Today is International Right-to-Know Day

Today is International Right to Information Day. Countries around the world are celebrating their newfound right to ask and receive public information held, for the benefit of citizens, in the government’s trust. The New Paradigm– Freedom of Information and Open Government More than 40 of the world’s 90-odd national freedom of information (FOI) laws were enacted within the past decade. This year alone, 8 countries passed measures: El Salvador, Guinea Canakry, Guyana, Jersey, Liberia, Nigeria and Mongolia. Latin America accounts for...

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Brazil’s Unmerited Swagger

Mighty Brazil A couple of weeks ago, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega puffed out his chest and idly suggested that the BRIC countries might bail out Europe. A few weeks later, Dilma Rousseff stood before the United Nations Assembly and tossed daggers at economic mismanagement in the U.S. and Europe while at once highlighting Brazil’s sure-footedness: “Part of the world has not yet found the balance between appropriate fiscal adjustments and proper and precise fiscal stimuli to demand and growth […] It is noteworthy that it is...

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Corruption in Brazil Today: Showdowns on Multiple Fronts

It is a pivotal moment for Brazil. While President Dilma Rousseff presents Brazil’s plans for the Open Government Partnership in New York today, anti-corruption movements are mobilizing across Brazil. Today, the Globo newspaper reported that around 30,000 protesters have come together through Facebook for a protest in Rio de Janeiro to be held between 17:00 and 20:00 in one of the city’s largest squares, Cinelandia. These protests follow in the wake of the September 7th demonstrations in Brasilia that brought together almost 10,000...

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Brazil’s Plans for the Open Government Partnership and 5 Recommendations

Brazil unveiled tentative plans to make good on the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multi-country, multi-stakeholder international initiative to advance greater transparency, openness, accountability, and participation in government. Brazil and the U.S. are the Co-Chairs of the OGP, which is to be announced on September 20th by President Barack Obama at the opening of the United Nations in New York. Brazil’s proposed initiatives are somewhat promising, and appear to be in line with the general spirit of the Open Government Partnership...

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Movements Against Corruption Afoot in Brazil

The performance of Brazil’s Congress, and particularly the governing coalition makes one wonder whether the nation’s deliberative process should be moved somewhere else— far away from the alleged ‘representatives of the people.’ Congress is where the government’s coalition ‘allies’ select their robber baron cabinet ministers, the same ones that have been resigning one after the next in the wake of President Dilma Rousseff’s spring cleaning. Yet despite the rash of corruption scandals over the past months, and one...

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