Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Brazil July 2021-
G20 Brazil Summit 2024
(IISD) The 2024 Group of 20 (G20) Summit will take place from 12-14 July in Brazil. The G20 Summit is expected to continue conversations on finance, sustainable infrastructure, and climate change, among other topics.
Trial of Brazil’s alleged 8 January insurrectionists opens in supreme court
Judge condemns ‘dastardly putschist attack’ on Latin America’s largest democracy as first four Bolsonaro supporters go on trial
India hands over G20 presidency to Brazil for 2024
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday handed over the G20 presidency to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the second day of the two-day summit in New Delhi.
Brazil officially will take over the mantle of the presidency of the elite grouping on December 1 this year. PM Modi completed the transition by handing over the gavel of the presidency to the Brazil President.
Lula backpedals on suggestion Putin could attend G20 without fear of arrest
Comments were at odds with Brazil foreign minister’s statement that Putin could face ‘issues’ if he traveled to any ICC member state
Lula says Putin can attend next year’s G20 in Rio without fear of arrest
Brazil’s president, now the group’s leader, says his Russian counterpart is welcome at 2024 event
Vladimir Putin can attend next year’s G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro without fear of arrest, the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has said as he took leadership of the forum.
Speaking at this year’s meeting in Delhi, Lula – who has controversially tried to position himself as a peacemaker between Moscow and Kyiv – said the Russian president would be welcome to attend the November 2024 event.
Court votes to bar Bolsonaro from running for office
Brazil’s top elections court voted Friday to bar Jair Bolsonaro from running for office for eight years — a period that covers the next presidential election — for making what members of the panel said were claims he knew to be false about the integrity of the country’s voting systems.
Ian Bremmer: Lula’s balancing act
Lula has been pitching himself as a neutral peace broker in the conflict, proposing a club of non-aligned nations (including Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia) to mediate negotiations. Kyiv and its Western allies view any proposals for an immediate ceasefire – whether from China or Brazil – as an opportunity for Russia to entrench its unlawful territorial gains and regroup its forces for a new offensive.
(GZERO media) in his first four months in office, Brazil’s President Lula has refused to unequivocally condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and chided the United States and Europe for not doing enough to end the war. He’s deepened ties to Moscow and Beijing. He’s dispatched a high-level delegation to meet with Venezuela’s dictator Nicolas Maduro. He’s even allowed Iranian warships to dock in Rio de Janeiro.
Just last week, Lula traveled to China with 240 business executives and nearly 40 senior officials – the largest delegation he’s taken abroad in three terms – to bolster ties with Brazil’s largest trading partner. There, he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and inked 15 agreements in strategic areas like agriculture, tech research and development, and deforestation.
The three-day visit differed starkly from his trip to the US in February, when he met with President Joe Biden but was joined only by select cabinet officials and held no meetings with the private sector. China surpassed the US as Brazil’s largest trading partner in 2009, and it has been steadily expanding foreign direct investment in the country.
During the trip, Lula made several remarks that echoed positions taken by Moscow and Beijing and put him at odds with the West.
… Not for the first time, Lula also cast blame on Ukraine for Russia’s illegal invasion and accused the US and Europe of “encouraging” the fighting and standing in the way of peace, all the while refusing to call for a Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits Brazil to begin Latin America tour
Seeking a Path to Peace:
(NYT) President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, declared in a joint statement after a meeting in Beijing that negotiation was “the only viable way out of the crisis in Ukraine.” Brazil has been reluctant about choosing sides in the war, as Lula seeks to rebuild the country’s ties with Beijing.
The joint statement underscored the delicate lines that China and Brazil have tried to chart on the war in Ukraine: Each has refused to take an explicit side, has called for peace talks and has preserved business ties with Russia. Beijing, in particular, has aligned itself with Moscow in countering American influence abroad and what Mr. Xi calls a U.S. campaign to prevent China’s rise.
Lula courts Chinese tech for Brazil, brushes off “prejudices”
(Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday defended his country’s pursuit of Chinese communication and semiconductor technology, brushing off security concerns from Western nations led by the United States.
“No one will prohibit Brazil from improving its relationship with China,” the leftist Brazilian president said on a state visit to Beijing, a day after visiting a research center of telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
China and Brazil agreed on Friday to set up a working group to pursue cooperation on semiconductors as the South American nation strengthens ties with Beijing in areas of sensitive technology.
Lula met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and signed 15 agreements including a deal for a sixth satellite used to monitor the Amazon, and the development of technology for cybersecurity and fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications.
China’s Xi call for deeper practical cooperation with Brazil
Bolsonaro back in Brazil after three months in the US
Former leader Jair Bolsonaro plans to travel across Brazil and promote conservatism, in opposition to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
(Al Jazeera) Bolsonaro, 68, who never conceded defeat in last year’s election, is expected to lead the opposition to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, officials in his Liberal Party said.
Before boarding a plane in Orlando, Florida, Bolsonaro downplayed his leadership role and said he will use his experience to help his party campaign in next year’s municipal elections, adding that the vote he lost in October is a closed chapter.
Brazil: swift and robust response to the insurrection highlights the strength of democracy
(The Conversation) … Hundreds of rioters have already been arrested and the state governor of the federal district has been suspended for his sluggish and ineffective response.
The president issued a decree mandating federal intervention in public security in Brasilia. The number two in the justice ministry, Ricardo Cappelli, has been given responsibility for overseeing the state security.
Justice minister, Flávio Dino, told a press conference that the riot involved “acts of terror”. He said the ministry would take necessary measures to ensure the maintenance of order in the capital and said Cappelli would be given all assistance to ensure this.
Supreme court judge Alexandre de Moraes suspended the governor of Brasilia for 90 days on the grounds of “gross misconduct” during the crisis.
The American politics of Brazil’s insurrection
Experts react: Brazil has suffered its own attack against democracy. Here’s what the government and its allies can do next.
By Atlantic Council experts
January 6 comparisons are an oversimplification, but the US has a role to play now
Comparisons will continue to be made to January 6. But that is an oversimplification of what happened in Brazil. The January 8 rioters took their cues from the United States, but, in Brazil, rioters were focused on absolute destruction of Brazil’s legislative, judicial, and executive buildings without the ability to disrupt the democratic order. … This is the moment for the United States to take action to reassure the new Lula government that US support will not be in statements alone. A potential Lula visit to Washington is in the cards for early in the year. That visit should be prioritized and scheduled as soon as possible to show Lula and allies around the hemisphere that the United States is here to help when partners are in need.
It’s Lula’s time to show strength as democracy is challenged
In Brazil, democracy prevailed, but it’s cracked. The country proved that its democratic institutions are resilient, but they still must be strengthened. Lula has an even greater opportunity to do that now. The horror of the day and the eagerness to defend democracy pushed politicians from across the political spectrum to find common ground. That’s a rarity in Brazilian politics, and Lula must seize the opportunity to pacify the country and gain political power in Congress, backed by a pro-democracy front, to show the strength of his government and of Brazilian democracy, to punish those involved, and to move the needle forward on key policy priorities
Brazilian intelligence agencies failed. Here’s what they can do now.
Contrary to what typically occurs in attempted coup d’états, the assault on the Brazilian government was publicly announced. The call was not made on fringe or secret sites but in public groups and channels with thousands of followers. … It is inexplicable that the Brazilian authorities have not investigated these calls and established strong security controls to prevent pro-Bolsonaro extremists from taking over the Square of the Three Powers. …
Policymakers should consider how intelligence agencies can activate resources for open-source monitoring that do not limit freedom of expression and association of citizens but provide early warnings about actual threats from extremist activities.
Jair Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazil’s presidential palace and supreme court
Observers have spent months warning that Bolsonaro hardliners might stage a South American version of the US’s Capitol invasion in the hope of overturning Lula’s win. During his tumultuous four-year administration, Bolsonaro repeatedly hinted that a military takeover might be in the works and battled to undermine Brazil’s internationally respected electronic voting system.
(The Guardian) Hundreds of hardcore supporters of Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, have stormed the country’s congress, presidential palace and supreme court in a stunning security breach. … Shocking video footage showed the pro-Bolsonaro militants sprinting up the ramp into the Palácio do Planalto, the presidential offices, roaming the building’s corridors and vandalising the nearby supreme court, whose windows had been smashed.
Lula Becomes Brazil’s President, With Bolsonaro in Florida
Brazil inaugurates its new president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Sunday. Facing investigations, former President Jair Bolsonaro has taken refuge in Orlando.
(NYT) On Sunday, Mr. Lula ascended the ramp to the presidential offices with a diverse group of Brazilians, including a Black woman, a disabled man, a 10-year-old boy, an Indigenous man and a factory worker. A voice then announced that Mr. Lula would accept the green-and-yellow sash from “the Brazilian people,” and Aline Sousa, a 33-year-old garbage collector, played the role of Mr. Bolsonaro and placed the sash on the new president.
In an address to Congress on Sunday, Mr. Lula said that he would fight hunger and deforestation, lift the economy and try to unite the country. But he also took aim at his predecessor, saying that Mr. Bolsonaro had threatened Brazil’s democracy.
Brazilian soccer legend Pelé dies at 82
For more than 60 years, the name Pelé has been synonymous with soccer. He played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three, but his legacy stretched far beyond his trophy haul and remarkable goal-scoring record.
Brazilian footballer Neymar said Pelé “changed everything.” In a post on Instagram, he wrote: “He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to black people and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil. Football and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King!” he added.
Brazil’s Lula picks Amazon defender for environment minister
(AP) Brazil´s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced Thursday that Amazon activist Marina Silva will be the country´s next minister of environment. The announcement indicates the new administration will prioritize cracking down on illegal deforestation in the forest even if it means running afoul of powerful agribusiness interests.
Both attended the recent U.N. climate conference in Egypt, where Lula promised cheering crowds “zero deforestation” in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest and a key to fighting climate change, by 2030. “There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn’t protected,” he said.
Silva told the news network Globo TV shortly after the announcement that the name of the ministry she will lead will be changed to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
Many agribusiness players and associated lawmakers resent Silva. That stems from her time as environment minister during most of Lula’s prior presidency, from 2003 to 2010.
Trump aides Bannon, Miller advising the Bolsonaros on next steps
Some allies and advisers want the Brazilian president to contest his election loss to Lula. Others want a global fight over free speech.
(WaPo) While tens of thousands of supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro camp outside military facilities across Brazil to protest his election loss, members of Bolsonaro’s inner circle are meeting with advisers to former president Donald Trump to discuss next steps.
Brazilian congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, has visited Florida since the Oct. 30 vote, meeting Trump at Mar-a-Lago and strategizing with other political allies by phone. He spoke with former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who was in Arizona assisting the campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, about the power of the pro-Bolsonaro protests and potential challenges to the Brazilian election results, Bannon said.
Those conversations have mirrored debates unfolding in Brasília, where Bolsonaro’s supporters are discussing next steps for his populist conservative movement. That movement is facing a reckoning not unlike that of the American right after Trump’s 2020 loss over how to sustain itself when its charismatic standard-bearer has been defeated.
Experts react: Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil. What should the region and the world expect?
By Atlantic Council experts
It’s back to the future. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the left-wing former president of Brazil, recorded a narrow victory over right-wing current president Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff election Sunday. Lula, as he is known, called the victory a “resurrection;” after he served two terms as president, he spent time in jail for corruption before the conviction was overturned. The new administration will initiate an abrupt policy shift for Latin America’s biggest country both at home and abroad—and the transition could be rocky, as Bolsonaro has sought to undermine the legitimacy of the vote. How will this all play out on the world stage? We turned to our Latin America experts for the answers.
Jason Marczak: A critical moment to shore up US-Brazil ties
Tatiana Prazeres: Expect closer cooperation between Brazil and China
Valentina Sader: The biggest winner? Brazil’s electronic voting system
Abrão Neto: Lula’s environmental stance will bring closer US ties
‘We are for democracy’: Brazil football fans clear pro-Bolsonaro blockades
Protesters baselessly alleging electoral fraud and refusing to accept defeat to Lula have been blocking roads since election
Brazilian football ultras keen to reach away games have been hailed as democratic heroes after breaking through road blockades
Pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators baselessly alleging electoral fraud have been blocking roads and highways across the country since Sunday night, causing chaos, cancelled flights and fears of fuel shortages. On Tuesday morning, Brazil’s supreme court ruled that the federal highway police must immediately take measures to clear the roads. Videos showed that some police officers were encouraging the protests.
As of Wednesday morning, the highway police said it had cleared over 600 points of obstruction, while 156 blockades remained on federal highways across the country.
Bolsonaro supporters call on military to keep him in power
(AP) — Thousands of President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters called on the military Wednesday to keep the far-right leader in power, even as his administration signaled a willingess to hand over the reins to leftist rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The president’s defenders gathered in the rain outside the Eastern Military Command in Rio de Janeiro, one of the army’s eight regional headquarters, many of them raising clenched fists in the air as they brandished Brazil’s green-yellow-and-blue flags and sang the national anthem. Some chanted, “Armed forces, save Brazil!” and “United, the people will never be defeated!”
Meanwhile, truck drivers who for days have maintained roadblocks across the country to protest Bolsonaro’s defeat were still out in force, despite a Supreme Court order to dismantle them.
The protests came amid international recognition of da Silva’s victory and a recommendation from the Brazilian Supreme Court that Bolsonaro accept the results of Sunday’s election. Cabinet members, governors-elect and evangelical leaders who have been strident supporters of Bolsonaro are now offering overtures to the incoming leftist government.
Bolsonaro declines to concede Brazil defeat in first address
Bolsonaro’s address didn’t mention election results, but he said he will continue to follow the rules of the nation’s constitution.
Afterward, Chief-of-Staff Ciro Nogueira told reporters that Bolsonaro has authorized him to begin the transition process.
Bolsonaro’s address didn’t mention election results, but he said he will continue to follow the rules of the nation’s constitution.
It was the tightest presidential race since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985 and marks the first time Bolsonaro has lost an election in his 34-year political career, including seven races for a seat in Congress’ Lower House.
Much like former U.S. President Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro openly admires, the far-right incumbent has repeatedly questioned the reliability of the country’s electoral system, claiming electronic voting machines are prone to fraud. He never provided any proof, even when ordered to do so by the electoral court.
Brazil’s Lula to reclaim presidency after beating Bolsonaro
(AP) — Brazilians delivered a very tight victory to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a bitter presidential election, giving the leftist former president another shot at power in a rejection of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right politics.
Da Silva received 50.9% of the vote and Bolsonaro 49.1%, according to the country’s election authority. Yet the morning after the results came in — and congratulations had poured in from world leaders — Bolsonaro still had yet to publicly concede or react in any way, even as truckers blockaded some roads across the country in protest.
After Defeat, Bolsonaro Is Silent, and Brazil Braces for Turmoil
On Monday, a day after he lost, he declined to immediately concede to his leftist challenger, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leaving Latin America’s largest democracy on edge over whether there would be a peaceful transition of power.
By Monday evening, nearly a full day after election officials had declared Mr. da Silva the new president-elect, Mr. Bolsonaro had yet to speak publicly.
Amazon governor revokes forest protection in re-election bid
(AP) — In an effort to get more votes and win reelection, the governor of the Brazilian state of Rondonia on Friday revoked the protection of a large swath of Amazon forest.
Marcos Rocha, a staunch ally of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, signed a decree that abolished the Soldado da Borracha Ecological Station, which is 1,790 square kilometers (691 square miles).
In the decree, Rocha stated that the goal was to legalize about 760 land grabbers, from illegal loggers to cattle ranchers, inside the preserved area. By law, a designated ecological station forbids economic activity and human occupation.
The measure, likely to be challenged in court, opens the door for increased deforestation in the area, which is about twice the size of New York City. It also underscores that, while many people internationally and in Brazil want to protect the Amazon, many Amazon dwellers are in favor of development and believe it’s for them to decide.
On Sunday, Brazil’s bitter presidential race comes to an end
(AP) — On Sunday, Brazilians choose between a future of conservative values under a far-right leader or the hope of returning to a prosperous past presided over by a leftist. In the fiercely polarized country, many are simply voting against the candidate they despise.
On the one hand, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva points to his track record improving Brazilians’ livelihoods while president from 2003 to 2010, and pledges to care for them again. Opposing da Silva is President Jair Bolsonaro, who appeals to religious conservatives and claims da Silva’s return to power would usher in communism, legalized drugs and abortion.
For months, it appeared that da Silva was headed for an easy victory. Opinion polls can be highly unreliable predictors of election results, particularly in an enormous, sprawling nation like Brazil. But analysts and politicians agree that the race has grown tight.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Lula face off in first debate of run-off
The free-wheeling debate rules allowed the candidates to roam the stage as they traded jabs and personal insults.
Lula attacked Bolsonaro as a “little dictator” and the “king of fake news,” while Bolsonaro accused Lula of lying, corruption and a “disgraceful” record in a two-hour televised debate on Sunday night.
Lula criticised Bolsonaro over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking his resistance to vaccines and embrace of unproven medications such as hydroxychloroquine.
“Your negligence led to 680,000 people dying, when more than half could have been saved,” the ex-metalworker told the president.
Bolsonaro later took the offensive and targeted Lula for corruption scandals during the 14 years that his Workers Party governed Brazil.
As has been the case for much of the campaign, far more time was spent on personal attacks than substantive discussion.
Elections 2 October 2022
How the election works
Brazil’s president is elected directly by the 156 million voters; there is no electoral college and no role for the legislature. A candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to be elected. If this does not happen in the first round, the top two candidates will go into a runoff election at the end of the month.
Brazil election goes to runoff as Bolsonaro beats polls
(Reuters) – Brazil’s presidential election is headed for a run-off vote, electoral authorities said on Sunday, after President Jair Bolsonaro’s surprising strength in a first-round vote spoiled rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s hopes of winning outright.
With 95% of electronic votes counted, Lula was ahead with 47.6% of votes versus 43.9% for Bolsonaro, the national electoral authority reported. As neither got a majority of support, the race will go to a second-round vote on Oct. 30.
Lula leads Bolsonaro in Brazil election as first votes tallied
(Reuters) – Brazil’s national election authority on Sunday began reporting the initial results of the country’s presidential election, in which leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva aims to unseat incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
With just 0.1% of voting machines counted, Lula had 51% of valid votes, compared to 37% for Bolsonaro
NYT The Morning newsletter
Good morning. Brazil votes for president today. Jack Nicas, the bureau chief there, explains what’s at stake.
We should know the result, and whether there will be a runoff, around 7 p.m. Eastern tonight. Just because Lula is leading in the polls doesn’t mean something unpredictable can’t happen here.
Polls put Lula on brink of comeback victory over Bolsonaro in Brazil
But hopes leftwing former president will defeat Bolsonaro tempered by fear a runoff contest could mean weeks of turmoil and violence
(The Guardian) Brazil’s former leftwing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is on the brink of an astonishing political comeback, with polls suggesting he is poised to defeat his far-right rival Jair Bolsonaro in Sunday’s election.
Eve of election polls suggested Lula was within a whisker of securing the overall majority of votes that would guarantee him a first-round victory against Brazil’s radical incumbent, whose calamitous Covid response, assault on the Amazon and foul-mouthed threats to democracy have alienated more than half of the population.
Brazil votes: Bolsonaro allies stand firm in Amazon bastion
Far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro trails in national polls, but leads by a wide margin in Brazilian state of Roraima.
(Al Jazeera) …here in Roraima, Bolsonaro is firmly in the lead, with 62 percent support to Lula’s 18 percent, according to polls by Ipec. The president’s hardline views on street crime and religious conservatism, along with his laissez-faire approach to economic and environmental regulation, resonate in many parts of Brazil, and especially in frontier, agricultural or extraction-driven states, such as Roraima.
Brazil votes: Indigenous candidates target Bolsonaro stronghold
In Roraima, where two-thirds of people support the far-right president, Indigenous activists aim to halt illegal mining.
In 2018, Joenia Wapichana became the country’s first Indigenous woman elected to Congress; today, she seeks a second term for the Amazonian state of Roraima, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has more support than in any other state, according to recent polls.
But Wapichana says Bolsonaro has been a disaster for Indigenous communities across Brazil, as his pro-mining rhetoric fuels the growth of illegal gold mining operations on Indigenous lands. (23 September)
Lula leads Bolsonaro as Brazil’s election of “rejection” approaches
(Axios) Brazil’s election on Sunday could spell the end of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency — or set the stage for a very tense four weeks leading up to a runoff with leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
State of play: With Lula leading by at least seven points in all the latest polls, the big question is whether the former president can secure an outright majority.
If neither candidate hits 50%, as looks likely, the two will square off again on Oct. 30. While a late charge from Bolsonaro can’t be ruled out, Lula would be heavily favored.
But Bolsonaro has claimed without evidence that Brazil’s electronic voting system can be manipulated, and said in recent days that if he receives less than 60% of the vote “something abnormal has happened.” The far-right firebrand once famously declared that his tenure would end in one of three ways: victory, prison or death.
A string of senior Biden administration officials have tried to pre-empt an electoral dispute by publicly praising Brazil’s voting system and raising the issue with Bolsonaro behind closed doors. The U.S. Senate last night signaled its concern with a resolution led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in support of Brazilian democracy.
The big picture: If Lula is declared the winner, Bolsonaro will almost certainly challenge the result in his rhetoric and potentially in the courts, says Thiago de Aragão of the Brasilia-based Arko Advice consultancy. But de Aragão believes fears of a coup to keep Bolsonaro in power are overblown.
Cause for optimism at Cop15 – but could Bolsonaro scupper the deal for nature?
There are many reasons to suggest a deal to save the natural world is possible in Montreal, if division can be overcome and the Brazilian president doesn’t cause problems
So far, negotiations have been slow and painful. … In Geneva and Nairobi earlier this year, the size and complexity of 20 or so targets on how humanity will halt the destruction of the natural world grew and grew.
Much of the draft agreement is in brackets, reflecting disagreement in the UN process as countries have added suggestion upon suggestion on how the final set of targets should look. An informal meeting in Montreal this week will try to cut it down to size.
One country that does worry me is Brazil. It is home to the largest chunk of the Amazon and was once a defender of the environment on the world stage. Agriculture now trumps conservation in Brazil’s domestic politics and, as the presidential elections approach, Jair Bolsonaro could have a major impact on the agreement we reach at Cop15, regardless of whether he wins or loses.
If Bolsonaro wins, Brazil may curtail an ambitious final text. If his main rival, the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, wins – and Bolsonaro accepts it – he could still instruct his negotiating team to cause problems, if only to embarrass his successor.
In Brazil, fears of Jan. 6-style post-election violence increase as president casts doubt on voting system
Military support for Jair Bolsonaro raises spectre of riots if challenger Lula wins, analysts warn
To partisans across a stark political divide, Brazil’s upcoming election is nothing less than a battle for the future of democracy in South America’s largest nation.
Brazil’s Oct. 2 vote pits 76-year-old leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, against the far-right incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, a former congressman and army captain.
Analysts fear Brazil, home to more than 210 million people, could face political violence or something akin to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, as Bolsonaro has consistently tried to delegitimize the electoral system.
With anti-incumbency running high and Lula ahead in the polls, Brazil could become the latest Latin American country to shift to the political left, following recent elections in Colombia, Chile, Honduras and others.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro draws heat for pointed campaign speech before Queen’s funeral
(Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was accused by opposition figures on Sunday of turning his trip to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral into an election campaign event, in what critics said was his latest attack on Brazil’s reputation.
Bolsonaro flew to London just two weeks before the Oct. 2 first-round vote, in which he trails in opinion polls to his leftist rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
In an address to his yellow-and-green-clad supporters from the balcony of the Brazilian embassy, far-right former army captain Bolsonaro touched briefly on the queen’s legacy, before accusing the opposition of trying to implant communism in South America’s largest country.
Democratic institutional strength ahead and beyond elections: The case of Brazil
By Valentina Sader
The October 2022 elections are a crucial test for Brazilian democracy. Although the elections will be another opportunity to see democracy in action, increasingly high levels of polarization and disinformation have contributed to extremist narratives, episodes of violence, and the questioning of democratic principles.
(Atlantic Council) Brazil—Latin America’s largest economy and the fourth-largest democracy in the world—will elect its next president, governors, congress, and state-level assemblies in October 2022. This is one of the most momentous elections in recent years, a result of the inflection point that Brazil faces alongside concern about what may transpire on the day of the election and in the days afterward. This uncertainty, combined with global trends of declining democratic freedoms in recent years, suggests that in the aftermath of the October elections, Brazil has an opportunity to reinforce efforts to strengthen its institutions and recalibrate its democracy to meet domestic and global challenges. This issue brief compiles actionable recommendations for Brazil to do just that.
Will Bolsonaro stage a coup? Bernie Sanders is warning of the worst.
By Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman
Earlier this summer, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with civil society leaders from Brazil who warned that President Jair Bolsonaro might not accept a loss in elections set for October. …Sanders came away from the meeting convinced that…[t]he threat of a Bolsonaro coup is real.
Such fears have prompted Sanders and his staff to draft a resolution that would seek to get ahead of any such eventuality. It would express the view of the Senate that if Bolsonaro loses and refuses to step down, the United States will view it as an unacceptable outcome.
The resolution — which we have viewed in draft form — declares that the United States will immediately recognize the election outcome that international monitors deem free and fair. And it warns that the United States will reevaluate its relationship with any government that assumes power through undemocratic means, including a military coup. It says this could imperil future U.S. aid.
Citizens’ manifesto declares Brazilian democracy facing ‘immense danger’
Declaration comes amid fears Jair Bolsonaro could attempt January 6-style coup to retain power if voted out in October
The declaration – whose backers include major figures in business, politics, science and the arts – comes after Bolsonaro escalated his attacks on Brazil’s voting system and summoned hardcore supporters to hit the streets “for the last time” before the 2 October vote.
Bolsonaro’s actions have fueled fears the radical far-right populist may seek to emulate his political idol, Donald Trump, by contesting the election result or inciting a January 6-style insurrection in a bid to retain power. Polls suggest Bolsonaro will lose to the leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in either the first or second round.
Brazilians fear return to dictatorship as ‘deranged’ Bolsonaro trails in polls
Man who destroyed vast forest wins demise of park
(AP) The loss of the park is a measure of how bad things are today for the Amazon. Not only are environmental laws going unenforced, now a court has invalidated a major protected area. Scientists say not only are ecosystems being lost, but massive deforestation is damaging the forest’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide
Two Murders in the Amazon
The disappearance of Dom Phillips and Bruno Araújo Pereira, and the crisis created by Jair Bolsonaro’s policies.
(The New Yorker) From the moment that Dom Phillips and Bruno Araújo Pereira vanished, on June 5th, in the Brazilian Amazon, there were suspicions of foul play. Phillips was a British freelance journalist dedicated to environmental issues, and Pereira, his friend and guide, was a prominent Brazilian Indigenous-affairs expert. He was assisting Phillips with research for a book, tentatively titled “How to Save the Amazon.” After spending a few days in and around the vast Javari Valley Indigenous Reserve, near Brazil’s westernmost Amazonian border with Peru and Colombia, the two men set out by boat from a small riverside settlement for the larger town of Atalaia do Norte, two hours away. They never arrived. Their satellite phone had lost signal.
The area where Phillips and Pereira disappeared is just outside the Javari’s perimeter boundary, where there are several riverside communities of settlers who have never fully accepted the creation of the Indigenous territory and who, under President Jair Bolsonaro, have become more brazen in transgressing its boundaries. Some of them subsist on illegally logging, hunting, and fishing inside the reserve. It is not far from the main artery of the Amazon River, so it is also favored by cocaine traffickers from the coca-growing neighboring countries of Colombia and Peru, a trade that has brought about a potent criminal subculture.
Bolsonaro’s actions have proved devastating for the Indigenous people in the Amazonian reservations, provoking a surge of invasions of their lands and a wave of killings of community leaders. A gold rush in the Yanomami reserve, on Brazil’s northern frontier with Venezuela, has seen as many as twenty thousand garimpeiros flood into the reserve. The Bolsonaro government largely ignored the Yanomani’s pleas to remove them; a number of Yanomami civilians have been killed—some by miners, some by weapons and disease that they have brought into the region. The Javari outpost that Pereira had helped set up was repeatedly attacked by gunmen.
The Amazon rainforest is disappearing quickly — and threatening Indigenous people who live there
(The Conversation) Forests throughout the world are shrinking year after year — and Brazil is the epicentre. According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than a quarter of the Amazon rainforest will be devoid of trees by 2030 if cutting continues at the same speed.
If nothing is done to stop it, an estimated 40 per cent of this unique forest will be razed by 2050.
Beyond the material and environmental consequences, this deforestation also threatens human rights, including the rights of marginalized communities to life, physical integrity, a reasonable quality of life and dignity. Brazil is one of the most worrying cases in this regard.
Deforestation in Brazil offers a preview of the impact that climate change will have on human rights, both in Latin America and elsewhere in the world. In addition, due to the war in Ukraine, Brazil is looking to fill the food gap on world markets with crops such as wheat and grain.
Brazil’s contribution is appreciated by countries such as Sudan, Pakistan and Haiti, which are among those most affected by the food crisis. But increased production may dangerously accelerate deforestation and human rights abuses can be expected to increase.
Brazil police: Remains found those of British journalist
(AP) — Federal police said Friday that human remains found in Brazil’s remote Amazon have been identified as belonging to British journalist Dom Phillips, who went missing almost two weeks ago along with a Brazilian Indigenous expert in a case that drew world attention.
“Like a slow-motion coup”: Brazil is on the brink of a disinformation disaster
By Julia Angwin
“I think about January 6, and the fact that Brazil is a much younger democracy. I’m really worried. Everybody knows this is going to happen, because every single day [President Jair Bolsonaro] says these things.”
(Nieman Lab) In October, Brazil will hold presidential elections that appear to be headed in the same contentious direction as the U.S. presidential election of 2020.
Even before voting has begun, the far-right incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, has already started talking about voting irregularities—raising concerns that he might not concede defeat should he lose. Bolsonaro, who is polling behind the leading candidate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has also questioned President Joe Biden’s election win. “We don’t want that to happen in Brazil,” he said in a recent TV interview.
To understand the Brazilian election landscape, this week I spoke with Patricia Campos Mello, a leading Brazilian journalist who has been tracking the elections and disinformation. Mello is an editor-at-large at Folha de S.Paulo and an associate research scholar at Columbia University, working on a project on electoral disinformation ahead of the Brazilian 2022 presidential election.
Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon
(AP) — Brazil’s search for an Indigenous expert and a journalist who disappeared in a restive area of the Amazon a week ago advanced with the discovery of a backpack, laptop and other personal belongings of the men submerged in a river.
Bolsonaro’s New Ally in Questioning Brazil’s Elections: The Military
Despite little evidence of past fraud, President Jair Bolsonaro has long raised doubts about Brazil’s electoral process. Now the military is expressing similar concerns.
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has for months consistently trailed in the polls ahead of the country’s crucial presidential race. And for months, he has consistently questioned its voting systems, warning that if he loses October’s election, it will most likely be thanks to a stolen vote.
The leaders of Brazil’s armed forces have suddenly begun raising similar doubts about the integrity of the elections, despite little evidence of past fraud, ratcheting up already high tensions over the stability of Latin America’s largest democracy and rattling a nation that suffered under a military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro says meeting with Biden was ‘fantastic’
(Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday at the Summit of Americas that his meeting with President Joe Biden the day before was “fantastic” and the U.S. leader showed a sincere will to resolve international problems.
Bolsonaro says Brazilian armed forces are searching “tirelessly” for British journalist Dom Phillips who has been missing in the Amazon since Sunday with Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.
Bolsonaro using medals to celebrate allies, family, himself
(AP) Elon Musk arrived in Brazil for his first-ever visit, not knowing his cachaca from his churrasco, and within hours had a prestigious medal draped around his neck as he clasped the hand of President Jair Bolsonaro.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO was the first foreign civilian without a government position to receive the Defense Ministry honor since its 2002 creation, according to an Associated Press review of recent records.
But it came as little surprise given Bolsonaro’s benevolence in decorating ideological allies, ministers, loyalists and family — sometimes on questioned grounds. Bolsonaro himself has received six medals from his own administration. … In a November article titled “The Farce of the Medals,” magazine Istoe wrote that Bolsonaro had transformed the government into a medal dispensary. The presidential palace didn’t respond to AP questions about motives for the medals.
Biden and Bolsonaro to have wide-ranging talks at Americas summit
(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s first formal talks with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro will cover a wide range of issues when they meet at the Summit of the Americas next week, including food insecurity, climate change and pandemic recovery, the White House said on Wednesday.
Biden’s top Latin America adviser, Juan Gonzalez, confirmed the two would meet in Los Angeles. Asked if Biden would raise concerns about Bolsonaro’s questioning of Brazil’s voting system, he said only that the United States “does have confidence in Brazil’s electoral institutions which have proven robust.”
‘Record after record’: Brazil’s Amazon deforestation hits April high, nearly double previous peak
(The Guardian) Climate analysts are astounded by such a high reading during the rainy season. … April is the third monthly record this year, after new highs were also observed in January and February.
Destruction of the Brazilian Amazon in the first four months of the year also hit a record for the period of 1,954 square km (754 square miles), an increase of 69% compared to the same period of 2021, clearing an area more than double the size of New York City.
Deforestation in the Amazon has soared since rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and weakened environmental protection [‘Exterminator of the future’: Brazil’s Bolsonaro denounced for environmental assault]. Bolsonaro argues that more farming and mining in the Amazon will reduce poverty in the region.
Transform approach to Amazon or it will not survive, warns major report
Panel of 200 scientists tells Cop26 Indigenous people, business, governments and scientists must collaborate
(The Guardian) The world’s approach to the Amazon rainforest must be transformed to avoid an irreversible, catastrophic tipping point, according to the most comprehensive study of the region ever carried out.
More than 200 scientists collaborated on the new report, which finds that more than a third of the world’s biggest tropical forest is degraded or deforested, rainfall is declining and dry seasons are growing longer.
In recognition of the critical situation, the authors have formed a new Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA), which released its first report on the final scheduled day of Cop26 in Glasgow. The group aims to serve a similar synthesising function for research on the Amazon rainforest as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does for studies on the climate.
The Bolsonaro-Trump Connection Threatening Brazil’s Elections
With his poll numbers falling, President Jair Bolsonaro is already questioning the legitimacy of next year’s election. He has help from the United States.
Fresh from their assault on the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, former President Donald J. Trump and his allies are exporting their strategy to Latin America’s largest democracy, working to support Mr. Bolsonaro’s bid for re-election next year — and helping sow doubt in the electoral process in the event that he loses.
Brazil signs agreement to halt deforestation – but Bolsonaro cannot be trusted
(The Conversation) On the second day of COP26 – the UN climate negotiations in Glasgow – the world celebrated an announcement made by leaders from 124 countries. In the Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, world leaders boldly pledged “to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development”.
But amid praise for this declaration, there is also serious doubt whether major signatories can deliver on its ambitious promises. In particular, all eyes are on Brazil.
Not only does Brazil contain large portions of the Amazon rainforest and the Cerrado ecosystem (the largest area of savannah in South America), but government policy on environmental issues has become particularly destructive under the presidency of the country’s current leader, Jair Bolsonaro – who is notably absent from COP26.
… Since Bolsonaro took office in 2019, deforestation rates have started to increase at a fast pace again, reaching a 12-year high. Fighting deforestation through multilateral declarations like this one has therefore fallen short before.
Protesters in Brazil Demand Bolsonaro’s Impeachment
(VoA) Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets around the country Saturday, once again calling for the ouster of unpopular President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, among other issues. … More than 100 requests for the impeachment of Bolsonaro have been filed with the Chamber of Deputies, but its leader Arthur Lira, a government ally, has refused to take any of them up.
The Supreme Court has ordered several investigations into Bolsonaro and his aides, including for spreading false information
Brazil’s health minister tests positive for coronavirus at U.N. General Assembly
Queiroga is reportedly the second member of Bolsonaro’s delegation to test positive in New York. Bloomberg News reported that a member of the delegation who hadn’t been in contact with the president tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving and was placed in isolation.
Bolsonaro isolated himself at home after returning to Brazil and canceled a trip, Reuters reported.
Bolsonaro remains defiantly unvaccinated, saying he doesn’t need the shots because he recovered from a mild case of covid-19 last year. On Tuesday Bolsonaro appeared to break U.N. rules that asked for all those who entered the General Assembly Hall to be fully vaccinated under an “honor system.”
Bolsonaro vowed to show a new Brazil but ‘lie-filled’ UN speech cuts little ice
Far-right president peddled unproven Covid remedies and made baseless claims about Brazilian politics and the environment
(The Guardian) The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, told the United Nations general assembly he had come to showcase “a new Brazil, with its credibility restored before the world”.
But in a 12-minute address, in which the far-right populist preached unproven Covid remedies, denounced coronavirus containment measures and peddled a succession of distortions and outright lies about Brazilian politics and the environment, Bolsonaro did little to repair his country’s mangled international reputation.
“It is sickening and shameful to see this kind of president give such a lie-filled speech on the international stage,” the leftist congresswoman Vivi Reis lamented after watching her country’s radical leader speak. “This kind of man should not be representing our country – a country so rich in biodiversity, culture, workers and youth.”
Ian Bremmer: Bolsonaro is inciting a ‘January 6’-style insurrection in Brazil. It won’t work
Democracy will prevail, but the risk of violence is high and polarization will deepen.
September 7 marked Brazil’s Independence Day, and President Jair Bolsonaro celebrated in decidedly Trumpian fashion: by railing against the deep state, proclaiming himself the only possible legitimate leader of the country, and inciting violence against his political opponents.
Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians across the country took to the streets on Tuesday, after Bolsonaro summoned his supporters to arm themselves (the president recently said “everyone should buy rifles”) and defend his administration and the country’s “liberty” from institutions like the Supreme Court, which he claims is hostile to his agenda. The demonstrations came in the wake of a series of threats issued by the president, who has warned of an “institutional rupture” if Supreme Court judges fail to heed his “ultimatum” to cease their oversight of, and alleged opposition to, his administration.
Brazil top justice orders Bolsonaro investigated for fraud claims
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice has ruled that President Jair Bolsonaro should be investigated for making unproven claims that Brazil’s electronic voting system is riddled with fraud, adding the far-right leader to an ongoing probe on the spread of fake news by his government.
Wednesday’s ruling by Justice Alexandre de Moraes came after Bolsonaro stepped up his longtime attacks on Brazil’s voting system, claiming without evidence that it is marred by widespread fraud.
Bolsonaro, who is under increasing pressure amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen a recent drop in popularity, has said there will be no presidential elections next year as planned if the system is not overhauled.
Bolsonaro backers push for change to Brazil’s voting system
(Reuters) – Government supporters rallied in several Brazilian cities on Sunday to call for changes in the country’s electronic voting system, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro says is not trustworthy.
Bolsonaro has increasingly insisted on the adoption of printed ballots that can be audited, a mixed system in which electronic urns would also print out receipts that can be counted if any result are challenged.
Lula: ‘Jair Bolsonaro is an agent of genocide’
In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said his country is paying the price for current president Jair Bolsonaro’s “incompetence” in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and that “he is responsible for a part of all these Brazilians who have lost their lives”.
Lula also criticised the destruction of the Amazon rainforest during Bolsonaro’s term and the invasion of indigenous people’s lands. However he argued against internationalising the rainforest: “We can’t accept the internationalisation of the Amazon, because it is part of our territory. And you also can’t go with the idea that the Amazon should be transformed into a sanctuary of humanity.”
Bolsonaro once said he’d stage a military takeover. Now Brazilians fear he could be laying the ground for one.
(WaPo) In a television interview two decades ago, the fringe congressman didn’t hesitate to say it: If he were president, he would shut down the Brazilian congress and stage a military takeover.
“There’s not even the littlest doubt,” Jair Bolsonaro said. “I’d stage a coup the same day [I became president,] the same day. Congress doesn’t work. I’m sure at least 90 percent of people would party and clap.”
Now the congressman is president of Brazil, and fears are mounting here that he could be considering how to make good on that plan. Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has frequently lamented the collapse of Brazil’s military dictatorship, has in recent days wondered not only whether he will participate in next year’s elections, but also whether there will even be elections.
Census Delays Threaten Latin America’s Vulnerable
As Covid-19 ravages Latin America, countries like Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia have postponed their census surveys
(Bloomberg City Lab) Even before Covid-19 struck, Brazil’s census was in trouble. In 2019, the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the number of survey questions in the decennial population count, set for 2020, would be reduced due to budgetary restraints. Amid the first wave of Covid-19 outbreaks in March 2020, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said that the census would be postponed to 2021. In April, the Brazilian government canceled it, due to heavy national spending cuts due to the country’s decade-long economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.
Now the census is set to proceed in 2022, after a state government sued and the Supreme Court ruled in May that the government would need to find the funds necessary to carry it out.
Besides counting residents, national censuses brings data on living conditions, employment, income, access to sanitation, and schooling, and help inform social policies that distribute federal resources.
Without new census data, for example, funding levels for Brazil’s municipalities will freeze at 2010 levels…. That could leave areas that have grown poorer or more populous with fewer resources than they need, and create challenges for vulnerable citizens in accessing social benefits and programs. Outdated census data has already created problems for the Bolsonaro administration when it distributed pandemic emergency aid to low-income people in 2020.
Brazil’s federal police open probe into Bolsonaro over vaccine deal – source
(Reuters) – At the request of the Supreme Court, Brazil’s federal police has formally opened a probe into President Jair Bolsonaro related to alleged irregularities in the purchase of an Indian vaccine and could now question him, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
The president has been caught up in allegations of irregularities surrounding the 1.6 billion reais ($316 million) contract signed in February for 20 million doses with a Brazilian intermediary for the vaccine’s maker, Bharat Biotech.
A Brazilian Senate commission investigating the administration’s handling of the pandemic has cited suspicions of overpricing and corruption related to the contract. Some senators have alleged that Bolsonaro did not immediately look into allegations of wrongdoing when he was alerted.
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rises for 4th straight month
Scientists worry the destruction will fuel worsening forest fires this dry season
In the first six months of the year, deforestation in the region has risen 17 per cent with 3,610 square kilometres being cleared, according to Inpe. That is an area more than four times the size of New York City.
Deforestation has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019, drawing international outcry from foreign governments and the public. Bolsonaro has called for mining and agriculture in protected areas of the Amazon and has weakened environmental enforcement agencies, which environmentalists and scientists say has directly resulted in the rising destruction.
Brazil 2022 election will take place; ‘It’s that simple,’ says Senate president
(Reuters) – Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco on Friday vehemently rejected any speculation that the 2022 presidential election may not take place, insisting that the constitution will be upheld and the wishes and expectations of the Brazilian people will be met.
Speaking to reporters in the Senate, Pacheco was responding to comments made by President Jair Bolsonaro earlier in the week
Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he may not accept 2022 election under current voting system
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday he may not accept the result of a presidential election next year unless the voting system, which uses computers to record votes, is replaced with printed ballots that he favors.
“If this method continues, they’re going to have problems,” he said on a radio interview. “Because one side, which is our side, may not accept the result.”
Bolsonaro’s comments add to concerns that he is setting the stage to refuse to accept an election loss in 2022, much like his hero, former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro disapproval rating rises to all-time high, two polls show
Ahead of next year’s elections, former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lulada Silva strengthened his lead over Bolsonaro, the poll showed. Although neither of them have announced their candidacy, the 2022 election is widely expected to be a run-off between the two polarizing figures.
Brazil Vaccine Scandal Imperils Bolsonaro as Protests Spread
Brazilians were angry over how slowly their government moved to acquire coronavirus vaccines. Now they’re incensed over a corruption scandal involving vaccine deals.