Sunday, September 23, 2018
The imprisonment of former president Lula takes place against a background which is complicated at best and murky at worst. The case against him is as follows: Lula’s wife, who died two years ago, had been eligible to purchase a $0.5 million duplex apartment in the seaside resort of Guarujá in São Paulo state, but subject to paying for an upgrade...
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...
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...
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...
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIhSvU6trWs Video: The intercept The murder on 14 March of Marielle Franco, a young black city councillor and human rights campaigner, has deeply traumatized Rio de Janeiro, a city so cheated by the failure of mega-events such as the World Cup and Olympics  to deliver lasting social change, and so bitterly accustomed to violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN-JjAX_zdw Political colleagues and family members speak out about...
Costa Ricans went to the voting booths on February 4 to confirm what most polls had predicted: the victory of evangelical singer Fabricio Alvarado from the religious party National Renovation (RN) with 25 per cent of the votes. His success, as expected, was down to his radical response to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ opinion on same-sex marriage. But...
Since 16 February an army general has been in charge of policing and security in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  This is the effect of a surprise decree issued by President Michel Temer, since approved by both chambers of the Brazilian Congress. This is the first time since the end of the military dictatorship in 1985 that power...
In an unprecedented political atmosphere, Costa Ricans will vote for a new president on February 4th. The country has become famous for its wonderful natural beauty – home to nearly 6 per cent of the world's biodiversity – and receives approximately 3 million tourists every year. So it may surprise many visitors that a candidate who promises to open the...
This article was first published by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a LAB partner. You can see the original here. Header image: Mexico City Source: Wikimedia The first month of 2018 has been a dismal one for Mexico: more than 200 murders in the first two weeks, continuing the surge of bloodshed that intensified throughout last year. This crisis of public...
São Paulo, 26 January 2018. Not only was Lula’s appeal rejected and his sentence increased to twelve years by the court in Porto Alegre on 24 January, but in Brasilia another judge banned him from travelling to Ethiopia on a previously planned trip to take part in a FAO conference on food, to prevent him ‘asking for political asylum’. Lula’s...

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