News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on October 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the 13 floor Wave Ipanema residential complex for Rua Prudente de Morais, Ipanema district, Rio de Janeiro (Source).

CULTURE

President Dilma Rousseff opened this week in Brussels the Europalia Festival. The largest cultural event in Europe, Europalia will celebrate the Brazilian culture in Belgium and four other countries from October 2011 to January 2012. The europalia.brasil will include 18 exhibitions in 15 museums and cultural centers in Europe; 127 music presentations, 40 theatrical performances, 11 dance presentations, as well as lectures and conferences in literature, social sciences, arts, architecture and design (Portal Brasil).

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WORLD CUP

With fewer than a thousand days to go before Brazil 2014, the 20th World Cup, there is a standoff between two heavyweights — Dilma Rousseff and Sepp Blatter, the presidents, respectively, of Brazil and FIFA. At the heart of the dispute are the problems of staging the World Cup in a developing economy. For FIFA, the World Cup is low-risk — it makes its money from the sale of TV rights. Meanwhile, it makes all sorts of demands on the host nation, and in a country such as Brazil there are many competing claims on the public purse (ESPN).

President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke met privately in Belgium. Rouseff is in Belgium for Tuesday’s European Union summit. Government spokeswoman Lais Garcia said it was the first meeting between the two and both sides agree they need to communicate better (Washington Post).

The Brazilian government says authorities will have an efficient security plan in place for the 2014 World Cup. Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardoso said in an interview with Brazilian radio stations that “the 2014 World Cup will be a very safe event” (Washington Post).

DIASPORA

A sizeable contingent of Brazilians live in the US and numbers range from 400.000 – 1.1 million. New York, LA and Florida are well known homes of Brazilian-Americans, but a large number have opted for Massachusetts. They come from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Espírito Santo. They live in Framingham, Somerville, Everett, and Stoughton. Some come through the “front door” (by plane), while others come through the back door (Mexico). Many work in the service industry: construction, food services, housecleaning, esthetics, and painting, while increasing numbers are starting to fill banking, teaching, and social work roles (BrazilinMass).

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AMAZON

The Brazilian government has revised upward the amount of Amazon rain forest destroyed last year. But it’s still the lowest figure since tracking began two decades ago (Washington Post).

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said that she expects an injunction blocking work on the Belo Monte to be overturned, allowing construction of the dam to move forward (Fox News).

Vale, the world’s second-largest mining company, may be unable to develop a massive new iron-ore mine in the Amazon after archeologically and environmentally sensitive caves were found at the site, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported (Reuters).

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RIO

Military Police Commander Mário Sérgio de Brito Duarte announced his resignation from the hospital where he was recovering from prostate surgery. Duarte, a former commander of BOPE and the Maré Battalion, was appointed by Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame in July 2009. Duarte is the third PM commander to resign in the past three years (The Rio Times).

There’s consensus in Rio de Janeiro that police corruption and criminality must be reduced. What we don’t know is if it’s possible to achieve this to a significant degree in an environment where politicians tomam posse (take possession [of office]) and then bring in trusted people to occupy cargos de confiança (posts of confidence) (Christian Science Monitor).

Even in a city as murderous as Rio de Janeiro, the killing of Judge Patricia Acioli on Aug. 12 was a shock.  The assassination continues to reverberate in the local media almost two months later, not only for its brutality, but because it was apparently carried out by corrupt police — highlighting a growing menace as Brazil tries to get its crime-ridden favelas under control (Bloomberg).

In the series of articles that listed apartments for rent in Rio within the R$3,500, R$2,500 and R$1,500 price range, THe Rio Times covered the most sought after neighborhoods of Zona Sul (South Zone). They now look at another option, albeit one that is more popular for younger travelers, students and those on a budget: apartment sharing (The Rio Times).

The Santa Teresa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro is perhaps one of the most popular locations for pousadas – a small bed & breakfast guesthouse or inn – due to both the number of large mansions suitable for refurbishment and the bohemian feel of the place. It is an area which is increasingly sought out by travelers who want to avoid mass tourism and feel part of the “real” Brazil (The Rio Times).

In the past decade, the homicide rate in Brazil’s signature city, Rio de Janeiro, has been cut nearly in half (Washington Post).

How about enjoying the weekend strolling along one of the most beautiful and secluded regions in the city? The quarters of Vargem Grande and Vargem Pequena, in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, are going to be the scene of the 3rd Festival of Art and Gastronomy at the Vargens, in October 22nd and 23rd, from 10am to 7pm, when the ateliers in the region are to be open for visitation and the restaurants are going to offer special dishes at very agreable prices. This part of the city that is today being modernized for the 2016 Olympic Games is well known by its exuberant nature and bucolic atmosphere, besides harboring one of the most renowned gastronomy centers in the city (Rio Official Guide).

Brazil Hospitality Group took over the management of the hotel complex in Sao Conrado, Rio de Janeiro. The hotel (which had operated under the “Intercontinental” brand until then) now opereates under its new name, Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro (BHG).

Festival do Rio, the largest film festival in Latin America, opened with about 350 movies from 60 countries to be screened in the annual fest (Xinhua).

Rock’n Roll and sustainability is a combination that proved successful at the Rock in Rio music festival, including when it came to transporting Coca-Cola products to the “City of Rock” where the event was staged, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro: the company used diesel produced from sugarcane by U.S. biotechnology company Amyris to fuel some of its trucks (Unica).

SAO PAULO

A hip street in Sao Paulo, Brazil, moves to a different beat. Clubs with live music have woken up Rua Augusta, where rich and poor mingle and party into the morning hours. But you probably won’t find samba here (Los Angeles Times).

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