In Brazil, March 15th marks the end of the dictatorial era of Brazil, but this past March 15th marked a different and equally as important date in history; this year millions of protesters took to the streets throughout Brazil to protest the current president, Dilma Rousseff. Dilma, and her Worker’s Party colleagues, have been in the midst of a national scandal since the end of 2014.
Statistics from the UNDOC routinely rank Latin America as the most violent region in the world, and more than 150,000 people died from homicide in the Americas in 2012. In Brazil alone, more than 50,000 people were victims of homicide in 2012, more than triple the number in the U.S. (UNDOC, 2013). The crime epidemic that has arisen in the past decade in Latin America has resulted in the militarization of conflict, most exemplified by the Mexican government in its ongoing battle with drug cartels.
Brazil has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. So, it comes as no surprise that even in the context of pregnancies affected by the Zika virus, Brazil is faced with theological and political challenges.
The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games are making history in a number of ways. They will be the first Olympic Games hosted on the South American continent. Second, they have shown the worst preparation for the games in Olympic history. This chaos has played a large factor in neglecting the Legacy Projects that were promised as part of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Much attention has been given to the fact that both the World Cup and Olympics are being held in Brazil and for good reason, they showcase the hosting country on the international stage. The sporting events allow the host country, and even the surrounding region to a lesser extent, the ability to put its best foot forward and signal its growth, stability, and good governance. While these two mega-events receive international attention, they are not the only international sporting events that take place in South America.
Industrialized countries, national officials, transnational corporations, and multilateral banks have developed a new consensus model of development using mega-projects. This new investment model continues to undermine current social and environmental safeguards.
The Brazilian Congress returns to work this week after a recess and faces news that the industrial sector has fallen yet again. Congress has been pushing the Senate to vote on tax raises on Brazilian companies in order to avoid a national credit downgrade.1 Since the industrial sector has fallen in many sectors, including automobile and informatics technology manufacturing, this push from congress is necessary in order for the country to evade a full blown economic recession.2
Monday, September 21, 2015, marked the one year anniversary of the death of Paola Acosta, a woman who suffered her fate at the hands of her ex-partner1, Gonzalo Lizarralde. She was raped, killed and dumped in a sewer together with her one-year-old daughter, Martina, who she had in common with her attacker. Remarkably, Martina survived. Wednesday, September 23, Gonzalo Lizarralde, marked the first day of the prosecution for the murder of Paola2.
On September 28th, 2015, world leaders met at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss, among other issues, the mass migration of Syrian and Middle Eastern refugees to Europe. The migration of people from the war torn region of the Middle East has put tremendous strains on European infrastructure, has tested the limits of their foreign policy, and has generated an unprecedented migration crisis. While Europe is bearing most of the brunt of the refugees, other countries like the United States and Brazil have vowed to open their doors to Syrian refugees in the coming years.