RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Rio's Mayor Marcelo Crivella lied about a trip to Europe during the carnival holiday to make it look like a business trip. But in fact it was a personal vacation, local daily Valor Economico said Thursday.
Crivella left Rio at the beginning of the carnival holiday (Feb. 9 - Feb. 14) for a trip to Germany, Austria and Sweden. He was heavily criticized for leaving town on the most important occasion for the city's tourism sector.
Before leaving, the mayor refused to participate in a ceremony in which the Rio mayor symbolically gives the city keys to carnival figures including King Momo. It is the second consecutive year that Crivella excused himself from the carnival festivities.
The mayor posted videos on social networks, saying that he had traveled to attend official meetings and seek solutions in technology and public security for the city that has seen more violence.
In his video, Crivella said he visited the European Space Agency (ESA) as mayor to seek solutions in security.
However, citing a protected source, Valor Economico said Crivella visited the ESA, in the outskirts of Frankfurt, as a private citizen. The ESA does not sell security technology. The Frankfurt headquarters deal with satellite control, with nothing related to public security, the daily said.
The local government did not have any interaction with the Rio mayor either, according to the daily.
Local media pointed out that the mayor's religious beliefs might also be getting in the way of his job, as he is a bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal).
The church has recently inaugurated a branch in Frankfurt. However, it is not confirmed whether Crivella has visited the site.