News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on August 12, 2011 at 10:42 am


Brazilian police have arrested more than 30 tourism officials and business leaders, including Deputy Tourism Minister Frederico Silva da Costa. They are accused of conspiring to divert public money for private gain, charges they deny. Mr Costa is the third high-ranking official caught up in corruption allegations since President Dilma Rousseff took office in January. Prosecutors also seized a number of computers at the agriculture ministry, and Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi has been asked to appear before an ethics commission. Mr Rossi is a member of the Democratic Movement Party of Brazil (PMDB), President Rousseff’s largest ally in Congress (BBC).

Brazil’s revolution isn’t leading to a welfare state, heads the Guardian. The country’s problems with inequality remain entrenched – and the new consumerism brings its own problems (The Guardian).

President Dilma Rousseff has suffered the first major fall in her popularity, a a poll showed, as she battles a rash of corruption scandals and a slowing economy. Rousseff’s approval rating dropped 6 percentage points to 67 percent, while the number of those who disapproved more than doubled to 25 percent, a survey by the Ibope polling firm showed (Reuters).

President Dilma Rousseff warned rebellious congressional allies not to pass new spending bills, telling them that tight budget control is the best way to ensure that Brazil’s economy avoids further damage from the global crisis (Reuters).


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They are the biggest and third-biggest countries by population in Latin America. They share a border of almost 2,000km (1,250 miles). But Colombia and Brazil get along badly. In 2009 mistrust burst into the open, when Brazil’s then president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, grumbled in public about an agreement negotiated by Colombia’s Álvaro Uribe to update the terms under which American forces could use seven military bases for joint action against drug-trafficking and guerrillas. Now there is a concerted effort to improve ties (The Economist).

Carta Internacional, Março de 2010 compares Brazil’s and India’s strategy to obtain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and the implications this has for both countries’ identities. On the one hand, Brazil and India align with developing nations and jointly press for more inclusive global governance. On the other hand, critics have pointed out that Brazil’s attempt to enter the UN Security Council as a permanent member is not entirely about democratizing the UN, but rather about creating an “expanded oligarchy”. This article seeks to better understand the nature of this dilemma, comparing how both countries deal with this transition. Download the paper here.

The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization recently elected as its next leader Jose Graziano da Silva of Brazil, a former Brazilian food security minister and one of the creators of the nation’s “Zero Hunger” social programs that include Bolsa Familia. He has said eradicating hunger is his first priority for the FAO, which is the U.N.’s biggest specialized agency, with a $1 billion budget. While that is dwarfed by the budget of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia alone, the FAO plans to spread the knowledge of how to create such programs to governments around the globe (Washington Post).

On a trade mission to Brazil this week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly engaged in some undiplomatic behavior. Folha reported that Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff asked official speeches and toasts to take place after a lunch with Harper Monday. Harper, however, reportedly had a different idea. He wanted the speeches to happen before lunch, and Folha says he locked himself in the private bathroom of the foreign affairs minister until he got his way (Washington Post).

Stephen Harper took his robust foreign-policy agenda to Brazil, another sign Canada is looking beyond the U.S. to ensure its continued prosperity. “Brazil is a priority market for Canada,” declares the federal government’s website, asserting that Brazil and Canada have a great deal in common (Vancouver Sun).

Did Harper clash with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as she rejects pressure to scale back capital controls aimed at checking a rally in her country’s currency? (Bloomberg)

Representatives from Brazil and Iran met this week and agreed to enhance relations between the two countries, a signal that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will follow the example of her predecessor and demonstrate Brazil’s diplomatic independence by dealing with a nation under scrutiny for its nuclear program (CNN).



Brazil’s new Defense Minister Celso Amorim had a first meeting with the commanders of the armed forces. It was the first encounter between Amorim and the military command after President Dilma Rousseff had asked him to replace Nelson Jobim. “He’s very much a nationalist, so the military will agree with that,” said David Fleischer, a political scientist at the University of Brasília to members of the foreign press in São Paulo. According to Fleischer, Amorim is viewed as a patriot whose wants to see a globally powerful Brazil, sentiments that play well with military leaders (The Rio Times).

Amorim is best known for improving ties among developing nations, tightening relations with Latin American countries and helping organize the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Foreign Policy magazine has called Amorim the “world’s best foreign minister” (Defense News).

Celso Amorim said he plans closer links with Unasur (Union of South American Nations) and Africa to ensure the South Atlantic turns into a peace zone free of weapons of mass destruction (Mercopress).

A Brazilian retired general and former commander of UN forces in Haiti warned the new Defence minister Celso Amorim to avoid giving the Armed Forces command a ‘left-wing ideological imprint’ (MercoPress).

Celso Amorim is considering a withdrawal of peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Amorim, the former Foreign Minister made two visits to Haiti and believes that the Brazilian mission comes to an end with the strengthening of democracy and economic growth (Defend Haiti).



Brazilian police have arrested seven people and seized more than 2,600 animals in a crackdown on the illegal trafficking of wild animals. A news release from the federal environmental agency says the suspects operated a website to sell animals captured in the wild or bred illegally (Washington Post).


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