By Sue Branford and Maurício Torres for Mongabay – The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and also at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build more than 40 large dams, a railway, roads, canals and port complexes, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet. Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon.
By Staff for Tele Sur – Petrobras has decided to go to court with a request for conciliation to continue the negotiation with the unions. Oil workers in Brazil began a strike Friday that has paralyzed all activities at Petrobras’ refineries and maritime platforms, union leaders say. According to the Federation of Petroleum Workers, or FUP, the largest trade union in the sector, workers rejected the salary increase proposed by the state-owned company and affiliated unions have already approved the federation’s calls for the use of strikes. The FUP also called the adjustment in salaries “insufficient,” and said Petrobras is in breach of the 2016/2017 Collective Work Agreement.
By Dom Phillips for The Guardian – Brazil’s senate has passed a controversial spending cap that will limit public spending to inflation for the next 20 years, despite protests across the country against the measure. The spending cap, known as PEC 55, will now be signed off on 15 December. Its approval was seen as vital for the beleaguered government of centrist President Michel Temer who took over from the leftist Dilma Rousseff, after a divisive, eight-month impeachment process was concluded in August. Temer has staked his government’s credibility on measures to reduce public spending…
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – A PRIMARY ARGUMENT MADE by opponents of impeaching Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was that removing her would immediately empower the truly corrupt politicians in Brasília – the ones who were the driving force behind her impeachment – and they would then use that power to kill ongoing corruption investigations and shield themselves from consequences for their own law-breaking. In that regard, Dilma’s impeachment was not designed to punish corruption but to protect it.
By Staff of Tele Sur – Eduardo Cunha, long regarded as one of Brazil’s most powerful, corrupt and unpopular politicians, faces multimillion-dollar fraud charges. Federal authorities have summoned Eduardo Cunha, the controversial former head of Congress and chief mastermind behind the impeachment bid against ousted President Dilma Rousseff, to face charges over accusations he hid laundered money in secret Swiss bank accounts while he was in office.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – An environmental official well-known for his aggressive enforcement of deforestation laws in his city in the Brazilian Amazon was gunned down in front of his family late Thursday, city officials reported Friday. Two men shot the official, Luiz Araujo, seven times as he drove up to his home, local police told the Associated Press. “[T]wo men fled on a motorcycle without taking anything, leading to speculation that they were paid assassins,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
By Staff of Tele Sur – This is the most recent move by the Senate-imposed government of Brazil to privatize key industries in the country. Brazil’s chamber of deputies approved Wednesday to privatize the country’s offshore pre-salt assets and allow multinationals to own exploration rights, a move social organizations argue will put the country’s natural resources in foreign hands.
By Janine Jackson for FAIR. In a September 22 speech to an elite foreign policy group in New York City, Brazil’s legislatively installed president, Michel Temer, made the startling admission that President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office because of her position on economic policy, rather than any alleged wrongdoing on her part. Speaking to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, a group of “opinion leaders” and corporate executives with interests in Latin America, Temer said: “And many months ago, while I was still vice president, we released a document named “A Bridge to the Future” because we knew it would be impossible for the government to continue on that course. We suggested that the government should adopt the theses presented in that document called “A Bridge to the Future.” But, as that did not work out, the plan wasn’t adopted and a process was established which culminated with me being installed as president of the republic.”
By Janine Jackson for FAIR – A crawler at the top of the New York Times website announced “Breaking news: Dilma Rousseff, accused of misconduct as president, has been impeached, ending the power struggle consuming Brazil.” That sounds like an unlikely outcome, even to those who haven’t been able to follow all the twists and turns of events in Brazil. But what accounts for the difference between those who see something being resolved in recent political events, and those who see something being violated?
By Staff of Tele Sur – Former president of the chamber of deputies and mastermind of President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, Eduardo Cunha, lost his seat in the lower house Monday night that had so far given him immunity against judicial proceedings over corruption charges. Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of his removal with 450 votes for impeachment, nine abstentions and 10 votes against, when the approval required only 257 deputies, with a minimum of 420 attending the vote.
By Staff of Survival International – In an official press release, the organizers of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games have accused Brazilian tribal peoples of infanticide, sexual abuse, rape, slavery, torture and other “harmful traditional practices,” prompting outrage among human rights campaigners. The organizers have also backed “Muwaji’s Law,” a proposed law in Brazil being promoted by evangelical missionaries as a means of breaking up tribal families.
By Deirdre Fulton for Commondreams. Protests took place in multiple Brazilian cities on Sunday, in support of ousted president Dilma Rousseff and against the now-officially installed government of her successor, Michel Temer. Agence France-Presse reported from São Paulo: Demonstration organizers—who have rejected Temer’s ascendancy as a “coup”—said some 100,000 protestors filled the major artery Paulista Avenue, many holding banners that read “Out with Temer!” and “Direct elections now!” “We’re here to show that the people still have power and that despite the coup, we are here in the street to bring down the government and call for a new election,” protester Gustavo Amigo told BBC. Though he is prohibited from running in the next election because he was found guilty of violating campaign finance rules, former vice president Temer is set to serve the rest of what would have been Rousseff’s second term, ending in 2019.
By Jonathan Watts for The Guardian – Brazil’s first female president Dilma Rousseff has been thrown out of office by the country’s corruption-tainted senate after a gruelling impeachment trial that ends 13 years of Workers’ party rule. Following a crushing 61 to 20 defeat in the upper house, she will be replaced for the remaining two years and four months of her term by Michel Temer, a centre-right patrician who was among the leaders of the campaign against his former running mate.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The U.S. has been actively supportive of the interim government, with many of its Cabinet members already close to the U.S., according to WikiLeaks documents. The United States has been essential in legitimizing Brazil’s impeachment process—widely described by others as a soft coup—and has played a hand in propping up the interim government. Many members of interim President Michel Temer’s government have enjoyed close relations with the U.S., which is “supportive of the Brazilian interim government beyond being silent,”
By Jonathan Watts and Donna Bowater for The Guardian – Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, put up a fight in keeping with her Marxist guerrilla background on Monday with a powerful denunciation of the politicians who are poised to eject her from power within days. Testifying in her own defence before a predominantly opposition senate, the Workers’ party leader said she had withstood torture in her fight for democracy and would not back down even though she is widely expected to lose a final impeachment vote likely to occur within the next two days.