The City of Wonder has become “the place with the highest concentration of public and private investment in the world,” thanks to the big events of this decade: the Rio +20 conference held in 2012, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, in addition to the Military World Games in 2011 and the 2013 Confederations Cup.
At 8 a.m. on Oct. 25, 1975, Brazilian journalist Vladimir Herzog voluntarily reported to the São Paulo headquarters of the government’s intelligence agency and was never seen alive again. He died under torture. His death had profound repercussions, triggering a wave of protests and setting off a mass movement that played an instrumental role in bringing down the dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. Now, more than 37 years later, Herzog’s murder could be the case that finally sets Brazil on the path of investigating the crimes and abuses committed throughout its long dictatorship.
Brazil’s Guaraní-Kaiowá people are no longer willing to wait quietly for the government to demarcate their land. The threat of mass suicide by native Guaraní-Kaiowá people in southwest Brazil brought to light a new formula for worsening conflicts over indigenous territory: the expansion of the cultivation of soy beans and sugar cane, two top export crops.
The land conflict between the Guaraní-Kaiowá indigenous people and large landowners in the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul is a powder keg ready to explode, say observers. “We are going to organize and prepare for confrontation…They only want the land to be bothersome. We have weapons. If they want war, they’ll get war,” said Luis Carlos da Silva Vieira, a landowner known as Lenço Preto (“Black Kerchief”), in a filmed declaration posted on YouTube.
The Brazilian Supreme Court has overturned the suspension of the Belo Monte Dam, caving to pressure from President Dilma Rousseff’s administration without giving appropriate consideration to indigenous rights implications of the case, human rights groups said today. The case illustrates the Brazilian judiciary’s alarming lack of independence, when powerful interests are at stake.
A high-level court suspended construction of the controversial Belo Monte dam project on the Amazon’s Xingu River yesterday, citing overwhelming evidence that indigenous people had not been properly consulted prior to government approval of the project. The decision concludes that the Brazilian Constitution and ILO Convention 169, to which Brazil is party, require that Congress can only authorize the use of water resources for hydroelectric projects after an independent assessment of environmental impacts and subsequent consultations with affected indigenous peoples.
Over five hundred Indigenous Peoples from Brazil and throughout the world gathered at Kari-Oca II, an encampment seated at the foot of a mountain near Rio Centro, to sign a declaration demanding respect for Indigenous Peoples’ role in maintaining a stable world environment, and condemning the dominant economic approach toward ecology, development, human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.
With two years to go before the World Cup in Brazil, already people are questioning the massive evictions caused by the Cup’s enormous infrastructure projects and the legal privileges that must be conceded to the all-powerful FIFA, which has set itself up as a kind of super-state capable of imposing its own laws and special tribunals. […]
I have just finished my second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 9 years after I attended my first. 2003 was a year marked by the inauguration of Lula, a union-leader turned politician who led the Workers´ Party to multiple electoral victories; this year’s social forum has been marked by Tunisa, Tahrir Square, the Spanish Indignant movement of unemployed youth (Indignados in Spanish), and the Occupy movement that took Wall Street and many US cities, like my home of New Orleans. My observation and summation of these processes focuses on the demise, and temporary survival, of liberal, democratic capitalism.
Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo published a report on Dec. 12 revealing a series of 266 telegrams from the Brazilian embassy in Santiago that unveiled strong economic and diplomatic ties between the nations’ military regimes in the early 1970s. Both Chile and Brazil were involved in the top-secret initiative Operation Condor, which sought to create regional intelligence networks in order to locate and oppress political opponents of the military regimes across the Southern Cone.