Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
Morning in Rio de Janeiro

What an Economic Recovery in Brazil Might Look Like

Now might seem like an odd time to look for signs of hope in Brazil. Dilma Rousseff has an approval rating of just 10 percent, she faces possible impeachment proceedings, scandal has frozen activity at the country’s biggest companies, inflation runs around 10 percent and the economy is expected to shrink 3 percent this year. … Read more

Military Police in Rio de Janeiro

What’s Happening on Rio’s Beaches?

A civil society group is resisting government efforts to restrict access to some Rio de Janeiro beaches, announcing a plan for thousands of the city’s favela residents to travel en masse to a popular Ipanema beach on October 4. Papo Reto Coletivo, an independent media group based in Rio’s expansive Complexo do Alemão favela, is coordinating the event to … Read more

Brazil's police force faces a new front in its war on drugs

Gangsta’s Paradise: How Brazil’s Criminals (and Police) Use Social Media

Rio de Janeiro´s most wanted drug trafficker, Playboy, died in a hail of police gunfire at his girlfriend´s apartment this month. Photographs of his bullet-riddled body began circulating on the Internet within minutes of his demise. So did an audio recording suggesting that he “left the scene alive, but arrived to the hospital dead.” His assassination is yet another pixel … Read more

Protests in Brazil

Janio Is Coming: The Return of the Old, Unstable Brazil

Over the last two decades, it seemed like a new Brazil had taken root. A stable, democratic Brazil, one where presidents finished their terms, a vibrant economy lifted all boats, and money more or less retained its value. But now – meu Deus. With every cry for impeachment, with every revelation of the rot at … Read more


International Cooperation or Gridlock?

A shift of the global balance of power is under way. Emerging countries are increasingly playing significant roles on global issues, such as the global economy, trade, and investment, as well as in diplomacy and multilateral decision making. In a few years, we will witness a historically rare phenomenon, when a new country will become … Read more


Safe Streets, Safe Cities

Discussions of sustainable cities tend to focus on environmental goals such as developing eco-friendly architecture, recycling, and improving the resiliency of urban infrastructure systems. But public or citizen security is an equally important aspect of building a sustainable city. Often, it is the issue that tops the list of citizens’ concerns—and with good reason. Violent … Read more


City of God, City of Barriers

Some see Rio’s favelas as crime-ridden danger zones. Cavi Borges, a local filmmaker, sees them as dynamic film sets. The movie producer and director hops on the back of a motorcycle taxi at the base of the Vidigal favela—a shantytown snaking up Morro Dois Irmãos in Rio de Janeiro—and zips through a series of alleyways … Read more

Freixo original_Oct10

Brazil’s Municipal Elections Yield Mixed Results for the Ruling PT

As part of its quadrennial electoral process, Brazil held simultaneous local elections on Sunday in over 5,560 municipalities. In all, roughly 140 million votes were cast—normal turnout, since voting is mandatory in Brazil. Voters chose from among nearly 480,000 candidates to determine the mayors (prefeitos), deputy mayors (vice-prefeitos) and local councils (vereadores) across the country. … Read more

RioPublicTalk510x314_Sebast_Sept 27

2016 Olympics Central to Rio de Janeiro’s Mayoral Race

When campaign season in Rio de Janeiro officially started on July 6, Rio’s incumbent mayor, Eduardo Paes, looked like a shoo-in. Touting the “Olympic City,” he has campaigned on the idea that Rio’s upcoming mega events—including the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics—will contribute to a boom for a city that is thriving after … Read more


Why Did Brazil Underwhelm in the London Olympics?

An examination of the final medal tally at the recently concluded 2012 Olympics shows many countries familiar to the ranks of the top 10. The United States placed first overall, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, South Korea, and Italy. What are the ingredients to these countries’ consistent success in … Read more


Tackling Brazil’s Obesity Problem

In recent years, Brazil has encountered a health threat more commonly seen in the advanced industrialized nations: obesity. The emergence of fast-food diets, sedentary lifestyles, as well as federal programs designed to alleviate malnourishment has—rather ironically—contributed to the nationwide spread of obesity. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, which interviewed 54,000 adults across … Read more


A Brazil Perspective on Rio+20

All eyes are on Brazil this week as more than 130 world leaders and some 50,000 activists, civil society representatives and business leaders are attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro. The conference marks 20 years since the Earth Summit in 1992 concluded, when leaders—optimistic about a post-Cold … Read more


Same-Sex Marriage in Chile

Marriage equality for same-sex couples is gaining new momentum in the United States. One month ago, President Obama announced that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”  Meanwhile, major multinational corporations and top consumer brands are also coming out in favor of marriage equality. In February, Proposition 8, a voter referendum that reversed marriage … Read more

Brazil and China: Clouds on the Horizon

Read more about China and Latin America in the Winter 2012 issue of Americas Quarterly to be released on January 26, 2012. Brazil and China’s economic relations have grown at a rapid clip in the last five years. But their new ties are also leading to increased wariness by the Brazilians. The real challenge comes … Read more

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