Brazilian journalist murdered

Roy Greenslade – The Guardian, 01/06/2012

Brazilian journalist Laécio de Souza was shot dead minutes after receiving threats on his mobile phone.

It is presumed that he was the victim of drug traffickers in Salvador, the capital city of the state of Bahia.

Souza, a reporter with the radio station Sucesso FM, had been planning to run for office on the city council.

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Fifa launches Brazil’s World Cup plans in face of corruption charges

David Conn – The Guardian, 10/21/2011

Ricardo Teixeira at the Fifa Executive Committee Meeting in Zurich. Photograph: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Fifa unveiled the 12 Brazilian cities which will host – stadiums and infrastructure permitting – the 2014 World Cup at a slick presentation overshadowed in grey, chilly Zurich by corruption allegations relentlessly levelled against the organisation and the head of Brazil‘s organising committee, Ricardo Teixeira. On Friday the world game’s governing body executive committee – four of whose members have resigned or been banned in a year for corruption scandals – will debate reform proposals presented by the beleaguered president, Sepp Blatter.

Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation for 22 years, will be sitting at that head table while two federal-police investigations into possible embezzlement proceed in Brazil and while pressure mounts on Fifa to release the names of its executives who are accused of taking bribes in the 1990s, of whom Teixeira has been alleged to be one.

On Thursday, after Blatter painted a picture-book ideal of Brazil – “a country of joy and celebration where football is the beating heart” – Teixeira released details of the 2014 host cities, having said in advance he would take no questions. However, Rodrigo Paiva, head of communications for Brazil 2014, said Teixeira had been under investigation for 20 years in Brazil and that Teixeira denies all wrongdoing.

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As prosperity rises in Brazil’s Northeast, so does drug violence

Alexei Barrionuevo – New York Times, 08/29/2011

A house in Nova Constituinte, in Salvador, is protected by a makeshift fence. The arrival of crack cocaine has been particularly devastating there, and the number of murders in Bahia increased 430 percent between 1999 and 2008. Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times

SALVADOR, Brazil — Jenilson Dos Santos Conceição, 20, lay face down on the rough concrete, his body twisted, sandals still on his feet, as the blood from his 14 bullet wounds stained the sloped alleyway.

A small crowd of residents watched dispassionately as a dozen police officers hovered around the young man’s lifeless body.

“He was followed until he was executed right here,” said Bruno Ferreira de Oliveira, a senior investigator. “They wanted to make sure he was dead.”

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Musician Changes Tone of Impoverished Village

Fernanda Santos-The New York Times, 10/12/09

From a veranda at Candyall Ghetto Square, a recording studio and rehearsal space for his percussion band Timbalada, the musician Carlinhos Brown appraised the contrasting worlds that define the neighborhood where he grew up.

“Poverty is not an excuse for anything,” Mr. Brown, 46, said on a recent gray afternoon here, his eyes shielded by a pair of oversize sunglasses. “Poverty is an opportunity.”

Mr. Brown — a singer, songwriter and percussionist who is one of Brazil’s best-known artists — once made music banging on the water barrels that he used to carry home to his mother, who earned a living washing clothes. Back then, his neighborhood, Candeal Pequeno, or Little Candeal, had so many fruit trees that a kid would go hungry only if he could not climb.

But as Salvador grew, Candeal (pronounced KAHN-djee-AHL), developed on what used to be a belt of tropical forest in the middle of the city, became so big so fast that it could no longer sustain itself. …

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