Brazil’s Congress: Paying for Consensus

Brazilians have a saying, that every corruption scandal “ends in pizza.” The malfeasant and the enforcer settle things by sharing a meal and leaving behind what brought them together in the first place. Unlike other Latin American elites, the Brazilian elite peculiarly tend towards consensus as opposed to hot-headed conflict. Rather than incriminate each other, they let each other off. Rather than fight, they separate. The Brazilian Congress: Consensus or Collusion? There is no place that reflects this behavior more powerfully than...

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Freedom of Information Bill in Jeopardy as Rousseff Backtracks

[Published on by Greg Michener] President Dilma Rousseff reversed her support for expedited passage of a Brazilian freedom of information law this week, ceding to Senators’ desire to reappraise the law and include weakening amendments. The proposed changes to bill 41/2010 aim to eliminate time limits on how long information can be classified as secret and held from the public. Such amendments would contravene regional and national legal guarantees, in addition to delaying and enfeebling a prospective freedom of information law. About-face...

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Dealing with Overcrowding in Brazil’s Prisons: Innovative Legislation Passed

Brazilian legislators have passed an innovative law to deal with overcrowding and high recidivism in Brazil’s prisons: one day less in prison for every 12 hours spent in the classroom, reports Folha de São Paulo. As world population continues to surge past 7 billion people, prison overcrowding and repeat incarceration have become major policy problems around the world. Statistics from a 2010 report show that there are 440,864 prisoners in Brazil’s prison system, and a total of 299,597 spots, meaning that prisons are 140,000 over...

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Why the Media Have Made the Palocci Scandal into a Crisis

Research shows that the news media’s issue-attention cycle tends to be short, averaging about three days for a major story. When it diverges from this norm, you can bet that the event is either truly sensational or else the media has a vested interest in it. In the case of the first major ‘crisis’ to hit the Rousseff Administration, it appears that zealous coverage of a scandal–for more than two weeks–can be explained principally by the former. The Scandal The scandal concerns Antonio Palocci, the President’s Chief of Staff...

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