News from Brazil

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

POLITICS

Brazil, less than a year after Lula left office, may be facing its most important development challenge yet: proving that it can prevent bust from following boom. And in that regard Brazil’s current center-left President, Dilma Rousseff, could turn out to be an even more consequential leader than both of her predecessors. The stakes are big for Latin America, where Brazil is the largest economy, and for the Americas. Many of the Brazilian analysts agree that it’s fortunate that Rousseff is sitting in Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace now instead of Lula (Time).

President Dilma Rousseff’s biggest challenge in the coming months is to engineer a “soft landing” for Brazil’s economy and insulate it as much as possible from the burgeoning euro zone debt crisis. A likely cabinet reshuffle in the New Year will allow her to put her own stamp on the government after scandals brought down six ministers mostly inherited from her predecessor. Reuters sums up the key political risks to watch for.

The Brazilian government will invest more than $2 billion to curb the spread of crack cocaine, including creating a public health network to treat drug users, the country’s Health Ministry said (New York Times).

Brazil’s recent decision to examine the abuses of the military dictatorship from several decades ago could change the face of democracy at home, making it more genuine and transparent. At the same time it could have a wider impact, allowing Brazil to take a decisive stand on human rights regionally and internationally (New York Times).

A serious scandal involving Trade and Industry Minister Fernando Pimentel, a member of the president’s own Workers’ Party, could be damaging for President Rousseff. A close confidant and long-time personal friend of Rousseff, Pimentel is the most influential minister to face an ethics storm since her chief of staff Antonio Palocci was forced out of his post in June (Reuters).

Brazil’s Labor Minister, Carlos Lupi, became the seventh minister to resign since President Rousseff took office in January. The ministry’s chief secretary, Paulo Roberto dos Santos Pinto, will take his place until a permanent replacement is chosen (The Rio Times).

Transparency International released their annual global Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011, ranking Brazil 73rd out of the 183 countries they surveyed. The index ranks countries according to their perceived level of corruption in the public sector, using data gathered from assessments and opinion surveys carried out by independent institutions (The Rio Times).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

INTERNATIONAL

Financial aid for Europe by Brazil and other BRICs group member countries through the International Monetary Fund will depend on the outcome of talks among European leaders at upcoming meetings, Brazil’s representative to the IMF, Paulo Nogueira Batista, said (Smart Money).

Brazil hasn’t paid membership fees to the Organization of American States since April amid a disagreement over a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon, the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported (Bloomberg).

Brazil has joined a new political-economic regional bloc that unites 33 countries from across Latin America and the Caribbean, but significantly does not include the United States or Canada. Known by its Spanish or Portuguese initials “CELAC”, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was inaugurated at its first meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, last weekend (The Rio Times).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer performed the maiden flight of the first of three EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft ordered by the Indian government. The flight was well performed and all planned tests were successfully achieved. It tooked place at Embraer’s headquarters, in São José do Campos (Embraer).

The Ministry of science, technology and Innovation (MCTI) and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) has already defined the model of the new space policy that aims to stimulate domestic production of satellites and the domain of technologies considered critical by the Government for the development of communications satellites, space observation and meteorology. The new policy will be in the National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation that President Dilma Rousseff will launch later this month (Portal Brasil).

GOOD TO KNOW

This week the New York Times published the results of a poll in which it asked hundreds of chief executives and chairmen to select the top universities from which they recruited. Ranked 98th in the world, the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) appears as the leading university in Latin America. It ranks 3rd in the BRICs (behind Fudan University and Tsinghua University, both in China), and 6th in the Southern Hemisphere (behind five Australian universities) (Post Western World).

Brazil comes second place on the world’s top ten countries visited by aliens. But Brazil’s alien encounters are some of the most disturbing of all. Perhaps most chilling (although somewhat reassuring) is the seriousness with which the Brazilian government and armed forced treat UFO sightings (Top Ten).

Some fifty Brazilian cities are exposed to serious outbreaks of dengue during the austral summer and another 236 are on ‘alert’ for the same reason, according to a paper presented by Brazil’s Health minister Alexandre Padhilla (MercoPress).

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on December 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

HOLIDAYS

Brazil Weekly is away on holidays. We wish you the best Season´s Greetings!

ECONOMY

Brazil’s economy stalled in the third quarter as the euro zone debt crisis dragged on global demand and the country’s increasingly indebted consumers retreated after nearly three years of buoyant spending. Latin America’s biggest economy posted zero growth from the previous quarter (Reuters).

Brazilian government-controlled companies invested through October 58 percent of the total planned for 2011, signaling the 73 companies will not meet their investment target, Valor Economico reported, citing data from Planning Ministry (Bloomberg).

During her first official visit to Brazil last week, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), praised Brazil’s economic policies, saying that the country was in a strong position to ride out the current global economic instability (The Rio Times).

BRICS AT TEN

As long as China keeps growing, Brazil will benefit, mainly by exporting commodities. Brazil’s discovery of very large offshore oil reserves will help further – presenting great technological challenges which, when conquered, will usher Brazil into OPEC. But under this optimistic scenario the currency will remain overvalued and Brazilian manufacturing will keep suffering. To boost productivity, many reforms must be undertaken. Taxation is very heavy and distortionary, promoting informality. Labour laws are outdated and harm job creation. Justice is extremely slow and property laws are poorly enforced. Competition is weak in many areas and protectionism is always a threat. Above all, education is still found wanting. Although universal coverage has been achieved at the fundamental level, Brazilian children learn very little, as evidenced by the standardized international tests results. Its poorly educated labour force is Brazil’s Achiles heel. This is changing all too slowly, despite social policies that have reduced income inequality. Brazil has great potential – not to grow at Chinese or even Indian rates, but to grow at a robust 5 per cent a year over the next decade. To achieve this goal, governments must act now for the future, not commemorate past success (Beyond Brics – FT).

It is 10 years since the Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill first coined the term Bric – Brazil, Russia, India, China – when describing a group of emerging market economies that seemed set on a path of high growth. To mark this anniversary, Justin Rowland reports from the edge of the Amazon in Brazil for Business Daily, from one of the most efficient farms on the planet, owned by Blairo Maggi, the man they call “The King of Soya” (BBC).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

AUTOMOTIVE

Ford Motor Company announced that it will invest 800 million Reais (446 million dollars) to build a new global model in its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, the heart of Brazil’s auto industry (MercoPress).

AVIATION

Two years after the Airbus 330 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, Air France 447′s flight-data recorders finally turned up. The revelations from the pilot transcript paint a surprising picture of chaos in the cockpit, and confusion between the pilots that led to the crash. Read the chilling account of the vioce recorder data (Popular Mechanics).

Delta Air Lines will invest $100 million in Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas to increase access to Latin America’s largest air travel market and give the Brazilian carrier much-needed capital to fight rivals. The airlines signed a binding agreement for Delta to acquire preferred shares for 22 reais each through the purchase of American depositary shares (Reuters).

Lan Airline’s $3.3 billion acquisition of Tam, Brazil’s largest airline by market value, received a second recommendation of approval by Brazilian authorities (Bloomberg).

Strong growth in Brazil’s airline industry is luring global players to invest in Latin America’s largest nation, but they have to take a circuitous route due to government restrictions on foreign ownership. “The expansion of the domestic economy will continue to drive the airline industry for the next year,” said Rosangela Riberio, an airline industry analyst (Market Watch).

President Hugo Chavez confirmed a deal with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer to supply 20 commercial planes for Venezuela’s state carrier to increase Caribbean routes (Reuters).

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Embraer for possible violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil-based company said Nov. 2. The probe started more than a year ago in Argentina with government-controlled Aerolineas Argentinas SA’s $700 million purchase of 20 E-190 jets in 2009, it was now revealed (Bloomberg).

MINING & STEEL

A ruptured hull in the world’s largest dry bulk ship could sink Vale’s multi-billion dollar plan for a flotilla of giant vessels to link its iron ore mines to the mills of top steelmaker China. The two-month-old Vale Beijing was severely damaged this week while preparing to set sail on its maiden voyage, sparking concerns over the safety of the Valemax vessels (Reuters).

ThyssenKrupp AG , Germany’s biggest steelmaker, swung to a 1.8 billion euro ($2.4 billion) net loss this year due to cost overruns at its Brazil plant and parted company with the head of its Americas unit (Reuters).

Anglo American, the mining company investing $14 billion in projects in Brazil, named Paulo Castellari as chief executive officer of its iron-ore unit in the country to replace Stephan Weber. Castellari will oversee construction of Anglo’s largest project, the Minas Rio iron-ore site, which has suffered delays and cost overruns since it was bought in 2008 (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

China’s Sinopec is the favorite to buy part of BG Group’s stake in some of Brazil’s most promising offshore oil areas, a source said, increasing its holdings in a fast-growing frontier believed to hold enough oil to supply China for 15 years (Reuters).

Brazilian prosecutors are probing the possible involvement of state-led oil company Petrobras in a November offshore oil spill in a field operated by Chevron (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Brazil is preparing three auctions of wireless airwaves for mobile-phone service in 2012 and is beginning work on a fourth sale to meet the growing demand for data downloads, the nation’s top phone regulator said (Bloomberg).

Brazil Weekly’s Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on December 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Legend Santos hotel and residential complex for the Gonzaga area of Santos, Sao Paulo (Skyscrapercity).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

FIFA WORLD CUP

Brazil, plagued by delays and in-fighting in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup, could stage the event in two months’ time if necessary, the country’s sports minister said. Aldo Rebelo said work at all but one of Brazil’s 12 venues was now on schedule and promised that other infrastructure, including airports, could handle the expected number of visitors (Reuters).

Brazil has moved closer to overturning a ban on alcoholic drinks at sports venues, drafting a bill that would allow for their sale at 2014 World Cup matches out of deference to world soccer’s governing body FIFA (Reuters).

AMAZON

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region fell to its lowest in 23 years in the year through July, the government said, attributing the drop to its tougher stance against illegal logging (Reuters).

After years of allowing clear-cutting and rapid deforestation in the Amazon, Brazil has managed to save its forests. But a new law landing on the President’s desk could undo much of that — and open the door to the bad old days of massive deforestation (Time).

Brazil’s new Forest Code means it will struggle to meet its targets on curbing greenhouse emissions, according to a former environment minister. On the sidelines of the UN climate talks in South Africa, Marina Silva said the move will also reduce Brazil’s global leadership on forests (BBC).

BAHIA

A collision between a bus and two trucks in Bahia in the early hours of Saturday morning left some 36 people dead and eleven wounded – some critically. The crash happened on a stretch of the BR-116 highway between the towns of Milagres and Brejões (The Rio Times).

NORTH EAST

Brazil is going through a wind power boom as production prices fall and government incentives attract a growing number of foreign suppliers. The wind power sector has a current capacity of around 1,400 megawatts, and is expected to grow nearly eight-fold by 2014, according to the Brazilian Association of Wind Energy ABEEolica (MercoPress).

RIO

Located 105 miles north of Rio de Janeiro is the buzzing peninsula of Armação dos Búzios. Better known simply as Búzios, this small piece of land juts out into the clear Atlantic and boasts over twenty beaches. When the opportunity of a weekend trip arrives, there’s no need to look elsewhere (The Rio Times).

The city displays beautiful beaches and small patches of virtually untouched nature which invite us to long outdoor walks in the amazing sceneries between beach and mountains. Get ready for breathtaking moments of beauty and amazement. Jungle Me and Jeep Tour are two companies that offer individual and collective tours for around R$100 almost every day of the week. Choose your setting, take a deep breath, wear cool and comfortable clothing, let yourself relax, have fun and get to know a little bit of the history of the Marvelous City (Rio Official Guide).

The president of the Rio 2016 Olympic committee is lamenting the resignation of former FIFA president Joao Havelange from the IOC. Carlos Nuzman says Havelange’s support was crucial for Rio winning the bid to host the games and that the organizing committee is “honored to continue to count on the support and the experience of Havelange” (Washington Post).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

SAO PAULO

Consumer prices in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, rose in line with expectations in November, gaining more briskly than in October. The IPC-FIPE index rose 0.6 percent last month, compared with an increase of 0.39 percent in October, according to the FIPE economic research institute (Reuters).

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

POLITICS

Brazil is willing to contribute funds to the International Monetary Fund to help minimize the effects of the European debt crisis, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said. Mantega made his comments after meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Brazil was Lagarde’s last stop on a Latin American tour that has also included visits to Peru and Mexico. “This time, the IMF did not come here bringing money as in the past,” Mantega told reporters. “This time it came to ask Brazil to lend it money and I prefer to be a creditor than a debtor.” Brazil endured decades of lectures from the developed world about its spendthrift ways. But it now has one of the world’s fastest growing economies (Washington Post).

President Dilma Rousseff plans to replace a handful of ministers to streamline the cabinet when she completes a year in office in January but the shuffle does not include Finance minister Guido Mantega, according to Planalto sources (MercoPress).

President Dilma Rousseff called for more investments in innovation to deal with the shocks of the European debt crisis. “We must take steps that will change Brazil, and one of them is undoubtedly placing our bets on innovation. I believe innovation, science and technology will be leaps for Brazil,” she said. Rousseff also stressed that Brazil cannot afford to get scared and must continue to produce and consume. The president also called for increasing local production of items which are currently being imported, such as the drills used by state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras, to create jobs. Rousseff said Brazil has every chance to become the world’s fifth largest economy, but added that ensuring social equality in the process of development is more important (Xinhua).

Could it be that Minister of Labor Carlos Lupi is only hanging onto his job because of the comedy value he brings? Lupi has been in the spotlight for nearly a month, dodging corruption allegations — the sixth minister in President Dilma Rousseff’s government to face such charges since she took office in January. But he has yet to resign or be dismissed, even while the drama around him becomes increasingly farcical (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s Executive Committee on Public Ethics, on a unanimous decision recommended President Dilma Rousseff the removal of Labour and Employment Minister Carlos Lupi (MercoPress).

Brazil’s Justice Department is terminating 29 contracts signed to build desperately needed prisons that never left the drawing board. It means Depen, Brazil’s National Penitentiary Department, will have to chase after the R$160 million that has already been paid into states’ accounts for the new building works, while more and more reports surface of inmates fleeing severely overcrowded prisons (The Rio Times).

Brazilians’ life expectancy rose by three years in the past decade, increasing from 70.46 years in 2000 to 73.48 years in 2010, the government said (Latin American Herald Tribune).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

INTERNATIONAL

Four out of five hydropower projects being built in Peru by Brazilian companies are unlikely to take off as pressure from indigenous tribes and social groups in the Andean country mount (Reuters).

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said President Barack Obama is missing opportunities to strike closer ties with Brazil, allowing China to steal market share from U.S. companies in Latin America’s biggest economy (Bloomberg).

UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne opened a new Consulate General in Recife, Brazil – the city which became home to one of the first ever British missions in South America in 1808 (MercoPress).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Because of repeated delays, Brazil’s $2.66 billion first nuclear submarine is not expected to be completed before 2025. In addition to its deterrence value, a nuclear sub would give Brazil “status” and add “credibility” to its ambition to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Brazil also “intends to show the flag” in the South Atlantic, in view of its growing trade ties with African countries across the ocean, particularly former Portuguese colonies such as Angola (Defensenews).

But the idea of acquiring nuclear power—under the pretext of military use—with the real intention of commercial development appears to be an original idea of the Brazil government. The acquisition of a nuclear sub (presumably the engineering and logistics) might be more important for Brazil than actually owning one (MercoPress).

Combating the drugs and arms trade and traffic of people as well as a greater coordination of regional intelligence services are among the pillars in security affairs that Argentina, as chair of Mercosur in the first half of 2012 will be applying (MercoPress).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

SOCIAL

As a television evangelist, Mr. Malafaia reaches viewers in dozens of countries, including the United States. Over 30 years, Mr. Malafaia, 53, has assembled thriving churches and enterprises around his Pentecostal preaching. But it is Mr. Malafaia who has recently attracted the most attention, with his pointed verbal attacks on a broad array of foes, including the leaders of Brazil’s movement for gay rights, proponents of abortion rights and supporters of marijuana decriminalization (New York Times).

What can be greater for Brazilians than the 2014 World Cup which will be hosted by the country? The best beauty contest of all times…the several reasons to visit Brazil in spite of all the street killings: the Miss Bumbum competition (MercoPress).

Brazil Business & Economic News

In Brazil on December 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

ECONOMY

The government of President Dilma Rousseff is seeking to prevent the global crisis from derailing Brazil’s boom, which has lifted more than 25 million people out of poverty over the last decade and made the country an emerging powerhouse. The measures, which take effect immediately, encompass a broad spectrum of the economy, from stock and bond purchases to tax breaks for domestic manufacturers. They include:  Eliminating the IOF transactions tax on foreign purchases of Brazilian stocks, eliminating the IOF tax on foreign purchases of corporate bonds with maturities of more than four years, a reduction in the IOF tax on personal loans to 2.5 percent from 3 percent per year, a reduction of the IPI industrial tax on home appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers and washing machine, a 3 percent tax rebate for exporters of industrialized good, eliminating a tax on pastas, flour and bread. Analysts said the measures might not be enough to stave off a deeper slowdown if major economies crumble further (Reuters).

The Brazilian Central bank latest decision to lower the basic interest rate by half a percentage point to 11%, confirms Brazil leadership as the country with the highest real interest rates in the world. An honour it has held interruptedly for the last 23 months (MercoPress).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

BUSINESS

British engineering group Rolls-Royce has been awarded contracts worth up to $650 million by Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras to support its production activities offshore Brazil (Reuters).

Exports of Scotch whiskey to Brazil were up nearly 50%, reaching almost 10 million litres of pure alcohol, according the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) (BBC).

AGRI ETC

When most people around the world think of Brazil, wine is not something that springs to mind. Even in the country itself, most Brazilians don’t give fermented grape juice much thought. It is very much a beer drinking nation, lager to be specific. And served as cold as possible to refresh in the hot weather. Yet Brazil has had a small wine industry for hundreds of years, started by the first Portuguese settlers, and then continued by Italian immigrants (BBC).

AUTOMOTIVE

Sales of cars and light trucks in Brazil rose 15.7 percent in November from October after two months of declines, signaling recovering consumer appetite after a sharp third-quarter slowdown in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).

AVIATION

Brazil saw above-average growth, but much slower than in the year to date. Brazil’s growth has slowed fastest, at 6.4 percent in October compared with an average of 15.1 percent in the year to date (Reuters).

Embraer sees little effect from possible jet returns by AMR Corp., which sought court protection from creditors this week, top executives from the planemakers said. Embraer, based in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, sees AMR returning “a fraction of a fraction” of the 216 planes made by the Brazilian company that it operates, said Chief Financial Officer Paulo Penido (Bloomberg).

President Dilma Rousseff signed a concession plan that would allow private investments for the first time in airport construction and operation as Brazil races to prepare for the 2014 soccer World Cup. Under the plan, the Sao Goncalo do Amarante Airport in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, would be ran by Inframerica, a consortium formed by Brazil’s Engevix and Argentina’s Corporation America (Xinhua).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

MINING & STEEL

A Brazilian court upheld a ruling requiring mining company Vale to pay 25 billion reais ($14 billion) in back taxes on overseas profits, raising the risk of double taxation on Brazilian companies’ foreign earnings (Reuters).

Vale plans to invest $21.4 billion on mining projects in 2012 after failing to meet spending targets this year. The Rio de Janeiro-based company will invest $12.95 billion on project execution, $2.4 billion on research and development and $6.1 billion on sustaining existing operations, it said in a regulatory filing. Iron-ore output will be 312 million metric tons, little changed from this year’s expected 311 million tons (Bloomberg).

Usiminas agreed to buy a mine adjacent to current holdings for $367 million, boosting its mineral reserves as it aims for iron ore self-sufficiency by 2015 (Reuters).

Ternium, Latin America’s second-largest steelmaker, said it would pay $2.2 billion to buy a stake in Brazilian rival Usiminas from two of its minority shareholders, despite tough conditions for mills in the continent’s largest economy (Reuters).

OIL & GAS

Petrobras has been fined 84.5 million reais ($47 million) for infractions at its production units, the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said (Reuters).

President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated a domestically produced oil tanker for state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras. The 183-meter-long Celso Furtado can carry a payload of 56 million liters of oil. It is Petrobras’ first tanker built in Brazil in 14 years. A total of 74 percent of Celso Furtado’s parts were produced in Brazil (Xinhua).

British North Sea oil and gas firms looking to export to Brazil have been boosted by a $1bn (£636m) credit guarantee. Credit agency UK Export Finance is providing the guarantee for Brazilian oil giant Petrobras to finance UK exports for its investment programme (BBC).

TOURISM

In 2010, the number of overseas visitors to the country totalled 5.2 million, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. This meant that Brazil did not even feature in the global top 10, and it was dwarfed by world number one France, 76.8 million, and number two, the US, 60 million. There are numerous reasons why Brazil remains off the main holiday map, but perhaps the biggest two are the fact it is rather a long way from Europe and the US, and a perception of high crime levels (BBC).

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on December 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Roof Garden Bela Cintra residential complex for Sao Paulo (Skyscrapercity).

ARTS

Brazil has been a powerhouse in the art world for more than a decade, and now its booming economy is putting its artists and collectors on the global map. Both will be making their mark during the 10th annual Art Basel Miami Beach festival and its satellite events this week (Washington Post).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

FIFA WORLD CUP

Brazil announced a strategy that will help increase its security during the 2014 World Cup. The newly created Special Secretariat for Large Events looks to identify Hooligans in foreign countries and prohibit their entrance into the country during the World Cup, reported the Folha de Sao Paulo (Xinhua).

Listen to any Brazilian official talking about their country hosting the 2014 World Cup, and the word they all use is “legacy”. And they say it all the time. Speaking at the Soccerex global business industry convention in Rio de Janeiro, Marcia Lins, the state’s Sport and Leisure Secretary, says: “This is about legacy… it really is a new Rio, a paradigm shift, we are not going to let this opportunity go by.” Put simply, Brazilian authorities are obsessed that the tournament will have a positive, lasting effect on the country (BBC).

The Brazilian media is full of speculation that the current president of the country’s Football Federation, (CBF) Ricardo Teixeira has started to play his cards with the ultimate goal of becoming FIFA chief in 2015 (MercoPress).

AMAZON

The Brazilian Amazon is now home to 24m people, many of them settlers who trekked those roads in the 1960s and 1970s, lured by a government promise that those who farmed “unproductive” land could keep it. Chaotic or corrupt land registries left some without secure title. Rubber-tappers, loggers, miners and charcoal-burners came too. The most recent arrivals are 20,000 construction workers building dams on the Madeira and Xingu rivers to provide electricity to Brazil’s populous south. They have attracted some 80,000 camp-followers, many of whom squat on supposedly protected land (The Economist).

PARA

The state of Pará occupies a vast and woefully lawless swathe of the Amazon, forming the eastern curve of the “arc of deforestation”. On December 11th its 4.8m voters will decide whether to split Pará into three, creating two new states. Carajás, with a quarter of the territory and the world’s biggest iron-ore mine, would have in Marabá potentially Brazil’s most violent state capital with 130 murders a year per 100,000 people. Tapajós, occupying three-fifths of the current state, would be 90% forest, with just 1.2m people; it could become a loggers’ paradise, or, with luck, a state-sized national park. The rump of Pará would be limited to the area around Belém, with two-thirds of the population and most of the economic activity (The Economist).

RIO

A ferry carrying over 900 people crashed into a dock near the Praça Quinze (XV Square) pier in Rio de Janeiro.  At least 65 on board were hospitalized, but there were no reported deaths. The Transportation Regulation Agency (Agetransp) and the Port Authority have opened an investigation into the cause of the accident (The Rio Times).

Living in Rio’s favelas has been a badge of honor for those gringos with the salt for living amongst well-armed traficantes, and willing to trade-off certain amenities and security for the much lower rents. Now, with the famous Zona Sul (South Zone) favelas Rocinha and Vidigal recently occupied by pacification forces, and the subsequent urban planning and legalization of property, many are anticipating big changes in the real estate market (The Rio Times).

Rio’s summer heat begs for loose clothing, a cool breeze and the ingestion of a lot of liquid. Why not make the best of your time in this marvellous city by trying different types of beer while enjoying Rio’s natural beauty and many options for entertainment? Part of the menu in bars and restaurants all over town is devoted to wonderful summer drink options, such as ice cold blondes (lager according to local lingo), Brazilian and international brands, and beer-based cocktails (Rio Official Guide).

For those visiting the Cidade Maravilhosa and looking for exclusive luxury accommodations, a sweeping, renovated estate in the charming hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa may be the perfect hideaway. Perched on one of the area’s highest points, the Santa Teresa Hotel attracts guests from around the globe with spectacular views, five star accommodations, and unique Brazilian-style comfort (The Rio Times).

Getting to Rio from Europe or the Middle East is now easier than ever. Two of the world’s greatest cities, Dubai and Amsterdam, now have a daily connection to Rio through KLM (Air France group) and Air Emirates flights. Both flights are nonstop (Rio Official Guide).

SAO PAULO

With an oil leak off the Brazilian coast and tense negotiations over state oil royalties, the deep sea “pre-salt” oil discoveries have shown that it is not just the state of Rio de Janeiro that will have rewards and consequences. Although the spotlight has been on Rio, the states of São Paulo and Espírito Santo are important oil producing areas as well – indeed, SP’s five large refineries account for 43 percent of Brazil’s oil refining capacity (The Rio Times).

SOUTH

Carnaval in Florianópolis -the “Isle of Magic”- and its parade of escolas de samba along the Passarela Nego Querido had been since 1989, and until this year, a smaller version of the Río de Janeiro Carnaval (only five samba schools participate), with themes based around the country’s history, culture and natural beauty, and the idiosyncrasy of the people of Brazil. But something different happened in 2011 (Floripa Times).