Rio de Janeiro police posts attacked

March 21, 2014

The Associated Press – The Miami Herald, 3/20/2014

Rio de Janeiro police say suspected drug gang members have attacked three of the so-called police pacification posts set up recently in slums.

At least one policeman was shot and wounded Thursday night, while the police outpost — a cluster of metal shipping containers — located near the slum that Pope Francis visited last year was burned.

It’s the latest violence to hit Rio just before the city is set to host several matches during the World Cup.

Since 2008, police have pushed into slums and driven out drug gangs, who lorded over vast swaths of Rio for decades. In an effort to secure the city ahead of the World Cup and 2016 Olympics, police then installed permanent posts.

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Brazil upgrades Air Traffic Technology for World Cub and Olympics

March 4, 2014

Global Travel Industry News, 4/4/2014

In the run up to the FIFA World Cup™ this year, and the Olympics in 2016, SITA is working with the Comissão de Implantação do Sistema de Controle do Espaço Aéreo (CISCEA) in its drive to upgrade Brazil’s air traffic management technology. CISCEA is the body responsible for developing and implementing new technologies for DECEA, the Brazilian Air Navigation Service Provider.

SITA, the world’s leading provider of air traffic management communications and IT solutions, already provides Departure Clearance (DCL) and Digital-Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) datalink services at both Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo’s GRU Airport. These solutions will now be extended to 23 airports across Brazil.

Major Brigadier Carlos Vuyk de Aquino, President of CISCEA, said: “Brazil has the busiest airspace in South America and we are very proud to be hosting two of the world’s biggest sporting events. We want everyone flying to, from and within Brazil to have smooth and uneventful journeys. It is therefore essential that our air traffic managers have access to the very best technology available.

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Boeing bullish on Brazil despite loss fighter jet deal

January 24, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 1/24/2014

 

Boeing Co (BA.N) says its failure to win a $4 billion-plus fighter jet deal in Brazil was a lost opportunity that will lead it to scale back planned investments in the country, although it still sees excellent opportunities in cargo, defense and biofuels.

The Chicago-based aerospace company was until last June the clear front runner to win a deal to supply at least 36 jets to the Brazilian Air Force — one of the world’s significant defense contracts.

“It’s a lost opportunity for the U.S.-Brazil relationship and for Boeing,” lamented Donna Hrinak, Boeing’s president in Brazil, in an interview with Reuters.

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Brazil has long way to go before it’s ready for World Cup prime time

January 13, 2014

Mimi Whitefield & Taylor Barnes – Miami Herald, 1/10/2014

Sun and soccer usually can be counted on to bring a smile to the face of a Brazilian. But with Brazil’s star turn as FIFA World Cup host less than six months away, some Brazilians aren’t in a very festive mood.

Hosting the World Cup was supposed to be a source of national pride in this soccer-crazed South American country with five World Cup championships to its credit. But with the opening match — Brazil vs. Croatia in Sao Paulo — now a fast-approaching reality, preparations have fallen behind on many fronts.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA — soccer’s international governing body — told the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures earlier this week that he isn’t too pleased with what he’s been seeing.

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Brazil’s 2014 will be shaped by the World Cup, presidential elections, and yet another disappointing economic performance

January 8, 2014

Patricia Rey Mallen -International Business Times, 1/7/2014

Brazil has some busy months ahead. With a presidential election coming up, two major international sporting events pn the horizon – one of them taking place this year – and the leftovers from an eventful 2013, the new year has some challenges in store for Latin America’s largest economy.

These are some of the key issues that are going to keep Brazilian officials busy for the 12 next months.

Inflation

Inflationary trends and the impact on  public finances will be one of the main concerns for the new year. As 2014 rung in, consumer price inflation ran at 5.8 percent, below the target ceiling of 6.5 percent, but above the central bank target of 4.5 percent.

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A divided Rio de Janiero, overreaching for the world

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.

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Wave of Brazil hotel mergers brews as middle class grows

October 9, 2013

Marcela Ayres – Reuters, 10/08/2013

Mergers and acquisitions in Brazil’s thriving hotel industry are increasing ahead of soccer’s World Cup and the Olympics, as smaller players struggle to survive and leisure travel surges among the nation’s thriving middle class.

Local and foreign hotel and resort chains view consolidation as a means to cut costs and improve processes across the sector, as well as garner partners with know-how. That said, industry players agree on one point: that room for smaller players is rapidly decreasing.

Brazil’s hotel market is underpenetrated, with few global chains operating throughout the country, Latin America’s largest and most populous. Currently, outdated family-run hotels are spread throughout the country – most of them with limited ability to grow beyond where they are headquartered, according to Richard Cathart, an analyst with Espírito Santo Investment Bank.

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“Worse than gangs”: Rio police criticized for favela crackdowns

October 8, 2013

Jens Glusing – Spiegel Online, 10/08/2013

The operation was peaceful, as had been previously promised. It took just 50 minutes on Sunday for police and soldiers to occupy the Lins favela complex in northern Rio de Janeiro, a collection of 12 slums with an estimated population of 15,000. At the high point of one of the slums, they hoisted the Brazilian flag as an announcement to all that the state had recaptured the site.

The complex had previously been ruled by a heavily armed gang of drug traffickers, as is the case in most of Rio’s more than 300 favelas. The gangsters fled after the police announced that a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) would be set up in the favela complex.

UPPs stand at the center of the strategy of Rio governor Sérgio Cabral Filho. First the police set up permanent stations in the favelas — they previously would only enter the slums during raids and then pull out again. These raids usually ended in shootouts, and innocent people often died. There are now 34 UPPs in Rio controlling more than 100 favelas with hundreds of thousands of residents.

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Has Brazil blown it?

September 30, 2013

The Economist, 09/29/2013

FOUR years ago this newspaper put on its cover a picture of the statue of Christ the Redeemer ascending like a rocket from Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado mountain, under the rubric “Brazil takes off”.

The economy, having stabilised under Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the mid-1990s, accelerated under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the early 2000s. It barely stumbled after the Lehman collapse in 2008 and in 2010 grew by 7.5%, its strongest performance in a quarter-century.

To add to the magic, Brazil was awarded both next year’s football World Cup and the summer 2016 Olympics. On the strength of all that, Lula persuaded voters in the same year to choose as president his technocratic protégée, Dilma Rousseff.

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