Author: Brazil Talk

Blog, Society

Law regarding current military trials sanctioned by Temer – do you know what that means?


by Camila Jordan and Fernanda Nogueira, Editors and Writers at Brazil Talk

[7 min read]

(This article was updated on Monday, 16th of October 2017) 

On October 10th, the Senate approved the PLC 44/2016[1] amendment to the  9.299/2016 Law; the proposal alters the current decree that defines the Military Penal Code, from October 21st, 1969[2], concerning the judging process of military servants in the exercise of their duties. In layman terms, it means that crimes committed by the military in duty (under policing and “Law and Order enforcement” operations) against the lives of civilians would be judged by the Military Justice System.

As of today, Monday the 16th of October, Michel Temer, acting President of Brazil, has sanctioned the Law PLC 44/2016. The law was already published in the Diário Oficial da União, roughly translated as the Federal Official Journal of Brazil.

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Blog, Events, Uncategorized

Brazil Talk interviews Taís Araújo


[4 min video]

by Brazil Talk Team

Brazilian actress and activist Taís Araújo talks about the racial issue for Brazil Talk. [Sorry, no English subtitles are available at this time]

We talked to Taís Araújo, a Brazilian actress, and activist, during the opening ceremony of Africa Week that started on Sep 25 at Columbia University.

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Blog, Enviroment, National Politics

How the Political Crisis is Threatening Brazil’s Sustainable Goals


*Photo credit: Ana_Cotta | Photo Title: S.O.S Amazônia

By Rodrigo Rosa, Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University.

Since 2013, Brazil’s political turmoil has produced anxiety and drawbacks on the political and economic arenas. The instability caused by the political brawl is jeopardizing the environment and threatening the country’s long-term sustainability ambitions. Recent events are going against the commitments made in the international negotiations during the COP 21[1] in Paris in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gases emissions within next decades.

Last June, Congress approved a legislative bill to reduce 600 thousand hectares of protected areas in the Amazon and other natural preserved areas in Brazil, which is equivalent to four times the area of the city of Sao Paulo.

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Blog, Culture, Society

What happens when people DO NOT recognize themselves as rights holders?


By Camila Jordan, editor and writer at Brazil Talk

[ 7 min read ]

Watching a video[1] of a tragic incident in São Paulo[2], where people’s houses under a bridge were caught in a fire, triggered the following reflection.

What happens when people DO NOT recognize themselves as rights holders?

According to residents living in the occupation, the fire was started by local police officers with the intent to expel them from their impromptu homes, made out of remnants of wood and other rejected materials. However, according to an article in Folha de São Paulo and interviews with Eduardo Odloak, the sub-mayor of the region, one person from the impromptu community lit the area on fire in revolt against the actions performed by the city government.

People who had been living in the place of the incident say they had been dwelling there the last three years. Whether city hall gave warnings about their planned removal is unclear, some people said two social workers came by and urged them to go to a shelter on the Friday before the incident, but the majority didn’t seem to know what was happening.

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Blog, Events

Public Policies in an Uncertain World


by Fernanda Nogueira and Camila Jordan, Editors and Writers at Brazil Talk 

New York, 21st  of July 2017, School of International and Public Affairs 

Brazil Talk was present on the Public Policies in an Uncertain World – Actions for Tomorrow seminar at SIPA this Friday. The panels consisted of presentations of the final papers made by graduate students of the GEMPA (Global Executive Masters of Public Administration) program, as well as a keynote talk by Mark Anthony Thomas, Senior Vice President of Partnerships for the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

The event contained three panels focused on innovations in public management, fostering economic development and advances in financial policy, all united by a single theme – how to build a better tomorrow. Willian Silva organizer and GEMPA graduate began with an introduction to the current state of sanitation in Brazil, and perspectives on how to improve the chaotic situation in Brazil. Willian furthered mentioned the contrast found between states in the southern region of Brazil versus the north of the country, historically poorer and with less access to resources.

According to Instituto Trata Brasil, leading organization on sanitation data in Brazil, only 50,3% of Brazilians have access to the sewage system and of the amount collected only 42% of the sewage is treated. In the north, only 16% of the sewage is treated versus the 47% in the southeast region. He stressed the importance and urgency of this matter in Brazil since it has proven impact on social and economic well being, affecting more negatively already vulnerable populations.

This shows that Brazil still has a long way to go, structural and fundamental issues such as sanitation are yet to be made priority by our governments.

The plurality of subjects presented in the seminar and the very existence of this program shows the importance of providing quality education to people who are already in the public sector, and are no longer at the beginning of their careers. It made us think about a possible parallel with the quota system in universities. Providing quality education from early on is of utmost urgency, but what about the generation that is already in the workforce? What about those who are currently working to improve our country’s public sector? Those people need attention and inclusion, too. Programs like the GEMPA are an opportunity for them to increase their knowledge and expertise, as well as expand horizons and connect with different people around the globe. It also provides a space to be inspired by leading minds on the sector and to aspire to greater things in their environments.

After all, we cannot count only on the “new generation” to take action – it is the people who are currently inserted in the system that has the power to change it from within, and open way for new actors to have the opportunity to cause an impact, too.