Brazil’s great opening?

Gregory Michener – Aljazeera, 04/23/2012

This country is distinguished by its position as the only Portuguese speaking country in the Americas, its large protected internal market, and legacies of secrecy, owing to a past riddled by military rule. In other words: self-regarding, defensive – closed.

Yet, at least on one level, Brazil might just be on its way to an unprecedented opening. With just over a year in office, President Dilma Rousseff has launched an “openness offensive” like no other in Brazil’s history. Rousseff oversaw the enactment of a freedom of information law, a Truth Commission, and the construction of an open-data portal. She has also presided over the ousting of six ministers on allegations of corruption.

All of this might still be in vain. Truth Commission proceedings have still not begun and there are few signs that governments are prepared to make good on the freedom of information law when it takes effect next month. Ministers accused of corruption have still not been prosecuted, while new cases are largely being ignored.

Read more…


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