OCTOBER  2003 CONTENTS:
 

 

Brazil: Favela Gets Ghetto-Fabulous
While a new initiative by Rio's police hopes to clamp down on the drugs trade by occupying many of the city's favelas, life in the slums is drawing foreign students these days. At Rocinha, South America's largest slum, 23 per cent of the residents have a credit card and 93 per cent have at least one TV set at home.
by Tom Phillips

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Lula Is the One Mad Now
Brazilian President Lula forgot the protocol niceties and went into the attack against his predecessors in the presidency. He accused them of cowardice for not having solved the problems of hunger and drought in Brazil. The opposition criticized the tone and the content of the presidential remarks.
by Émerson Luiz

Back to Top


 

Brazil Getting Less Kick out of Soccer
While soccer in North America can boast of some successful signs of positive growth, all is not going as well as it should for the sport in Brazil. In spite of its current premier ranking, the Brazilian national team has so far performed perfunctorily, if rather unremarkably, in a series of recent friendlies.
by Joe Lopes

Back to Top


 

Brazil: When the Media Gets in Bed with Power
Strapped for money, the Brazilian media has just stepped into a minefield by announcing its formal proposal for procurement of federal financing. All interlocutors involved are conscious of their own responsibilities. The federal government, however, is not hiding its own assessment that the state of the media is a matter of national interest.
by Alberto Dines

Back to Top


 

Brazil: A New Referendum on Lula
The hoarse voice of the streets in Brazil is tired of believing in unkept promises. Elections are coming and there is still time to turn the game around. Public money and favors of the central power, however, will hardly change the Brazilian national mood. The fact is that nobody can stand the belt tightening anymore.
by Carlos Chagas

Back to Top


 

Brazil-USA: Bumpy Road Ahead
I foresee a deterioration of relations between the Bush administration and Lula's PT version of Brazil. The American president will soon remove career diplomat Donna Hrinak as the US envoy to Brazil. This is a shame as she understands Brazil well. Her replacement will probably be a Bush right-wing political appointee.
by Richard Hayes

Back to Top


 

Brazil: No Cake for Lula's Birthday
Brazilians are worried about the economy's bad shape. Since January, Brazil's economy is practically stagnant; joblessness has risen and income of those with a job has declined. A national survey taken last week shows that unemployment is seen as the number one reason for the country's rampant violence.
by Émerson Luiz

Back to Top


 

Brazil's Romário in 'Six Chickens and a Raging Bull'
Fluminense's president, David Fischel, criticized football star Romário for attacking a fan after a training session, but does not intend to punish him. The striker, however, will have to explain his actions to the police. And the fan who used chickens to taunt Romário might be prosecuted for cruelty against animals.
by Tom Phillips

Back to Top


 

Halloween Is Catching in Brazil
Brazilians do not go trick-or-treating the conventional way. They celebrate child-buffet style. Some people in Brazil, however, have started to do like the Americans in their apartment buildings and complexes. A friend of mine sent her children out trick-or-treating and they came back with very interesting loot.
by Monica Trentini

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Indians in Fear in Their Land
The president of the Indigenous People's Committee, Agostinho Rodrigues, gave an emotional report of how he no longer has anywhere to fish, hunt or gather honey for his children, and that when they try to gather from the lands that the farm-owners control, they are chased away by armed guards.
by Cimi

Back to Top


 

No More Laughing All the Way for Banks in Brazil
Foreign banks now own only around 20 percent of Brazilian banks and only a handful are big players in the retail market. Foreign groups like Deutsche Bank and the UK's Lloyds, have shut up shop or run their operations down to a minimum. They have sold their Brazilian assets to local banks who are now back in charge.
by John Fitzpatrick

Back to Top


 

How Outsourcing Can Benefit Brazil
Brazil ranks third in country attractiveness for offshore IT outsourcing, only behind India and Canada. Some of Brazil's universities have outstanding computer science programs. But Brazil's weaknesses are distinct. Its generally poor knowledge of the English language poses a problem for projects that demand fluency.
by Chris R. Adams

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Ecologists Mad at Lula
Brazilian environmental groups are not happy with the measures taken by a government that they expected would be much friendlier to their cause. Brazil's largest NGO's dealing with environmental issues sent President Lula a letter expressing their indignation over the policies adopted by his administration.
by AB

Back to Top


 

Brazil, a Global Deadbeat
This is not a new story. Brazil has been here before. International organizations in which the country is member are not being paid. Rentals of overseas offices are not being paid on time and utility bills payments are late. Brazilian diplomats serving around the world are also getting their salaries delayed.
by Émerson Luiz

Back to Top


 

It Ain't Easy Being a Kid in Brazil
One study from the University of Brasília shows that 69 percent of the victims of sexual abuse in Brazil are children. The work concluded that in a majority of cases the violence is done within the very home of the young person. The number of denunciations is insignificant with respect to the reality.
by Rogéria Araújo

Back to Top


 

Sinatra Revealed Me the Sounds of Brazil
Bossa nova combines the textures and rhythms of samba, jazz, 20th century classical music, and even Hollywood film music, to form a distinctly Brazilian style. It is melodically and harmonically complex, drawing from the chord progressions of jazz and from the harmonic language of composers like Debussy and Ravel.
by Joshua Reinhold

Back to Top


 

In Brazil, Sterilization Is the Best Pill
Registered sterilizations in the central-west of Brazil, the country's new agriculture frontier, reach 59 percent of women of child-bearing age. Many such surgical interventions are clandestine. In the poorest areas of Brazil, politicians frequently offer women free sterilizations in exchange for a vote.
by Adital

Back to Top


 

Brazil's Demoralized Constitution
The result of the lack of respect for the Constitution is there for all to see: 55 million destitutes surviving on half a minimum wage, 13 million unemployed, 20 million citizens who don't know if they will eat a meal, domestic corporations condemned to failure because they need to free-compete with privileged multinationals.
by Carlos Chagas

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Something Rotten in Academia
The "business" of college education in Brazil moves millions of dollars and it is attracting the attention of foreign "investors" who have already sensed where and how to bypass the control systems now in place. Unscrupulous politicians and educators are all excited. Something has to be done, urgently.
by Alberto Dines

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Seeing Dollar Signs
Brazilian banks are betting in a growing economy for 2004. At the same time, some Lula's economic advisers have been warning the President that the continuous devaluation of the dollar represents a danger to the economy. A group of businessmen want an exchange of around 3 reais per dollar.
by Alessandra Dalevi

Back to Top


 

Paraguay: Where Brazil Buys Cheap Dreams
There were tales of the wonders that could be gotten in Paraguay: strange mechanical birds, talking sticks, Japanese umbrellas, and radios we had never seen before. Some people even assured everyone that one could buy imported cars there! This Puerto Stroessner was a true Ali-Baba's cave. Not free, but at least possible.
by Eva Paulino Bueno

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Picking a Fight with the U.S. Is not Smart
At the recent WTO talks in Cancun, Brazil was impatient and was singled out by the U.S. as one of the countries responsible for the impasse which led to the talks breaking down. Brazilian President Lula's aggressive public stance put it openly against the U.S. and the E.U. This was foolish.
by John Fitzpatrick

Back to Top


 

Five Million Kids Still Working in Brazil
Despite all the efforts by the Brazilian government to end child labor, there are still too many children working in Brazil, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. A whole one million of these working kids are not going to school. And 300,000 of them are less than 9 years old.
by Francesco Neves

Back to Top


 

Brazil's G-22 Group Crumbling
Four Latin American countries have already abandoned the G-22, a group led by Brazil to oppose the economic policies of the United States and the European Union. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru and Colombia, all of them seem to have been seduced by Washington's promises and scared by the US threats.
by Émerson Luiz

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Plenty of Good New$
There is a clear message in the sudden surge of interest by foreign investors in Brazil: they believe the country has overcome bad times and is ready for an overdue recovery. The Brazilian economy and stock market seem euphoric and plenty of positive indexes tell that the recession might be already over.
by Alessandra Dalevi

Back to Top


 

Human Rights: Brazil Gets an F from UN
After two weeks investigating human rights abuses in six Brazilian states, the UN's special Rapporteur Asma Jahangir's verdict is highly critical. It's appalling that the military police kill with impunity, she said, and even sadder that some government officials will look you in the eye and say all is well.
by Tom Phillips

Back to Top


 

Brazil: How to Reduce Unemployment
To improve the unemployment rate in Brazil overnight, the Brazilian government should adopt the same system of counting the unemployed being used by the United States government. It is a simple method that uses several techniques including lies, deception and misinformation.
by Ricardo C. Amaral

Back to Top


 

Once again: Brazilians Are Not Hispanic
A number of the diverse populations who migrated to Brazil include: Portugal, Italy, Poland, France, Germany, Lebanon, Syria, Japan, Russia, Austria, Turkey all of which are disengaged from the Hispanic-Latino paradigms. Brazilians don't belong to an illusory Hispanic or Latino "race."
by Alan P. Marcus

Back to Top


 

Brazil, Land of Cachaça. It's the Law.
The Brazilian national drink, the cachaça, has graduated to its own category. A government decree presents all the specifications of the sugar cane liquor and the information will soon be sent to the World Trade Organization. Brazil exports 11 million liters of the product a year, and wants to increase it to 40 million.
by AB

Back to Top


 

Brazil: 9 Months of Lula and No Birth to Celebrate
Brazilian President Lula thinks that words are a substitute for actions. He just said that homeless people could be accommodated in empty buildings. This is the kind of simplistic idea, much like the Zero Hunger project, that sounds good but will not work in practice. You need a strong economy to create jobs.
by John Fitzpatrick

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Punishing Thieves and Public
Public works that are needed by the population cannot stop every time an irregularity is found. To stop them is a stupid idea. It will only harm those for whom they were created in the first place. The law is the one demanding the interruption. It is the law, therefore, that must be changed.
by Carlos Chagas

Back to Top


 

FTAA: ...And Brazil Was Left Alone
The U.S. was incensed at Brazil in Port of Spain. Brasília proposed that Americans and Canadians wouldn't have a tariff reduction in the FTAA. On the other hand, Latin American countries saw this as a Brazilian maneuver to take advantage of poorer countries while hurting their chances of having access to the U.S. and Canada.
by Francesco Neves

Back to Top


 

Brazil Soy: The Seeds of Discord
There is a growing movement in Brazil against genetically modified soy, which was liberated for planting. Critics of the government say that the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture is being transformed into an arm of American Monsanto, the company responsible for the genetically modified grains.
by Adital

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Women's Flaws at Lula's Cabinet
Two Brazilian women ministers are having a hard time. Benedita da Silva had to explain a trip to an evangelical meeting in Buenos Aires at taxpayers' expense. Lula forgave her. Marina Silva didn't resign after genetically modified crops were approved against her will. Lula is not happy with her.
by John Fitzpatrick

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Talking to Dom Tomás, the Bishop of the Landless
They call occupations by the landless "violent," but what about the violence of hunger, or the harassment of those on these settlements. Ex-president Cardoso accused the landless movement of being political. That's not an accusation. That's a compliment. To be called apolitical would be an insult.
by Belisa Ribeiro

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Still the Inequality Champion
Brazil's Human Development Index went up dramatically in the 1990s. This improvement, however, occurred through an extreme concentration of income that widened even more the gap between rich and poor Brazilians. No other big country has such a disparity between haves and have nots.
by Rodolfo Espinoza

Back to Top


 

In Brazil, Police Are The Crook
Death squads and hired killers belong not just to 1980s São Paulo, but to the here and now of contemporary Brazil. According to a new report handed to the UN, the victims of death squads are almost without exception poor, black men, between 15 and 24 years old, accused of petty crime.
by Tom Phillips

Back to Top


 

Economy: Brazil Down to 15. Behind India.
From 1998 to 2003, Brazil fell from the 8th to the 12th position among the richest countries in the world. In this short period, the country was passed by Canada and Spain (1999), Mexico (2001), and South Korea (2002). Now, the Netherlands, Australia and India are also ahead in the ranking.
by Alessandra Dalevi

Back to Top


 

Brazil: Lula's Global Fan Club Is Thinning
By helping form a new organization of developing countries—the so-called G-22—Brazil has managed to put itself into the losers' camp. Lula's speech at the U.N. was deservedly met with indifference. It was dull, pious and irrelevant. The world was not interested in a sermon from a Third World spokesman.
by John Fitzpatrick

Back to Top


 

Long Live the Captain - In Portuguese
I liked him very much and I feel bad for what I felt right there: he was my idol, my warrior, my myth although he wasn't more than a contumacious loser. Hadn't the romantic captain understood the new times? And these times weren't they interested in knowing about him? Hi world was already agonizing.
by Emanuel Medeiros Vieira

Back to Top