Brazilian-politics

What Happens When a Brazilian Congressman Honors a Torturer on Live Television?

Representative Jair Bolsonaro (PSC) did not think twice before honoring Colonel Alberto Brilhante Ustra during Brazil’s impeachment vote in the lower house of Congress. Bolsonaro praised a man responsible for the disappearance of more than 40 people during the military dictatorship and the torture of hundreds more.

And do you know what’s going to happen? Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Whereas other Latin American countries have made a point of sending their torturers and dictators to prison, such as Argentina and Chile, in Brazil the situation is different.

Instead, during the impeachment vote on April 17, controversial representative Jair Bolsonaro (PSC) decided to dedicate his vote in the worst manner possible.

Amazingly, Bolsonaro committed two blunders. The first one was to praise and congratulate the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB). The second error was to honor Colonel Alberto Brilhante Ustra, a man responsible for the disappearance of more than 40 people during Brazil’s military dictatorship.

His followers weren’t pleased and complained on Facebook. Oh yes, they complained! They didn’t like at all the fact that Bolsonaro congratulated Cunha. But they loved the praise that he heaped on the torturer.

That’s how things work. For Bolsonaro’s followers, keeping bribery money in overseas accounts is a major issue. And they are right. But if you tortured hundreds of people and were responsible for the disappearance of dozens of people, everything is fine. In fact, you are a hero.

How can this happen, broadcast live on national television, in a so-called democracy?

The first thing that came to my mind was the fact that the families of Colonel Ustra’s victims were watching the voting by television on Sunday.

We are talking about the sons and daughters who never had the opportunity to know their fathers and mothers. We are talking about sisters who lost their brothers. We are talking about people who carry scars of torture that are impossible to erase, that stick to their skins and will last for the rest of their lives.

What about the repercussion of this incident?

In a country without a properly democratized media, it is easy to imagine what the answer will be.

Yes, Bolsonaro was, somehow, the subject of many stories and articles on the day he cast his vote in favor of impeachment. But not because he praised a torturer, but because left-wing Congressman Jean Wyllys (PSOL) spat at him during the vote.

Jean Wyllys claims that Bolsonaro had offended him with homophobic remarks after he declared his vote against the impeachment. And that’s why he spat at him.

The truth, however, is that this momentary quarrel has generated far more debate and controversy than Bolsonaro’s praise for the torturer.

If you search on Google for “Jair Bolsonaro Ustra” in “News” you get 587 results, most of them from websites such as HuffPost Brasil and Revista Brasileiros.

But if you search for “Jean Wyllys spits” in “News” you get 33,000 results. In this case, Brazil’s major media vehicles appear in the search results.

And that leads me to my next question: What if a Congressman in Spain decided to honor a torturer under Franco’s regime during a session of Parliament that was broadcast live to the entire country?

What if a Congressman in the US decided to honor a former Klu Klux Klan leader during a session of Congress that, again, was broadcast live to the entire country?

The problem with Brazil is that we still don’t know how to deal with a ghost called our past military dictatorship. Our young democracy is unable to mature because we haven’t taken the time to discuss the dictatorship and the effects it had on tens of thousands of people around the country during its 21 year rule.

Imagine how complex it is to explain to an Argentinian or a Chilean the fact that we haven’t arrested or prosecuted our torturers. Worse still: try to explain the existence of large pensions paid to the widows and families of such men, who were capable of doing dreadful and cruel things to innocent civilians, such as the journalist Vladimir Herzog.

We have a monopolized media. A manipulated democracy. And a hampered dictatorship.

Source.

CURRENT GLOBAL POLITICAL MAYHEM STATUS
  • Brazil: Massive Nation-Wide protests and riots caused by, among other factors, monetary focus on the World Cup and Olympics instead of the well-being of the populace
  • Venezuela: Massive protests and riots caused by unjust elections and violation of democratic rights
  • United States: Texas state law passed despite being voted on after a deadline and being protested by both the people and a state Senator. Protests at the senate growing, and law enforcement called in.
  • Australia: Leadership ballot being called in 2 hours for the third time during the Prime Minister's leadership as to whether or not she will continue as leader of the ALP, her party.
  • United Kingdom: Government will ban Church of England and Church of Wales from offering same-sex marriage.
  • THIS IS LITERALLY JUST WHAT I REMEMBERED OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. ADD THINGS, CORRECT ME, ETC.

As of today, Brazil no longer has a female president. It hasn’t been a whole day yet, but so far we have seen that:

- Foreign nationals are now forbidden to take part in any sort of political demonstration. This is actually an old law from the late 70s that hasn’t been enforced and is (was?) about to be changed. Now they are enforcing it. I’m a Brazilian national, but as an immigrant in the UK, the idea terrifies me.

- Every single minister is a man. The last time this happened, we were under a military dictatorship in the 70s.

- The Ministry of Culture has been abolished.

- The Secretariat for Women and Human Rights is no more.

What’s going on in Brazil? #09

Sooooo  in spite of a popular saying here being that the year in Brazil only starts after Carnival, a fuckton of stuff has happened since January. I’m gonna try to cover them all quickly, but brace yourselves. Written at 11/02/2017.

The year started with the total meltdown of  our prison system. Basically, gang fights lead to the massacre of some 60 people in a prison in Amazon, then another governor from another state asked for federal help cause they thought they were gonna face the same issue, then our Minister of Justice said “nah” then SURPRISE shit happened and some other 40 people died and more prisons were taken by organized crime and long story shot some couple hundred prisoners were killed by other prisoners in a bunch of different prisons (and by killed I mean decapitated and their heads thrown over the prison walls). Government says situation is under control now but tbh we don’t really know that and we don’t even know how many people died or who’s really in charge in a few prisons, so. 

Then, a few days later, the judge (Teori Zavascki) who was in charge of the investigations of that famous corruption case, Lava Jato, died in a plane crash just when he was going back to the capital to approve on some quite dangerous papers. So our president had to name someone else to fill in the vacancy for the Supreme Court, right? He named Alexandre de Moraes last week… Our former Minister of Justice. Yes. The dude that did nothing on the thing above. And a man who has been linked to organized crime before. Waiting now to be confirmed as the next name to the Supreme Court. Yeah. Great. Also, speaking of the corruption investigations, a bunch of people got named, then the president decided “out of nowhere” to create another cabinet and name one of the accused guys to that position cause then he can’t be investigated by regular police, supreme court only, then a judge decided that that wasn’t legal, then the government appealed and it was overthrown, then another judge decided it was illegal, then the government appealed again and again and again and so on and they’re still fighting on it. 

 And if thought that was enough disaster for a year, there’s more. The entirety of the State of Espirito Santo was left without police for a week and, well, exactly what you think happened happened. Like in those distopia movies, people didn’t leave their homes, and the ones that did probably got mugged or killed. Hundreds of stored were sacked, cars robbed, etc. About a hundred people died, mostly murdered. This happened because police officers found a way to strike cause they happened to be the most underpaid officers in the whole country and their salaries haven’t been readjusted for seven years (and the state government still didn’t concede the increases after this). Federal government sent in the army, didn’t really solve the situation. Troops in other states, especially Rio, threaten to do the same thing now.

Coming back to policies, the High School Program reform was approved by the congress this week and every single teacher I know is pissed off which is probably not a good sign for a High School reform. What it does is making some subjects a mandatory base, like maths and portuguese, and others become optional… Like History, or Geography, or Chemistry, or Physics (they were all previously mandatory before). And now you kinda don’t need to have graduated in the subject you’re gonna teach to be able to teach, just prove you know the thing. And more hours of school for everybody, also. If it all sounds like a shitty idea, it’s because it is. 

On minor news, the new Mayors of Rio and São Paulo have been busy proving me they’re just the assholes I thought they were with the first naming his kid for a thing and the second embarking on a crusade against street art in general. Also, the Yellow Fever is back. Probably due the death of most mosquito predators like a year and a half ago in an area due to the biggest environmental disaster of the history of this country for which no one has been prosecuted yet. And our ex-first lady (wife of Lula) died and people became really mean and shitty about in online. 

I think this about covers it. Not an easy month, not an easy month at all.

April 18, 2016
A small infographic of how Brazil works or at least how it should. Since lots of people dont know exactly what a deputy and a senator do , I tried to explain in a easy way. It’s my first infographic so be nice kkk ☺

18 de abril, 2016
Um pequeno infográfico que explica como funciona a estrutura política brasileira, ou como ela deveria funcionar.

It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does #2/Brazilian Culture: Differences #7

In Brazil we have two words for the colour black. It’s important to understand how they’re used so as to avoid giving (or receiving) insult:

Negro

Negro is a word in Portuguese that means “black/dark”, and is usually only used when describing a living thing, the exception almost always being in poetry/songs if it fits better for rhyme/meter/etc. 

e.g. A CD of lullabies I had as a kid had a song whose title was Negro céu (”Black Sky”).

The word for someone with dark skin is negro (pronounced “n’eh-gro”, not like “nee-gro” in English). 

To Brazilians the word negro has ZERO racist connotations. In fact, it’s the politically correct way to refer to someone who has dark skin.

Preto

The most commonly used word for the colour black in relation to objects/non-living things (and oftentimes animals too; e.g. gato preto - “black cat”). 

When used in reference to a person, it’s considered pejorative (unless used by someone who’s black).

Let's talk about Lucio and D.va

(but mostly D.va)

Lucio and D.va’s relationship offers us some interesting characterization on both of them and helps us to understand their likes and dislikes a little better, and it offers some… interesting insights in them.

For example, we can safely assume that Lucio is a HUGE Starcraft nerd: e-sports aren’t much of a thing here in Brazil, so for him to know who’s the world champion (and for him to be a fan/recognize her in public) took him a lot of effort. He’s a nerd. Accept it. This man watches her streams at 3AM and probably has Starcraft merch on his room.

On D.va’s end, however, things get more interesting.

Lucio’s music is probably in Portuguese – it’s protest music, meant for the Brazilian population to hear – that somehow got famous worldwide through (Blizzard’s misunderstanding of Brazilian’s politics)(Blizzard’s even bigger misunderstanding of how protest songs work, specially when it’s made by a Black Latino) a lot of shenanigans.

D.va probably speaks Portuguese to some degree to understand Lucio’s work. She probably already spoke Portuguese before discovering Lucio’s music (because Portuguese is the Hell Language and no one learns it just because of an artist, but if D.va did, she’s one hell of a dedicated fan.) D.va not only shows interest in science and exploration as shown in her banter with Mei – she also is interested in language.

(She’s such a smart noodle, I love her.)

We, however, can go deeper. D.va is a really dedicated fan and… well, you don’t really listen to protest music (specially with this kind of dedication) unless it applies to you and you agree with such political views.

That tells us a lot about D.va.

Lucio, even with all the racist bullshit Blizzard has pulled, is at his core a Brazilian hero; a hero of humble beginnings that will bleed and die for his people, that rises against an oppressive system and preaches freedom and a better life.

D.va, as someone who admires this hero, is the same.

tl;dr: D.va is a left-wing anti-fascist POC who believes in a better world and will fight for what she believes in, and following Lucio’s example, she will succeed.

EDIT:

Do not tag this as romantic Lucio/Dva

So, I just watched 3%...

I just wanna say that, as a brazilian, I’m very proud of this show. Everyone should watch and make your own opinion, but it’s sO GOOD. I mean it. 3% is a dystopia but can be very factual if we think about, for ex, the current situation of Brazilian politics. And if you dont wanna do this relation about what is real and what is not, this show still good as fuck. The plots are amazing and the development of the characters as well. You can’t watch only one episode, you get addicted bc it’s so perfectly done. The lines, the scenes, even the soundtrack, everything is awesome. And I’m so thankful to Netflix that they are providing to everybody the chance to get into brazilian film industry. We have a lot of movies and miniseries which deserve to be seen. Our industry isn’t small and we make a lot of great titles that unfortunately don’t have the chance to be known around the world. 

Anyway, I just think that u all should watch it and you will not regret it.

don’t have any horror movies to watch today?

WELL i have just the thing for you! tune in to the Brazilian News! 

after the thrilling, though somewhat unbelivable (coughillegalcough) impeachment of an honest president, and the shocking twist of putting in her place a man with a dirty record that rends him unelectable for the next eight years, the-

*shudders*

new governement has, in less than a day 

  • extinguished the ministries of  Culture, and of Women, Human Rights and Racial Equality
  • has, for the first time since the (last) dictatorship elected no women or black people for ministers
  • extinguished the comptroller general(responsible for investigating corruption in the union among other things) and put in its place a new ministry, therefore ending it’s independance from the central government
  • also nominated politicians under investigation to run it
  • named 7 ministers who are facing investigation and corruption charges, some who have been convicted
  • nominated as Minister of Justice a man who has defended deeply corrupt people (PCC - which, btw, is a known organized criminal cell, and Eduardo Cunha) as a lawyer , who commanded the military police to engage extremely violently against teenagers who were trying to save their schools and who has publicly said protests pro-dilma or anti-coup would be treated as criminal activities
  • named José Serra minister of exterior relations  who is under suspect in odebrecht inverstigations and also such an idiot; that cute thing brasil has build up where we defend our interests instead of big “1st world” corps or when we seek partnerships with latin america and/or other rising countries, to the point of achivements like  getting a permanent chair in the general UN counsil? pfF w h y do that when you can roll over and play dead to U.S.A and Europe’s main players amirite
  • who also wants to push retirement limit to 75 years
  • 3 of the new ministers are under investigation in operation carwash
  • the opening of investigations agains Sen. Aécio Neves, who has ridiculously huge charges like being  linked to a helicopter filled with cocaine and building a private airport with public money (he was also mentioned at least 5 times in op. carwash) has already been retracted, in less than 24h
  • a project of law that will punish people for speaking ill of politicians on the internet for up to 6 years in prison and even be considered a heinous crime, and also suspending the need of a warrant for authorities to access regular people’s personal data, subverting the internet’s civil mark is being considered (so u know if i disappear <.<>.>)
  • named a big soybean farmer who has been knowingly against environmental protection as minister of agriculture
  • named a creationist pastor as minister of science technology
  • the ministry of education is in the hands of a ultra rightist party DEM, who already moved legal actions against quotas and social programs to even out the gap between poor and rich people in public education (ENEM, PROUNI ) 

BUT!! REJOICE, THIS COUP CHANGE WAS FOR THE PEOPLE! FOR THE YOUTH! TO END CORRUPTION! Y A Y :)))):):):)))):):):)))))))))))))))))000

11/03/2017 | Last friday we watched a discussion panel on female representation in brazilian politics, which was very interesting. For next week, we have to do a report on it for Methodology, that includes a summary of the discussion and an analysis in some sort of essay form. So now I’m brainstorming a few ideas to include in the text.

7

BRAZIL. August 29, 2016. Protests erupt in Brazil over its president’s impeachment trial. [Part 2]

(1) Protesters demonstrate against President Michel Temer at Avenida Paulista, in the centre of São Paulo. Photograph: Fabio Vieira/FotoRua/NurPhoto

(2) Demonstrators march holding a “Temer Out” banner during a rally in support of Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff and against acting President Michel Temer in São Paulo. Photograph: Andre Penner/AP

(3) Police fire tear gas at demonstrators. Photograph: Andre Penner/AP

(4) A demonstrator is detained by the police during a rally in support of Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff and against acting President Michel Temer in São Paulo. Photograph: Andre Penner/AP

(5) Demonstrators shout slogans. Photograph: Andre Penner/AP

(6) Supporters of Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff protest in front of the Brazilian Congress during the final session of debate at Rousseff’s impeachment trial in Brasilia. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

(7) Rousseff supporters hold a demonstration during the impeachment trial in São Paulo. Photograph: Cris Faga/NurPhoto

Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office, the culmination of a yearlong fight that paralysed Latin America’s largest nation and exposed deep rifts among its people on everything from race relations to social spending.

While Rousseff’s ousting was widely expected, the decision was a key chapter in a colossal political struggle that is far from over. Rousseff was Brazil’s first female president, with a storied career that includes a stint as a Marxist guerrilla jailed and tortured in the 1970s during the country’s dictatorship. She was accused of breaking fiscal laws in her management of the federal budget.

“The Senate has found that the president of the federal republic of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff, committed crimes in breaking fiscal laws,” said Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who presided over the trial. (AP)