The Mad King and the Decline of American Empire

On May 30 Donald Trump announced that from June 10 he would impose a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico until Mexico stopped undocumented migrants that has entered its national territory through its southern border attempting to enter his country. This latest trade war episode was apparently stimulated by the detention the previous … Continue reading The Mad King and the Decline of American Empire

Dysfunctional Government in Brazil and the Disunited Kingdom of Brexit

In recent weeks I have participated in two academic events dominated by bleak appraisals of the conduct of government by Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Participants not only offered strong critiques of the negative social, political, geopolitical, and environmental implications of the government’s actions to date and plans for the future, but also expressed considerable concern … Continue reading Dysfunctional Government in Brazil and the Disunited Kingdom of Brexit

On the latest Minas Gerais mining disaster

At 5.30am this morning an alarm sounded to warn of dangerously high water levels in another dam in Vale's Córrego do Feijão mining complex in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, where the rupture of a tailings dam last Friday is already known to have killed 37 people, but left hundreds more missing. Although more than a hundred … Continue reading On the latest Minas Gerais mining disaster

The Brazilian coup’s harvest of fear and hate

The news that the ultra-right candidate in Brazil's elections, Jair Bolsonaro, secured 46% of the vote last Sunday has produced headlines around the world. Although "the markets" responded favourably to the result, liberal newspapers worried about whether an eventual Bolsonaro victory in the second round of the presidential elections, which takes place on October 28, … Continue reading The Brazilian coup’s harvest of fear and hate

Is the Brazilian justice system entering a legitimacy crisis?

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?

What can we expect from Mexico’s new government?

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?

President Dilma Rousseff visits Manchester University

Yesterday Manchester University's Global Development Institute hosted a meeting in which staff and postgraduate students had an opportunity to meet and talk with former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.   Elected for a second term in 2014, and the first woman to become president of her country, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party was removed from … Continue reading President Dilma Rousseff visits Manchester University

Lula, the coup and the Left

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

Marielle Franco and the politics of hate in Brazil

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

The judgement of Lula: where next?

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?