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

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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?

2018: a year for political hope?

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?

What the Tories need to see in Manchester

Today the British Conservative Party begins its annual conference in Manchester. At first sight things have been going well for Manchester recently. But one result of improvements to the city's image as a place to do business, study at university, live, and have fun, in a metropolis that doesn't sleep very much, is that property … Continue reading What the Tories need to see in Manchester

Does Temer’s survival weaken the Brazilian coup?

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?

Crisis with elections, crisis without elections: Brazil versus the UK in June 2017

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

Brazil’s new crisis

As I remarked in this blog at the beginning of the sequence of events that led to the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, the supporters of the 2016 coup would be advised to think carefully about what they wished for. As the country sinks deeper into a crisis that now touches all its institutions, this … Continue reading Brazil’s new crisis

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?

Deepening crisis in Brazil

Yesterday afternoon a light plane carrying four passengers crashed into the sea off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. One of the bodies recovered was that of Teori Zavascki, the Supreme Court judge responsible for oversight of the Operation Carwash (Lava Jato) corruption investigations and judgement of cases against politicians who, by virtue of currently … Continue reading Deepening crisis in Brazil