Brazil man ‘confesses to 39 murders’

October 17, 2014

BBC News, 10/16/2014

Brazilian police have arrested a man who they say has confessed to at least 39 murders over a three-year period. Police said the 26-year-old security guard targeted homeless people, women and homosexuals.

They said Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha – who approached his alleged victims on a motorbike with his face hidden – was cold but driven by rage. He was arrested in the central Brazilian city of Goiania by a special police team investigating the murders.

Police said he often demanded valuables from his victims before shooting them and leaving without their possessions. A police official who had been present at the interrogations told a Brazilian TV channel the killer called his victims by the numbers 1 to 39.

Read more…


Big Events, Big Risks: Lessons From Brazil’s World Cup

October 2, 2014

Jacqueline Day – Forbes, 09/29/2014

For a month this past summer, billions of fans around the world stayed glued to televisions broadcasting the FIFA World Cup from Brazil. Millions more descended on Brazil to watch the games in person. They came despite the various warnings about Brazil’s readiness to host and fears of widespread, violent protests. Yet, as it should be, the tournament will mostly be remembered for the drama that played out on the pitch: from the Brazilian team’s epic collapse against Germany and the controversy that erupted when Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (some would say allegedly) bit an Italian opponent, to the emergence of Colombian star James Rodriguez.

That the tournament will be remembered first and foremost for the soccer was no small feat and, frankly, a massive surprise. Thousands of corporate VIPs, celebrities and world leaders descending upon a country known for its security, logistics and infrastructure challenges was worrisome enough. Such a backdrop, combined with the disruptive social unrest that flared unexpectedly in 2013, could have easily shifted the storyline away from the sporting competition itself. That it did not is a testament to the hard work and careful preparation of the legions of public and private sector workers, as well as to the Brazilian people’s devotion to “the beautiful game.”

The Brazilian security forces deserve plenty of credit. They took active measures to address lessons learned from the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, effectively managing and containing the smaller-scale protests that did occur, and critically, avoiding the heavy-handed tactics that only aggravated matters in 2013. They were helped by two additional factors. First, many Brazilians who had previously engaged in legitimate and peaceful protest activity during the Confederations Cup were alienated by the violent tactics of anarchist groups, the so-called Black Blocs, with whom they did not want to be associated.  Second, in keeping with custom, most Brazilians cared more about watching the matches than taking to the streets. Even Brazil’s crushing loss to Germany—an event that caused security directors to collectively hold their breath—failed to galvanize the masses to take back to the streets.

Read more… 


Brazil busts gang linked to Bolivian drug traffickers

September 26, 2014

Fox News Latino, 9/26/2014

Twenty-six people were arrested in an operation targeting a gang with ties to drug traffickers in neighboring Bolivia, Brazilian police said Friday.

The organization specializes in smuggling drugs into Brazilian territory on small planes that secretly land on rural runways of the Triangulo Mineiro area of Minas Gerais state and in the southern part of Goias, according to a Federal Police communique.

The gang is also suspected in a number of drug-related homicides.

Read more…


Clashes erupt in Brazil as police evict squatters from high-rise

September 17, 2014

Vincent Bevins – The Los Angeles Times, 09/16/2014

Clashes between police and squatters resisting eviction paralyzed Sao Paulo on Tuesday morning, as streets were emptied and the center of South America’s largest city was filled with tear gas and smoke from at least one torched city bus.

Large-scale demonstrations and street conflicts have taken place periodically across Brazil since June 2013, but had largely subsided since the beginning of the World Cup soccer tournament this June.

Chaos returned on Tuesday, however, after the forced eviction of members of the FLM, or Front to Fight for Housing, one of the many groups living in abandoned buildings in the city’s center. More than 70 people were arrested in the melee.

Read more… 


US Clears Black Hawk Sale to Brazil

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.

Read more…


Exclusive: Volkswagen spied on Lula, other Brazilian workers in 1980s

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.

Read more…


Brazil candidates engage in verbal sparring in TV debate

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.

Read more…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,844 other followers

%d bloggers like this: