You can’t understand Brazilian politics without knowing the Portuguese word coronel (colonel). This term dates back to 1830s Brazil when the monarchy decided to create the National Guard in response to several separatist movements which erupted across the country. This force was sponsored by rich landowners, who bought their military ranks and became lieutenants or… Read More »
Guide to Brazil June 20, 2018
Brasília: Brazil’s planned capital
The concept of Brasília was born on April 4, 1955, in Jataí, a village with no more than 1,000 residents at the time located in central Brazil. Juscelino Kubitschek, or JK, then-candidate for the presidential election held that year, was questioned about his plan to develop the countryside. At that time, there was an immense… Read More »
Operation Car Wash: from gas stations to the heart of the Republic
Early in the morning on March 17, 2014, federal marshals launched the so-called Operation Car Wash. A group of detectives had been investigating a gang that had used a gas station just three kilometers away from Congress as a front for money laundering schemes. But what began as a small, unpublicized operation would later evolve… Read More »
How does Brazil’s justice system actually work?
Public trust in the U.S. legal system might hover at around 50 percent, but it’s even lower in Brazil. According to a recent study from think-tank Fundação Getulio Vargas, just 29 percent of Brazilians trust their country’s legal system. A quick glance at some of the adjectives most frequently ascribed to Brazil’s justice system might… Read More »
Brazil’s Supreme Court: a trial machine
In April 2005, Carlos Velloso ruled on one of the strangest cases he can remember. In his decades-long career, Velloso had served on some of Brazil’s most important courts before arriving to the Supreme Court in 1990. And yet, despite his weighty title of Supreme Court Justice, he had to rule on the man standing… Read More »
So, just how does the Brazilian political system work?
Foreigners sometimes seem dazzled by the high voter turnouts in our elections – it’s above nearly all developed nations – without understanding that voting in Brazil isn’t just a right, it’s also a legal obligation. Citizens between 18 and 65 years old, regardless if they’re living abroad, are required by law to vote (or else… Read More »
‘Jeitinho brasileiro’, or the Brazilian way
If you’re at all familiar with Brazil, then you’ve probably heard about the “jeitinho brasileiro” – or the Brazilian way. This expression refers to our informal way of handling problems. And though this motto is by no means exclusive to Brazil, it has indeed become a defining aspect of the quintessential Brazilian life. In essence,… Read More »
Do you need a visa to visit Brazil?
Brazil has a visa policy that’s based on a principle of reciprocity: if we Brazilians need a visa to enter your country, then you’ll also need one to visit us. If you do require a visa to enter Brazil, you’ll need to apply for one in your country of origin. Our authorities do not issue… Read More »
Violence in Brazil
Brazil is home to 19 of the world’s 50 most violent cities, according to Mexico City think tank the Citizen Council on Public Security, Justice and Peace. Brazil has steadily earned a reputation for violence, with citing repression of protestors, prison conditions, LGBTQ rights, criminalization of abortion and police violence as contributing factors. Brazil also… Read More »
Gender issues in Brazil
Of Brazil’s 207.7 million inhabitants, just over half are women. Women are gaining ground in important areas, occupying 43 percent of the workplace and becoming the primary breadwinners in 37.3 percent of households. The country elected its first-ever female president, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010. Brazil is home to some of the world’s largest and most… Read More »