News from Brazil

Culture & Regional

In Brazil on December 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm


The future Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro (MAR) on Praca Maua, part of the huge Rio docklands development called Porto Maravilha.


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Brazilian President-elect Dilma Rousseff is expected to create the Ministry of Communications to regulate the media sector, incumbent president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said (Xinhua).



Petrobras announced the discovery of a new onshore ‘light’ crude oil field in the Amazonia state, for which Petrobras owns full production rights. The new well was drilled near the town of Tefe, around 600 kilometers from the Amazonian capital of Manaus, and lies within the Solimoes Basin (The Rio Times).

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has fallen to its lowest rate for 22 years, the government says. Satellite monitoring showed about 6,450 sq km of (2,490 sq miles) of rainforest were cleared between August 2009 and July 2010, a drop of 14% compared with the previous 12 months (BBC).

It was the early 1900s and American Percival Farquhar was a man with a mission, determined to succeed where others before him had failed. The wealthy entrepreneur from Pennsylvania had been granted the concession by the Brazilian government to build a railway to help transport rubber from Brazil and landlocked Bolivia to the outside world. Now the “Devil’s railway” is coming back to live again (BBC).


One could say that Aracajú suffers from the middle child syndrome. Located midway between two popular tourist destinations in the Northeast of Brazil – Salvador, Bahia and Maceió, Alagoas – Sergipe’s capital city is commonly overlooked. For the lucky ones that do visit, Aracaju offers unspoiled beaches, a safe and well-organized urban space, and outstanding local cuisine (The Rio Times).


For those wanting authentic Rio nightlife, Lapa is the place that you are looking for. In the main streets of the neighborhood there are many bars and music venues full of young people, especially on the weekends. Looking for the right place to enjoy a good evening in the historic center of Old Rio, the Rio Scenarium is a great venue to discover (Rio Official Guide).

Every four years, just before newly elected state and federal governments take over, Rio de Janeiro’s drug gangs start to throw their weight around. This time has been no exception. Just over a week ago, they began hijacking cars and buses, ordering out their occupants and setting them alight, in a show of force and an attempt to terrorise the city (The Economist).

It was a moment that residents of Rio de Janeiro thought would never come. For decades many of the city’s favelas have been ruled by drug traffickers or militias. Sporadic flare-ups would see the police go in to these self-built settlements seeking revenge, only to pull back leaving bodies scattered and the gangs to return to business. But last month when the city’s two main drug gangs began hijacking and torching vehicles at gunpoint, this time the authorities’ response was different (The Economist).

The series of violent attacks and confrontations that have blazed across Rio in the past week prompted officials to conduct the largest police operations in its history. Multiple organizations collaborated to pursue and overwhelm armed gangs of drug-dealers and criminals that have long since controlled large favela areas of the city (The Rio Times).

The epicenter of the recent violence and massive police operations, Vila Cruzeiro was put on the world map last week. The community has existed for around forty years, and is located in Penha in Rio’s Zona Norte (North zone). The areas has between 40,000 – 70,000 inhabitants, who all – as oppose to other, newer favelas – have water, gas and electricity (The Rio Times).

Rio’s top security official cheered the capture of what was long the most dangerous slum in this city that will host the 2016 Olympics, and within hours he was already setting his sights on the next target (Washington Post).


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The BNDES has approved R$ 33.9 million in financing for investments in the environmental sanitation area, to be performed by Estre Ambiental, a Brazilian company that operates in the solid waste management sector and the treatment of degraded areas (BNDES).