Friday, January 19, 2018
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Cities & Urban Planning

What do you do if you’re living on public land, in a house that your great-grandparents built in an era before strict housing regulations, and the government suddenly decides to evict you? This dilemma afflicts several informal settlements known as favelas, along with other occupations of public land by traditional communities. With a political landscape increasingly intolerant of these...
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...
Authorities, representatives of social and cultural movements, and an appreciative audience gathered in Belo Horizonte for the opening of the Farmers' Market Shop, another permanent space for sale of products from Land Reform farms. The shop occupies a prime location in the capital city of Minas Gerais, on the corner of Avenida Augusto de Lima, in the Barro Preto neighbourhood,...
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,...
As the city rises up the development index, Bogotá’s waste services are undergoing structural transformation. Rachel Simon learns how Colombia’s waste-picking recicladores are fighting to play their part as services are commercialised, and to do so with better pay, recognition, and conditions. This article was first published in Resource Magazine. You can read the original here. Mention Colombia and the first...
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...

Rio: from kudos to chaos

In less than three months Rio has passed from the splendour and success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to a state of public calamity and chaos. The state government is bankrupt; salaries are in arrears, hospitals are at breaking point, suppliers are unpaid.  The causes include the steep drop in the royalties enjoyed by Rio when the oil price...
Fires in the Amazon rage at record levels, while Michel Temer government prepares to sign Paris agreement on climate change next week.
Argentine agriculture is dominated by GM soya yet local residents increasingly fear that the pesticides used to cultivate it are making them sick.

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