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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Military to investigate human rights crimes

April 4, 2014

Maria Lopez Conde – The Rio Times, 4/1/2014

Brazil’s Armed Forces will investigate human rights violations practiced in military units during the dictatorship that led the country between 1964 and 1985, as announced by the coordinator of the National Truth Commission, Pedro Dallari yesterday, April 1st. The news came on the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état that established a military dictatorship that would rule Brazil for over twenty years.

In a statement, the Commission announced that Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, called Dallari to inform him that Brazilian Armed Forces, comprised of the Navy, Army and Air Force, would create inquiry commissions to investigate the use of military installations for human rights violations, such as torture of political dissidents.

Back in February, Dallari, on behalf of the Commission, which is tasked with promoting national reconciliation after the dictatorship, had asked that the Defense Minister “help identify the structures of the places, the institutions and circumstances related to the practice of human rights violations” so that the “Brazilian society could have access to an extensive and accurate informative framework” of the crimes practiced by the government between 1964 and 1985.

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The flow of drugs and blood in the Amazon tri-border region

April 4, 2014

Charles Parkinson – In Sight Crime, 4/4/2014

Deep in the Amazon, where ColombiaBrazil and Peru meet, the once crime saturated Colombian city of Leticia enjoys relative tranquility, while Brazilian neighbor Tabatinga is rocked by drug trade violence.

The tri-border region’s geographical position leaves it at the heart of a booming drug trade facilitated by porous borders, a fluid population and disparate resources between the three nations.

Across the Amazon River from Leticia, drug traffickers take advantage of Peru’s inadequate state presence to grow and process coca. Drugs flow from the area into regional and international markets, with Brazil’s Amazon capital, Manaus, a key transit point situated a three day riverboat ride from the tri-border area. The drugs also fuel local micro-trafficking, with sales concentrated in poor border communities.

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Brazil jury: 15 police guilty in prison killings

April 4, 2014

Stan Lehman – The Associated Press, 4/3/2014

Fifteen Brazilian police officers were found guilty on Wednesday of killing four inmates during a 1992 riot at Sao Paulo’s Carandiru prison. Each was sentenced to 48 years in prison, although no one can serve more than 30 years under Brazilian law.

It was the fourth and last trial involving what has been dubbed the Carandiru massacre, in which 111 prisoners died at the since-closed prison.

In April of last year, 23 officers were found guilty of killing 13 inmates and sentenced to prison terms of 156 years each.

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The dictatorship’s long shadow

April 1, 2014

Kersten Knipp & Marina Estarque – Deutsche Welle, 3/30/2014

Her father was worried. For days, there was no word from his daughter, even though she was usually very reliable when it came to staying in touch with her parents. But the father’s concerns grew, and in the end his worst fears were confirmed: His daughter had been kidnapped and presumably killed – on the orders of the military, which ruled the country.

In 2011, Brazilian writer Bernardo Kucinski published his novel “K.” In it, he writes about the trauma many Brazilians suffered during the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985: the unexplained loss of one or even more relatives. Around 160,000 Brazilians “disappeared” during the dictatorship. A total of 486 people are known to have been murdered. About 100,000 people were jailed for political reasons, and at least 50,000 were tortured.

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“Zero tolerance for violence against women,” declares President Dilma on Twitter after IPEA report

March 28, 2014

Felipe Tau- Estado de S. Paulo, 3/28/2014

President Dilma Rousseff commented on a study released by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) about the perception of Brazilians on violence and discrimination against women. A day after the research was published, showing that 65% percent of those interviewed believe abuse against women using short clothes is acceptable, the President categorically stated, “zero tolerance towards women #Respect.”

Read article in Portuguese here. 


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