Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds – The Pension System


Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds is a series of videos, one every week, with news analysis from Brazil. This week we talk about the reform of the pension system. On Wednesday, government officials met with members of Congress and union leaders to discuss seven proposals to pension reform. This is a very urgent and controversial topic because Brazil’s pension deficit increases by 50% every year. Yet, any reform that scales back benefits will be extremely unpopular, particularly in an election year and during economic crises. Moreover, the government does not have the support of President Rousseff’s own party – Partido dos Trabalhadores – and other parties on the left, which will make a reform less likely to be approved by Congress.

Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds: Economic Outlook


Brazil Talk in 90 Seconds is a series of videos, one every week, with news analysis from Brazil. This week we talk about the pessimistic economic outlook after Carnaval celebrations. GDP is expected to shrink between 3% and 4% in 2016 and inflation is projected to continue rising until the end of the year. In the meantime, Rousseff’s administration decided to postpone the announcement of spending cuts until March, raising speculations that the government is ready to reduce costs as required.

“Brazil has open arms to welcome refugees”

Brazil is now the “largest host country of Syrian refugees in the Americas,” says Ambassador Simas Magalhães.

by Fernando Brigidi de Mello

Over the past few years, and specially in 2015, the world has been facing a devastating global refugee crisis. Violence and deprivation have forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, particularly in Syria, where the civil war is heading towards its sixth year. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul, and the episode of young women in Cologne who were groped and robbed on New Year’s Eve by men described as having “a North African or Arabic” appearance, have increased anxiety over absorbing scores of refugees. In the United States, expressing fear about terrorism, several Governors have taken action to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states. Anti-refugee sentiment has also been taking hold in many parts of Europe.

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Brazil’s Humanitarian Crisis

by Deborah Kaufmann

Vitória da Conquista, BA, October 8th: Child dies from stray bullet; two other teenagers are also shot.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, November 29th: Five young men are shot dead inside car in the North Zone of Rio.
Porto Alegre, RS, December 8th: Dead boy in Vila Cruzeiro lost cousin in the same way three years ago.

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Counting our blessings – and destroying them

by Isabela Messias

Brazil is a blessed country. We have no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no harsh winter. We have the largest tropical forest in the world, the Brazilian Amazon, which amounts for around 5 million square kilometers, and hosts an unparalleled biodiversity[i]. Moreover, Brazil also has 12% of the world’s freshwater, more than the European or the African continents. It is fair to say that when it comes to natural resources, we are an extremely lucky country. But we are ruining it. Little by little, with years of neglectful environmental policies, we are ruining it.

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