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and was removed from a children’s home maintained by the UCKG in Camarate without the authorisation of his biological mother when he was twenty months old. His name was Fábio Andrade. He and his two siblings were left in the home of the Universal Church by the Portuguese Social Services. Very poor and vulnerable, the mother had no one to leave the children with while she went to work to support the family alone.
Fábio was the younger brother of Vera and Luis Andrade, who the youngest daughter of Edir Macedo, Viviane, decided to adopt by the suggestion of her father. As she was not old enough to qualify for adoption nor did she have permanent residence in Portugal, the Pope of UCKG decided to hire a pseudo-mother to “represent” Viviane as the face of the adoption process. The pseudo-mother, who later became the formal adoptive mother of the three children, is Edir Macedo’s former secretary in Europe, the Angolan Maria Alice Andrade.
Viviane, the bishop’s daughter, was only interested in the two older siblings. She rejected the younger, although the Portuguese law did not allow the separation of the siblings. But with the stratagem created to satisfy the whims of the bishop’s family, nothing would stand in the way.
Fábio, the rejected child, was handed by Edir Macedo to Romualdo Panceiro. The two bishops would be grandfather and father of the children of the same mother – but they would never have any formal bond with these ‘grandchildren and child’.
As soon as she got the children’s guard, Edir Macedo’s secretary got permission to travel abroad with them. As soon as she got it, she boarded on the UCKG leader’s private jet for a long trip. The first stop over was in Rio de Janeiro, where the brothers were effectively separated.
Fábio was given to Romualdo Panceiro and his wife, Márcia Barbosa Panceiro. Then the bishop’s jet continued its trip to Los Angeles, where Luis and Vera were given to Viviane. She soon introduced them to the congregants of her church as if they were her own adopted children.
Fábio Andrade was a charming child. Romualdo and Marcia quickly bonded with the boy. So much so that the next year they decide to forge a solution to make him their own child. As the legislation of Brazil and Portugal offered no loophole to make this possible, they decided to embark on another path – the path of fraud.
The childbirth that never happened
To achieve his goal, Romualdo Panceiro called upon the leader of the Evangelical Bench of the Federal Chamber. It is not known why then-deputy Wagner Salustiano was chosen for the task. But it is not difficult to assume that the presence of a federal parliamentarian in a small city in the surroundings of São Paulo would certainly inhibit any type of suspicion in the registry chosen for the false birth certificate.
The UCKG, who knew the deputy very well, knew that he would be prepared to do anything, even though what was demanded of him was a crime stated in Article. 242 of the Brazilian Penal Code – to claim someone else’s child as one’s own. The sentence may be as long as six years in prison. But it can also be upheld if a judge finds that the crime was committed for reasons of “recognised nobility.”
The chosen registry was the Civil Registry of Biritiba-Miriam, city where Romualdo and Márcia never lived. The reason for choosing this registry is unknown. And neither Romualdo Panceiro nor the Universal Church has answered the questions that were asked about this episode.
In addition to the inquiries, the complete record of the birth certificate of Felipe Barbosa Panceiro leaves no doubt about the falsehood perpetrated by the alleged Brazilian parents. On May 28, 1998, Romualdo and Márcia, accompanied by deputy Wagner Salustiano and his wife, Suely Aparecida Ayo Salustiano, were present in the registry to register the birth of Felipe Barbosa Panceiro, the Brazilian identity of the son Edir Macedo ordered to bring irregularly from Portugal.
The couple stated that Felipe Barbosa Panceiro was born by a natural birth on Avenida Reinaldo Benedito de Melo, 37, in Biritiba-Mirim, at 10:30 p.m. on December 15, 1994 – four and a half years before the record was drawn up. No Live birth declaration was submitted. To prove the veracity of the statement, only the testimony of the then deputy and his wife.
There are many flaws in this record. The notary should have been suspicious of the inaccuracy of the reported information and requested an investigation to be sure of its reliability. It would be enough to visit the address declared as the place of birth to confirm that there was no residence there, but a temple of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
The ghost of Felipe Panceiro
A childbirth that did not happen at the address of a church, registered with a delay of four years, having as witness a dishonest deputy and his wife. This is the origin of the other false identity of Fábio Andrade, who came to be called Felipe Panceiro by his alleged parents.
None of this has ever caught the attention of the registry office where the birth record was written. The Brazilian authorities never questioned it. But the scams made with the identity of this child ended up defining a tragic fate fifteen years later.
Viviane and Júlio Freitas, daughter and son-in-law of Edir Macedo, ended up giving up the experience of parenthood. This happened three years after the arrival of the children. According to the family’s babysitter, they were too much of a hard work for the couple. The marriage of Viviane and Julio was being shaken by Vera’s and Luis’ unstable behaviour. That is why they wanted to return the children to the home of the UCKG.
But the return of that commodity was neither simple nor easy. The formal adoptive mother, the secretary Maria Alice Andrade, had no ties to the children and let alone willingness to act as an adoptive mother. Reversing the adoption would be impossible at that point. Even more so in the face of the fact that, of the three siblings ‘taken’ from the Camarate home, only two would return. How to report this to the Portuguese Court? Impossible.
The solution was to force Alice to keep the three children. As neither the UCKG nor Alice are answering our questions, it is unclear how the arrangement was made. Alice says she can not tell what happened because she would have made a very advantageous financial deal with a severe clause of confidentiality that would prevent her from breaking the silence. But it is known that she and her former boss had an ugly fight. At the end of the fight, Alice stayed kept the three children.
Fábio arrived at the house of the adoptive mother in the USA very confused about his own identity. According to Alice, he no longer knew his real name – he thought he was Felipe Panceiro, the son of a religious Brazilian couple. It was not long before Alice started a war with Bishop Romualdo’s wife. Márcia Panceiro even informed the Portuguese Judiciary the occurrence of fraud in the process of adoption of the children by the secretary of Edir Macedo, which will be treated later in this space.
The boy grew rebellious, full of conflicts. As he entered adolescence, he became involved with heavy drugs. At the beginning of his adulthood, he was again exposed to the family of Edir Macedo. He even gave a testimony of his ruin as a motivation to the congregants of the UCKG. He was presented as a symbol of a resilience that never existed.
At the age of 20, Fábio Andrade died of an overdose at a hotel in New York. He was alone. He died lonely and unhappy as he lived. His death was the tragic closure of a biography which lacks affection and legitimate interest in the designs of this young man.
The truth is that the Brazilian identity of Fábio Andrade, the character Felipe Panceiro, invented by the deputy Pope of the UCKG, remains alive at the civil registry. And it will remain forever, unless the Court recognizes its forgery and has it filed as fraud, which is exactly what it is.
While this does not happen, Felipe Barbosa Panceiro is a ghost to haunt the high hierarchy of the universal Church of the Kingdom of God. For legal purposes, he still exists. He can not die because he is bodiless. He cannot live because he never existed, except as a kind of a duplicate of himself.
The Cardinals of the UCKG, co-responsible for this tragedy, did not have enough haughtiness to deal with its consequences. They concealed Fabio’s/Felipe’s death as much as possible. They attributed the fatal incident to a heart problem. They have never apologised or admitted the frauds and forgeries that they have imposed on him from before the age of two.
The crimes committed by them – forgery of public document, claim someone else’s child as their own – would have already expired. But in retrospect, it is impossible to imagine that something so dark could pass without any kind of punishment.
That is what we’ll cover in the next post.
The questions that have been sent to the UCKG Press Office that remain unanswered:
1) How did Bishop Romualdo decide for the adoption of the little Fábio?
2) When was the child brought to Brazil, and under what circumstances?
3) Is it true that Fabio came to Brazil on the same plane that carried his two siblings to the United States?
4) Who are Fábio’s adoptive parents?
5) Was there a formal procedure for adopting Fábio in Brazil?
6) Has Fábio, supposedly the adopted son of Bishop Romualdo, got a Brazilian birth certificate? If so, who made the birth declaration?
7) Who is Felipe Barbosa Panceiro, son of Romualdo and Márcia Panceiro? Where was this child born and under what circumstances? How old is he and where does he currently live?
8) Where were Romualdo and Márcia in the years 1997 and 1998? Where did they live?
9) Did Márcia Panceiro give birth to a child in her own home in 1994? Who is this child?
10) What happened between Márcia Panceiro and Alice, Edir Macedo’s secretary at the time of adoption?
11) Why was adoption not consummated? What went wrong? Why was Fábio “returned” to Bishop Macedo’s secretary?
12) Is it true that the order to return Fábio (or Felipe) to Alice came from Edir Macedo himself?
13) Do you have a record of Fábio’s death certificate in New York? Can you provide it?
14) Have Bishop Panceiro and his wife ever resided at Av. Reinaldo Benedito de Melo, 37, in Biritiba-mirim – SP?
15) What happened in that place on the night of 12/15/1994?
16) What is the couple’s relationship with the former deputy Wagner Salustiano and his wife?
17) Does Mrs. Márcia Barbosa Panceiro have natural children? Does she have other foster children?
18) Who were the witnesses to the birth of Felipe Barbosa Panceiro?
Below, the documents that are mentioned in this post.
False birth certificate of Felipe Panceiro
Certidão Felipe Barbosa (3)
Certidão de inteiro teor – Fábio Barbosa PanceiroCertidão Felipe Barbosa - inteiro teor