News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on February 24, 2012 at 10:46 am


Render of Box298 commercial building for Vila Madalena, Sao Paulo, designed by Idea!Zarvos.


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Former Brazilian star Bebeto has been selected as a member of Brazil’s World Cup national organizing committee (AFP).


Brazilian port authorities are planning a new grains port in the Amazon region, a terminal designed to become the country’s largest soybean export center and to slash transportation costs for farmers. The proposed 18 million-tonne-a-year Port of Outeiro would be built near Belem, the largest city in Brazil’s Amazon region. It is designed to surpass the 16.8 million tonnes grains capacity of the Port of Santos, and the 14.8 million tonnes capacity of the Port of Paranagua (Reuters).

In recent years, Brazil has been at the frontline of a battle to curb deforestation, but in the 1980s it saw the land as fertile for development. The reversal in policy has angered some of the early pioneers who turned forest into farmland (BBC).

The worst rains in over five years have caused the Acre River to rise to its second highest level in history resulting in severe damage in the state of Acre. The Acre River is at 17.41 meters, putting it over three meters above its flooding level (the highest level ever was in 1997 when it reached 17.66 meters). The flooding has now had a negative impact on over 60,000 people, leaving at least 7,000 homeless (Agencia Brasil).


Brasília might host the Global Water Forum in 2018. The city’s candidacy to the event was supported by the chairman of the Committee on Environment, Consumer Defense, Auditing and Control, senator Rodrigo Rollemberg (PSB-DF), during a debate at the committee, about the forum’s 6th edition, to be held in March, in France (Federal Senate).

People in Rio and São Paulo, along with thousands of tourists from all over the world, cannot be blamed for not knowing anything about carnival in Brasilia. It does sort of pale in comparison to what happens in the country’s twos largest cities. Brasilia’s carnival does have a unique moment: it is always kicked off by the marching band known as “Pacotão” (Agencia Brasil).


Northeast Brazil has its own distinct Carnaval. Traditions stretching back to the 1600s are on display as the poorer region emerges from the shadows of such dominant cities as Rio and Sao Paulo (LA Times).


An oil-led economic boom, hosting of the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and a plunge in violent crime are making Rio de Janeiro, called Cidade Maravilhosa, feel like the “Marvellous City” for the first time in decades (Reuters).

Luiz Carlos Prestes Filho, superintendent of the Department of Economic Development in the state of Rio de Janeiro, estimates that this year’s festival, which ended this week, attracted 850,000 visitors to the state and contributed $628 million to its economy — a 12 percent increase over last year. Brazil’s government puts the tourism income for the whole country at $3.2 billion (Bloomberg).

Federal Police arrested eleven people including an ex-commander of the Police Pacification Unit (UPP), accused of involvement in drug trafficking in Morro de São Carlos, a favela in Estácio, Zona Norte (North Zone). According to the Federal Police (PF), ex-commander captain Adjaldo Luiz Piedade, is accused of receiving approximately R$15,000 each week for a period of about six months (The Rio Times).

In a competition that was as spectacularly contested as ever, Zona Norte (North Zone) samba school, Unidos da Tijuca, has been named the winner of Rio’s Carnival of 2012 with 299.9 points. Pulling itself up from a close second to Beija-Flor in last year’s competition, Tijuca’s homage to Luiz Gonzaga – one of Brazil’s most important and inventive popular musicians from the last century – won the hearts and minds of this year’s judges (The Rio Times).

For decades, restaurants and bars spread seemingly unchecked into street-side space, forming an important part of Rio’s cityscape and a vital revenue stream for their owners. But it now looks like the local Prefeitura has decided to enforce strict licensing laws surrounding the application for external seating zones (The Rio Times).

The head of security and the chief commercial officer for the 2016 Rio Olympic committee have both quit. Security director Luiz Fernando Correa stepped down because of an investigation into fraud allegations by the public prosecutor’s office. Chief commercial officer Flavio Pestana left for undisclosed personal reasons. Chief executive officer Leonardo Gryner will temporarily take over Pestana’s duties until a replacement is hired (Washington Post).

Scientists in Brazil announced Tuesday they’ve discovered rock engravings that could be up to 12,000 years old, meaning people may have settled the Americas up to 4,000 years earlier than previously thought (US News).


Criolo, aka Kleber Gomes, the megastar of the megacities, lends voice to millions struggling in the favela and beyond (The Guardian).

Street art’s star has risen and risen in São Paulo, to the point that it has even become, for some art lovers and collectors, a reason for visiting the city at all. Art galleries like Choque Cultural and Galeria Concreto have made a speciality of the genre, and no trip to São Paulo would be complete without a stroll through the brightly coloured gallery-in-the-wild that is Vila Madalena’s Beco do Batman alleyway. But street-art’s thoroughly paulistano sub-genre, pichação – a style of graffiti tagging that’s unique to São Paulo – is more polemical (Time Out Sao Paulo).

The São Paulo sambadrome became a war zone during the vote counting of the 2012 Carnival. There was violence, bedlam and even a float was burned. Five people were arrested (Folha).


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