The New York Times
January 15, 2004

Brazil Jails American Airlines Pilot Over Fingerprinting Snub

By LARRY ROHTER

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 14 An American Airlines pilot arriving in São Paulo, Brazil's largest city, was jailed Wednesday after he protested new procedures
requiring the fingerprinting and photographing of all incoming United States citizens by making what Federal Police officers described as an obscene gesture.

Eleven other crew members on the same flight from Miami were refused entry to Brazil and detained after the police said that they had refused to be fingerprinted and behaved in a "derisive" manner. They were ordered to return to the United States on the next available flight, which was to leave São Paulo on Wednesday night.

The dispute heightened Brazilian-American tensions that started Jan. 1 when Brazil demanded that arriving American citizens and American citizens alone be
photographed and fingerprinted. The policy was in retaliation for increased security measures in the United States that require citizens of all but 27 countries, mostly
European, to undergo nearly identical procedures.

At a conference of Western Hemisphere heads of government on Monday, Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, personally asked President Bush that
Brazilians be exempted from the requirements. He followed that on Tuesday with public criticism of the United States procedures, saying to reporters that "if the
problem is to fight terrorism, this measure makes no sense" because "we have no culture of terrorism" in Brazil.

The police said that the American Airlines pilot, Dale Hersh, 52, had been charged with "disrespect for authority," an offense that carries a jail term of six months to
one year. It was unclear whether he would be allowed to leave the country before facing trial, and the United States Consulate in São Paulo issued a statement saying that American officials were "working with both the Federal Police and American Airlines to resolve the matter."

American Airlines is one of the biggest carriers from the United States to Brazil and the rest of Latin America, with flights from New York City, Miami and Dallas to
Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. A spokeswoman in Miami, Martha Pantin, said in a telephone interview that the company "regrets any
misunderstanding" with the Brazilian authorities and plans to continue its normal flight schedule.

"American Airlines and its employees pride themselves on always being professional and courteous with everyone with whom they come in contact," she said. "The
company apologizes to the Brazilian government, the airport authorities, the police or anyone else who may have perceived anything they believe to be disrespectful."

Warsaw's Mayor to Cancel Visit

WARSAW, Jan. 13 (Reuters) The mayor of Warsaw said Tuesday that he would cancel a visit to the United States to protest its policy of fingerprinting visitors as part of new antiterror measures.

The mayor, Lech Kaczynski, who leads a major right-wing party, was supposed to pay a visit in April to Chicago and New York, both home to large Polish
communities. "I will go only when there will be no need for taking pictures and fingerprinting," Mr. Kaczynski told reporters.

Poland had hoped that as a reward for its help in the war in Iraq, the United States would relax entry visa rules for its citizens. Poland has sent 2,500 troops to Iraq
and is one of America's staunchest allies in Europe.