The debate is part of all new movements in Latin America: how much energy should be spent building something unique and how much should go to dealing with state institutions. There are two sides to the debate on public policies (participation in the management of public institutions at the local level): fear of being co-opted by the State and fear of isolation. It is the need to choose between creating popular community or governing without power.
As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro quickly approach, Brazil continues to debate the introduction of a new counterterrorism law. Despite strong criticism from Human Rights Watch that the bill is “overbroad and vague”, the bill has passed in both the Brazilian Senate and, as of February 24, the House of Representatives. As the bill makes its way to President Rousseff’s desk, we consider the arguments of two politicians.
While it wastes its own felled trees, the Belo Monte plant buys irregular wood, heating up a criminal market that invades indigenous territories. Part two of a report on the human and environmental costs of government-sanctioned illegal logging in Brazil’s Pará state.
Investigated by the Federal Police, Brazilian construction companies OAS, Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa, and Andrade Gutierrez reveal an extensive running list of workplace violations including hiring workers with false promises and exploitation of workers under slave-like conditions.
“The situation in Brazil today is in a very profound economic, social and especially political crisis. […] There are two very important points: one is the left’s opinion that Dilma’s administration is awful, but that a coup represents Brazil’s dominant political elite’s intent to try to eliminate the PT from the government and introduce a right-wing government, similar to the Paraguayan coup not long ago that deposed Lugo.” – Ricardo Atunes, sociologist at the University of Campinas, Brazil
While Brazil has never officially suffered from a terrorist attack, at the moment the Brazilian congress is debating a counter-terrorism bill that could create further justification for the criminalization of social movements and popular protest.
Activists from the Black Women’s Movement in Brazil and a wide array of social organizations marched on Wednesday, November 18th 2015 to commemorate the first National Black Women’s March Against Racism, Violence and for Well Being. Over 10,000 activists from all over Brazil marched through the country’s capital city, Brasilia, demanding visibility of the challenges faced by Afro-Brazilian women and that these issues be acknowledged by the government through policies that promote race and gender equality.
Brazil is a major world power – in terms of size, population, and influence. Yet in many ways it is a combination of so many different and contradictory faces that it is hard for anyone, including Brazilians themselves, to know how to define Brazil’s characteristics as a nation and as a force in the world-system.
With the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics came the pretext for companies, in complicity with all three levels of government, to begin looking at the Aldea Marakaná with new eyes. Despite a growing number of violent evictions, home demolitions, sustained process of gentrification and extensive real estate speculation the Aldea Marakaná and its neighbors continue to be a symbol of resistance.