Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Brazil

 

Rise of Ethanol in Brazil?

Earlier this week in Brazil, the price of ethanol rose above the price of sugar for the first time in nearly two years. What does this mean? Sugar mills, which dot Brazil’s landscape, will now opt to produce ethanol rather than sugar. This is a key development in a country that has been a leader … Read more

 

Nightclub Fire in Brazil Prompts New Inspections Ahead of Carnaval

Brazilian authorities inspected and closed doors on nightclubs throughout the country yesterday  as part of an agreement between São Paulo’s governor, Geraldo Alckmin, and Mayor Fernando Haddad in response to Sunday’s deadly nightclub fire that claimed 235 lives and injured 143 in the southern city of Santa Maria. Alckmin stated that the joint response from the … Read more

 

Brazil Truth Commission Investigates Former President’s Death

Brazil’s Truth Commission said yesterday that it planned to investigate the death of former Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek, a centrist politician popularly known as “JK,” who died in a car accident in 1976. According to a report released late last year by the Minas Gerais chapter of the Ordem de Advogados do Brasil  (OAB), a … Read more

 

Brazil’s Cuban Connection

Brazil is once again seeking to enhance its international profile. But this time, rather than engaging in close partnerships with its fellow BRICS club members—Russia, India, China, and South Africa—Brazil is collaborating with a smaller nation: Cuba. Since assuming office in 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has worked closely with Cuban President Raúl Castro to … Read more

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Business Innovator: Bedy Yang, United States/Brazil

Silicon Valley may be the technology capital of the world, but Brazilian cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are giving the Bay Area a run for its money. A booming economy and an increasingly connected middle class that grew by 50 percent from 2003 to 2009 have made Brazil a logical new hub … Read more

 

Brazil’s Relationship with Africa: Too Much to Handle?

Many people are discussing Brazil’s role in Africa’s development and the deepening of their bilateral commercial and political relationships over the past decade. For Brazil, Africa is seen as one of the best growth opportunities and a new frontier for investments. Many of Brazil’s largest infrastructure companies are currently operating in Africa and looking to expand … Read more

 

Lula’s Involvement in Mensalão Corruption Scandal to Be Investigated

Brazilian Attorney General Roberto Gugel announced Wednesday that his office will investigate a claim that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva was aware of the massive 2005 vote-buying scheme known as the “mensalão,” in which members of Lula’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party—PT) and other politicians bribed Brazilian lawmakers to back PT initiatives … Read more

 

Violence Surges in São Paulo

The numbers are almost too much to take in: 4,100 murdered this year. This figure does not refer to a war-torn country, but to São Paulo state: the biggest driver of Brazil’s economy. As a report came out last week showing that Brazil had seen as many violent deaths—500,000—over the past 10 years as Somalia’s … Read more

 

Afro-LGBT Advocates Lead the Struggle for Equality in Brazil

In a historic gathering in Salvador, Bahia, nearly 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Afro-Brazilian activists participated last month in the country’s first-ever National Black LGBT Conference (Primeiro Seminário Nacional de Negras e Negros LGBT). Given the rare opportunity to be recognized as a unique group that suffers from discrimination based on race, sexual … Read more

 

Brazil to Double Border Security by 2014

In a public hearing Tuesday before the Financial Supervisory Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazilian Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo announced that the country will double the number of security personnel on its borders by 2014. The strategy will focus on increasing the police presence along the Bolivian, Colombian and Peruvian borders, with the … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia – Peña Nieto in the Presidency – Colombia, FARC Continue Talks – Peru, Chile at The Hague – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Mercosur convenes; first week of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency; FARC peace negotiations resume; Peru, Chile dispute their border at The Hague; and Rousseff’s oil royalties veto makes waves in Brazil. Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia: When Mercosur’s member nations convene on Friday in Brasilia, they will consider … Read more

 

Romney’s Latin American Trade Plan: The Devil is in the Details

During the last presidential debate, Mitt Romney put the spotlight on an aspect of his five-point economic plan that has received little scrutiny. Romney said forging trade deals with Latin American nations would be a cornerstone of his plan to revitalize the U.S. economy. “The opportunities for us in Latin America we have just not … Read more

 

A Trade War of Words between Brazil and the U.S.

Protectionism made news again in Brazil recently, when Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced that Brazilian firms could avoid a 30 percent tax increase on the auto industry by improving fuel efficiency, using Brazilian-made parts and investing in Brazilian research and development. Foreign automakers without a manufacturing plant in Brazil will be subject to the tax … Read more

 

Rousseff Backs Affirmative Action in Government

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff plans to support affirmative action quotas that will increase the number of Afro-Brazilians in government positions, an anonymous source close to the Executive told L’Agence France-Presse on Monday. While the percentages have not been defined, the quota system would apply to all new government contracts and employee openings. A formal announcement … Read more

 

Lula’s Former Chief of Staff Found Guilty in [i]Mensalão[/i] Scandal

A majority of Brazilian Supreme Court justices found the former chief of staff of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva guilty of “active corruption” on Tuesday and Wednesday, casting a shadow on the legacy of the popular former president. Speaking on Tuesday, six of eight justices found José Dirceu guilty of involvement in … Read more

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