Brazil

JBS and Impunity

Forget Odebrecht. JBS is the new king of Brazilian corruption, and revelations from the company's founders, the billionaire Batista brothers, threaten to take down President Michel Temer. But the real scandal is that despite admitting to some egregious crimes, the Batistas themselves have been granted full immunity and will continue to run their multi-billion dollar empire from abroad. 

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Dilma vs. Collor: How do Brazil’s impeachments compare?

The acrimonious nature and bizarre ending of Dilma Rousseff's impeachment almost makes you nostalgic for the impeachment of Fernando Collor de Mello, in 1992. Back then, Brazil was united in its disdain for a corrupt president and the process to remove him was relatively swift and uncontroversial. Indeed, perhaps the best way to make sense of the current impeachment and gain some perspective on it is to compare it with this previous episode. 

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What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances (Entire series)

As Brazil’s interim government gets to work, its main task is fixing Brazil’s finances after identifying a record budget deficit. Although the specter of austerity looms large, the good news is that budget cuts don’t need to affect Brazil’s social programs. The country’s real fiscal problems can be alleviated by addressing large-scale inefficient and wasteful spending elsewhere. The following five-part series examines where some of these savings could come from.

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Largesse and waste in the Brazilian public sector

This is Part III of a five-part series entitled "What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances." Part III examines inefficient and wasteful spending in Brazil's massive government bureaucracy, particularly with regard to public sector pensions, salaries, and other benefits.

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What now? The trade-offs and budget cuts needed to fix Brazil’s finances

As Brazil’s interim government gets to work, its main task is restoring Brazil’s finances after identifying a record budget deficit. Although the specter of austerity looms large, the good news is that budget cuts don’t need to affect Brazil’s social programs. The country’s real fiscal problems can be alleviated by addressing inefficient and wasteful spending elsewhere – this five-part series examines where some of these savings could come from.

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Why the threat of military intervention in Brazil is overblown

If we consider the current local context, in which Brazil has robust if flawed democratic institutions; the international context, in which terrorism has replaced communism as the global threat du jour; and the regional context, in which leftist regimes all over Latin America are collapsing on their own, it becomes clear that the Brazilian military is not primed to intervene on this occasion. 

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Has the Western media gone too easy on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff?

It’s time for the media to reconsider the narrative that has been used to describe the Brazilian crisis and to turn a more critical eye to President Rousseff, as well as her predecessor Lula and the Workers’ Party in general. They have, after all, been in charge for the past 13 years, and the economic and political crises and corruption scandals currently tearing Brazil apart have happened on their watch. 

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What is the impeachment in Brazil about? Author of request explains

Yesterday, lawyer and law professor Janaína Paschoal testified before the Brazilian Senate’s Special Impeachment Commission to explain the request that she filed, along with Helio Bicudo and Miguel Reale Jr., for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Here is a translated and annotated transcript of her remarks. 

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Impeachment moves forward, stocks move back and the Rio Olympics face new challenges

In a rowdy hearing last Sunday, the lower house of Brazil’s Congress voted to move forward with impeachment proceedings against president Dilma Roussef. Financial markets had a mixed response as enthusiasm for potential new economic policies was tempered by the reality that there are no short-term solutions for Brazil's dire economic situation. Meanwhile, the Rio Olympics experienced new setbacks when a brand new elevated bicycle path in the city collapsed, killing two people, and news broke that several Olympic construction projects may become the target of corruption investigations.

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Political and economic crisis, the Rio Olympics and Internet rights

The political drama in Brazil continued to unfold during what has been an especially eventful week, even by recent standards. In other news, the economic outlook remains bleak, preparations for the Rio Olympics appear to have finally gotten on track, and concerns are being raised about new laws that would affect net neutrality and strengthen censorship on the Brazilian internet.

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Liberals of the world – Brazil’s conservative opposition movement is not what you think

Why do a lot of smart people wholeheartedly support the rise of a right-wing opposition movement against Brazil’s leftist government? Because they have come to realize that while idealistic politics are great when applied to the US or Europe, in the drastically different political context of Brazil, more conservative pragmatism is the way to go. 

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