At dusk on the Tapajós River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River in northern Brazil, the Mundurukú indigenous people gather to bathe and wash clothes in these waters rich in fish, the staple of their diet. But the “evil spirit”, as they refer in their language to the Sao Luiz Tapajós dam, threatens to leave most of their territory – and their way of life – under water.
River port terminals in the northern Brazilian city of Santarém are considered strategic by the government. But what some see as an opportunity for development is for others an irreversible change in what was previously a well-preserved part of the Amazon rainforest.
In the northern Brazilian state of Pará, the construction of a port terminal for shipping soy out of the Amazon region has displaced thousands of small farmers from their land, which is now dedicated to monoculture.
The aim to impeach President Dilma Rousseff is no longer merely a threat that was poisoning politics in Brazil. Now it may be a traumatic battle, but in the light of day.
Different degrees of economic problems are a common denominator in South American countries where governments that identify as leftist may start to fall, in a shift that began in Argentina and could continue among its neighbours to the north.
With Goldman Sachs folding up its haemorrhaging BRIC fund, is it curtains for the acronym that defined the investment bankers’ fancy for emerging markets? It certainly appears so after China’s stock market crash and a fast slowing economy triggered fears that the dragon will set off the next global recession.
“That law should have existed since the end of slavery, which threw slaves into the street without offering them adequate conditions for working and producing, turning them into semi-slaves,” said Brazilian farmer Idevan Correa.
Working as a musician in a military band is the dream of 21-year-old Jackson Coutinho, since hopes that a petrochemical complex would drive the industrialisation of this Brazilian city near Rio de Janeiro have gone up in smoke.
Itaboraí still recalls its origins as a sprawling city that sprang up along a highway, not far from Rio de Janeiro. But a few years ago big modern buildings began to sprout all over this city in southeast Brazil, whose offices and shops are almost all empty today.
Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction programme, hailed as bold, has nevertheless left environmentalists frustrated at its lack of ambition in key aspects.
From now on, elections in Brazil will be more democratic, without corporate interference, which had become decisive and corruptive. A Sep. 17 Supreme Court ruling declared unconstitutional articles of the elections act that allow corporate donations to election campaigns.
Besides suffering from macroeconomic imbalances, like a drop in GDP, a high inflation rate and a large public deficit, Brazil is experiencing heavy losses as many oil industry and logistical works grind to a halt.
Italy has finally joined the restricted club of states in the world that have chosen the constitutional path for regulating the Internet – or at least has taken a significant step in that direction – by adopting a Declaration of Internet Rights.
In the case of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil, the projects aimed at mitigating the social impacts have been delayed. But in other cases, infrastructure such as hospitals and water and sewage pipes could improve the image of the hydropower plants on Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rivers, turning them into a factor of effective local development.
As the political situation in Brazil appears to be reaching a state of unstable equilibrium, or more bluntly, as it is transformed from instability to impasse, the economy continues to deteriorate.