ColumbiaUniversity

Blog, Economy, National Politics, Society, Uncategorized

Brazilians Have A Civic Role In Keeping the “Bolsa Familia” Program


By Marina Lafer, MPA Candidate at SIPA, Columbia University

In 2004, belonging to a social and economic environment in which people were constantly raising doubts over the efficacy of Lula’s policies as Brazil’s President, I remember myself having a bad – unsupported – impression over Bolsa Familia, a program that aims to provide small cash transfers[1] to extremely poor families, conditioned to keep their children in school and take them to preventive health check-ups[2]. At the time of its creation, I was only fourteen years old and had the conception that it was not addressing the poverty issue. Additionally, I believed that the amount of money spent on the program was too great and by compromising that investment with one policy, the Government left many public problems unattended. (more…)

Blog, Events, National Politics

‘In Moro we trust’ or ‘Coup promoter’: The danger of football politics


by Isabela Messias, Co Editor and Writer at Brazil Talk

It is 9:30am, and the “Institution-Building, Governance and Compliance in Brazil”[1]conference organized and co-hosted by Columbia University just finished setting things up to receive Sergio Moro, the federal judge who is heading the Car Wash operation, also known as Lava Jato — the largest corruption investigation in Brazil’s history. The room is full of students, academics, scholars and journalists, waiting for Moro to go up on stage. As he does, however, the unexpected happens: amidst thunderous claps, outraged protests erupt from the audience. One woman, who had to be escorted out, yells “Biased! Coup!”. Another person joins the chorus, reading as loudly as possible a protest letter. On the opposite third person, dressed in a Brazilian football t-shirt, angrily holds a sign that says “In Moro We Trust”, and screams “shut up” while booing. Needless to say, it was mayhem, which delayed Moro’s statement for at least twenty minutes. (more…)