Numbers of the week: Nov. 16, 2019

. Nov 16, 2019
minister deaths war covid-19 Brazil by the Numbers oil bolsonaro energy bhp country risk marielle poverty rio currency amazon paraisópolis xp 2019 inflation nazi imf coronavirus carnival Iron ore femicides coronavirus deaths

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: new deals between Brazil and China, another child victim to violence in Rio, Supreme Court allows use of personal data, OAS’ billionaire leniency deal, a memorable derby in Rio, new GDP expectations and Brazil’s homophobia strikes again. 

Send any suggestions to

9 memos 

During the week, President Jair Bolsonaro

welcomed the heads of state of Russia, India, China, and South Africa in Brasília for the annual <a href="">BRICS summit</a>. In a rare friendly mood, the Brazilian leader said China is &#8220;an increasingly larger part of Brazil&#8217;s future.” This should come as no surprise, as Beijing has been Brazil’s biggest trade partner since 2009. In the presence of President Xi Jinping’s ministers and authorities, the countries’ signed nine memoranda of understanding: five on cooperation and strengthening relationships, one action plan in the agriculture market, two health protocols for selling pears (from China) and melon (from Brazil), and a deal on the transfer of convicted felons.</p> <h2>21 shot, 5 killed </h2> <p>Ketellen Umbelino de Oliveira Gomes was only 5 years old when she became the <a href="">sixth child victim of violence in Rio de Janeiro</a> in 2019 alone. Seventeen-year-old Davi Gabriel Martins do Nascimento also died during the same shootout in Realengo, to the west of Rio de Janeiro. According to NGO Fogo Cruzado, 21 children suffered gunshot wounds in the metropolitan region this year. Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel was heavily criticized for saying that his security policy—which encourages police officers to shoot to kill—was on the right track, despite the girl’s death. He blamed drug consumers for the case, and said the left shouldn’t “use a corpse as a political platform.”</p> <h2>600,000 people&#8217;s financial data</h2> <p><a href="">Supreme Court Chief Justice Dias Toffoli</a> ordered Brazil’s Central Bank to send him copies of all financial intelligence reports produced by the country&#8217;s money laundering enforcement agency over the last three years. The decision came in order to access sensitive data from around 600,000 people in Brazil—412,500 individuals and 186,200 legal entities. The enforcement agency said that the new measure brings a risk to pending investigations and asked for caution in the protection of data.</p> <h2>1.9 billion over 28 years </h2> <p>Construction firm OAS—currently under a huge bribery and corruption investigation—signed a leniency agreement with the Federal Controller General (CGU) and Defense Counsel for the Federal Government (AGU) to pay back BRL 1.9 billion over the next 28 years. The deal is the latest development in an <a href="">Operation Car Wash</a> investigation which found proof of OAS&#8217; involvement in a scheme to provide unlawful benefits and overprice contracts in public bidding processes in the states of Bahia, Ceará, the Federal District, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. The company’s former CEO, Leo Pinheiro, is at the center of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva&#8217;s corruption case, in which Lula was convicted of receiving a beachfront apartment in exchange for benefitting construction companies. Mr. Pinheiro testified to having paid bribes to the Workers&#8217; Party leader, who denies the allegations. </p> <h2>4-4</h2> <p>At opposite ends in the Brazilian football championship, fierce Rio de Janeiro rivals Flamengo and Vasco da Gama met in a stunning derby on Wednesday night. Full of twists and turns, the so-called &#8220;Derby of the Millions&#8221; finished 4-4, with league leaders Flamengo going ahead twice before conceding a last-minute equalizer from Vasco striker Ribamar. Despite dropping two points, <a href="">Flamengo remain 11 points clear</a> of second-placed reigning champions Palmeiras, with only a handful of matches still to play. </p> <h2>10 reais </h2> <p>Just BRL 10.00 was enough for 23-year-old Rodrigo dos Santos to be stabbed in the neck and killed in a homophobic hate crime in the Fazenda Couto neighborhood of Salvador, a part of town not-so-affectionately nicknamed &#8220;Irak.&#8221; Mr. Santos was inside a bar with a friend, when a man asked him for BRL 10, which he refused. The aggressor, already known in the area for having assaulted a gay man with a rock, proceeded to attack Mr. Santos. The police say the victim was still alive when he arrived at a local hospital but died one hour later. Activist organization Grupo Gay da Bahia, which is monitoring the case, reported that in 2017, 445 <a href="">LGBT people</a> were killed in homophobia-related crimes. The number represents one victim every 19 hours.</p> <h2>0.91 percent </h2> <p>Brazil’s Central Bank’s Economic Activity Index, a leading indicator of GDP performance, suggested that <a href="">Brazil’s economy grew 0.91 percent</a> in Q3—higher than market estimates of 0.75 percent. In September alone, the index was up by 0.44 percent, which also outperformed estimates. The numbers were eagerly awaited by investors to confirm a stronger growth trend after the service sector picked up steam. Both market estimates measured by the Central Bank’s Focus Report and official government estimates have been reviewed upwards in recent weeks, with the ratification of the pension reform boosting confidence levels. However, the government’s GDP growth projections of 0.9 percent are way below the 2.5 percent growth foreseen in 2019’s budget, showing how much trouble the Brazilian economy still faces. According to the Economy Ministry, the funding obtained on the pre-salt oil auction will be enough to lift budget restrictions imposed earlier this year, though the total amount obtained was about 30 percent smaller than previously expected.

Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs—specializing Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at