News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on January 27, 2012 at 11:44 am


Render of a building for the Casa das Caldeiras redevelopment project in the Perdizes area in Sao Paulo (Skyscrapercity).


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Sergio Mendes, who scored an Oscar nomination for his song “Real In Rio,” says the animated film will most likely have a sequel. Mendes said “Rio” director Carlos Saldanha may want to tie the sequel to the 2014 World Cup, which will take place in Brazil (Washington Post).


The Press Freedom Index 2011 shows Brazil plunging 41 places to 99th because the high level of violence resulted in the deaths of three journalists and bloggers (Press Freedom Index).


Since Dilma Rousseff was elected president in late 2010, there have been signs of a shift in the government’s attitude toward the Amazon. A provisional measure now allows the president to decrease the lands already created for conservation. The government is granting more flexibility for large infrastructure projects during the environmental licensing process. And a proposal would give Brazil’s Congress veto power over the recognition of indigenous territories (New York Times).


On December 7, 1987, Brasilia was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture – Unesco. Today there are 936 properties worldwide considered “great landmarks… the cultural or natural heritage of all mankind… having outstanding universal value.” The government of the Distrito Federal, where Brasilia is located, has designated this year a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event (“Ano da Valorização de Brasília como Patrimônio Cultural da Humanidade”) (Agencia Brasil).


While most of the world considers Carnival synonymous with Rio’s Sambódromo shows, there are celebrations happening all across Brazil, notably in São Paulo and Salvador. The capital city of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Recife, is known to have perhaps the most democratic Carnival in the country (The Rio Times).


Rescuers recovered four bodies from the rubble of three buildings that collapsed in downtown Rio, highlighting the creaky infrastructure of the city that will host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The buildings, one 20 floors high, collapsed on Wednesday night in a cloud of dust behind the city’s 100-year-old Belle Epoque-style Municipal Theater (Reuters).

Approximately 5,800 municipal vans are registered in the city of Rio, and there are thought to be hundreds if not thousands more operating illegally. Safety regulations appear loose and seldom enforced according to recent reports, but they serve a vital role in city transportation system, especially to some of the outer communities (The Rio Times).

Construction on Superporto do Açu has been underway since 2007 and is reported to be a US$1.6 billion project, originally planned to come online in 2012. The massive port and industrial complex being built by LLX – the logistics subsidiary of Eicke Batista’s EBX which is building the port 250 miles north of Rio – is also drawling controversy on how it is affecting the community in São João da Barra (The Rio Times).

The news that three people had been arrested for public urination at a pre-Carnival bloco in Copacabana last Friday was met with mixed feelings by Rio residents. On the one hand it showed that the city is taking action to deal with general public disorder that goes along with the city’s “Street Carnival” blocos events in recent years (The Rio Times).

On 27 February the most complete retrospective exhibitions by the Campana brothers is beginning at CCBB Rio. The exhibition, with 200 works (from 1989 to 2009), was held at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, a German museum, where it was open until February 2010. It has been through European and Brazilian museums and finally it is the carioca’s turn (Rio Official Guide).

Brazil plans to build Christ the Redeemer replica statue in London. The statue – yet to get planning permission – would mark the moment London hands the Olympic mantle to Rio de Janeiro (The Guardian).

The illegal gambling game in Brazil known as jogo do bicho, or the animal game, occupies an important, if shady, place in popular culture. In the run-up to Carnival in February, Rio de Janeiro police have been targeting alleged gambling chiefs in an operation called Dedo de Deus, or Finger of God (BBC).


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Criticism is growing of a Brazilian police operation to clear some 6,000 people from an illegal settlement in Sao Paulo state. Officers moved in to retake the land for its private owners. Authorities say the police action was justified and within the law. Amnesty International said the eviction violated “a raft of international standards” and urged officials to urgently address the needs of the families left homeless (BBC).

São Paulo, city of skyscrapers and urban canyons, isn’t exactly famous for its historic buildings. But look between the glass-and-steel high-rises and you’ll discover splashes of history, encapsulated in a small but rewarding set of churches, houses, and museums (Time Out Sao Paulo).


Santa Catarina is one of three states in Brazil’s Região Sul (South Region), along with Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. It is a place of contrasts, boasting beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and quaint cities that are home to southern Brazil’s melting pot of European migration (The Rio Times).


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