September 2, 2014
Geoffrey Ramsey – The Pan-American Post, 09/01/2014
Marina Silva’s odds of winning Brazil’s presidential election in October are looking better and better. As the AP notes, Friday brought some bad news for President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign in the form of a one-two punch: not only is the economy now officially in a recession, but polls show support for Silva is continuing to rise.
According to the latest Datafolha survey, support for Silva increased by 13 points in two weeks, with the poll showing both her and Rousseff tied in the first round with 34 percent of the vote. In a second-round matchup, however, Datafolha found that Silva would beat the president by ten points, 50 to 40 percent.
Also on Friday, Silva released her official electoral platform, outlining her position on a range of issues in a 244-page document. The program contains a number of interesting proposals, like putting an end to re-election and gradually increasing healthcare spending to 10 percent of GDP. On economic issues, Silva promised to lower the country’s tax burden and give more autonomy to Brazil’s central bank, which has earned her support among the business community.
August 29, 2014
Douglas Main – Newsweek, 8/28/2014
The forests surrounding some of Brazil’s biggest cities, like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are home to a dizzying variety of life, with iconic species like golden lion tamarins (pictured above), maned three-toed sloths and red-tailed parrots. A total of 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are found in Brazil’s Atlantic forests, and nearly 200 types of birds live there and nowhere else.
But these forests are disappearing as farmers clear them for agriculture and as towns spread outward; less than 15 percent of the original forest cover remains.
The good news is that scientists have calculated that it would cost a relatively small amount to pay the area’s farmers to protect their own land by not developing it. By their estimate, it would cost Brazil $198 million annually—or 6.5 percent of what the country currently spends on agricultural subsidies—to preserve enough land to harbor a sustainable level of flora and fauna, the scientists wrote in a study published today (August 28) in the journal Science.
August 29, 2014
BBC News, 8/27/2014
The authorities in Brazil say they have dismantled a criminal organisation they believe was the “biggest destroyer” of the Amazon rainforest.
The gang is accused of invading, logging and burning large areas of public land and selling these illegally for farming and grazing. In a statement, Brazilian Federal Police said the group committed crimes worth more than $220m (£134m).
A federal judge has issued 14 arrest warrants for alleged gang members. Twenty-two search warrants were also issued and four suspects are being called in for questioning.
August 27, 2014
The prisoners riot in the Brazilian city of Cascavel that ended yesterday demanded better living conditions.
The prisoner-led riot in the Cascavel prison in southern Brazil demanded better living conditions, highlighting an acute problem in the South American country.
On Sunday, Prisoners overtook the prison, taking two wardens as hostage. At least four people have in the prison confrontations in Parana state, with an estimated 700 inmates taking part in the uprising.
August 25, 2014
Hundreds of people demonstrated on Friday in several cities of Brazil about the high and increasing rates of violent death recorded in the country´s Afro-descendent population
The protesters peacefully blocked the main avenue of Sao Paolo, and people also participated in the National Day of Black Genocide in Brasilia, the capital, and in Florianopolis, near the Argentinian border.
An academic study called The Color of Homicides in Brazil revealed in 2012 that while homicides of white people decreased by 24.8 percent between 2002 and 2010 (from 20.6 to 15.5 percent of the total population), homicides against black people reached 36 percent in 2010, a 5.6 percent increase from 2006.
August 25, 2014
AP – CBS News, 8/24/2014
Two prisoners were beheaded and at least another one died after being thrown off the roof in a riot that erupted Sunday in a prison in southern Brazil, authorities said.
Inmates of the penitentiary in the city of Cascavel took at least two agents and several other inmates hostage in the uprising, said military police Capt. Ricardo Pinto. He said negotiations for better conditions in the prison were still under way 12 hours later.
Prisoners set some objects on fire and were using metal poles to cause damage to the 928-bed prison that housed more than 1,000 inmates at the time. Authorities initially said two men were decapitated, and later learned of a third prisoner who was also killed after he was thrown off the building. The three men were not identified.
August 19, 2014
Fabiola Ortiz – Truth Out, 8/18/2014
Davi Kopenawa, the leader of the Yanomami people in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, who is internationally renowned for his struggle against encroachment on indigenous land by landowners and illegal miners, is now fighting a new battle – this time against death threats received by him and his family.
“In May, they [miners] told me that he wouldn’t make it to the end of the year alive,” Armindo Góes, 39, one of Kopenawa’s fellow indigenous activists in the fight for the rights of the Yanomami people, told IPS.
Kopenawa, 60, is Brazil’s most highly respected indigenous leader. The Yanomami shaman and spokesman is known around the world as the “Dalai Lama of the Rainforest” and has frequently participated in United Nations meetings and other international events.