News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on December 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Roof Garden Bela Cintra residential complex for Sao Paulo (Skyscrapercity).

ARTS

Brazil has been a powerhouse in the art world for more than a decade, and now its booming economy is putting its artists and collectors on the global map. Both will be making their mark during the 10th annual Art Basel Miami Beach festival and its satellite events this week (Washington Post).

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FIFA WORLD CUP

Brazil announced a strategy that will help increase its security during the 2014 World Cup. The newly created Special Secretariat for Large Events looks to identify Hooligans in foreign countries and prohibit their entrance into the country during the World Cup, reported the Folha de Sao Paulo (Xinhua).

Listen to any Brazilian official talking about their country hosting the 2014 World Cup, and the word they all use is “legacy”. And they say it all the time. Speaking at the Soccerex global business industry convention in Rio de Janeiro, Marcia Lins, the state’s Sport and Leisure Secretary, says: “This is about legacy… it really is a new Rio, a paradigm shift, we are not going to let this opportunity go by.” Put simply, Brazilian authorities are obsessed that the tournament will have a positive, lasting effect on the country (BBC).

The Brazilian media is full of speculation that the current president of the country’s Football Federation, (CBF) Ricardo Teixeira has started to play his cards with the ultimate goal of becoming FIFA chief in 2015 (MercoPress).

AMAZON

The Brazilian Amazon is now home to 24m people, many of them settlers who trekked those roads in the 1960s and 1970s, lured by a government promise that those who farmed “unproductive” land could keep it. Chaotic or corrupt land registries left some without secure title. Rubber-tappers, loggers, miners and charcoal-burners came too. The most recent arrivals are 20,000 construction workers building dams on the Madeira and Xingu rivers to provide electricity to Brazil’s populous south. They have attracted some 80,000 camp-followers, many of whom squat on supposedly protected land (The Economist).

PARA

The state of Pará occupies a vast and woefully lawless swathe of the Amazon, forming the eastern curve of the “arc of deforestation”. On December 11th its 4.8m voters will decide whether to split Pará into three, creating two new states. Carajás, with a quarter of the territory and the world’s biggest iron-ore mine, would have in Marabá potentially Brazil’s most violent state capital with 130 murders a year per 100,000 people. Tapajós, occupying three-fifths of the current state, would be 90% forest, with just 1.2m people; it could become a loggers’ paradise, or, with luck, a state-sized national park. The rump of Pará would be limited to the area around Belém, with two-thirds of the population and most of the economic activity (The Economist).

RIO

A ferry carrying over 900 people crashed into a dock near the Praça Quinze (XV Square) pier in Rio de Janeiro.  At least 65 on board were hospitalized, but there were no reported deaths. The Transportation Regulation Agency (Agetransp) and the Port Authority have opened an investigation into the cause of the accident (The Rio Times).

Living in Rio’s favelas has been a badge of honor for those gringos with the salt for living amongst well-armed traficantes, and willing to trade-off certain amenities and security for the much lower rents. Now, with the famous Zona Sul (South Zone) favelas Rocinha and Vidigal recently occupied by pacification forces, and the subsequent urban planning and legalization of property, many are anticipating big changes in the real estate market (The Rio Times).

Rio’s summer heat begs for loose clothing, a cool breeze and the ingestion of a lot of liquid. Why not make the best of your time in this marvellous city by trying different types of beer while enjoying Rio’s natural beauty and many options for entertainment? Part of the menu in bars and restaurants all over town is devoted to wonderful summer drink options, such as ice cold blondes (lager according to local lingo), Brazilian and international brands, and beer-based cocktails (Rio Official Guide).

For those visiting the Cidade Maravilhosa and looking for exclusive luxury accommodations, a sweeping, renovated estate in the charming hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa may be the perfect hideaway. Perched on one of the area’s highest points, the Santa Teresa Hotel attracts guests from around the globe with spectacular views, five star accommodations, and unique Brazilian-style comfort (The Rio Times).

Getting to Rio from Europe or the Middle East is now easier than ever. Two of the world’s greatest cities, Dubai and Amsterdam, now have a daily connection to Rio through KLM (Air France group) and Air Emirates flights. Both flights are nonstop (Rio Official Guide).

SAO PAULO

With an oil leak off the Brazilian coast and tense negotiations over state oil royalties, the deep sea “pre-salt” oil discoveries have shown that it is not just the state of Rio de Janeiro that will have rewards and consequences. Although the spotlight has been on Rio, the states of São Paulo and Espírito Santo are important oil producing areas as well – indeed, SP’s five large refineries account for 43 percent of Brazil’s oil refining capacity (The Rio Times).

SOUTH

Carnaval in Florianópolis -the “Isle of Magic”- and its parade of escolas de samba along the Passarela Nego Querido had been since 1989, and until this year, a smaller version of the Río de Janeiro Carnaval (only five samba schools participate), with themes based around the country’s history, culture and natural beauty, and the idiosyncrasy of the people of Brazil. But something different happened in 2011 (Floripa Times).

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