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
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?
It is not exactly easy to be optimistic about what 2018 has in store for either Latin America or Europe. In a sense, my country of citizenship, the United Kingdom, now seems to offer one of the more promising political scenarios around. There is civil war within the country's elite, Theresa May's Conservative government gets … Continue reading 2018: a year for political hope?
On the morning of October 2, the rector of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Professor Luiz Carlos Cancellier de Olivo, parked his car in the Beiramar Shopping Centre in Florianópolis. Shortly afterwards he committed suicide by leaping to his death from the top floor into the open central space of the building. Professor Cancillier … Continue reading A tragedy that shames the Brazilian justice system
On August 17, a new book that I edited with Maria Gabriela Hita and Mariano Perelman will be launched at XIV Festival of Books and Authors of the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador. Based on an international conference that we organised at the UFBA in 2014, the book offers an interdisciplinary dialogue between leading … Continue reading Launch of new book on urban issues
Yesterday, as expected on the basis of recent developments, unelected Brazilian president Michel Temer survived. 263 deputies in the lower house of congress voted in a plenary session against suspending him from office pending investigation of the charges brought against him by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot, comfortably more than the minimum required to keep Temer … Continue reading Does Temer’s survival weaken the Brazilian coup?
On July 12, Sergio Moro, the federal judge presiding over the Operation Carwash (Lava Jato) corruption investigations in Curitiba, duly delivered his most important contribution to the coup process in his country. He sentenced former Workers' Party president Lula da Silva to nine and a half years in prison for passive corruption and laundering money received … Continue reading Brazil’s calvary
Both British and Brazilian democratic politics as usual are now in crisis. It may seem eccentric to make any kind of comparison between countries on different sides of the Atlantic in different hemispheres that have different histories and political systems. Yet it is worth beginning by reflecting on some issues that transcend these differences before … Continue reading Crisis with elections, crisis without elections: Brazil versus the UK in June 2017