Sunday, April 23, 2017
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...
In the early 2000s, public outrage over Amazon clear cutting for soy production caused transnational grain companies including Cargill, Bunge and Brazil’s Amaggi, to join with soy producers and environmental NGOs including Greenpeace to sign the voluntary Amazon Soy Moratorium, banning direct conversion of Amazon forests to soy after 2006. The agreement’s signatories have long proclaimed its phenomenal...
April 11th 2017. In Rio recently ex-military officer and ultra rightwing deputy Jair Bolsanaro was applauded for his racist remarks at the Hebrew club, of all places, while a new survey showed that 73% of cariocas think human rights get in the way of fighting crime.  So two new books are a timely reminder of what unlimited power in...
Sinop, a city of 125,000 people in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon in Mato Grosso state, is a modern success story. Prosperous and booming, the small urban center services a region dominated today by industrial agriculture. Few remember how the city came to be. As recently as the 1970’s, the Sinop region was mostly rainforest and occupied by...
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...
A catastrophic setback to environmental and indigenous protections was narrowly averted last week when quick action from two federal deputies prevented the agricultural lobby from forcing passage of bills to authorize construction of three mega-industrial waterways in the Amazon and elsewhere. The Congress will likely pick up the bills again after the recess in February. They would authorize building many...
Main image: police family members protest in Vitória. Their placard reads: We've had no wage increase since 2013 - 40% inflation. The coffin is for Paulo Hartung, the state governor. São Paulo. February 12. A series of moves by President Michel Temer, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies are being interpreted as attempts to block the investigations into Brazil’s...
24 January. With the new year in Colombia came a new sentence from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, holding the state responsible for human rights violations committed in the context of ‘Operation Orion’. In this Operation, the army, together with the ‘Cacique Nutibarra’ bloc of the AUC paramilitary organisation, stormed the marginalised slum neighbourhood ‘Comuna 13’ in Medellín,...
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...
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...

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