Brazil’s Long-Awaited Freedom of Information Bill Once Again Under Threat

Brazil’s long-awaited freedom of information law is once again under threat. Senator and disgraced ex-President Fernando Collor, who was impeached in 1992 by the very Senate he now serves, has proposed radical revisions to the freedom of information bill 41/2010. These changes constitute a clear affront to President Dilma Rousseff, who has supported passage of the measure, to the Chamber of Deputies, which approved the bill in 2010, and to the three Senate committees that have already endorsed the measure in 2011. As Chair of the Committee...

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Why Don’t Brazilians React?

The Fateful Question of El País Correspondent Juan Arias Search for the question “por que os brasileiros não reagem?” (Why don’t Brazilians react?) or the phrase, “do Brazilians really not know how to react to hypocrisy and their leaders’ lack of ethics?” (“Será que os brasileiros não sabem reagir à hipocrisia e à falta de ética de muitos dos que os governam?”) and you will find pages upon pages of Brazilian bloggers and media outlets responding to an editorial by Juan Arias, a Brazilian correspondent of El País...

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New Brazilian Record: 4 Ministers Fall in 8 Months of Corruption Faxina

When President Dilma Rousseff took office in January, she counted on the largest congressional majority Brazil had ever witnessed—a super-majority that gave her more than three-fifth of votes Congress— enough to change the constitution. Rousseff lost that super-majority when the PR and its block of 52 deputies broke with the government on Tuesday, reported Jornal Globo. The break follows the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (DNIT) scandal, in which the government wrested control of the ministry from the PR after clear evidence...

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Response to a Stratfor Global Intelligence Article on Brazil

A friend recently wrote me about this report on Brazil by one of the leading economic intelligence publishers, Strafor. The article is worth a read, and it’s a freebe. This is part of my response: “This article is quite a sweeping take on the country, with an interesting geo-economic vision: Brazil is a logistical nightmare, with no natural transport routes, and little coastal space for contiguous development… The observations about infrastructure and the oligarchic system are correct for the most part. I talk about the...

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Dilma Cleaning House or Slapping Wrists?

Over the past three months, corruption scandals and ministerial resignations have been changing the face of Brasilia. Yesterday, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim resigned after expressing dissatisfaction with President Dilma Rousseff’s handling of the military. Jobim’s departure marks the third Minister to resign in the first seven months of the Rousseff administration. At the pace of nearly one minister per two-month period, Rousseff indeed appears to be cleaning house. All of these early exits have been ‘Lulistas’...

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