Several Factors Caused Brazil Candidate’s Plane Crash

AP/Yahoo News, 01/19/2016

A report by the Brazilian Air Forces says a series of factors contributed to the plane crash that killed presidential candidate Eduardo Campos.

Air Force officials investigating the August 2014 crash said Tuesday that bad weather and a sudden change in the small plane’s trajectory were among the elements that contributed to the crash near Sao Paulo, which killed the Socialist party candidate and six others. Other circumstances, such as crew fatigue, may have also played a part.

The investigators did not blame any individuals or companies for the crash, saying that was not their objective.

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Pilot error blamed for crash that killed Brazil presidential hopeful

EFE – Fox News Latino, 1/16/2015

Pilot error caused the Aug. 13 plane crash that killed Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and six other people, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported Friday, citing investigators’ preliminary findings.

The daily said it gained access to Brazilian air force documents that point to the pilot’s “lack of training” to fly a Cessna 560 XL aircraft and “a sequence of errors” leading up to the accident.

The airplane was carrying former Pernambuco Gov. Campos, four of his aides and two crew members.

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The seven myths of the 2014 Election [PORTUGUESE]

Jose Roberto de Toledo, Daniel Bramatti, Daneil  Trielli, Diego Rabatone, Lucas de Abreu Maia and Rodrigo Burgarelli – Estadão, 11/03/2014

Estadão names and refutes seven myths of the 2014 Brazil presidential election, including ideas that the Northeast elected Dilma, statewide platforms influence voters, null votes are signs of protests, and Minas Gerais elects the president. The article also discusses the variability of the polls leading up to the first and second round finishes, the death of Eduardo Campos and its impact on the election, and the presence of voter abstentions.

Read more [in PORTUGUESE]… 

Brazil’s Exhausting Election

Vanessa Barbara – The New York Times, 10/30/2014

It was a typical election in Brazil. Jesus and Osama bin Laden were running for Congress, as well as Barack Obama, Bob Marley, Santa Claus and Battman (with two Ts). The self-styled “Hamburger Face” unfortunately wasn’t elected, nor was a candidate just called Congresswoman. (When the results were released, it turned out she didn’t get a single vote — not even her own.) But a famous clown named Tiririca won a second term in the House, after starring in a kitschy TV campaign. Next year, 35 percent of our members of Congress will be millionaires.

In São Paulo, which is proving to be more conservative than most of Brazil, the number of legislators in the so-called Bullet Caucus will increase by 30 percent. They are usually former military police officers, with a right-wing posture and a belligerent discourse; they stand for lowering the age at which teenagers can be tried as adults (currently 18); for increasing police repression; and against gun control. Their mottos are: “the only good thief is a dead thief” and “human rights are for right humans.”

The second-most-voted-for congressman in my state was an evangelical Christian ex-cop who recently produced his own comic book. In 32 pages, he describes “two brand-new police cases.” In one, an angel supposedly helped him during a chase so he could catch two fugitives. (In real life, however, three suspects were killed by the police.) After the elections, he urged independence for the wealthiest states from the poorest ones that “preferred charity over work.”

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Reelected, Rousseff Promises She Will be “A Better President”

Paulo Sotero – Brazil Institute, 10/27/2014

A narrow victory after a divisive campaign leaves a weakened leader with few options to revive Brazil’s slowing economy

President Dilma Rousseff’s narrow reelection last Sunday gave her a political victory without a clear political mandate. A highly negative and bruising campaign marked by personal attacks and allegations of corruption exchanged between Rousseff and her challenger, senator Aécio Neves, left a divided and angered public wondering whether the government and the opposition, which includes the vast majority of the business community, will be able to reconcile their differences and work together to reignite a paralyzed economy and put Brazil back on a more promising path than it has been on in recent years.

Rousseff received 51.65% of the votes, or 54.5 million, against Neves’ 48.69%, or 51 million, in the narrowest victory by a candidate in the seven presidential elections Brazil has held since the 1980s. Her triumph became clear only after 80% of the votes were counted.

Speaking to supporters, she said she did not believe the elections had left the country divided and called for dialogue. “Sometimes in history, tighter election results produce stronger and faster changes than ample victories,” she said, expressing hope that this will be the case in Brazil. In her victory speech, Rousseff promised to be “a better president” in her second term and move aggressively to promote a political reform she first proposed but failed to advance after the massive street protests of June 2013. It is improbable, however, that the proposal will be welcomed in Congress, where Rousseff’s Workers’ Party has lost ground and will have to deal with stronger and more demanding partners in the PMDB.

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Paulo Sotero is the director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Rede Brasil Atual.

Rousseff Gains Edge as Brazil Polls Point to Photo Finish

Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 10/21/2014

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff gained support over opposition candidate Aecio Neves even as the race remains in a dead heat less than a week before the runoff, according to a Datafolha poll published yesterday.

Rousseff has 46 percent support and Neves has 43 percent, according to the Datafolha poll taken yesterday and released on Globo TV. In the last Datafolha poll published Oct. 15, Rousseff had 43 percent to 45 percent for Neves. Rousseff of the Workers’ Party won 42 percent in Oct. 5 first-round vote, compared to 34 percent for Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party.

The two candidates have clashed over the economy, consumer prices and corruption as polls conducted by Ibope, MDA and Vox Populi also show them statistically tied ahead of the Oct. 26 runoff. While Neves pledges to slow inflation to target and boost growth, the incumbent says her opponent’s policies threaten record-low unemployment rates and social welfare spending. Yesterday’s poll shows Rousseff’s continued attacks on Neves are luring voters, even if those same voters would prefer to hear proposals, according to Thiago de Aragao, a partner and director of strategy at Arko Advice.

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Why Dilma Should Look Back to Her Bases in Brazil’s Runoff Election

John L. Hammond – NACLA, 10/20/2014

The outcome of the Brazilian presidential election of October 5 was much as it was predicted to be two months before. Because Dilma Rousseff, the incumbent, of the Workers Party (PT), won less than 50% of the vote, she will face Aécio Neves, of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), in a runoff on October 26.

But there were many surprises in between. The election campaign was upended several times. Until 16 months ago, Dilma’s reelection was taken for granted. (The two candidates, like most politicians in Brazil, are always referred to just by their first names. Here we will follow the Brazilian example.) But the urban uprising of June 2013 revealed a level of popular discontent that had gone unrecognized. Protest was predicted to burst out again when the World Cup competition was played there in June and July, but turned out to be muted in soccer-mad Brazil, even when the national team suffered an ignominious defeat, 7-1, against Germany in the semifinals.

Then, less than two months before the election, the third-ranked candidate, Eduardo Campos of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), died in a plane crash, and his place at the top of the ticket was taken by his running mate, Marina Silva. Marina, who was much better known and more popular than Campos, surged to second place in the polls and appeared to have a real chance of defeating Dilma in a runoff. But in the days before the election, Marina’s support collapsed. In the final tally, Dilma won 42%, Aécio 34%, and Marina 21%.

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Brazil at a Crossroads: Why the US Should Take Note

Natalie Alhonte Braga – The World Post, 10/17/2014

It’s no wonder that Brazil is known for its novelas. The road to the presidential elections have been anything but dull, and current numbers show that this election is the closest in recent history. Early in the race, the tragic death of presidential hopeful Eduardo Campos catapulted his running mate Marina Silva to the top of the ticket.

The week leading into the first round election on October 5, Marina was polling neck and neck with incumbent President Dilma Rousseff. Political pundits in both Brazil and abroad expected a tight second round race between these two former Lula ministers, but instead, center-right former Senator and Governor Aécio Neves’s second place finish knocked Marina out of the race entirely.

On October 26, Brazilians will take to the polls again to decide who will lead their country for the next four years. We are now in the road to the run-off and it is anyone’s race. What is certain, however, is this election’s increasing importance to the international community.

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Brazil Ex-Candidate Silva Defends Her Campaign

John Lyons and Luciana Magalhaes – The Wall Street Journal, 10/15/2014

Former candidate Marina Silva defended her decision not to retaliate against a barrage of attack advertisements that many observers say snuffed out her chance to become president and enact a platform of political and environmental reforms.

“I would never fight with the same weapons, because once you do, you become exactly what you are fighting against,” said Ms. Silva, in her first major interview since placing third in Brazil’s Oct. 5 election, and exiting the race. What “we have today is a country where everything we’ve gained is under threat because of the degradation of politics and political institutions, because of corruption, because of the lack of credibility, because of the logic that ‘anything goes’ to take power.”

Ms. Silva cut an extraordinary figure on the Brazilian political stage when she burst into one of Brazil’s tightest election races since the country returned to democracy in 1985. She was a late entrant in August, replacing the Socialist Party candidate Eduardo Campos after he died in a plane crash. At one point, polls showed her defeating incumbent President Dilma Rousseff by as much as 10 points.

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Brazil’s presidential race: Restarting the rollercoaster

The Economist (print edition), 10/11/2014

If a clever pundit had taken a bet on the first-round result in Brazil’s presidential contest three months ago, just as the campaign got cracking, the prediction would probably have been spot-on. In the ballot on October 5th the left-wing incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, got 42% of valid votes, eight points more than Aécio Neves of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), the main centre-right opposition, but not enough to escape a run-off on October 26th. The candidate of the centrist Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) came third, with a respectable 21%. Now, as then, Ms Rousseff is the favourite to win.

But the race went through amazing twists and turns to end up where it had begun (see chart). Days before the election Mr Neves was polling third, with the support of less than one in five voters. His status as the putative pretender had been usurped by Marina Silva, who catapulted to the top of the PSB ticket—and to stratospheric poll ratings—after the party’s original candidate, Eduardo Campos, died in an air crash in mid-August.

At the time Mr Neves dismissed Ms Silva’s surge as “a passing wave”. For weeks it kept rolling. Then she got caught between two breakwaters. Mr Neves, a successful former state governor, convinced some voters that she was unprepared to be president. He added that, as a member of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) for 25 years before she left, Ms Silva was too much like Ms Rousseff to ensure real change. The PT, for its part, embarked on a shamelessly negative campaign. Most damagingly, it alleged, falsely, that Ms Silva planned to cut social programmes. With its ample resources, the PT devoted money and airtime to stressing Ms Rousseff’s successes.

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