News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on September 30, 2011 at 9:37 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the 30 floor Ville de France residential project for Santos (SP) (Skyscrapercity).

SOCCER

Brazil hopes that the 2014 World Cup will boost its image, but the country’s football federation is shrouded in sleaze (The Economist).

Four Brazilian cities are in the running to host the 2014 World Cup opener — Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Salvador. Sports Minister Orlando Silva says FIFA will announce the site next month. Rio is expected to host the final at Maracana Stadium (Washington Post).

AMAZON

A judge in Brazil has ordered a halt to construction of the Belo Monte multi-billion-dollar dam project in the Amazon region. Judge Carlos Castro Martins barred any work that would interfere with the natural flow of the Xingu river (BBC).

With a judge having ordered a halt to construction of the multi-billion-dollar Belo Monte dam project, The Guardian looks at what damage has been prevented in the Amazon region.

The Brazilian government launched, in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, the Brazil without Extreme Poverty Plan, for the north of the country. The plan includes the Environmental Conservation Support Program (the “Green Grant”), through which families in extreme poverty who are engaged in environmental conservation will receive R$ 300 a quarter. About 3,500 families will get the benefit in early October. The goal is to assist 18,000 families this year and reach 76,000 by 2014 (Portal Brasil).

Death in the Amazon: Brazil accused of protecting trees but not its people. Progress in reducing logging marred by brutal killings of environmental campaigners (The Guardian).

It is a project that should symbolize the transformational benefits of hosting the 2014 World Cup — a sleek new monorail train gliding above Brazil’s steamy Amazon city of Manaus. But Athayde Ribeiro da Costa has a different take on it. With just under 1,000 days before the first ball is kicked, the chief public prosecutor in Amazonas state sees the monorail as part of a trend of overspending and poor planning as Brazil rushes to make up for a slow start to its preparations (Reuters).

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BAHIA

Each year hundreds of sea turtles make the journey to lay their eggs on Bahia’s golden sands. It’s a risky business, from the time the turtles haul themselves out of the turquoise waters, to the time their offspring emerge from the sand ready for their first daunting dip in the South Atlantic (The Rio Times).

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NORDESTE

The steel and oil industries are still finding new frontiers for expansion. In Brazil’s impoverished semiarid Northeast the key is not, like in China, cheap labour power or abundant raw materials, but logistical advantages (IPS News).

Authorities are trying to extinguish a 60-year-old family feud they say has led to at least 95 murders. Police say they sent 130 lawmen into six rural communities in northeastern Brazil to make arrests meant to end the bloodshed involving the Oliveira, Veras and Suassuna families (Washington Post).

RIO

Rio’s government began an effort to wrest control from local drug gangs and install community police units (called U.P.P.’s) in its favelas. The result has been a significant decrease in crime, and an increase in tourism, as mom-and-pop restaurants, pousadas and music venues with gritty charm and unparalleled views are attracting visitors, Brazilians and foreigners alike, to the hillside communities (New York Times).

For the past two weeks, the Complexo da Maré, an agglomeration of sixteen favela communities in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone), has seen numerous firefights between police and drug traffickers, frightening residents and disrupting routines. This is the largest armed conflict in the region since last spring, when traffickers fleeing the pacification of the nearby Complexo do Alemão attempted to invade Maré (The Rio Times).

When it comes to purchasing property, almost anywhere in the world the proximity to water heavily influences the value. Rio de Janeiro’s real estate values are no exception, especially for the coveted views of the long stretches of Zona Sul (South Zone) beachfront (The Rio Times).

A senior Brazilian police officer has been arrested on suspicion of ordering the murder of a judge who investigated police corruption. Lt Col Claudio Luiz de Oliveira was detained in Rio de Janeiro, and arrest orders have been issues for at least six other policemen in the city (BBC).

The top commander of the military police in Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil has resigned amid a scandal that linked a top officer and other policemen to the assassination of a high-profile judge (MercoPress).

Police say gunmen invaded a hostel packed with tourists attending Rock in Rio, briefly detaining them before fleeing with their valuables (Washington Post).

Rio de Janeiro has the highest level of air pollution in Brazil, and is more polluted than many other world metropolis like New York, London and Paris, a World Health Organization (WHO) study said (Xinhua).

SAO PAULO

It’s vast, daunting, and far from safe. But after moving her family there, The Economist’s correspondent Helen Joyce has found that inside this teeming modern city is a village trying to get out (The Economist).

Officials have ordered one of Brazil’s biggest shopping malls to close due to risk of a methane gas explosion. The Sao Paulo State Environmental Protection Agency says the gas is seeping from the landfill on which the Center Norte mall was built in the 1980s (Washington Post).

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