The Hacker Who Knew Javanese

Regina Silveira


Considerations about the journey of Walter Delgatti Neto, the “hacker from Araraquara”.

During the “CPI of January 08” session, on August 17, the name of Walter Delgatti Neto, better known as the “hacker from Araraquara”, reached, at least so far, the highest point of his journey. The “Delgatti case”, since it became public, made me remember a series of books and authors that I will discuss at the end of this report.

You must remember that the boy gained public notoriety after being discovered as the mastermind behind conversations hacked from the Telegram app and initially broadcast on the Telegram website. The Intercept Brazil, and then in partnership with other media; Folha de S. Paul, Veja, El País, Twitter, etc. The dialogues between the members of Lava Jato, mainly involving the then judge Sérgio Moro and the prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, began to circulate, if my memory serves me correctly, in June 2019, in a series with a feuilleton-like name: Lava Jato's secret messages.

It was a cataclysm. Some names of public authorities from the three branches of the Republic appeared dangerously, such as ministers of the Federal Supreme Court, Luiz Fux, José Roberto Barroso, Edson Fachin – who appear as 'friends' of Lava Jato –; Gilmar Mendes and Dias Toffoli – the 'enemies' –; of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (who could not be offended), in addition to all the machinations involving the processes that culminated in the arrest of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. And things took the turn we know...

Walter Delgatti Neto's name became public in July 2019, after being arrested along with three other people, as part of Operation Spoofing. Until then he was suspected of having hacked the Telegram of the then Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro. In the statement given at the headquarters of the Federal Police, in Brasília, on July 23, 2019, the hacker admitted that he was responsible for hacking the Telegram accounts of a group of authorities, including the then president Jair Bolsonaro, the economy minister Paulo Guedes, judge Alexandre de Morais, Lava Jato prosecutors, politicians, celebrities, journalists, businessmen, etc. Of the six detained by Operation Spoofing – two others would be captured in the second phase of the operation – the only one who stood out was Walter Delgatti.

I was following the case through the press. On the one hand, there was a certain euphoria due to the Vaza Jato reports. On the other hand, many doubts about “Vermelho”, Walter Delgatti's nickname in Araraquara, and everything that until then linked him to the stories of the Intercept. At first, the press disqualified the hackers involved in accessing Telegram messages, especially Delgatti. In fact, there is an enormous volume of information that discredits the boy's life and this was used abundantly during that period. I was looking forward to seeing how things unfold. [I]

The first interview that Delgatti gave to a press organization was for Folha de S. Paul – published on August 28, 2019. He was imprisoned in Papuda and the court denied a personal meeting between interviewer and interviewee. Through the lawyers, the interview was given in writing. Reading the article, I got the impression that he was not a hacker, but a great patriot.[ii]

On December 06, 2019, Delgatti was personally interviewed for the magazine Veja, which published the article on December 18. In this interview, the hacker opens up the range of accusations a little more and involves the names of people like General Braga Neto and Minister Carmen Lúcia. I got the impression that he was a very brave young man.[iii]

In December 2020, Walter gave an interview to CNN, in which he reported the details of the invasions of Telegram accounts, told a little about his life and how he gained access to the conversations and to journalist Glenn Greenwald. In this interview I already noticed something about Walter. His happiness in being in that place, the nervousness of the big debut – it would be the first audiovisual interview of his life, and of national reach and repercussion! – his desire for justice, his revolt against the system that unjustly imprisoned him and against which he wanted to take revenge – hence his solidarity with President Lula, with the delivery of the files, without having charged a penny for it.

The part that interested me most in this interview was the one relating to the breach of banking secrecy of those involved in the hacking. The investigators identified atypical movements in the periods before and at the same time as the hacking. The hypothesis of money laundering was raised, except for Walter's account, who says with some pride: “my account is not suspected of money laundering, my account is the only one that handled one hundred thousand reais in one year on card credit, at Ifood still.” What a great meal… [iv]

We were in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the Manaus catastrophe, when in February 2021 Walter Delgatti gave another interview, this time to journalist Joaquim de Carvalho, from the channel Brazil 247. He began to give greater weight to his biography, the abandonment by his parents at the age of nine, his psychological problems, his unjust arrest for drug trafficking and the financial difficulties he was facing, mainly due to the blocking of internet use, which was your source of income.[v]

Throughout the interview with 247 New characters appeared that left me a little confused. From that day on, I began to notice some traces of Javanese in the “hacker from Araraquara”’s speeches. It was then that I carried out a confrontation between the information published until then in newspapers, magazines, websites, in the interview with CNN and Brazil 247, in addition to comparing this entire avalanche of information with the final report of Operation Spoofing.

In the first statement he gave at the Federal Police headquarters, Delgatti confessed to having carried out the intrusions from the phone of prosecutor Marcel Zanin, from the city of Araraquara, who had accused the hacker of drug trafficking and controlled medication, charges that led him to serve almost six months in prison, before being acquitted. Delgatti wanted to find something in Marcel Zanin's Telegram that could help clean up his image in public opinion in Araraquara. It was from Marcel Zanim's Telegram that Delgatti says he was able to access the accounts of members of the Public Ministry, from these he reached the account of deputy Kim Kataguiri and from there to the account of Alexandre de Moraes and Rodrigo Janot, the latter having taken it to members of the force Lava Jato's task.

Delgatti was stunned by what he saw and decided to hand everything over to a journalist. After several unsuccessful attempts, he sought out Gleen Greenwald, through Manoela D'ávila, whose contact information he obtained from ex-president Dilma Rousseff's Telegram, who obtained the ex-president's telephone number through Luiz Fernando Pezão's Telegram and who did not respond. he remembered how he had gotten to the Telegram of the former governor of Rio.[vi]

However, in the interview for CNN, he begins by sweeping the Bolsonaro family, whose accounts were the first to be hacked – Eduardo, Carlos and Jair Bolsonaro, in that order – and not Marcel Zanin's. This, incidentally, was one of the contradictions caught by the investigation within the scope of the Spoofing operation.[vii] Walter decided to start his interview at CNN narrating the chronological time as it appears in the investigations, and only then reporting the case until reaching Manuela D´Ávila and Glenn Greenwald.

In the interview with Joaquim de Carvalho, things appear a little different. Access to the conversations of prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, which in the first versions was achieved through the invasion of Rodrigo Janot's Telegram, now appears to have been achieved through the invasion of the account of the then deputy Joice Hasselmann. The history of the first invasions – Bolsonaro family – does not appear and the version becomes the one that ended up being definitively established for us: Marcel Zanin, members of the Public Ministry, Kim Kataguiri, Alexandre de Moraes, Janot/Joice Hasselmann, members of Lava Jato .

Another fact that left me confused is related to the contact with Manuela D´Ávila: Delgatti says, in the interview with 247, that “... the media says that I called Manuela, but in fact I accessed Manuela's Telegram and called Jean Wyllys because I knew he was exiled from the country, as he is exiled and not here he would possibly have the courage to publicize this.” Jean didn't answer and so it went to Manuela. In June of that same year, a few more names emerged: “during a hearing with judge Ricardo Leite, of the 10th Federal Court, Delgatti also revealed that, before looking for Manuela D'Ávila and being referred to Glenn Greenwald, he tried to deliver the messages to the then Attorney General of the Republic, Raquel Dodge, and the president of the National Association of Attorneys of the Republic, José Robalinho Cavalcanti[viii]. None of this, however, compromises the dignity of Delgatti's action, which aimed to unmask the republic of Curitiba. Maybe some misunderstanding. There are many difficult surnames: Hasselmann, Rousseff, Wyllys, Dodge, D´Ávila, Greenwald… all very foreign.

It was from the interview with 247 that Walter Delgatti became the hero of a certain part of Brazilian progressive forces, even pointing out an alleged traitor to Lula, when he said that “there is a conversation there [on Telegram] that is quite impactful. There is a person, who is from the PT, who is together with Lula and who betrayed Lula. This person ended up talking to Deltan and ended up betraying Lula.” But what really touched me in that interview with 247 it was the penury into which Delgatti fell. In addition to suffering a year and three months in jail, he left Papuda with one hand in front and the other behind. He was surviving with the help of his grandmother, who received a meager pension. Something undoubtedly very heavy for a young man of thirty years old, who had already traveled to the United States for tourism, who was following a career in investing, who was studying law and who was spending one hundred thousand reais on Ifood.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the great punishment for Delgatti was the ban on the use of the internet, because as he himself reports, still in the interview with Joaquim de Carvalho, “I lived before reselling work [small stutter] (…) I helped with work from college…, I was able to pay for college, rent, everything with the amount I got on the internet”. Faced with the hardship that beset him, Delgatti even thought about becoming an Uber driver: “I talked to Dr. Ari [Delgatti’s lawyer], to get me a car, borrowed or from a rental company, and I’m going to drive an Uber, that’s when he told me Remember, no, you can’t use the internet, Uber is internet-based.” It must be a hard blow to anyone's life to have to become an Uber driver, even more so if the person had recently bought a Land Rover...[ix].

Delgatti perhaps forgot to tell Joaquim de Carvalho about a little money he was about to receive, in fact a fee “for his collaboration in the documentary by filmmaker José Padilha about Vaza Jato – he [Delgatti] does not reveal the amount, but says there is no date yet to receive the money. I hope Padilha didn't cheat on the boy. [X]

What is certain is that the community of Brazil 247, subscribers and Internet users, was moved by the situation, and so was I. During the interview, a crowdfunding was organized to help the hacker, who received the most clamorous tributes through the YouTube chat; I quote a few: “Walter, Brazil is indebted to you for demonstrating that you are a true patriot”, “You deserve a bronze statue in the pantheon of the country's heroes”, “You are a landmark of a new era in Brazil”.

And it wasn't just in YouTube chats that Delgatti had become a hero: former president Dilma Rousseff, for example, placed him in the same stature as a “Julian Assange and an Edward Snowden”, Roberto Requião called him “a hero of the Brazil"; Celso Amorim also compared Delgatti to “Assange and Snowden”. The Vaza Jato revelations really moved Brazilian society and were only not more spectacular due to the pandemic.[xi]

In view of the entire picture that I have tried to summarize so far, I had formulated a modest hypothesis: This Walter Delgatti is not a hero at all, he is a picaresque anti-hero of the finest kind. It seemed like a story – now real – in many ways similar to those I had already followed through books.

Even before he was arrested, Delgatti seemed to be a bit out of sorts. On July 14, 2019, he contacted actor and presenter Gregório Duvivier, who had also been hacked and had his Telegram account monitored in real time. It may be that Delgatti admired or was a fan of Duvivier and took advantage of the opportunity to spend time with his idol. Using the code name “Luigi”, Delgatti sent Duvivier some graphic works with intimate messages obtained from the hacking of the actor's Telegram app. Duvivier responded almost immediately, demonstrating that he was happy to meet the hacker and that he had joined Glenn to investigate the “material” – perhaps he would investigate the content of Telegram itself.[xii]

Delgatti was excited to have talked to Duvivier and the next day he ended up sending some graphic works this conversation to a guy named “Molição” – Luiz Henrique Molição (one of the two apprehended in the second phase of the Spoofing operation). In these messages, Duvivier asks if the hacker didn't have something else about a so-called "peacock" that would link him to "free Tuesday's alan".[xiii] The Federal Police ended up pressing the presenter, who promptly handed over a pen-drive with all the content of the conversations between him and Delgatti. Duvivier was not indicted, but he must have made that mistake.

The second hint of Javanese that I noticed was when I watched the interview he gave to Veja, aired at the same time as the interview for the 247, that is, in February 2021. In this interview, Delgatti says that at the time of the Telegram hacks he knew he was not committing a crime, because, “studying Law I knew what I was doing and, the law says that hacking a mobile device , outside, has a penalty, it is typified by law as a crime, which is a sentence of two months to one year of detention and does not entail imprisonment.

The law explains, device: computer, cell phone... and what I had access to was a cloud from Telegram in Russia, that is, I understand that what I did was not a crime, there is no crime that punishes this, I know it is immoral, all of that, but I am convinced that it is a crime and I am convinced that it is not.” Later on, Delgatti lets other Javanese hints escape, such as the admiration he began to feel for former deputy Gedel Vieira Filho, imprisoned with Delgatti in Papuda, who greatly contributed to young Walter's years of learning.

At that time, he already expressed a feeling of abandonment on the part of the political group that had benefited from the hacked messages, “that at least they recognized what I did… and the newspapers and left-wing parties support the [Vaza Jato] operation more. than the hacker in this case” and also says that his future plans are, “if I gain positive notoriety with all this, that I run for federal deputy for my state [...] currently, I don't know in the future, if I If I were to run today, it would be for a leftist party”. [xiv]

At that moment I felt that there were in Delgatti, in addition to the Javanese traits, a certain Bogoloffian aspiration, but that they were not yet very well defined and that it really came to crystallize around August 2022. I believe that at some point, I cannot Need it very well, the figure of Delgatti began to emancipate himself from the hacking and the reports that denounced the crimes of Lava Jato. These continued their course until the annulment of all the processes and convictions that fell on President Lula, the Dallagnol debacle, the almost insignificance into which Sérgio Moro fell, the collapse, pardon the pun, of the Lava Jato operation and so on. go. Delgatti knew how to reap the laurels of his hacking activities and envisioned bigger steps forward.

In fact, in 2021 Delgatti was a bit sidelined. What stood out throughout the year was the Vaza Jato operation, which was beginning to bear its first fruits. On March 23, for example, the Federal Supreme Court declared judge Sérgio Moro's partiality in the Triplex case and, consequently, called into question all Lava Jato processes that had passed through his hands. This historic event happened on Delgatti's birthday. Mentions of the hacker would still appear from time to time, here and there. Also in March, journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that he was about to release a book about the case. I found it strange that the work was written in English, with the title Securing Democracy, and to be first launched abroad – the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.[xv]

Glenn always remained very cautious when talking about Delgatti as the hacker who got the messages. In the interview he gave to Capital letter in June 2021, for example, he said that everyone now knows that Lula's conviction was illegal, and that "because there was a person with so much courage, or Walter Delgatti, I don't know if he did it, but he is stating that he was the one who did it… anyone who did this, who hacked and took the conclusive evidence from Sérgio Moro's leadership and the Lava Jato task force and passed it on to me to allow me to report…” [xvi]. Perhaps this caution in attributing the authorship of the hacking to Walter contributed to almost no references in the advertising pieces that appeared around Vaza Jato, as in the book jet leak, by Letícia Duarte [editora Mórula, November 2020] and in the documentary Secret friend, by Maria Augusta Ramos [June 2022].

Even off the proscenium, Delgatti had some good news in 2021; such as permission to stop using electronic anklets [September 2021], which opened up the possibility of going back to college, the news that he was the father of a girl, the result of a relationship with a young woman in Ribeirão Preto. In 2019, she recognized him in a TV report covering the hacker's arrest. “She was sure to be the father of the baby she was carrying in her belly, today [December 2021] a beautiful little girl about two and a half years old. The two had met at a club, got involved, but never spoke to each other again, nor did they exchange phone numbers. Walter was still in the Papuda prison, in Brasília, when the young woman filed the paternity recognition process. Upon finding out, Walter provided a sample for the DNA test, and the results came out a few months ago. Delgatti, the hacker who changed the history of Brazil, is really the father.”[xvii]

With this added responsibility, Delgatti found himself even more financially constrained, as he would now have to pay child support. Someone who was also moved by the hacker's situation was the writer Fernando Moraes who, in December 2021, held an event in Araraquara to launch the first volume of Lula's biography. The city was chosen precisely to honor Delgatti, directly responsible, according to Moraes, for Lula's acquittal. The writer also committed to donating the amount of money he would receive from the sale of books during the event [10% of the cover price of each copy].[xviii]

The year 2022 started well for Delgatti. At least that's what can be inferred from the interview he gave to Joaquim de Carvalho, from Brazil 247. Still unable to use the internet, the hacker answered some questions that Joaquim asked in writing. With a very well articulated speech, punctuated by an elaborate lexicon at times, quoting Churchill, Delgatti talks about the new phase of his life, his return to college, his participation in that whole process that culminated in Vaza Jato and comments on Renan Calheiros' project who asked for amnesty for the hacker who changed the history of Brazil. He continues to complain about the financial hardship and takes the opportunity to thank everyone who has been helping throughout that difficult period and “if anyone is interested in helping, the crowdfunding email remains the same.[xx]

Delgatti has always shown a certain resentment towards the left-wing sectors that, according to him, did not recognize his work. In May 2022, the Federal Police concluded an investigation that sought to identify possible masterminds and financiers of the hacking. The conclusion was that there was no way to prove the participation of principals or sponsors. In other words, yet another indication that Delgatti had really been responsible for showing Brazil that there was something rotten in the kingdom of Curitiba.

In July 2022, Delgatti gave an interview to Forum Magazine, led by journalists Luís Costa Pinto and Plínio Teodoro. I found the interview to be more or less a repeat of that first interview given to Joaquim de Carvalho. Something interesting was Delgatti's comment regarding the documentary Secret Friend, which didn't even mention his name. Very clever, Delgatti formulates a metaphor according to which the documentary managed to tell the story of the Inconfidência Mineira without mentioning the name of Tiradentes. I would also be a little pity. of life if he had filled a slab alone and wasn't invited to the barbecue.

Another interesting point, at the end of the interview, was the statement by Walter Delgatti, a Lula voter: “the Walter of today, without a doubt, votes for Lula, and not only does he vote, but I ask them to vote for Lula, I campaign for him, which is possible; Today’s Walter, without a doubt, presses 13”.[xx] The tone of acclaim for Delgatti was what led the interview, including highlighting the financial support for the hacker and the enthusiastic participation of the public, through chat. For you to see how the world turns around: Forum Magazine, who at the beginning painted the figure of Delgatti as an embezzler of the worst kind, “a scammer, egocentric and thirsty for fame and power”, finally folded himself into the hero who had changed the history of Brazil.

But suddenly, and no more than suddenly, Walter Delgatti's name returns to the main headlines in the Brazilian media. The hacker now appeared in a photo, alongside Bolsonaro deputy Carla Zambelli. I returned to my hypothesis of the picaresque anti-hero and started following the case. At Folha de S. Paul, for example, the turnaround was simply wild: in the article on August 08, 2022 we have the headline “Hacker here: Vaza Jato pivot, Walter Delgatti studies law and votes for PT”; On the 12th of the same month, I couldn't help but contain my astonishment when I read that “Bolsonaro's campaign maintained contact with a Vaza Jato hacker”. What would be happening?

They said that Delgatti had been invited to work on Jair Bolsonaro's campaign and that his mission was to prove that electronic voting machines were vulnerable. Zambelli posted the photo with Delgatti on August 10, 2022, but the meeting was on July 27, at a Hotel in Ribeirão Preto. In other words, while the hacker was campaigning for Lula, he was already taking photos with the main electoral campaigner from Bolsonaro's campaign team. A magazine report Veja, on August 12, showed that Delgatti had a face-to-face meeting with the then President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro.[xxx] Then reports appeared denouncing Delgatti's meeting with senior military officers of the Armed Forces. Things were starting to get hot for the hacker.

The elections came, all that tension, the operations of the Federal Highway Police [typical of the Old Republic], Lula's victory, Bolsonaro's escape, January 08th, Carnival, the jewelry scandal, Mauro Cid, the “ CPI on January 8th” and, on July 27th, 2023, another arrest of Walter Delgatti and his bombshell statement at the CPI, on August 17th, 23.

What I was eagerly awaiting happened that day; hear from the hacker himself about the adventures that led him there. Many believe in the words that Walter used as justification for the boy having been co-opted by Bolsonarism: a deep feeling of hurt towards the PT and President Lula.[xxiii] Others endorse the justification of the lack of money, of that penury into which Delgatti had fallen after his action of unimaginable altruism towards Brazilian democracy. He just wanted a job, an honest job where he could earn a living like any good citizen. And in fact he started working on the administration of congresswoman Carla Zambelli's social networks and even opened a company for that.[xxiii]

Despite the highly compromising revelations that Delgatti released throughout his testimony on August 17th, what really caught me was the speech by Congressman Arthur Maia, president of the CPI. Maia was extremely moved by Delgatti's story, he said he was heartbroken to see such an intelligent boy, a genius, in prison; “any father who had a son with your intelligence would be very proud of you, I would be (…) you had a wandering life that brought you to this condition…” and then he says that Delgatti reminded him of a character in a film, “ that Catch Me If You Can, a true story about a guy who was a forger and ends up becoming a CIA agent, who was played in the cinema by Leonardo di Caprio, right”.[xxv]

On this point I had to disagree, in part, with the deputy. The wandering life that led Delgatti to that condition reminded me not of that fake guy from the American film, but of other characters; something more ours, very Brazilian. Delgatti already reminded me of the Castle, protagonist of the immortal “The man who knew Javanese”. And after his approach to congresswoman Carla Zambelli, I started to see the hacker as the mixed incarnation of the Man who knew Javanese and Doctor Bogóloff, another character by Lima Barreto built along the lines of picaresque anti-heroes. They are fictional beings that come from a distant tradition, more specifically from the apocryphal Lazarilho de Tormes, a book that circulated in Spain from more or less the second half of the XNUMXth century.

The picaresque hero is an antithesis of the hero. This, also from a distant tradition, has as its basic characteristic the carrying out of certain actions whose benefits are always projected beyond oneself. He is an altruist par excellence, even at the risk of losing his own life. This was the paradigm invoked by those who saw a heroic meaning in the Vaza Jato hacker's actions, as he did not receive money for the information he leaked to journalist Gleen Greenwald. The heroics, however, fall apart when Delgatti appears hurt and resentful at the fact that the PT and other left-wing parties have turned their backs on him.

According to professor Mario Miguel Gonzales, author of the book The Anti-Hero saga, the word picaro was used, in Spanish, “to designate the boys who helped in the kitchens. It was then extended to all types of unemployed or underemployed people who, surviving through cunning, easily became delinquent.” The Picaresque Romance, in turn, would be the composition of a “pseudo-autobiography of an anti-hero – the picaro – defined as a marginal to society, whose adventures, in turn, are the critical synthesis of a process of attempted social ascension through deception and represent a satire of the society of their time.” The archetypal Lázaro, anti-hero narrator of Lazarilho de Tormes, as well as all the other classic picaros, still according to Mario Gonzales, “present themselves as bearers of a personal project of social ascension”, as long as the work is excluded from this project. regular and everyday.[xxiv]

Another very characteristic feature of the autobiographical narrative of a picaresque anti-hero is the fact that he never sees himself as a member of this corrupted society of which he wants to be part. That's why his story always has a touch of naivety. There is also, in the story of these anti-heroes, a strong emotional appeal aimed at the always very unfavorable conditions that accompanied them in childhood: poverty, misery, abandonment by their parents, deprivations of all kinds, etc. That's where they get a lot of convincing power and hook our condescension.

The project of social ascension through cheating, depending on society's level of permissiveness, can reach unimaginable places. Let us remember that the Castle, from the Barrettian story, was in a bad situation when it decided to carry out the Javanese's coup. He narrated to a friend, at a bar table, “the tricks he had played on convictions and respectability in order to live”; He told of the time when, living in Manaus, he was forced to hide his status as a bachelor, “to gain more confidence from clients, who flocked to my office as a sorcerer and diviner.”[xxv]

The most fascinating story, however, is the one through which Castelo had become a teacher of Javanese. What was supposed to be just a coup against the baron of Jacuecanga, with the aim of getting a little money to free him from the hardships of day-to-day life, ended up becoming a huge springboard, which led the picaresque Castelo to enter diplomacy and represent Brazil at a linguistics congress, in Bali, from where he returned in a state of national glory: “I became a national glory and, when I jumped onto the Pharoux pier, I received an ovation from all social classes and the President of the Republic, days ago Afterwards, he invited me to have lunch with him.”[xxviii]

Another character that Delgatti's career reminds me of is the Russian Gregory Petrovich Bogóloff, from the serials The Adventures of Doctor Bogoloff, which Lima Barreto published in 1912. Although he was not as famous as “The Man Who Knew Javanese”, the stories of this Russian charlatan are extraordinary from a literary point of view and belong to the same tradition as those picaresque anti-heroes.[xxviii]

Following this tradition, Lima Barreto composes The Adventures in a way that presents them as a pseudo-autobiography of a Russian anarchist, who flees his homeland after being indicted as a participant in an assassination attempt on the governor of his state. Son of a used book store owner, graduated from the Faculty of Oriental Languages ​​at Kazan University, Bogóloff decides to immigrate to Brazil, due to the persecution he suffered by the Russian police. It was not his intention to become a scammer here in Brazil. He even worked in an agrarian colony for a few years, until he realized “the spectacle of the comedy that is the administration of Brazil”, which led him to live “in a less tedious way and with less effort”. Bogóloff found in the little shame of national politics “the facts that determined the psychic mechanism that led me to abandon the honest life of work”.[xxix]

Through his acquaintance with the political henchman Lucrécio Barba-de-Bode, who served the powerful senator Sofônias (pseudonym of the Gaucho senator Pinheiro Machado), Bogóloff reached the minister of agriculture, Xandú (pseudonym of Pedro de Toledo), to whom he exposed his amazing project “to raise pigs that reach the size of oxen and oxen as tall as elephants”. The minister thought the idea was magnificent and the next day Bogóloff read in the newspapers “that he had been appointed Director of National Livestock”. The more intimate contact that Bogóloff had with politicians – “the influential people whose acquaintance he gained throughout his life” – strengthened in him “the desire to seek to see how Brazil's political mechanism worked”. And it was on this pilgrimage as Director of National Livestock and a close friend of the powerful senator Sofonias, that the Russian almost became Governor of the state of Carapicus.

As is usual in the lives of these picaros, their journeys are dotted with ups and downs. It is in these moments that they resort to the most shrewd tricks to continue living. Bogóloff continues narrating the series of coups that he leaves here and there, always in the shadow of public authorities, often guided by them. During one of his relapses, he even thought about robbery, “but that never gives you anything you can do safely for the rest of your life and the risks are many. A swindle would be magnificent, but to do so, elements that I lacked were indispensable: knowledge of the administration or commerce mechanism, the ability to forge documents and other similar skills.” And so he continued: “I did not think of any moral impossibility nor any consideration regarding the judgment that the opinion could have of my act”.

In 1915 Lima Barreto published the novel in serials Numa and the Nymph, in the newspaper At night. The story takes place, just as in Adventures, at a critical moment of transition between the Afonso Pena presidency [who appears in the novel under the pseudonym “o Velho”] and the election of General Hermes da Fonseca [who appears under the pseudonym Bentes], that is, more or less between 1908 and 1911. It is important to remember that this novel already appears in its essence in the last installment of Adventures and in the story Numa and the nymph.

Lima Barreto incorporated The Adventures to this new novelistic venture, an eminently political book, which exposes the political mechanisms and the dialectic between states and central government in the so-called Old Republic. Bogóloff reappears in the story, now in partnership with Lucrécio Barba-de-Bode, and the two begin to operate according to the military candidacy: “Bogóloff was able to earn some money, writing articles for newspapers of little life; He gradually entered the whirlwind of those who were agitated waiting for the kingdom of heaven that Benthes was coming to bring to earth (…) and began to learn about political activities, their behind-the-scenes, their retorts of fantastic transformations.”[xxx]

Bogóloff's adventures and tricks, the positions he acquired throughout the novel are the same as in the booklets of The Adventures. The interesting thing about Numa and the Nymph is the satirical dissection that Lima Barreto makes of the political architecture of the Old Republic, especially the participation of the military in political life and the electoral maneuvers of that period: “Bentes' followers [Hermes da Fonseca] thought that the best way to make him president of the Brazil was to prevent elections from taking place in the country's capital. All the biased battalion marches, the flooding of the city by bullies and henchmen (…) The polling stations were closed, the books [of Electoral Minutes] did not appear and Campelo with Totonho, others from the gang and officials were seen snatching them from the postmen at the Post Office”.[xxxii]

This whole story came to mind after I watched Delgatti's testimony on the “CPI of January 08”, so I found the comparison made by Congressman Arthur Maia to be very unreasonable. This reappearance of the hacker, the second act of his trajectory, has the ingredients of a picaresque journey, a “lived Gil Blas”, as Castelo, from Man who knew Javanese. I remember an interview in which Delgatti said with great pride that he had managed to take down the net of a LAN house in Araraquara: “It was retaliation: the 11/12 year old boy and his friends suspected that a rival group was cheating in the game Tíbia. The rivalry turned into war and the red-haired pre-teen then decided to track the IPs of the computers and interrupt the connection of an entire block. It was neither the first nor the last attack carried out by Delgatti – who, years later, would become known as the 'Araraquara hacker'.[xxxi]

Almost a decade later, the boy managed, through a simple mechanism, to access the Telegram accounts of the country's main authorities. I read and heard in several places a lot of disbelief about Delgatti's ability to carry out all the operations that are attributed to him. Perhaps a certain prejudice against self-education. I really don't know if he operated alone or if he was led by a kind of Tower Society, the one that manipulated the steps of the young Wilhelm Meister in the Goethe novel. Let us remember that the character Castelo managed to learn some rudiments of Javanese and that Bogóloff had his knowledge of agriculture and livestock there, the result of his peasant experience. It is from there that they began their journeys, in a country extremely fertile for men who know Javanese.

In any case, taking the story at face value, I couldn't help but conjecture, along with my favorite books and authors, that it resembles in many ways the journey of a very unique picaresque anti-hero. In relation to Delgatti, we have a kind of shattered autobiography, a little of his trajectory in testimonies and interviews, which point to a picaresque sense of life. The investigations following Delgatti's testimony at the CPI, on August 17th, will still yield a lot of work. Very symptomatic, for example, is the fact that the hacker was sentenced to 20 years in prison and that the sentence was handed down just four days after his bombshell statement. Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite's decision has been highly contested by lawyers and jurists, such as Fernando Augusto Fernandes and Lenio Streck, for example.

I believe, finally, that Delgatti felt very comfortable in the Bolsonarist environment, finding his natural habitat, so to speak. It's a group of criminals that would make any XNUMXth century serial writer jealous. Nobody can get it out of my head that this lawyer Frederick Wassef came to life from some still unknown manuscript by Fyodor Dostoievsky. Perhaps this was just another downfall in the life of the anti-hero Delgatti, who will somehow reinvent himself, perhaps as a writer and speaker. We already have the skeleton of a script for future fiction writers to create a beautiful story, under the influence of the relentless pedagogy of satire.

*Alexandre Juliete Rosa holds a master's degree in Brazilian literature from the Institute of Brazilian Studies at the University of São Paulo (IEB-USP).

[I] Two examples of this hacker profile can be read in two very different vehicles, from an ideological point of view: The first, in this magazine report Veja: “Who is 'Red'”, swashbuckling embezzler and suspected hacker of Moro”. Link to the article:

The second example, in the matter of Forum Magazine: “Neither Russian nor PT member: hacker from Araraquara was ostentatious”. Link to the article:

[ii] Link to the interview:

[iii] Link to the interview:

[iv] Link to CNN interview:

[v] Link to interview on 247:

[vi] The full statement can be read via the link:

[vii] See Operation Spoofing Final Report, p. 171 et seq. Link to access the file:

[viii] Article from the Brasil 247 website, dated June 22, 2021. Link:

[ix] In the second statement he gave at the Federal Police headquarters, on July 30, 2019, Delgatti confirmed that he met the boy Thiago Eliezer Martins Santos via the internet, one of those four people arrested in the first phase of the Spoofing operation and who was indicted in the scheme of cell phone hacking. Delgatti stated that he had purchased a Land Rover from Thiago, around December 2018, and that he only met Thiago in person when he went to Brasília/DF to pick up the car, and Thiago took it from the airport to the hotel. The statement appears in the Final Report of Operation Spoofing, p. 36. Link to access the file:

[X] Interview by Walter Delgatti for Veja, broadcast on March 12, 2021. Link to the article:

[xi] I took these lines from the documentary “Delgatti: the hacker who changed history”, produced by Brasil 247 and broadcast in April 2021. Link to access:

[xii] The conversations are attached in the Operation Spoofing Final Report, pp. 159 – 168.

[xiii] The messages appear in the Spoofing Operation Final Report, p. 33.

[xiv] Link to the interview:

[xv] The book was released in Brazil in July 2022, with the title Ensuring democracy, by the publisher Autonomia Literária. Throughout its more than three hundred pages, Walter Delgatti's name appears only once.

[xvi] Link to the interview:

[xvii] Excerpt from the article published in 247:

There is another version of the case published by Veja magazine, quite sinister in fact: Link to the article:

[xviii] According to an article published in the Araraquara newspaper acidadeOn: Link to access:

[xx] Link to interview on 247:

[xx] Link to the interview in Forum Magazine:

[xxx] Link to the article:

[xxiii] A very interesting document on this point can be read via the link:

[xxiii] Some details of this new venture by Delgatti are reported in an article dated February 07, 2023, on the Conjur website. Link to access:

[xxv] Link to Delgatti's testimony at the CPI:

[xxiv] Mário M. Gonzales. “Lazarillo de Tormes: critical study”. In: Lazarilho de Tormes. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2005. The citations are on pages 200 and 202.

[xxv] Lima Barreto. “The man who knew Javanese”. In: Stories by Lima Barreto. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1979, p. 22.

[xxviii] Ditto, p. 31.

[xxviii] As Adventures of Doctor Bogoloff They were first published in 1912, in a period in which Lima Barreto left novel projects a little aside, investing in serial literature, whose results were more immediate – both in financial terms and in publication. Only the first two issues were published during the author's lifetime, described as follows: “Weekly published on Tuesdays. Original by Lima Barreto. Episodes from the life of a Russian pseudo-revolutionary. Humorous narratives. Rio de Janeiro, Edition by A. Reis & c., 1912. Cover by Klixto”. The chapters are: “I then became Director of National Livestock” and “How I escaped Saving the State of Carapicus”. The texts remained forgotten until they were published by Francisco de Assis Barbosa, together with an edition of the novel Numa and the Nymph (Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo/Porto Alegre: Gráfica Editora Brasileira, 1950). In this edition, Assis Barbosa incorporated two other installments that were not published at the time – “I gave some plans and painted Battle of Salamina” and “I was a Sherlock Holmes moment”. In the complete works of Lima Barreto, the four texts that make up The Adventures were incorporated into the volume The Bruzundangas (Vol. VII). A note from the newspaper The press announces the appearance of Adventures, in these terms: The “Adventures of Dr. Bogóloff” are not just pages of good literature, they are in fact chapters and chapters worked with healthy humor, clearly aiming to criticize our customs, without inferior concerns of attacking anyone who wants to. The first issue has a beautiful colorful cover.” (The press, Rio de Janeiro, September 20, 1912, p. two). Link to the article:

[xxix] To read the Adventures of Doctor Bogoloff I recommend the electronic edition of the Federal University of Santa Catarina. Link:

[xxx] Lima Barrett. Numa and the Nymph. São Paulo: Carambaia, 2017, p. 325-6.

[xxxii] Ditto, p. 459.

[xxxi] Interview for Folha de São Paulo, August 08, 2022. Link:

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