Numbers of the week: Oct. 12, 2019

. Oct 12, 2019
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This is Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. Random numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week: Bolsonaro changing parties again? Plus, oil spills on the Brazilian coast, a rare month of deflation, Neymar’s 100th cap for Brazil, millionaire funds with drug cartel’s assets, Brazil’s newest saint, the wage gap between the public and private sector.

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9 different parties 


a video on social media showed President Jair Bolsonaro telling a supporter to &#8220;forget&#8221; the Social Liberal Party (PSL)—of which Mr. Bolsonaro is a member—the situation inside the political group became tense. Behind the scenes, advisors confirmed that the president intends to leave the party, while PSL chairman Luciano Bivar <a href="">stated</a> that Mr. Bolsonaro &#8220;no longer has any relationship&#8221; with the group. After hearing that many of his allied representatives would be unwilling to jump ship for fear of losing their terms, the president backed down, stating that he wouldn&#8217;t abandon the PSL, leaving the matter up in the air. Regardless, <a href="">switching parties</a> has never been a problem for Brazil&#8217;s far-right leader. Since the beginning of his public life in 1989, he has affiliated himself to nine parties: the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), the Progressive Party (PP, twice), the Reform Progressive Party (PPR), the Party of the Brazilian People (PPB), the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), the Liberal Front Party (PFL), the Social Christian Party (PSC) and finally, the PSL. Is he going for a tenth?</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Over 100 tons&nbsp;</h2> <p>That’s the amount of oil which has been cleaned up from Brazil&#8217;s Northeast coast, after <a href="">spilled crude was found in at least 150 areas</a> across nine states. The sludge is causing the death of endangered animals, such as sea turtles and bird species. Mr. Bolsonaro declared that the oil is “not Brazilian,” meaning it would not be the country&#8217;s responsibility. The statement matches a study from the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency (Ibama) that says the material found on the beaches is crude oil, in a form that Brazil does not even produce. <a href="">Petrobras suggested that the oil could be Venezuelan</a>, potentially leaked from a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. While Brazil looks for answers, environmentalists are concerned about the future.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>0.04 percent down</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s prices saw a <a href="">0.04-percent deflation in September</a>, the lowest result for the month since 1998. The fall was essentially driven by a 0.43-percent reduction in food and beverage prices, which decreased for the second consecutive month, according to the Consumer Price Index (IPCA). The inflation rate is not giving headaches to consumers and the Central Bank, but that was not always the case in Brazil, especially during the 1980s and 1990s.&nbsp; During that time, prices used to leap by up to 80 percent each month, with an average growth of 500 percent each year of the 1990s. This week&#8217;s news of deflation is linked to the sputtering economy, with consumers purchasing less and less.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>100 caps&nbsp;</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s <a href="">controversial football star Neymar</a> reached his 100th cap for the Brazilian national team in Thursday&#8217;s bore draw against Senegal. At just 27 years old, the Paris Saint-Germain forward is now sixth in the list of players with the most appearances for the national team. Right-back Cafu, who won the World Cup in 2002, is top of the list with 142 matches. Though Neymar did not score on Thursday, in Sunday&#8217;s friendly against Nigeria he has the chance to reach 62 national team goals, which would make him level with Ronaldo on the national team&#8217;s all-time top-scorer list. With a good few years still to play, the expectation is that Neymar will surpass Pelé&#8217;s national team scoring record of 77 goals.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>96 percent more&nbsp;</h2> <p>According to a recent <a href="">World Bank</a> report, Brazilian civil servants earn on average 96 percent more than their private-sector counterparts. The survey was based on 2017 data and also considered similar positions in the comparison. Brazil tops the ranking of 53 countries in terms of the disparity between public and private sector wages, sitting far above the global average of 21 percent. The study also explains that the main reason for this fast and wide difference in salaries was public pay raises above inflation despite Brazil&#8217;s times of economic hardship and low revenue.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>37 saints&nbsp;</h2> <p>With the canonization of Irmã Dulce Pontes, often known as the &#8220;Angel of Alagados&#8221; in reference to her work in the impoverished community of the same name, Brazil reaches a total of 37 saints, according to Fernando Altemeyer Júnior, a theology professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP). In an interview to newspaper <em>Folha de S. Paulo</em>, he said that while Brazil&#8217;s National Conference of Bishops doesn&#8217;t have an official number, Brazil also has 51 beatified persons, 15 venerated saints, and 68 Servants of God. Furthermore, about 130 other Brazilian people are being considered for sainthood in the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 100 million</h2> <p>That’s how much the Brazilian Justice Ministry plans to earn by selling off seized assets belonging to imprisoned organized criminals. During the week, the Senate floor approved a provisional measure facilitating the flow of the sale process. That the bill has now passed through the House of Representatives and will be sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro. According to the <a href="">Constitution</a>, transferring the value of these assets to a special fund is already permitted, but the government complains it contains too many obstacles. This Justice Ministry guarantees that the measure supports the quick conversion of seized goods into financial resources to be applied to social investments.

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Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist, Gustavo has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. He has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets and founded The Brazilian Report in 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

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