Brazil

Dilma Rousseff, re-elected president of Brazil, "does not have more options than to get closer to the social movements and to the population during her next term”, says the philosopher Jose Antonio Moroni, member of the Board of directors of the Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (INESC). “One option is that Dilma is going to govern with people in the streets supporting her steps in the reform process that the whole world wants or she is going to have people against her", Moroni argues.

Dilma´s first government was „extremely technocratic ", says Moroni, with only few links to society. If Dilma repeats that strategy she will face a difficult time with the current Congress.

Brazil is a mixture of great prosperity and terrible deprivation. If it is administered in the right way its potential for development is almost unlimited, but the inequalities in society are so vast that it seems they will never be overcome. For the country to achieve sustainable development it will have to tackle many obstacles, and the biggest of these, which affects not just Brazil but the whole world, is the indiscriminate destruction of the Amazon jungle, mainly through logging. This large scale attack, which is being promoted and driven by interest groups of landowners, livestock enterprises and international companies, and facilitated by very poor environmental protection policies and rampant corruption, is well on the way to destroying “the lungs of the world”.
Launch of the Open Government
Partnership in New York
(Photo: Inesc)

Sources: Transparency InternationalFinancial Task ForceHumanRights.govInesc

A group of government and civil society organizations from all over the planet, among them the Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Inesc, focal point of Social Watch in Brazil), launched this Wednesday in New York the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative that aims to promote transparency, fight corruption, strengthen accountability and empower citizens.

Brazilian minister Guido Mantega
(Photo: Adri Felden/Argosfoto)

Source: Eurostep

As part of the so called BRICS countries (along with China, India, Russia and South Africa), Brazil has established itself as one of today’s most important emerging economic powers. The country has not only become increasingly involved in giving aid to African countries but is also expected to provide help to the European Union’s (EU) indebted member states, as a means to overcome the current financial crisis, reported Eurostep based on news published by several media outlets.

(Photo: Inesc)

Source: Inesc

Thousands of people in favelas (shanty towns) in Rio de Janeiro are being evicted from their homes as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games, and the same is happening in other cities that will host matches during the 2014 World Cup. According to the lawyer Roberto Benedito Barbosa, an activist in the Sao Paulo Union of Housing Movements (UMM), this is being done "to move the poor farther and farther away from rich neighbourhoods”. This matter has already reached the United Nations where it is giving cause for concern.

(Photo: Plataforma da Reforma
do Sistema Político)

Sources: INESC, Platform to Reform the Political System, Correio do Brasil.

Last Tuesday a coalition of 30 Brazilian civil society organizations began collecting signatures for their Popular Initiative Proposal for Political Reform. If this project is successful it will facilitate citizen participation and monitoring in government matters, and also combat corruption in the organs of the State.

Herbert de Souza, Betinho, founder
of Ibase. (Photo: Ibase/Flickr)

Source: Ibase

The Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Ibase), which is dedicated to strengthening democracy and affirming active citizenship, is one of the focal points of Social Watch in this Latin American country. It celebrated its 30th anniversary on Tuesday this week, and up to the middle of September it will be holding a series of commemorative activities opened by ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Report on racism in Brazil.

Sources: O Estado de Sao Paulo; Abong.

In Brazil infant mortality rates are a very clear indicator of the inequity between different ethnic and racial population sectors. According to the 2009-2010 Annual Report on Racial Inequality in Brazil from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), infant mortality among whites is 37.3 per thousand live births but among people of African descent the figure is 62.3.

Annual Report on Women

Source: Inesc (in Portuguese)

Brazil’s Annual Report on Women, released this month by the government, shows that 43.1 per cent of women have suffered some kind of violence in their own homes. The percentage falls to 12.3 per cent in the case of men. “The Annual Report is essential for the political struggle in favour of women’s rights”, said Eliana Gracia, expert of the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc, one of the focal points of Social Watch in Brazil).

The fast and strong recovery of the Brazilian economy in 2009 was mostly due to a combination of non-orthodox compensatory policies. The Federal authorities broke with the neoliberal orientation followed by previous administrations and by President Lula himself in his first term. The Brazilian experience shows that social policies can also be supportive of economic growth. However, although the situation is still under control, as the world economy is turning the page of the international crisis, a second wave of crisis and instability may be forming right now with no clear picture of what the outcome may look like.
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