September 10, 2014
Joe Gould – Defense News, 9/9/2014
The US State Department has cleared a $145 million sale of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Brazil, the Pentagon agency that coordinates foreign weapon sales said Tuesday.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on Monday that the State Department approved the sale.
Brazil requested three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with eight T-700-GE-701C engines (six installed and two spares), a dozen M-134 7.62mm machine guns, eight H765GU embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems, and related training, logistics and support equipment, according to the agency’s notice.
September 5, 2014
Brian Winter – Reuters, 9/5/2014
Volkswagen AG spied on Brazilian union activists in the 1980s and passed sensitive information about wage demands and other private discussions to the country’s military dictatorship, according to newly uncovered documents seen by Reuters.
The company covertly monitored its own workers as well as prominent union leaders of the era. One of VW’s targets was Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who went on to become Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010 and remains one of its most influential politicians.
The documents were recently discovered in government archives by a special “truth commission” that, at the request of Brazil’s current president, Dilma Rousseff, is investigating abuses that occurred during the 1964-1985 regime.
August 27, 2014
Wyre Davies – BBC News, 8/27/2014
The first of Brazil’s televised presidential debates has taken place just two weeks after the death of one of the leading candidates in October’s election, Eduardo Campos.
His replacement, internationally renowned environmentalist Marina Silva, is already challenging incumbent Dilma Rousseff according to opinion polls.
Just two weeks ago, Ms Rousseff seemed to be coasting, almost sleepwalking towards another four-year term as president of Brazil.
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
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 12, 2014
Janet Tappin Coelho – IHS Jane’s 360, 8/11/2014
Brazil and Suriname have started discussions towards new defence co-operation that could involve the Brazilian Navy supporting the creation of a national maritime force in the neighbouring country.
Lamure Latour, Suriname’s Minister of Defence, met with Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim on 8 August in Brasília to examine extending defence partnerships between the two states.
The idea is that Brazil will create and structure Suriname’s maritime capabilities, providing similar support to what Brazil has given to Namibia’s naval force, which it was instrumental in building beginning in 1994.
August 5, 2014
Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 8/5/2014
The footage of the two officers chilled viewers of the prime-time Brazilian TV show “Fantástico.”
Filmed by a camera in the front seat of their patrol car, the video obtained by the program showed the police officers after they picked up three teenage boys on June 11 in central Rio de Janeiro — an area afflicted by street crime and violent muggings often perpetrated by teenage boys. The officers had driven the boys to a nearby forested, hilly area; the video captured them nonchalantly discussing “discharging the weapon a little.”
The camera switched off when they parked the car in an isolated area. By the time it started recording again, one boy, 15, lay shot and left for dead. A second boy, 14, had been shot and killed. The third boy, 15, had been released before the shooting.