News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on July 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

POLITICS

The 2012 Brazilian municipal elections will not take place until October but with rifts between staunch allies, and political rivals forging unexpected deals, this year’s elections have already taken on national significance. There are over 5,566 municipalities in Brazil where voting will determine mayors, deputy mayors and city councilors – and the race has started (The Rio Times).

President Dilma Rousseff announced a government investment plan of some 7 billion reais (3.5 billion U.S. dollars) to improve transportation infrastructure in mid-size towns. The stimulus measure will be used to finance transportation projects carried out by municipal or state governments. Some 75 cities with a population of 250,000 to 700,000 will be eligible for the funds (Xinhua).

Leonardo Gomes Pereira, the chief financial officer of Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas was nominated to head the country’s securities regulator, in an unexpected pick outside the institution. Finance Minister Guido Mantega nominated Pereira to head the regulator, the CVM (MercoPress).

An imminent Supreme Court trial of former government and ruling-party officials is reviving Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal in two decades, with the potential to damage not only the Workers’ Party, but also popular ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The trial, set to begin Aug. 2, stems from allegations, first aired in 2005, that Mr. da Silva’s powerful chief-of-staff José Dirceu offered monthly bribes, equal in some cases to more than $10,000, to members of Congress in exchange for their votes (Wall Street Journal).

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INTERNATIONAL

Former Brazilian president Fernando Enrique Cardoso said that his country is rapidly losing influence in South America to Venezuela, following on remarks about the suspension of Paraguay from Mercosur (MercoPress).

Brazil is considering imposing punishing trade measures on the US for flooding the global market with heavily subsidised cotton (The Guardian).

The current search for new trading partners in unexpected geographic areas demonstrates the extent to which Brazil has changed its foreign policy the last few years. With an agenda that has focused primarily on global business performance, the Middle East has emerged as a key area for Brazilians who want to expand the consumer market of their companies (Global Voices).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

President Dilma Rousseff is shopping for a new presidential jet and is said to be talking to Boeing about buying one. Rousseff is seeking a larger plane more consistent with Brazil’s growing economic and geopolitical might and is evaluating the purchase of a Boeing 747 similar to Air Force One, the aircraft used by the president of the United States (Reuters).

Meanwhile U.S. aerospace company Boeing Co has offered to transfer more technology to Brazil if the government upgraded its Air Force fighter fleet with the firm’s F-18 Super Hornet jet (Reuters).

The Senate’s Plenary approved the Chamber’s Bill 64/20212, which authorizes the creation of the public company Amazonia Azul Defense Technologies (Amazul). The main goal of the company is to develop the Brazilian nuclear sector, especially the part related to the construction of a submarine propeller moved by nuclear energy (Federal Senate).

EDUCATION

Launched in December 2011, the Science Without Frontiers Program presents a positive balance for Brazil. More than 6,700 Brazilian students are already overseas, in universities of excellence, as scholarship students for the program. In September, over 12,000 students go overseas to do a one-year of undergraduate studies in institutions from 12 countries: Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Korea, Spain, United States, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal and the UK (Portal Brasil).

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SOCIAL

The homicide rate for Brazilian young people under age 19 shot up 346 percent over the past three decades, according to research published by the Latin American School of Social Sciences (Washinghton Post).

Brazil’s prison crisis is now the midwife of some inventive programmes to boost early release (The Guardian).

C Class now represents 54% of the Brazilian population. The effects of the change are visible: advertising has changed its focus and now does not restrict itself to showing just the rich and white: companies that before only targeted the super rich AAA Class, can now think of nothing but selling to the new middle class. Sellers are being trained to avoid judging people by their appearance –a common habit in a Brazil with a history of stark divides among the classes (Folha).

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