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Banking, Finance & micro-credit

In 1980, I was working for small weekly newspaper in my native Peru called Kausachum, a quechua word that means ‘Long life’. The editor was Augusto Zimmerman, an experienced journalist who had been the press chief of General Juan Velasco, former leader of an improbable left-wing military government from 1968 to 1975. One day, Luis González...
São Paulo, April 5: ‘If he sees a banana skin on the pavement across the road, he will cross over to slip on it’, said columnist Elio Gaspari, describing the Brazilian president’s unerring capacity to provoke self-inflicted crises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QHDGdzFyY8 Bolsonaro's call to commemorate the military coup. Video: Al Jazeera, 31 March 2019
Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon – a strategy born during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day. The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that...
Brazil’s president has until 22 June to approve or veto two bills (PLC 4 and PLC 5) turning over more than 600,000 hectares (2,317 square miles) of federally protected Amazon forest to illegal loggers, illegal miners and land thieves. The measures, initiated by Temer and already approved by Congress, are seen as a reward to the bancada ruralista...
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...
If the immigration agenda of Donald Trump and his administration is not enough of a racist assault on the human rights of Mexicans, the overall impact of this demagogue’s agenda on the economy of its long-suffering southern neighbour adds insult to injury. The immediate effect of Trump’s victory and first 100 days in power has been to weaken an already...
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...
On 4 January, a congressional commission with full investigative powers was created to deal with the accusations of illegal payments to government officials by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company. These relate to infrastructure contracts obtained from the Peruvian government from at least 2005 onwards. The information came to light as part of the wider investigation into the so-called ‘Lava...
As rain-soaked soldiers carried coffin after coffin into the football stadium in the small city of Chapecó, in a procession which seemed as though it would never end, Brazilians were mourning not only the loss of sons, husbands, brothers and idols, but the loss of a dream.   “Even God is crying, “said Chapecó’s mayor, as the heavens opened and...

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