Brazil

Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and counciller for the left-wing Party of Socialist and Liberation (PSOL) Marielle Franco was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro on March 14. The openly gay councilor was outspoken in defence of the poor and against racism.

Brazilian professor and researcher Sabrina Fernandes discusses former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s January 24 corruption trial and the country’s forthcoming October presidential election.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has lost his appeal against 2017 corruption conviction last year in a major blow to his chances of regaining office.

The judgment was reached on January 24 after two of the three appeal court judges in the case voted to uphold the decision of a lower court. While Lula can still take his appeal to a higher court, the court's decision could rule him out of October's presidential election. 

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva was sentenced on July 12 to nine years and six months jail over corruption charges in the Operation Car Wash investigations. The ruling came a day after the Brazilian Senate's approval of President Michel Temer's unamended labour reform bill, which has been heavily criticised by trade unions and social movements.

Police brutally repressed thousands of Brazilians who took the streets on June 30 to oppose austerity measures and the Michel Temer government. The actions were part of the second general strike in three months.

The “general strike” included work stoppages by teachers and workers in the banking, metals, health care and oil refinery sector, among others.

Brazil's trade union confederations have called for a new general strike to shut down the country’s largest cities on June 30 in protest at neoliberal labour and retirement pension reforms, as well as to demand the resignation of unelected president Michel Temer who is currently embroiled in several corruption controversies.

Larte-se
Directed by Lygia BarbosaEliane Brum
Netflix

A documentary that premiered on Netflix on May 19 explores the life of a Brazilian transgender cartoonist who says she wants to break taboos surrounding her gender identity.

As security forces repressed anti-government protests in the capital, a military police operation to break up a protest camp left 10 civilians dead, with witnesses claiming they were killed execution-style.

None of this made it into the international media however, because it happened in Brazil, not Venezuela.

Less than a year after being installed in power via a constitutional coup, the government of Brazilian President Michel Temer is teetering on the brink of collapse.

Plagued by corruption scandals – the same pretext used by the right-wing controlled judiciary and parliament to topple centre-left president Dilma Rousseff – and popularity figures in the single digits, the Temer regime is now facing a growing revolt from below demanding “direct elections now!”

A year on from the parliamentary coup that ousted former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has become a neoliberal disaster and approval ratings for the incumbent right-wing government have slumped to record low levels.

The democratically-elected president was ousted in May last year without any proof of wrongdoing. Michel Temer, who then served as vice president, was installed as interim president. On August 31, Rousseff was formally removed from office.

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