Saturday, May 26, 2018
São Paulo, 16 April. Lula disappeared into the federal police building in Curitiba on 7 April and nobody knows when he will be seen again. Two days before, after the Supreme Court refused to grant him a habeas corpus, the PT’s presidential candidate had bunkered down at the HQ of the metalworkers union in São Bernardo, surrounded by thousands of...
In a decision as closely watched as a World Cup final, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided by 6 to 5 to reject a habeas corpus application for ex-president Lula, opening the way for his imminent arrest.  The eleven judges spent 11 hours proffering their votes in erudite, legal language peppered with Latin expressions, impossible for the man or woman in...
22 March 2018. Marielle Franco was executed with four bullets. One each for racism, misogyny, homophobia and impunity. By killing Marielle, the assassins eliminated not just a politician elected on the PSOL ticket to the Rio City Council with 46,000 votes, a lone black woman in the sea of white, male, wealthy politicians. They also silenced the voice of a...
São Paulo, 15 February 2018. It’s Ash Wednesday and all that’s left of Carnival in the streets of São Paulo are rows of chemical toilets and a homeless man wearing a paper crown. Hard to believe that over the last four days these same streets were jam packed with multi-coloured crowds in their hundreds of thousands, dancing, and singing,...
São Paulo, 26 January 2018. Not only was Lula’s appeal rejected and his sentence increased to twelve years by the court in Porto Alegre on 24 January, but in Brasilia another judge banned him from travelling to Ethiopia on a previously planned trip to take part in a FAO conference on food, to prevent him ‘asking for political asylum’. Lula’s...
São Paulo 21 January. Some are calling it the trial of the century.  The fate of the man who leads all the polls by a huge margin and could therefore be elected president of Brazil in October lies in the hands of three judges of the TRF4, the regional appeals court in Porto Alegre. Although the case will only...
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...

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