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The grammar of a new democratic state under the rule of law was not centered on rights, but on macroeconomic aggregates. Accommodating a plurality of interests, different kinds of representation in an increasingly complex society implicated sustained economic growth — given that redistribution remained a taboo item in party politics, a surplus was needed to cope with more players. This limiting condition amounted to a major political decision, which preserved traditional leadership organized in regional lines and hindered the ascension of civil society social movements, trade unions, minority groups, NGOs.

Neves fell ill before his inauguration and died in April 21, Only at the 11 th hour he moved to MDB, in time for the indirect election. His government was marked by a new Constitution and attempts to curb the highest inflation rates in the world.

The Cruzado plan for a while stopped inflation on its tracks and propelled the MDB to win all but one regional government in , as well as a swift majority in the Constitutional Assembly. The new Constitution was a tentative compromise between democratization and slow, safe, gradual change. Amidst an investment surge associated with crisis and global mega events, millions took the streets to claim a deeper, broader democratic polity, more rights, more inclusion, and top-notch public services.

The forces hindered in , invested with newfound relevance during 20 years, at last got out of the bottle. Claims for redistribution were accompanied by contestation and denouncement of violence by public agents. Violence shall not be underestimated in the fabric of this new polity. It became more visible an issue since , but it left long-lasting traces in Brazilian politics. Brazil, so proud of its pacific credentials at the international stage, a peacemaker , with capacity to pacify conflict-ridden societies such as Haiti , remained one of most violent societies of a turbulent world.

Last year, almost In the countryside, killings have recently reached an all-time high in a country that never implemented an encompassing agrarian reform, remaining one of the most asymmetric in terms of land access. Three decades after the killing of environmental activist Chico Mendes, Brazil remains tangled up in violent contradictions.

This uncomfortable situation becomes more salient as waves of international outcry fell on the deaf ears of a hermetically sealed, delegitimized political system. The legacies of authoritarian years , during which violent practices such as torture, extrajudicial killing, forced disappearances became institutionalized among security forces, rear their heads in a world with growing interest in Brazil. It was no surprise that the international community got shocked by the announcement that, after hosting a decade-long string of global mega-events, the city of Rio de Janeiro is under military intervention.

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Inconvenient continuities are not surprising in systems articulated by authoritarian compromises. The continuing presence of military forces at Cidade Maravilhosa was not a sudden reversal of expectations; such activities have been prominent for the major part of the last quarter century. Recurring violence is one of the features that since exposed the limits of the redemocratization formula limited democracy with gradual inclusion of new elites conditioned by economic growth.

After widespread repression of the June movements from regional governments before the eyes of a reluctant federal government , the New Republic would parade under an old sign: fighting corruption. In Brazil, political transitions have been marked by symbolic contests over the locus of corruption in the political body. The production of crises in the Brazilian polity got entangled with those different mobilizations, often silencing contestations and affording the reproduction of deep-seated asymmetries.

However, the political implications of such processes varied immensely that brings to the surface the difficulties of extricating any concept from political arenas. Such modulations fill the tomes of the Brazilian Political Thought. Legitimated by this motto, different party systems got a lifeline. Initially, the New Republic was not one of them. Between the political system and society in Brazil maintained economic growth as a privileged mediation.

Those periods allowed a temporary lifting of normative disagreement, for the sake of forming representative coalitions, by bringing new elites in, safely and gradually. When prosperity ceases, corruption becomes the lingua franca of disputed political grounds. In a system of coalition presidentialism in which, more than often, the President is not a member of the ruling party at the Houses of Congress, such bipolar tensions escalate frequently, and quickly.

The first president elected after the highly unpopular Sarney, Fernando Collor de Mello, had two out of three years of negative growth. A reelected Dilma Rousseff entertained similar figures twenty-four years after. In an infant New Republic, two out of four presidents from parties lacking parliamentary majorities fell prey to impeachments during economic shortcomings, propelled by the Legislative and the Judiciary. In both events, the Executive powers, symbolized by Oscar Niemeyer-designed Planalto Palace, fell under the spell of an MDB-controlled Legislative , ratified by a Judiciary with conservative undertones.

Apart from Legislative predominance, a new dynamic took hold of the New Republic, placed across the years that separate those very distinctive governments. Streets of Rage.

The slow, safe, gradual transition to civilian rule now sees the military bouncing back to the public sphere, with the far-right discourse of Jair Bolsonaro making discomforting impacts at the presidential polls. Sarney became president due to a tragedy. Other vice-presidents Itamar Franco and Michel Temer were on the winning side of presidential impeachments. All of them from MDB, the party that still rules the Congress, but which never made a lasting impact at presidential ballots. This is another limitation of the regime.

Other parties win elections, but the MDB eventually gets the government. The country envisioned by Tancredo Neves partially fulfilled its modest aspirations , with dramatic departures. His Brazil is almost unrecognizable in , with as a watershed. It became a more internationalized, less closed society, speaking different languages, with an increased regional and global footprint. In its current configuration, Brazil is less asymmetrical, more diverse and affluent than previous generations could afford.

Nevertheless, something seems to have been lost in the process. The aspiration of a bright, all-encompassing future seems a distant smoke in the horizon. Newfound pessimism depicts the country of the future at unfeasible realms. Virtues of compromise, praised for so long, gave ways to outbursts of hate.

Brazil remains violent but it seemingly lost the innocence of longing for a future than can redeem present shortcomings. Ten years after global crisis, the international system remains but the BRICS did not necessarily infuse vitality into major institutions, alone or collectively. There were a number of national strategies, sometimes overlapping, only infrequently coalescing into renewed interaction through the available channels. Hopes of a new system with dramatic departures from proved largely unfounded. The reorganization of the global capitalist economy after a major crisis comprised a set of centrifugal national strategies, which contributed to further turbulence in world politics.

Despite modest reforms voting rights in IMF , the BRICS institutions the New Development Bank and representatives from emerging countries heading major institutions WTO , major institutions remain stacked by the same problems highlighted ten years ago.


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In an era of punishing bilateralism , multilateralism suffers the most and emerging countries did not provide comparable alternatives up to now. In the realm of statistics, Brazil was growing faster than developed economies in the aftermath of Now Brazil lags behind every other member of the G20 and its performance is even more modest in regional terms.

Accordingly, Brazilian soft power declined — paradoxically, after hosting many global mega-events. In three decades, the governments of the New Republic invested a major part of their energies attempting to meet expectations — their own and those from the international community. For twenty years Brazil strived to be considered a global trader and for the last decade, a global player. Among contradictions, high stakes paved every move that Brazil made at home and abroad.

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This is one source of the maelstrom, in a society that advanced so much, in such a limited amount of time. Innovations devised across twenty years of aggressive foreign policy have been replicated or scorched. Brazil pressed for the international regulation of cyberspace and proposed a denuclearization deal with Iran , years before such initiatives took flight at the world stage. The same month, an electoral court in Tocantins state barred 84 media outlets, including O Estado de S. Paulo , from publishing and broadcasting stories on a criminal investigation involving Gov.

Carlos Gaguim. A higher tribunal overturned the decision in Tocantins state, but many censorship orders remained in effect.

Why does it take Brazil so long to lock up corrupt politicians?

Over the past several years, businesspeople, politicians, and public officials have filed hundreds of lawsuits alleging that critical news media were offending their honor or invading their privacy, CPJ research showed. The plaintiffs in these cases typically seek injunctions to bar the press from publishing anything further about them or to remove offending online material. A report by Google said Brazilian authorities had demanded that content be removed from the company's servers on occasions in the first six months of the year, twice the number of the next country, Libya.

Most of the Brazilian demands were court orders, Google said. The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas documented 21 cases of judicial censorship in just the weeks leading up to the October 3 presidential election. The study showed censorship was imposed on newspapers, broadcasters, news websites, and blogs. Several outlets across Brazil were fined, ordered to remove content, barred from publishing or airing specific information, and sued by candidates and political parties, the Knight analysis found.

One of the most prominent censorship orders barred the daily O Estado de S. The order was first imposed in July after O Estado — citing leaked wiretap transcripts from a federal investigation — charged that the Sarney family had used its influence to award jobs and give raises to friends and relatives. The Supreme Federal Tribunal, the country's highest court, was due to rule on the paper's appeal in The paper has argued that the ban is unconstitutional. The Supreme Federal Tribunal has been generally supportive of press freedom in its rulings, including a September decision striking down a prohibition on broadcasters using "trickery, montages or other features of audio or video to degrade or ridicule a candidate, party or coalition.

Carlos Augusto Ayres de Freitas Britto, the court's vice president, said only a state of emergency could warrant such limits on free expression. In a speech soon after her victory, Rousseff pledged that her government would guarantee freedom of expression in Brazil, although she did not provide any specifics. Lula, whose approval ratings remained very high in opinion polls, ended his eight years as president with a mixed press freedom record.

The government conducted several successful investigations into journalist murders, representing a major step forward in the country's campaign against impunity. But judicial censorship has become a grave problem, seriously inhibiting the ability of journalists to report on issues of public interest.

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Reporters continued to be killed in the country's interior, where the state has a weak presence, while coverage of organized crime exposed even urban reporters to serious risks. Provincial reporters were vulnerable to attack for their reporting on local politics and corruption.

see But a state prosecutor told local news media that he believed dos Santos was actually a hired assassin. By December, investigators accused Vladir Souza do Nascimento, a convicted felon serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking, of hiring dos Santos. News reports quoted investigators as saying that Gomes' coverage had hindered criminal activities being run by Souza from prison. But police intercepted the kidnappers' vehicle in the city's outskirts, causing the assailants to flee and allowing the journalist to be rescued, according to the news website Portal Imprensa.

Pereira told CPJ that he was hospitalized for four days and needed 42 stitches to close a head wound. State police accused two mayoral bodyguards of kidnapping and torturing the journalist. The case was pending in late year.