São Paulo, October 23. On the eve of the second round of the presidential elections, armed police and officials from electoral tribunals invaded at least 30 state universities up and down the country, confiscating anti-fascist banners and posters, intimidating lecturers and students and interrupting debates.  Judges justified these arbritrary actions by saying the materials and activities were pro-Fernando Haddad,...

Bolsonaro’s dirty tricks

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An avalanche of millions of anti-PT messages, most of them slanderous lies or fake news, has inundated the screens of Brazilian WhatsApp users in favour of Jair Bolsonaro’s election campaign, sent by companies paid for the service. The accusation was made by leading newspaper Folha De S.Paulo, but at first ignored by TV Globo, which preferred to play down...
São Paulo,12 October. Are we heading for a repeat of the fiasco which followed previous elections of so-called salvadores da pátria - messianic figures who promise to put an end to corruption? In 1961 it was Janio Quadros with his broom, in 1989 it was Fernando Collor, the caçador dos marajás, or hunter of the mandarins – both governments ended prematurely,...
On Sunday night we watched in horror as Bolsonaro’s percentage of the vote crept up to 47%, 48%...it seemed clear that he would win the election on the first round. But then the votes from the Northeast states began to trickle in and his numbers fell, while Haddad’s rose. In the end, Jair Bolsonaro, the extreme right-wing candidate, scored...

Bolsonaro’s Black Box

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P oll after poll this week has shown support for the ex-army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, is growing, while the number backing Fernando Haddad, from the Workers’ Party (PT), after his initial spectacular surge in ratings, remains stationary. This is in spite of – or probably because of – Jair Bolsonaro’s absence from TV debates, as he recovers from an assassination...
With just a few days to go elections on 7 October, polls indicate a run off in the second round between the small PSL’s ultra right-wing candidate Jair Bolsanaro and the PT’s Fernando Haddad, who shot into second place once Lula was finally banned from standing by the Electoral Court, in the early hours of 1 September. This election is...
Jan Rocha, author of LAB's widely-read Brazil blogs, has just published a new history of  Clamor, the group which took in refugees from the South American dictatorships and denounced the crimes of Plan Condor. The book, Solidariedade Não Tem Fronteiras, with a foreword by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, is launched on 10 July in São Paulo, at the Bar Tubaína, Rua...

Bom dia, Lula

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Updated 23 June, to reflect latest legal decision. In his prison cell, every morning at 7 o’clock, Lula hears hundreds of supporters camped nearby shout Good Morning Lula. At night they shout Boa Noite.  It is a way of demonstrating to him, and to the world, that, even though he is locked away in a prison cell at the...
São Paulo, 29 May 2018: A week-long strike by hundreds of thousands of lorry drivers, blockading highways and interrupting deliveries of petrol, food, medical supplies and livestock, paralysed Brazil. Without fuel, planes were grounded, buses were unable to run, and cars were stranded. Without medicines and blood, hospitals cancelled operations and turned patients away. Schools and universities closed down....
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...

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