News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on January 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

POLITICS

After a surprisingly good start, President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity is bound to be tested in 2012, writes analyst Paulo Sotero. Dilma Rousseff’s first year in office was marked by two sets of bad news: one economic, the other ethical (BBC).

Manuela D’Avila, a two-time state legislator who is leading the mayoral race in Porto Alegre, Brazil’s tenth largest city, is among of an unprecedented number of women running for municipal offices in 2012 elections (Washington Post).

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INTERNATIONAL

Rousseff’s position on Syria has come under heavy criticism. Democratic countries like Brazil “shouldn’t sit by and watch as Syria implodes,” Human Rights Watch has declared. “Their efforts at private dialogue have achieved nothing, and hundreds more Syrians have died in the meantime.” But to suggest that her stance is hypocritical or belies her democratic convictions is to miss her point (The New York Times).

Brazil’s foreign policy agenda in 2012 will involve maintaining and possibly deepening relations with key partners, such as China, the U.S. and the EU; regional countries such as Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia; member states of organizations such as Mercosur and BRICS, and also Lusophone nations such as Portugal and Angola (The Rio Times).

The northwestern Brazilian city of Brasileia in Acre State reported that it allowed in 500 more illegal Haitian immigrants during the final 48 hours of 2011. The arrival coincided with rumors that Brazil was mulling a limit on the number of Haitians who were crossing the Amazonian borders to the South American nation in the new year (Xinhua).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer will sell 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force, in a firm-fixed price delivery order contract worth $355 million (Reuters).

BAE Systems has signed a deal with the Brazilian Navy to supply it with three patrol vessels. The contract is worth £133m. The ocean patrol vessels are already built, having been ordered by the government of Trinidad and Tobago in a contract which was terminated in 2010. The new agreement with Brazil will allow five vessels of the same class to be made under licence there (BBC).

Embraer Defense and Security signed a partnership contract with OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal and EEA – Empresa de Engenharia Aeronáutica for the KC-390 military airlifter and aerial refueling jet program. According to this agreement, Portugal, through EEA, will develop the engineering project for the KC-390’s components, which will be manufactured by Embraer subsidiary OGMA (Embraer).

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SOCIAL

Some 11.42 million Brazilians are living in slums, about 6 percent of the population, a report released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said. The report shows that the percentage of Brazilians who live in shantytowns, often in precarious conditions, almost doubled in the past 20 years (Xinhua).

A total of 2,270 workers in Brazil were rescued from “slave-like” conditions in 2011, the government says. An official “dirty list” of employers using slave labour was extended to include 294 companies and individuals. It is the highest number since officials began compiling the list in 2004 (BBC).

Demographers were astonished that Brazil’s fertility rate fell almost uniformly from cosmopolitan Sao Paulo, with its tiny apartments and go-go economy, to Amazonian villages and the vast central farming belt (Washington Post).

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