Brazil World Cup host city police back to work bu number of slaying people climbs to 39

April 22, 2014

Merco Press News, 4/22/2014

Union and official sources said officers were back at work after last week’s strike, which was marked by looting, robberies and the slaying of at least 39 people, according to official numbers.

But local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Sunday that an extra 16 homicides took place during the night from Friday to Saturday and then three more on Sunday, raising the death toll related to the police strike to 58 people and raising security concerns ahead of the soccer World Cup.

Military police from the state of Bahia went on strike a week ago to demand pay raises and a “new model to manage public security.” The police force eventually lifted the measure on Thursday after a meeting between union leaders and state authorities, but the two-day strike and the violence that followed sparked concerns as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup in less than two months.

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Brazil turns to drones to protect Amazon

April 21, 2014

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 4/21/2014

Brazilian municipalities are turning to drones as they prepare to implement a tough new law designed to save the Amazon from total deforestation.

Municipal authorities in the Amazon region, the biggest of which covers double the size of Scotland, are looking to use drones to map properties and monitor whether farmers and others are maintaining the minimum of forest cover required under the new forest code.

“With the acquisition of a drone, we would have a better result, we would have a panoramic view of how this process of recuperation is progressing,” said Gercilene Meira, a specialist with the state environmental secretariat in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in Mato Grosso state. “We have done some tests using balloons but it was not sufficient.”

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Easter deaths spark Brazil protests near Rio

April 21, 2014

BBC, 4/19/2014

Residents of a poor neighbourhood near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have set fire to vehicles in protest at the deaths of two people in incidents involving the police.

One of the victims was outside a church with his family on Good Friday when he was hit by a stray bullet.

He was caught up in a shootout between police and suspected drug dealers.

Amnesty International says some 2,000 people die every year in Brazil in careless and violent police actions.

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Healing the scars of Brazil’s domestic violence victims

April 21, 2014

Marina Estarque – Deutsche Welle, 4/21/2014

The beatings and the cuts are burnt into Jaqueline Santos Oliveira’s skin. Her scars remind her of the violence she experienced at the hands of her partner. But that’s not the end of the trauma: the stigma associated with her scars continue to haunt her in public. People look at her strangely, she says.

According to figures from the authorities, every second Brazilian woman has been subject to domestic violence in their lifetime. In 70 percent of the cases the violence comes from the husbands or partners of the victims.

In Sao Paulo, the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery (SBCP) has now teamed up with the non-governmental organization “The Bridge” to offer victims of domestic violence an opportunity to receive free plastic surgery. Jaqueline Santos Oliveira and Roseneide Fernandes da Silva were two of the first women to receive treatment under the plan.

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Murders soar in Brazil World Cup city during police strike

April 18, 2014

Silvio Cascione – Reuters, 4/17/2014

A police strike ended on Thursday after unleashing a surge in violent crime in Brazil‘s third-largest city just two months before it is due to welcome hordes of football fans for the World Cup, authorities said.

At least 39 homicides were committed during the two-day strike in and around the north-eastern city of Salvador that added to fears about Brazil’s ability to ensure public safety during the global football tournament.

Violence swept the city after state police went on strike on Tuesday night to demand better pay and other benefits, prompting the federal government to dispatch troops to restore order in Salvador and nearby towns.

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Brazil: a role model for development?

April 17, 2014

Armando Barrientos & Ed Amann – The Guardian, 4/17/2014

Brazil isn’t getting the best press at the moment, with ongoing problems with the construction of the World Cup stadiums and protests about public services. Recently economic growth in the country has slowed, with some commentators arguing the recent government response sounds “the death knell for Brazil’s economic strategy“.

It’s remarkable how far and fast Brazil has fallen from grace. Only a couple of years ago, the IMF and others were lauding the country for its resilience to the global financial crisis and its sound economic management.

We need to get this into perspective, because behind the hyperbole, there’s much for other developing countries to learn from Brazil’s recent experiences. Countries such as Zambia, which has seen positive growth rates that haven’t translated into poverty reduction, or Nigeria, which has seen inequality dramatically widen over the past 20 years.

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Army tries to win over residents of Rio’s favelas

April 7, 2014

Marco Antonio Martins & Bruno Fanti – Folha de S. Paulo, 4/7/2014

Part of the success or failure of the occupation by the armed forces of the Complexo da Maré, in Rio’s north end, is its ability to win over the community. It’s what the military began trying to do three hours after its occupation of the 15 favelas of Maré.

Yesterday, there was a moment of tension between the military and residents after a young man was beaten by others and the military was accused of doing nothing.

Cláudio Brum dos Reis, 22, a student and resident of Nova Holanda, went to watch a game in Baixa do Sapateiro. The favelas were ruled by different factions. According to relatives, Reis was attacked by a group of teenagers and thrown in the ditch that divides the communities.

Occupying Brazil

April 7, 2014

Al Jazeera - 4/6/2014

In the canyons of Brazil’s largest city there are tens of thousands being left in the wake of the country’s economic riptide.

Sao Paulo has outstripped its capacity for affordable housing and yet there are hundreds of abandoned buildings that stand empty.

Facing the dire prospect of being forced into the streets by rising rents and living in the ever-expanding and hazardous favelas, there is an occupation movement taking responsibility for its own future. They seize abandoned buildings for the low-wage workers who have few options except to forcibly occupy them. They then have to live with the uncertainty that they could be removed either by the state or the building’s owner.

Attitudes on sex in Brazil tested

April 7, 2014

Loretta Chao – Wall Street Journal, 4/4/2014

In Brazil, where women in skimpy bikinis and carnival costumes are a common sight, one image of a half-naked female is drawing rare nationwide attention.

A widely distributed photo of a topless journalist with the words “I don’t deserve to be raped” painted on her body in Portuguese has polarized the country and underscored the contradiction between Brazil’s hyper-sexualized image and its lesser-known conservative underpinnings.

The journalist, 28-year-old Nana Queiroz, took the picture as part of a campaign to raise awareness over violence against women, which began after a government research agency said recently that 65% of respondents to a national survey agreed that women showing too much of their bodies deserve to be attacked.

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