December 5, 2013
Stephen Wilson – Associated Press, 12/04/2013
Warning that Brazil has “no time to lose,” new International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will travel soon to Rio de Janeiro to check on the troubled preparations for the 2016 Games.
Bach said Wednesday he will go to Brazil in “the next couple of months” to encourage the organizers and government to work together to make sure the first Olympics in South America are successful.
“The purpose is to ensure seamless cooperation between all stakeholders and to tell the Brazilian authorities the IOC is fully committed to the success of these games,” Bach said in a conference call with reporters. “I want to make this statement in person to demonstrate that the new president is behind these Olympic Games.”
November 26, 2013
Michael Kimmelman – The New York Times, 11/25/2013
The bumpy ride in the rickety van heads up the steep hill into Morro da Providência, this city’s oldest favela. Last stop: a small, silent square with a hardware shop, bar and pair of young policemen in armored gear toting machine guns, patrolling the still-unopened cable-car station that the city has recently built. The port spreads out below.
Spurred by two looming mega-events — the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympics in 2016 — local officials are struggling to reinvent this onetime third-world city with a first-world economy.
Last weekend, demolition began on a busy highway that cuts a path through the port area, to make way for a pedestrian promenade and new tram.
November 25, 2013
France 24, 11/24/2013
French anti-riot police have begun training their Brazilian counterparts ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, both of which are expected to provoke large demonstrations like those during the Confederation Cup held in Brazil in June, when millions protested against corruption and poor public services in the country.
“We are preparing ourselves early,” said Marcos Palermo, a Brazilian anti-riot police officer.
The Brazilian police force has come under criticism in the past for its violent handling of riots. With an average of up to 10 demonstrations a day in France, the French police are well positioned to run the training.
November 25, 2013
Shobhan Saxena – The Hindu, 11/24/2013
Alarmed by large-scale spying on their state-owned oil and mining firms and monitoring of personal communication of their top leaders and bureaucrats by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), South America’s two biggest countries are urging all other countries in the region to form a joint cyber shield to deflect such surveillance. The move, led by Brazil and Argentina, is the first such effort by a group of countries since NSA revelations about mass surveillance began to come out in June.
In a crucial meeting in Brasilia on Friday, Argentine Defence Minister Agustin Rossi met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, and the two leaders agreed to incorporate all the 12 countries in the continent, which together form the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), in their bilateral treaty on cyber defence.
In August, when top-secret documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had revealed that Brazil was one of the most-monitored countries by U.S. intelligence agency, the two ministers had met in Buenos Aires to discuss how to jointly fight the existing and potential cyber threats — mostly coming from the North.
November 7, 2013
Christopher Looft – In Sight Crime, 11/06/2013
Sao Paulo’s state government is rolling out new measures to combat Brazil‘s PCC prison gang, but there are reasons to doubt the group can be thwarted.
In October, a Sao Paulo court ordered the transfer of First Capital Command (PCC) lieutenant Paulo Cezar Souza Nascimento Junior, alias “Paulinho Neblina,” to the Special Disciplinary System (RDD), a form of solitary confinement, according to a report by Estadoa de Sao Paulo. The transfer of other PCC leaders is expected in the coming days, according to a more recent report by Estadoa.
The move wasn’t the first signal that Sao Paulo’s government has sought to crack down on the PCC, which dominates much of the state’s drug trade and other criminal activities. In a speech given on October 14, Governor Geraldo Alckmin announced the creation of a new task force to identify corrupt police officers working with the group. Alckmin also touted efforts to limit the group’s communications; he said cell phone jamming systems would be put in place in 23 high-security prisons across Sao Paulo state. He also expressed support for the transfer of the group’s leadership to solitary confinement in RDDs.
November 7, 2013
John Dillon – Express UK, 11/06/2013
The abandonment of the SoccerEx forum was made just minutes before former Brazil striker Ronaldo arrived at a prestige PR event in London aimed at trumpeting the merits of staging the tournament in Rio next year.
It raised fresh fears about the safety of fans attending the World Cup.
And it increased the prospect that the tournament may take place amid the same mass protests and street violence that marred the Confederations Cup this summer.
November 7, 2013
Peter James Spielmann – The Associated Press, 11/07/2013
Brazil and Germany are presenting a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly urging all countries to extend internationally guaranteed privacy rights to the Internet and other electronic communications.
The proposed resolution follows a series of reports of U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that have angered U.S. allies.
The ambassadors of Germany and Brazil are publicly introducing their jointly sponsored resolution Thursday afternoon to the General Assembly committee that deals with human rights.
November 5, 2013
Merco Press News, 11/05/2013
The FAB said in a statement that the two air bases at Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte and at Recife in the state of Pernambuco — are hosting 86 airplanes and nine helicopters, and more than 2,000 Brazilian and foreign military personnel who were taking part in the drill called Cruzex 2013.
“Cruzex also develops cooperation and good relationship between the participant Air Forces considering training experience sharing in a coalition environment,” said the FAB in the statement.
The exercise, held at the command of the FAB’s Brigadier Mario Jordao in charge of the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, Paraiba and Pernambuco, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, will last till Nov. 15, aiming to provide advanced training for military personnel in a modern-war environment. The first military drill of the kind was conducted in 2002.
November 5, 2013
Stan Lehman – Associated Press, 11/04/2013
Brazil’s intelligence agency monitored French spies it suspected of involvement in the 2003 explosion at a satellite launch base, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said Tuesday, though it was finally determined they played no role.
The newspaper said it had obtained documents from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency that showed its agents had tracked French spies near the Alcantara Rocket Launch Center in the northeastern state of Maranhao a year before the blast. When the explosion occurred, killing 21 engineers and technicians, suspicion fell on the French.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said the agency known as ABIN carried out at least three operations against what it called a “network of spies” from France’s foreign intelligence agency and its activities in the French-Brazilian Technical and Scientific Cooperation Center and in Brazil’s National Space Research Institute.
November 4, 2013
Bradley Brooks – Huffington Post, 11/04/2013
The Brazilian government confirmed Monday that its intelligence service targeted U.S., Russian, Iranian and Iraqi diplomats and property during spy activities carried out about a decade ago in the capital Brasilia.
The relatively low-key surveillance was reported by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, based on documents it obtained from Brazil’s Abin intelligence agency.
It describes surveillance that pales in comparison to the massive spy programs carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency, efforts detailed in thousands of documents leaked by Edward Snowden.