Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Jan Rocha

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Veteran correspondent and regular LAB contributor Jan Rocha writes about life in São Paulo and Brazil
1 December 2017. Just over a year ago, Rio was on a roll, basking in post-Olympic glory, applauded all over the world for a successful Games. Now the arrest of its most prominent politicians has exposed the rotten underbelly of the ‘cidade maravilhosa’, the beautiful city. They are facing accusations of blatant, scandalous corruption schemes that have been ripping...
Jan Rocha takes a break from her usual razor-sharp analyses of Brazil's political landscape. Yet, even in Santarém, Pará, where the Tapajos river joins the Amazon, she finds that all is change: rapid urbanisation, a massive grain terminal, clearance of forest for soya and the arrival of indigenous people from Venezuela. A full moon hangs in the sky over...
Taking the 'country of the future' back to the past Sao Paulo, 20th October. It seems that Michel Temer will stop at nothing to buy his survival as president: even changing the rules to make it more difficult to rescue workers trapped into slavery and to punish employers caught using them. All this to please the powerful Bancada Ruralista, rural lobby,...
Sāo Paulo, 16 September: Like a tropical King Canute, president Michel Temer defies the waves of accusations battering his government, even when they are presented by the chief prosecutor himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR2ZsDt9SPk credit: Metropoles.com In a 240-page indictment, Rodrigo Janot, the chief prosecutor, has accused the president, his closest ministers and allies, all members of the PMDB, of forming a ‘quadrilhão’ – big criminal...
Aug 14 2017 What is President Temer's weapon for fighting corruption charges? Why, corruption of course. In his relentless battle to stay in power, President Michel Temer has appealed to the very methods he stands  accused of by the Attorney General’s investigations: bribery and corruption, or as Theresa May might say, confidence and supply. This enabled him to win last week’s crucial...
São Paulo, May 25. A week is a long time in Brazilian politics, and President Michel Temer has revealed himself to be a stubborn survivor as he battles to stay afloat in the sea of sleaze accusations. He has just sacked  Justice Minister  Osmar Serraglio, himself accused of corruption, replacing him with Torquato Jardim,  a prosecutor well versed in...
São Paulo, May 22. Few Brazilians were familiar with the name of Joesley Batista, who with his brother, Wesley, owns Brazil’s biggest meat packing industry, JBS, now part of the multinational holding J&F. But the revelations of his secretly taped tête a tête with President Michel Temer, alone in the Jaburu Palace late at night on March 7, off...
Main image: Gamela indigenous people talk to police after the brutal attack by farmers in Maranhão state, Brazil. Photo: Ana Mendes/Indigenous Missionary Congress (CIMI) SÃO PAULO, 9 May, 2017 − A recent violent attack on a group of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest of northern Brazil is seen by environmentalists as a symptom of a new climate of hostility...
Sâo Paulo. April 19. The sheer scale and volume of the gigantic bribery operation that has been bankrolling the entire infrastructure of Brazilian politics over the last 30 years is breathtaking. The details, revealed by the declarations of over 70 executives of Brazil’s top construction company, Odebrecht, to teams of public prosecutors investigating the Lava Jato corruption scandal, would...
April 11th 2017. In Rio recently ex-military officer and ultra rightwing deputy Jair Bolsanaro was applauded for his racist remarks at the Hebrew club, of all places, while a new survey showed that 73% of cariocas think human rights get in the way of fighting crime.  So two new books are a timely reminder of what unlimited power in...

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