Stories written by Mario Osava
Mario Osava has been an IPS correspondent since 1978, first from Portugal, then from Brazil starting in 1980. He has covered events and processes all throughout Brazil and has recently been engaged in covering major infrastructural projects that reflect opportunities for development and South American integration. | Twitter |

Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

In his 76 years of life, Raimundo Pinheiro de Melo has endured a number of droughts in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast region. And he remembers every one of them since 1958.“The worst one was in 1982 and 1983, the only time that the river dried up,” said Pinheiro do Melo, who has lived near the river since 1962. “The one in 1993 was also very bad,” he told IPS, because neither Bolsa Familia nor Networking in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region (ASA) existed yet, which contribute to a less traumatic coexistence with droughts like the current one, which has dragged on for five years.

No More Mass Deaths from Drought in Northeast Brazil

The drought that has plagued Brazil’s semiarid Northeast region since 2012 is already more severe than the 1979-1983 drought, the longest in the 20th century. But prolonged dry spells no longer cause the tragedies of the past.

Feminism Helps Villagers Coexist with Drought in Northeast Brazil

“The vegetable garden changed my life,” said Rita Alexandre da Silva, in the village of Primeiro do Maio where 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999, in this municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeast Brazil.

Fidel Castro, a Larger-than-Life Leader in Tumultuous Times

Among the many leaders who left their mark on history in the 20th century, Fidel Castro - who died Nov. 25 at the age of 90 - stood out for propelling Cuba into a global role that was unexpectedly prominent for a small country, in an era when arms were frequently taken up to settle national and international disputes.

Subway Will Modernise – and Further Gentrify – Historic Centre of Quito

Success can kill, when it comes to cities. Spain’s Barcelona is facing problems due to the number of tourists that it attracts. And the historic centre of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, a specially preserved architectural jewel, is losing its local residents as it gentrifies.

Violence Against Black Women in Brazil on the Rise, Despite Better Laws

Four months in hospital and a number of operations saved the life of Maria da Penha Fernandes of Brazil, but the rifle shot left her paraplegic at the age of 37. When she returned home, her husband tried to electrocute her in the bathroom.

Freedom of the Press Faces Judicial Harassment in Brazil

The same justice that exists to ensure rights can become a tool to violate them and restrict freedom of the press, as seen with the recent wave of lawsuits against journalists and the media in Brazil.

Few Families Overcome Forced Displacement by Hydropower Plants in Brazil

The construction of mega-hydropower plants in Brazil has been a tragedy for thousands of families that have been displaced, and a nightmare for the companies that have to relocate them as required by local law.

Fish Farming, a Challenge and Opportunity for Small Farmers in Brazil’s Amazon

Domingo Mendes da Silva has lost track of how many visitors he has received at his 10-hectare farm in northwest Brazil. He estimates “more than 500,” including aquaculture technicians, government officials, peasant farmers, journalists and other people interested in fish farming.

Rousseff’s Ouster Won’t Clear Up Uncertainty in Brazil

The dismissal of now ex-president Dilma Rousseff brings to a close a turbulent chapter of Brazil’s crisis, but does nothing to clear up the doubts that threaten the political system and the economy of Latin America’s powerhouse.

Olympic Games – More Media Show than Sports Event

Brazil’s first gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics gave it a new multipurpose heroine, Rafaela Silva, whose defeat of the favourites in judo has made her a strong voice against racism and homophobia. Not only is she black and poor, but she just came out as gay.

Women’s Inclusion in Sports Competes in Rio Games

At the age of 14, Kaillana de Oliveira of Brazil knows she won’t be as tall as most professional basketball players, because of family genetics. But she is not letting that get in the way of her dream of standing out in the sport.

Olympic Games End Decade of Giant Mega-projects in Brazil

An era of mega-events and mega-projects is coming to a close in Brazil with the Olympic Games to be hosted Aug. 5-21 by Rio de Janeiro. But the country’s taste for massive construction undertakings helped fuel the economic and political crisis that has it in its grip.

No Medals for Sanitation at Rio Olympics

The biggest frustration at the Olympic Games, to be inaugurated in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on August 5, is the failure to meet environmental sanitation targets and promises in the city’s beaches, rivers, lakes and lagoons.

Combating Rape Requires Cultural Change in Brazil

The outrage in Brazil over the gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl by more than 30 men prompted mass protests by thousands of women on the streets of cities around the country, while activists complain that the response to the case by politicians has been misfocused.

Next Page »