After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization. Continue reading
Brazil’s political turmoil is going into overdrive, exacerbated in recent days by the discovery of a tape recording allegedly of President Michel Temer approving some US$600,000 in hush money to pay off a disgraced political ally. Temer denies wrongdoing and is rebuffing calls to resign even though the new reports are consistent with others that implicate the Brazilian leader and his associates. Along with leaked audio of damning conversations, a prominent news outlet has published photos said to show the wads of cash used for the payoffs.
Despite the severity of this crisis, as a scholar of the political economy of corruption, I see some grounds for optimism. As Paul Lagunes and I have previously written for The Conversation, the ongoing investigations and convictions demonstrate that, overall, Brazil’s independent prosecutors and judges remain deeply committed to investigate and punish high-level corruption. They have strong public support, and their efforts to end the impunity of the business and political elite are beginning to succeed. Continue reading
Ousted President Dilma Rousseff wouldn’t enact austerity roadmap, so “a process was established which culminated with me being installed as president of the republic,” Temer says
Proponents of her ouster argued that former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was targeted and ultimately booted from office for budgetary wrongdoing or, ironically, corruption.
But fresh comments by new, unelected president Michel Temer himself back up claims that her impeachment was politically motivated, specifically, that Rousseff wouldn’t enact the austerity-promoting, welfare-slashing economic platform Temer unveiled from his party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), in October when he was vice president. Continue reading
Her ouster—an effort she’s calling a coup— would be end of 13 years of rule by leftist Workers’ Party, and would leave in place unelected Temer
Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday voted to hold an impeachment trial for suspended President Dilma Rousseff, an effort that could mark the end of 13 years of rule by her leftist Workers’ Party.
“Today is not a good day for our democracy,” said Senator Paulo Rocha, an ally of the nation’s first female president. He added that “there is a political alliance that smells of a coup” working against her. Continue reading
Companies at center of grafting scheme construct Olympic Village, raw sewage pours into Rio de Janeiro, and protests sweep nation
A biology professor has simple advice for athletes and tourists descending on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympics’ start on Friday: “Don’t put your head underwater.”
Dr. Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida, remarked on the dangers posed by Rio’s water to AP, which reported Monday that a 16-months-long study revealed that “the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.” Continue reading
‘Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela’s fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil,’ said the nation’s president.
On the same day, unnamed D.C. officials warned of a coming “meltdown” in Venezuela. Continue reading
Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff is not accused of any crimes—while right-wing politicians voting to impeach her are investigated for corruption
367 of the 513 members of Brazil’s lower house voted to impeach, surpassing the two-thirds majority required to send the proposal to the senate for a vote, which is expected to take place in a few weeks.
Critics of the process immediately decried the impeachment vote. Continue reading
By Bruno Weis. Published 22-17-2015 at Greenpeace
On Thursday, November 5th, two dams holding millions of cubic meters of mining waste gave way – launching one of the worst environmental disasters in Brazilian history.
Over 25,000 Olympic swimming pools worth of mud – contaminated with arsenic, lead, chromium and a variety of other heavy metals* – quickly overtook the nearby mining community of Mariana in Minas Gerais state. At least seventeen people were killed. Hundreds more have been displaced by the wall of sludge released in the dam collapse. Continue reading
Fueled by years of record-low interest rates, a new housing crisis is rearing its head from London to L.A. This time, however, it will not go uncontested.
By Jerome Roos. Published 10-28-2015 at ROAR Magazine
Capitalism is a strange beast. Though incredibly resilient in the face of systemic crises and remarkably adaptive to ever-changing conditions, it never truly overcomes its structural contradictions. As the Marxist geographer David Harvey often points out, it merely displaces them in space and time.
The global financial crisis of 2008-’09 has been no exception in this regard. In fact, the very response to that calamity has already laid the foundations for the next big crisis. And just like its immediate predecessor, it looks like this one will be centered, at least in part, on a massive speculative housing bubble. Continue reading
How many deaths of black youth are necessary before they are considered ‘genocide’ or political assassinations?
By Jaime A Alves. Published 10-10-2015 at openDemocracy.
Imagine a place where eight Michael Browns are killed every day. Imagine a place where extortion, rape, torture, and killings are routine. This is Brazil. Police terror in Brazil has become so banal that it has lost the media’s interest. Some of us may recall the global media’s coverage of massacres such as Candelaria (1993), Carandiru (1992), Eldorado dos Carajas (1996), and Crimes de Maio (2006). Now, more than ever, slaughter has become the police’s modus operandi. One would expect that with the social achievements promoted by the Workers’ Party in the last decade (40 million people came out of poverty in Brazil), police terror would disappear or at least be far less frequent. Quite the opposite has occurred. In Brazil, there is one thing that unites both left and right-wing governments: their incapacity to fight against police terror. At times, governments in both camps have been complicit with the police state. Continue reading