News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on June 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

POLITICS

Brazil’s political establishment is being shaken by a claim that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the country’s most influential contemporary political leader, put pressure on a high court judge to delay a trial over a vote-buying scandal involving high-ranking members of the governing Workers Party (The New York Times).

Forest Code: the president’s effort to balance the claims of forests and farms has satisfied few. An opportunity to promote sustainable farming may be missed (The Economist).

As environmentalists around the world come to grips with President Dilma Rousseff’s last-minute veto of parts of the country’s revised environmental protection laws, the diplomat’s answer sheds light on the challenge of regulating the region from the Brazilian point of view. For many outside the country, the Amazon is the primeval paradise idealized in James Cameron’s film Avatar. For many in Brazil, it’s the Wild West: a dangerous, hostile place, where the gun is the law and the government has limited control (Bloomberg).

A pair of women’s underwear that fell out of a Brazilian legislator’s briefcase on the floor of Congress two weeks ago has been incinerated after no one stepped forward to claim them (Reuters).

Brazil’s central bank created a post on its board to improve transparency and communications two weeks after President Alexandre Tombini said it’s increasingly important for central banks to provide “forward guidance” to the market (MercoPress).

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INTERNATIONAL

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said that hard-won economic gains over the past decade have given Brazil enough clout in global commerce and diplomacy for the country to remain a player even as its once-booming economy sputters because of uncertainty in Europe, slowing growth in China, and a decline in prices of commodity exports (Reuters).

A prominent Bolivian opposition politician has taken refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in La Paz, claiming that he is being persecuted by the administration of President Evo Morales for accusing government officials of human rights abuses, drug trafficking and corruption (The New York Times).

A growing number of foreigners are flocking to Brazil. The number of work visas granted jumped 26 percent last year to 70,524, the highest since at least 2005, led by applicants from the U.S., Labor Ministry statistics show. Brazil added 2 million jobs in 2011, half in the services industry, even as economic growth slowed to 2.7 percent from 7.5 percent in 2010 (Bloomberg).

Brazilian authorities promised to hold a sustainable, accessible and secure U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The sustainability initiatives for the meeting will feature waste sorting and biofuel generators, and exposition on several countries’ successful initiatives in sustainable development will also be held, said Laudemar Aguiar, national secretary of the Brazilian government’s Organization Committee for Rio+20 (Xinhua).

The air travel of conference participants, which is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from Rio+20, will not be compensated by the committee created by the Brazilian government for the event. According to the committee, it will be up to each country to decide if they will neutralize the emissions generated by air travel of its delegation (Folha).

Spain’s King Juan Carlos will be travelling to Brazil and Chile in the first week of June to strengthen ties with two strategic associates and in preparation of the Ibero-American summit to take place in Cadiz. The King will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo and a business delegation (MercoPress).

The BNDES and the Bradesco S/A Bank signed the first contract for financing exports that can be used for the sale of capital goods manufactured in Brazil to African countries.  The line of credit, up to US$ 200 million, will be transferred by Bradesco’s international agencies and utilized to finance importers of Brazilian machinery and equipment. In addition to Africa, exports to Latin America will also be financed (BNDES).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Defense Minister Celso Amorim said the country’s growing need to protect its borders, the Amazon rainforest, and massive offshore oil discoveries would lead it to gradually increase defense spending by a quarter to reach roughly 2 percent of Brazil’s economy (Reuters).

Brazil will deploy 15,000 security forces for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held here in June, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said (Xinhua).

Sweden’s premier defense and security company, Saab, is strengthening its relationship with a Brazilian integrator of aero-structures. Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen jet fighter that has partnered in the past with the company Akaer, said it is now financially investing in the company (MercoPress).

Embraer S.A. and Telecomunicações Brasileiras S.A. (Telebras) signed a shareholder agreement to form Visiona Tecnologia Espacial S.A., whose capital will belong 51% to Embraer and 49% to Telebras. Initially, Visiona will focus on the Brazilian Geosynchronous Satellite, in line with a Memorandum of Intent announced in November 2011. The Brazilian Geosynchronous Satellite will serve the satellite communications needs of the Federal Government, including the National Broadband Program and a wide range of strategic defense transmissions (Embraer).

SOCIAL

The Brazilian government has a new definition for the Brazilian middle class. A commission of specialists at the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (“SAE”), housed in the presidency, using family income as the basic metric, defines the new middle class as individuals living in a family unit with per capita monthly income between R$291 and R$1,091 (Agencia Brasil).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS


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