Residents in Brazil’s notorious City of God are ‘scared to death’ of US shootings

Will Carless – PRI, 06/14/2016

“Where should I shoot you? In the hand or the foot?” That’s the menacingly cruel line uttered by Li’l Zé in the 2002 movie “City of God.” Zé is threatening two small boys, maybe 6 or 7 years old, with a shiny handgun, after catching them with a group of kids who were disrespecting him.

The little boys hold out their hands. Zé shoots them each in the foot, and laughs. Then he orders another kid to pick one of them to kill.

It’s one of many shocking scenes in the film, a visceral statement on the senseless violence that sometimes happens in Brazil’s favelas.

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What 10,000 Brazilians Think About Ousted President Dilma Rousseff

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 06/13/2016

Can 10,003 Brazilians be wrong? Out of that number, only 5% of them think ousted Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff will survive her impeachment trial in the Senate. A total of 92% say Dilma is a goner. The survey did not ask whether or not people felt she should be removed from office, however. No trial date has been set, but rumor has it that it will take place before the Summer Olympics in early August.

Washington DC based Brazil Institute from the Woodrow Wilson Center commissioned Ideia Inteligencia to conduct the telephone poll between May 30th and June 5th, roughly two weeks after a Senate committee agreed to proceed with an impeachment hearing against the president. The number of respondents who told Idea that Dilma will be impeached is much greater than the roughly 63% who told a recent poll by MDA Pesquisa.

When asked who is to blame for the current economic crisis plaguing the nation, 55% blamed Dilma and her former Vice President Michel Temer. Individually, 28% laid the blame solely on Dilma while 12% said interim president Temer was to blame. If Dilma manages to return to the presidency, 45% said Brazil will be worse off, while 30% said it will be the same as it is now (which is already pretty bad). A mere 10% said Brazil would be better off if Dilma returned, suggesting that only party loyalists are sticking to the cause at this time.

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Facts And Fictions Behind The Pending Impeachment Of Brazil’s President Dilma

Forbes – Kenneth Rapoza, 06/06/2016

Next month is the last stand for Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT). Some will cheer. Some will cry.Judging by polls, most are ready to move on.  The market gives her a 10% chance of beating the odds.

Suspended president Dilma Rousseff  of the Workers’ Party has 20 days to defend herself in a Senate trial that, for now, is set to begin in early July.

When that day comes, Dilma and Brazil will once again make world news. Should she stay? Should she go? Is it a coup? Is it not a coup? Yadda yadda yadda.

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Meet Brazil’s Unexpected President

Ben Raderstorf and Michael Shifter – Slate, 05/25/2016

On April 11—as lawmakers began to weigh impeachment charges against Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff—the country’s vice president sent a curious recorded message to a group of legislators. In a 15-minute “address to the nation,” Michel Temer spoke as if he had just taken office as president. In a somber tone, he implored all Brazilians to pull together and face the challenges ahead.


The speech was comically premature. Aides would later claim that he had just been practicing on his cellphone and accidentally hit “send.” In any case, to many Brazilians it was clear evidence that he was conspiring to take his boss’ job.


Almost exactly a month later, that’s exactly what he did. The Senate opened the impeachment trial against Rousseff on charges that she violated budgetary and fiscal responsibility laws; in the meantime she has been suspended from office for 180 days. In accordance with the constitution, the vice president takes over on an interim basis.

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Lessons of the fall

Bello – The Economist, 05/21/2016

ON A bright and breezy morning in Brasília on May 12th, hours after the Senate had voted to start her impeachment for budgetary misdemeanours and thus suspend her as president, Dilma Rousseff walked down the front ramp of the Planalto palace to address a few hundred supporters of the Workers’ Party (PT). As she vowed defiance, behind her left shoulder stood Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, her predecessor as president and the PT’s founding leader. He looked downcast and pensive, several times wiping his brow and his eyes with a handkerchief. No doubt he was contemplating the probable end of more than 13 years of PT rule.

Behind Ms Rousseff’s impeachment lies a double political failure. The PT once claimed a monopoly on ethical politics; in the public mind, it is now identified with leading a scheme to loot Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company, of more than $2.4 billion to fill its own campaign coffers and the back pockets of allies. And Ms Rousseff, whom Lula sold to the country as a top-notch manager, proved to be an incompetent steward of the economy.

So what went wrong for Latin America’s biggest left-wing party? The answer starts with the PT’s ideological ambiguity. Formed in 1980 by dissident trade unionists (such as Lula), radical priests, grassroots social movements and Marxist intellectuals, the PT claimed to be a new kind of party, of radical democracy and the dispossessed.

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Brazil’s Suspended President Dilma In It To Win It, But Probably Won’t

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 05/22/2016

Brazil’s recently suspended two-term president, Dilma Rousseff, told Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept on Thursday that she was going to fight impeachment until the bitter end. That end will most likely result in her being removed of her political rights for 10 years.

No date has been set for the Senate hearing on her impeachment. But when that day comes, she will have just 20 days to defend herself. The Senate will then have a maximum of 180 days to vote whether or not to officially remove Dilma from office. It’s not looking good. Supporters, who have seemingly come out of the woodwork in the days leading up to her impeachment in the lower house and even more so since her unpopular vice president Michel Temer took over, will be in for a harsh reality check. Warning: this story does not have a happy ending.

In the interview for The Intercept, Workers’ Party president Dilma reiterated that she would not resign and that she had some judicial recourse. She could, in theory, challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court. But considering the fact that Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski will oversee the Senate trial, her argument would only be won if the Supreme Court ruled against their own chief. It’s possible, but highly unlikely. She also failed to get an injunction to block the Senate vote and, worth nothing, over half the judges on the bench were appointed by her party.

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