Guide to Brazil August 18, 2018

How to understand Brazilian bureaucracy

Bureaucratic Rubberstamp bureaucracy brazil corruption scandal

Having to prove that you are who you say you are, filling out endless forms, walking around with different documents, wasting time in countless queues at state agencies. These are common ordeals for Brazilians who have to face state bureaucracy. Brazil remains one of the only countries in the world where a signature alone isn’t… Read More »

Brasília: Brazil’s planned capital

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 »

How does Brazil’s justice system actually work?

Brazil Supreme Court Justice system Brazil’s justice

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

Brazil's Supreme Court. Photo: Nelson Jr/STF

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?

Brazil politics political system works

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 70 years old, regardless if they’re living abroad, are required by law to vote (or else… Read More »

‘Jeitinho brasileiro’, or the Brazilian way

Brazilian way jeitinho brasileiro

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 »