“Fora Temer – Eleições Diretas Já!” Brazil’s Political Rupture And Left’s Opportunity

A puppet of Brazilian President Michel Temeris hanged up by a group of protesters in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 15, 2017. NurPhoto/PA Images. All rights reserved.

By Alfredo Saad-Filho for Open Democracy – The Brazilian Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) won the country’s presidential elections four times in a row; first with Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-06, 2007-10), then with his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff (2011-14, 2015-16). During its 13 years in office, the PT changed Brazil in many ways; four are principally worth mentioning, as they would come to play key roles in the elite conspiracy to impeach Dilma Rousseff and destroy her party. First, the PT democratised the state. It implemented the social and civic rights included in the 1988 ‘Citizen’s Constitution’, and advanced Brazil’s emerging welfare state across several fields of social provision. Second, the PT changed the social composition of the state through the appointment of thousands of leaders of mass organisations to positions of power. For the first time in Brazilian history, millions of poor citizens could recognise themselves in the bureaucracy and relate to close friends and comrades who had become ‘important’ in Brasília. For the first time in Brazilian history, millions of poor citizens could recognise themselves in the bureaucracy.

Ranchers Mutilate Indigenous People Demanding Land Back

unnamed (2)

By Survival International. Brazil – Thirteen Brazilian Indians have been hospitalized after a brutally violent attack by men armed with machetes in the Amazon. One man appears to have had his arms severed in disturbing photos released to Survival International. The attack was in retaliation for the Gamela Indians’ campaign to recover a small part of their ancestral territory. Their land has been invaded and destroyed by ranchers, loggers and land grabbers, forcing the Gamela to live squeezed on a tiny patch of land. The Gamela are indigenous to the area in Maranhão state in northern Brazil. Powerful agribusiness interests – reportedly including the Sarney landowning family – have been in conflict with the tribe for some time. The family includes a former president of Brazil and a former governor of Maranhão state.

Brazil Paralyzed By Nationwide Strike Against Elite Corruption & Impunity

Demonstrators set up a barricade to block an avenue at a bus station during a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, April 28, 2017. Public transport largely came to a halt across much of Brazil on Friday and protesters blocked roads and scuffled with police as part of a general strike to protest proposed changes to labor laws and the pension system. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) - See more at: http://twincitiesbusinessradio.com/news/business/general-transportation-strike-brings-much-of-brazil-to-halt#sthash.EKlnkcu0.dpuf

By Glenn Greenwald for the Intercept. It’s almost impossible to imagine a presidency imploding more completely and rapidly than the unelected one imposed by elites on the Brazilian population in the wake of Dilma’s impeachment. The disgust validly generated by all of these failures finally exploded this week. A nationwide strike, and tumultuous protests in numerous cities, today has paralyzed much of the country, shutting roads, airports and schools. It is the largest strike to hit Brazil in at least two decades. The protests were largely peaceful, but some random violence emerged. The proximate cause of the anger is a set of “reforms” that the Temer government is ushering in that will limit the rights of workers, raise their retirement age by several years, and cut various pension and social security benefits. These austerity measures are being imposed at a time of great suffering, with the unemployment rate rising dramatically and social improvements of the last decade, which raised millions of people out of poverty, unravelling. As the New York Times put it today: “The strike revealed deep fissures in Brazilian society over Mr. Temer’s government and its policies.”

The Latin American Left Today Global Center For Resistance

Anti-imperialism grafitti in Latin America

By Staff for Telesur. From Brazil to Venezuela there have been radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the region. However, Latin America remains a global center for creativity and resistance. Torn between right and left – and dealing with the significant pressures of imperialism and a colonial legacy – popular forces have been fighting for their social rights and progress, making significant strides and remaining vital despite setbacks. Amid this complicated scenario, teleSUR takes a look at the Latin American left of today – from the Indigenous councils to the national assemblies, the urban centers to the rural villages – which continues to stand strong and fight for an integrated, united and socialist future.

Favela As A Community Land Trust: Solution To Eviction And Gentrification?

image

By Staff of Rioonwatch – This is the second in a series of three articles summarizing reports on Brazilian housing law, organized by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice at request of Catalytic Communities. The second report, summarized in part below, with additional information compiled by Catalytic Communities’ team, was produced by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP. To read the actual report, click here. Inextricably linked to Rio de Janeiro’s identity for more than a century, favelas today serve the essential function of providing affordable housing to nearly a quarter of the city’s residents. In recent years, however, many favelas have been subject to immense pressure in the form of both forced evictions and gentrification brought on by real estate speculation, that have affected the city as a whole.

Brazilian People Mobilize Against Michel Temer Reforms

The mobilizations were convened by the Brasil Popular and Pueblo Sin Miedo fronts. (Photo taken from PL)

By Staff of Escambray – Brazil staged today a National Day of Mobilization and Paralysis against the proposed labor and social security reforms by which popular movements and central trade unions describe as Michel Temer”s ”illegitimate government.” Throughout the country, demonstrations of protest are planned from the early hours of the morning, culminating in the event that will take place in the afternoon on the crowded Paulista Avenue and which former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will attend. The mobilizations, convened by the Brasil Popular and Pueblo Sin Miedo fronts and backed by the main Brazilian trade union centers, will coincide with the beginning of a general strike of public education workers.

Battle For The Amazon: Tapajós Basin Threatened By Massive Development

The Tapajós River, Brazil. More than 40 dams would turn this free flowing river and its tributaries into a vast industrial waterway threatening the Tapajós Basin's ecosystems, wildlife, people and even the regional and global climate. (Photo: International Rivers on Flickr, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] license)

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.

Workers Strike Paralyzes Oil Sector Across Brazil

A worker paints a tank of Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company in Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 30, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

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.

Brazil Senate Approves Austerity Package To Freeze Social Spending For 20 Years

Protesters hold placards reading ‘Temer Out’ during a demonstration against austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

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…

In Brazil, Major New Corruption Scandals Engulf Faction That Impeached Dilma

Dida Sampio/Estadao Conteudo (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

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.

Brazil’s Impeachment Mastermind Summoned For Corruption Charges

Former speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress Eduardo Cunha is now one of the most unpopular politicians in the country. | Photo: AFP

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.

Environmental Official Shot Dead In Brazil

deforestation-amazon

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.

Brazil Approves Handing Pre-Salt Oil Reserves To Multinationals

Petrobras believes Brazil's pre-salt discovery is one of the world's most important in the past decade. | Photo: Reuters

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.

Brazil’s New Ruler Admits Lie Behind Impeachment, US Press Closes Eyes

ADRIANO MACHADO / REUTERS
Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer reacts during a meeting of the presentation of economic measures, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 24, 2016.

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.”

‘They Let Everybody Know The US Was On The Side Of This Coup’

Mark Weisbrot: “This is not what the Brazilian people voted for in the last three elections.” (photo: CEPR)

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?