Numbers of the week: Jan. 25, 2020

. Jan 25, 2020
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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. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week: environmental fines out of control, IMF improves growth expectation for Brazil, prison break in Paraguay, the education system at risk, indigenous people demand their rights. 

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3,000 fines missing 

If last year’s Amazon

fires and oil spills on the northeastern coast weren&#8217;t enough, <a href="">Brazil’s environmental protection agency</a> (Ibama) has a new problem to solve. An issue with the updating of the agency&#8217;s system, in October 2019, has prevented the proper storage of several infraction notices drawn up by environmental officials across the country. The bug began in the middle of the implantation of a new data process, and there is no deadline for the problem to be solved. According to Ibama officials, there&#8217;s a serious risk that these fines will never be carried out. Currently, the agency estimates at least 33 fines a day are lost, according to numbers from 2019. Since the problem appeared in October, up to 3,000 cases have gone missing, causing a hole of BRL 800 million.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2.2-percent growth (IMF)</h2> <p>A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released last Monday raised <a href="">Brazil&#8217;s growth expectation</a> for 2020 from 0.2 percent to 2.2 percent, higher than Latin America&#8217;s forecast of 1.6 percent. Can this bump be put down to the effects of the approved pension reform in 2019? The IMF thinks so. Since the long-awaited overhaul project was approved, local markets responded well. The successfully ratified reform appears to have finally buried the <a href="">fears of recession</a> that haunted Brazil during 2015 and 2016. The recovery of the mining sector also helps to explain this increased confidence, says the IMF. </p> <p>One year ago today, when a tailings dam in Brumadinho collapsed, killing 270 people and damaging the local environment, the sector was put in check. Now, however, <a href="">Vale has all but recovered</a> its share price.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>75 prisoners</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s Justice Ministry was on alert last Sunday after 76 prisoners fled from a penitentiary in the Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Cabellero. The case made the two countries block the borders in the town of Ponta Porã, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Most of the inmates are members of <a href="">Brazil’s First Command of the Capital</a> (PCC) crime gang. A potential escape tunnel was found inside the prison, but some conflicting reports in Paraguay suggest this was only a decoy, and the prisoners walked free after bribing guards. The most recent episode of our <a href=""><em>Explaining Brazil</em> podcast</a> took a look at how powerful the organization has become, after being founded by eight inmates of a São Paulo jail back in the early 1990s.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>30,000 students affected&nbsp;</h2> <p>In addition to early printing failures, the Education Ministry uncovered further mistakes in 2019&#8217;s edition of the <a href="">National University Entrance Exam</a> (Enem), causing thousands of students to be awarded the wrong grades. The Ministry has since received at least 75,000 complaints, calculating the potentially affected students at 30,000. The National Institute of Educational Studies and Research admitted the <a href="">errors</a>, saying the exam&#8217;s calculation will be reviewed.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>45 indigenous peoples&nbsp;</h2> <p>About 600 <a href="">indigenous leaders</a> from 45 different tribes took part in a national event: the Mebengokrê Peoples Meeting in the village of Piaraçu, in the Capoto Jarina indigenous territory in Center-West Brazil. After four days, the leaders present drafted the &#8220;Piaraçu Manifesto,&#8221; which demands better living conditions for native peoples. The meeting was planned by 90-year-old indigenous leader Kayapó Raoni, who came under criticism from President Jair Bolsonaro during last year&#8217;s United Nations General Assembly in New York. To further exacerbate the indigenous tensions, Mr. Bolsonaro said during a trip to India that &#8220;indigenous people are becoming more and more like human beings, like us.&#8221; His statement drew widespread criticism from human rights organizations.&nbsp;

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.

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