Brazil

The Amazon will play a critical role in determining the future of life on Earth, given the climate regulating role the rainforest plays, writes Thiago Ávila.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro persists in his attitude of denial, characterising the coronavirus as a “little flu”: a definition that deserves to be included in the annals, not of medicine, but of political madness, writes Michael Lowy. But this madness has its logic, which is the logic of neofascism.

Already immersed in an overlapping health and economic crisis, Brazil is now also being engulfed by a political crisis. Sao Paulo University professor André Singer outlines some of the key dynamics underpinning the current situation in Brazil.

Overwhelmed by the coronavirus health emergency, Brazil's far-right, anti-Cuban administration has fallen back on the small nation for medical support— requesting help from the very same Cuban doctors it expelled months ago, writes Ben Norton.

On November 7, the Brazilian Supreme Court declared it illegal to jail defendants before their appeals’ processes have been exhausted. Within 24 hours, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was released to an adoring crowd of hundreds. Despite this, the corporate media is continuing its smear campaign against him.

Rio de Janeiro’s population watched in shock on August 20 as the state’s governor, Wilson Witzel celebrated the shooting by a sniper of a 20-year-old Black man who held 37 people hostage on a bus. The perpetrator had mental health problems, had never been in trouble with the police and had a plastic gun.

While Witzel’s tactics have been applauded, the politician’s merriment as he jumped from the safety of his helicopter to compliment the sniper, revealed the current security regime being enforced in the state.

La Via Campesina is a global social movement that unites 148 groups representing small farmers, peasants, rural workers and indigenous communities around the world.

It fights for food sovereignty and ecologically sustainable agriculture.

It released the following statement on the Amazon fires on August 24.

Messages between Brazil’s federal prosecutor, Deltan Dallagnol, who led Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) and then-judge, Sergio Moro, have revealed that the evidence used to jail Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) former president Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva, was tenuous at best and that the charges against him may have been groundless.

"The Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks! We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn't put out. The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating climate change."

Since Brazil’s 2016 parliamentary coup d’etat, in which former president Dilma Rousseff was removed on a later-exonerated technicality, Brazil’s ultra-right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro has made every effort to destroy any remnants of the legacy left by the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT).

Strikers stopped public transport, blocked roads and held street demonstrations in 380 cities across Brazil on June 14.

A nationwide education strike on May 15 became the platform for the biggest anti-government protests since President Jair Bolsonaro took power.