Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, takes office at the start of the New Year. His election victory over the PT's Fernando Haddad by almost 58 million votes to his rival's 47 million loses a little of its shine when we consider that 41 million voters chose to abstain or register null or blank votes rather … Continue reading Waiting for Bolsonaro, and company
Recent weeks have seen both organised and spontaneous protests by citizens against leading figures in the judiciary. An example of the latter was an outburst by passengers on a domestic flight against Supreme Court Judge, Glimar Mendes, notorious for his political sympathies with the PSDB, a video of which is available on YouTube here. A … Continue reading Is the Brazilian justice system entering a legitimacy crisis?
On Sunday July 1st, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (generally known as AMLO) was elected president of Mexico with a comfortable majority, securing over 53% of the vote against three rival candidates. The candidate of the party of the outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, José Antonio Meade, came a poor third. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) … Continue reading What can we expect from Mexico’s new government?
Brazil's former president Lula is now confined in his specially prepared cell in the headquarters of the Federal Police in Curitiba. This ended a weekend of high drama following his defiance of Judge Moro's order to surrender himself by 5 pm on Friday. His arrival at the place where he is to begin a sentence … Continue reading Lula, the coup and the Left
On Wednesday, March 14, Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco was shot dead in a car in the city centre, together with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Born in the favela of Maré, Marielle Franco was a tireless campaigner for the human rights of the people of the favelas. With a sociology degree from the … Continue reading Marielle Franco and the politics of hate in Brazil
Michel Temer, the unpopular Brazilian president installed by the coup against Dilma Rousseff, has just done something without precedent since twenty-one years of military dictatorship ended in 1985. He has issued a decree which gives the army direct control over public security in Rio de Janeiro, thereby removing all control from the elected state governor … Continue reading Temer’s new intervention in Rio
The Council of the University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas, the UNICACH, has recently approved the award of an honorary doctorate to General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, current Secretary of National Defence, by a majority of 20 votes in favour to 8 against. This act has led two exceptionally distinguished anthropologists to renounce the honorary … Continue reading Distinguished anthropologists taking a stand in Chiapas
Yesterday, January 24, the higher federal tribunal based in Porto Alegre rejected former president Lula's appeal against his conviction on corruption charges by the lower court of Judge Sergio Moro in Curitiba, the court that is responsible for the Lava Jato anti-corruption investigations. The three judges who composed the Porto Alegre second instance tribunal were … Continue reading The judgement of Lula: where next?
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?
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?