Trump: the end of all illusions?

The long-expected announcement, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, of the end of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA, popularly known as the “Dreamers” program) sees Donald Trump delivering on an election pledge, sort of. No new applications will be accepted from young people who were brought to the country illegally before they reached … Continue reading Trump: the end of all illusions?

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Fachin’s List: the end of political bias in the Brazilian coup?

Last Tuesday, Minister Edson Fachin, the Supreme Court judge responsible for the Lava Jato (Operation  Car Wash) investigations in Brazil, responded to the request from the Attorney General, Rodrigo Janot, to approve investigations by the Supreme Court into serving politicians implicated by the plea bargain testimony of the CEO and other executives of the Odebrecht … Continue reading Fachin’s List: the end of political bias in the Brazilian coup?

Brazil’s prison crisis

This first week of January has seen two massacres of inmates in Brazilian prisons. The first took place in Manaus. Fifty-six inmates died, the highest number to be killed since the Carandiru prison complex massacre in São Paulo in 1992. But in that latter case it was the police who did the killing. In Manaus … Continue reading Brazil’s prison crisis

Calling police to account in Bairro da Paz

This post is mostly about a recent event in a community in Salvador, the capital city of the state of Bahia, which I began to study in 2006. Bairro da Paz is an irregular settlement with a population of 60,000 residents, formed by a land invasion during the last years of military rule. The remarkable … Continue reading Calling police to account in Bairro da Paz

The Olympics and Rio’s crisis

The interim federal government headed by Michel Temer of the PMDB has now responded to the declaration of a state of financial catastrophe by the heavily indebted state government of Rio de Janeiro, which has been in the hands of the PMDB since 2003. It has provided a 2.9 billion reais emergency cash injection. This … Continue reading The Olympics and Rio’s crisis

The left fails in Spain

Yesterday's general election in Spain has delivered a very different result to that predicted by the polls, although it is less surprising that it has replicated the indecisive result of last year. The election not only failed to deliver any single party a majority, but once again made the formation of any government dependent on … Continue reading The left fails in Spain

Yes it can get worse

Brazil's interim president, Michel Temer, has named André Moura, of the Social Christian Party, the government's leader in the lower house of the Brazilian congress. Those unfamiliar with the Brazilian political process might be puzzled by this choice. The PSC is a tiny, although often scandalously vocal, force on the extreme right of the political … Continue reading Yes it can get worse

The week of the coup

During most of this week I have been in Campos, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, participating in a very interesting event organised by Rodrigo Monteiro and his colleagues at the Universidade Federal Fluminense. My talk was given in a final session on "Conflict, Public Space and Securitization", held in the evening of May … Continue reading The week of the coup

The Brazilian STF and Eduardo Cunha

This morning the supreme court judge responsible for overseeing the Lava Jato investigation ordered the suspension of the PMDB's Eduardo Cunha from his mandate and from his position as president of the chamber of deputies. This decision was ratified in a plenary session later in the day. Cunha, whose patronage powers have won him an … Continue reading The Brazilian STF and Eduardo Cunha

The coup unfolds

On Wednesday, three supreme court judges publicly scolded President Dilma Rousseff for describing the impeachment vote in the house of deputies as a coup. They were Celso de Mello, Dias Toffoli, and, no surprise, Gilmar Mendes. The judges' grounds for attacking the "very grave mistake" of the President were that the congress has respected the … Continue reading The coup unfolds