May 16, 2013
The Washington Post/AP, 05/15/2013
Brazil’s Supreme Court has annulled the trial and conviction of a rancher jailed for ordering the 2005 murder of U.S. nun and Amazon defender Dorothy Stang.
In a ruling posted Wednesday, the court said Vitalmiro Moura was not given enough time to prepare his defense in 2010 when he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The court said Moura will remain behind bars until he his retried at a yet-to be scheduled date.
Also convicted of ordering Stang’s murder is Regivaldo Galvao. Last year, the Supreme Court ordered his release, saying he had the right to remain free pending the outcome of his appeal process. He was sentenced to a 30-year jail term in 2010.
May 15, 2013
Andrew Downie – The Christian Science Monitor, 05/14/2013
A decade after Brazil tightened rules on weapons sales and two years after a lone gunman shot 12 people dead at a Rio de Janeiro school, Brazil’s Congress is trying to loosen legislation on gun ownership that critics say could cause the number of homicides to rise sharply after a period of relative stability.
The number of homicides in South America’s largest nation fell by 2,000 in 2004, the first such fall in 12 years, thanks largely to the Disarmament Statute, legislation that made it harder to buy guns and slapped tougher penalties on those caught in possession. The number of gun deaths fell by a similar amount the year after, as well, Brazil’s Justice Ministry said.
However, with the government focused more on growth and infrastructure issues and preparing the country to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, gun control has ceased to be a priority says Antonio Rangel, a researcher who coordinates the Arms Control Project at Viva Rio, a well-known NGO.
May 14, 2013
Bruce Kennedy – MSN Money, 05/14/2013
Critics have warned that globalization comes with a price. And it’s not just low-wage workers in far-off places likeBangladesh who often pay that price in human lives. It also appears that auto buyers in South America’s largest economy are paying a deadly toll.
Brazil is one of the BRICs, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China, the international economies that have been booming in recent years while bringing hundreds of millions of their citizens out of poverty.
But The Associated Press released a startling report over the weekend outlining how auto manufacturers in Brazil, including European companies and U.S. makers such as Ford (F +0.93%) and General Motors (GM +1.29%) — at facilities like GM’s Sao Caetano plant (pictured) — are producing vehicles that are apparently unsafe at any speed.
April 29, 2013
The UN has appointed a Brazilian general credited with bringing a Haiti slum under control to lead peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gen Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz will lead 20,000 troops, including a new combat force charged with targeting rebels in the east of the country.
This is the most offensive mandate given to any UN peacekeeping force.
April 23, 2013
AP/ABC News, 04/22/2013
An officer in the Brazilian army’s counterterrorism division says about 600 soldiers will be taking part in security operations during the upcoming Confederations Cup.
The G1 news website quoted Col. Richard Fernandez Nunes on Monday as saying an additional 250 specialists in identifying threats from chemical, biological and nuclear threats will be also conducting sweeps during the June 15-30 football tournament.
The six Brazilian cities hosting Confederations Cup matches will each be assigned a counterterrorism team. Brazil is also hosting next year’s World Cup, and Nunes says all 12 of the tournament’s host cities will have such teams.
April 22, 2013
Al Jazeera/Agencies, 04/21/2013
A court in Brazil has sentenced 23 police officers to 156 years in jail each for their role in the killing of 111 inmates during the country’s deadliest prison uprising in 1992.
Judge Jose Augusto Marzagao on Sunday sentenced the 23 from among 26 officers on trial before the Sao Paulo state tribunal. Three others were acquitted and dozens more will be tried in the coming months.
But under Brazilian law, no one can serve more than 30 years in prison.
April 15, 2013
Laura Bonilla – AFP/Defense News, 04/14/2013
Embraer, the world’s third largest commercial aircraft maker, wants to boost its presence in the lucrative defense sector, with strong support from Brazil’s government.
The company aims to increase its sales in the sector by 25 percent this year, Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer’s defense and security unit, said on the sidelines of this week’s LAAD Defense and Security expo here.
Between 2006 and 2012, Embraer’s defense activities expanded by an average of 29 percent annually to represent 17 percent of total sales, up from six percent.
April 15, 2013
Talez Azzoni – AP/Daily Mail, 04/15/2013
Two fans were shot to death on their way to a test event at a World Cup stadium in north-eastern Brazil on Sunday, just two months before the venue hosts matches in the Confederations Cup.
The fans were killed about three miles from the Arena Castelao in the city of Fortaleza, one of the six venues hosting matches in the Confederations Cup in June and one of the 12 getting ready for next year’s World Cup.
‘We lament what happened,’ said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organising committee member who was at the test event in Fortaleza. ‘But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.’
April 4, 2013
Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 04/02/2013
Brazil‘s efforts to improve public safety ahead of the football World Cup and the Olympics have taken two high-profile hits in recent days with the arrests of eight police officers in São Paulo and news of the rape and robbery of tourists in Rio de Janeiro.
The officers were arrested after a television broadcast showed two teenagers being shot dead on 16 March in the Bras neighbourhood of São Paulo, while the occupants of a nearby patrol car did nothing to help.
One of the victims – a 14 year old known as Piui who collected paper and cardboard from the streets – was shot six times. The other victim, whose name has not been disclosed, was shot 12 times.
April 4, 2013
Al Jazeera/Agencies, 04/03/2013
Jose Claudio da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo had for years campaigned against loggers and ranchers who force slave labour to clear-cut large swaths of the Amazon.
The couple were killed in a May 2011 ambush near the Amazonian town of Maraba.
Antonio Filho, a member of Brazil’s Catholic Church-affiliated Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) who is monitoring the trial, said Wednesday’s trial would last until the following day.