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Jan Rocha's Blog

Brazilians began the New Year in the most terrible way, with images of piles of headless, dismembered corpses, the result of a savage massacre in an Amazon prison. The photos were put on social media by the murderers themselves, in boastful celebration of their bloody crimes. On New Year’s Day, 56 prisoners died in the Anísio Jobim prison on the...
São Paulo, March 22nd. With their usual fine sense of irony, the Federal Police named their latest operation, launched on Friday 17th,   “Carne Fraca” – the Flesh is Weak. The targets were Brazil’s biggest meat companies, all household names, exporters of billions of dollars worth of beef, chicken and meat products to over 150 countries. The two-year investigation, involving over...
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...
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...
São Paulo, 15 March. Despairing of  finding justice in Brazil, cacique Ladio Veron of the Guarani Kaiowá indigenous people in Mato Grosso do Sul,  has set out on a 3 month trip to 10 European countries to appeal for help in reclaiming the lands taken from them by successive Brazilian governments, and now occupied by ranchers, farmers and sugarcane...
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...
The Amazon activist, Chico Mendes, was murdered outside the door of his house on 22 December 1988. Jan Rocha, who met him, looks at his legacy.

Brazil : protest works

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In the second of her blogs from São Paulo, Jan Rocha says that "people power" is already bringing results
São Paulo 11 Dec 2016. Another turbulent week in Brazilian politics. As Brazil lurches from crisis to crisis, it seems more like a country grappling to stay in the present than the country of the future. The first revelations of the promised “end of the world” plea bargain have been published, exposing a vast and shocking scheme of kickbacks and...
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,...

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