News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on September 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

POLITICS

A woman is president in booming, macho Brazil. And she’s calling all the shots. Dont mess with Dilma (Newsweek)!

The lower house of Congress has approved the creation of a Truth Commission charged with investigating human rights abuses, including those committed during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship (New York Times).

The minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Aloizio Mercadante, said that technology and innovation are priorities in the Brasil Maior Plan, at a public hearing held by the Committee on Economic Affairs. He believes that the country will have to invest in those areas if it does not want to be a mere exporter of commodities, such as soybeans and orange juice (Federal Senate).

Brazil will extend a project, which offers financial aid to poor families, to reach 800,000 more families in the next two years, Social Development Minister Tereza Campello said. The Bolsa Familia program provides a monthly stipend to families with an income less than 140 reais (78 U.S. dollars) per capita per month (Xinhua).

CORRUPTION

Catholic bishops called for “a profound political reform” against corruption and strongly supported the popular protests that have erupted in the country following the disclosure of several scandals that have swept away four ministers and has reached the doorsteps of Congress (MercoPress).

Folha de Sao Paulo launched an online initiative to collect feedback from sensitive information and leaks for journal investigation, a Web site it dubbed “Folhaleaks” in direct reference to the widely known Wikileaks Web site founded by Julian Assange (MercoPress).

A total of 594 brooms representing Brazil’s 81 senators and 513 members of the Lower House have been planted in the famous Copacabana beach of Rio do Janeiro by a non government organization demanding for action against rampant corruption (MercoPress).

Corruption is often a subject when talking to foreign businessmen that want to do business in Brazil. This article at The Brazil Business will give some insight to the kind of corruption that never gets to the headlines of foreign press.

The United States and Brazil launched a transparency initiative for open government, reported the Epoch Times. Called the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the initiative includes 46 governments around the world and is an effort to support “national efforts to promote transparency, fight corruption, strengthen accountability, and empower citizens,” according a fact sheet from the White House (Knight Centre).

A reshuffled Cabinet in the first few months of a new administration isn’t usually cause for alarm. But President Dilma Rousseff has lost her chief of staff, four other Cabinet ministers, and dozens of government staffers since taking office in January — and the press is smelling blood. Newspapers like the Folha de Sao Paulo and its rival the Estado de Sao Paulo won’t leave the subject alone (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Brazil Weekly joins the dicussion on corruption in Brazil , but strives to leave the subject at your discretion:

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INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff has demanded a greater role for emerging nations in addressing the global economic crisis. “This crisis is too serious to be managed by a small group of countries,” Ms Rousseff said in an address to the UN General Assembly in New York. She reiterated Brazil’s desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council (BBC).

Read Dilma’s full speech at the UN here.

The international strengthening of the Portuguese language holds “strategic interest” to Brazil, said the director of External Relations of the Ministry of Culture, Marcelo Dantas, at a public hearing promoted by the Committee on Education, Culture and Sports. He warned for the risk of growing influence from English and French-speaking countries especially on Portuguese-speaking nations in Africa (Federal Senate).

The Dalai Lama has been snubbed by the Brazilian government during a tour of Latin America after China reacted furiously to talks he held with Mexico’s president (Telegraph).

President Dilma Rousseff seemed to signal that she would be less accommodating to dictators than her predecessor when she criticized Iran’s human rights record even before taking office in January. So far, the shift from former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been more style than substance, according to former Foreign Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia (Bloomberg).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil will hold off plans to purchase new fighter jets until at least 2012 as the government cuts spending to fight the global economic crisis, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said (Reuters).

The federal government intends to promote the “intensive use” of the Army in road construction works and road maintenance in Amazon regions which are next to neighboring countries. The intention was announced by the executive director of the National Department for Transport Infrastructure (Dnit), Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, during a public hearing by the Subcommittee on the Amazon and the Border Strip, linked to the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (Federal Senate).

The Brazilian government displayed this weekend thousands of troops with air support along the borders with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in a concerted effort to combat organized crime (MercoPress).

SCIENCE

Brazilian students are finally getting an incentive to see the world, thanks to a major government program that aims to award 75,000 scholarships to attend the world’s top universities. Available only to Brazilians studying subjects of strategic national importance, like engineering, they reflect “an effort by the government to take a quantum leap in the formation of a scientific and technological elite,” says Aloizio Mercadante, Brazil’s Science and Technology Minister (Time).

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