Numbers of the week: Aug. 29, 2020

. Aug 29, 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: Covid-19 in Latin America; Amazon opinions; Ronaldinho walks free; Twitter v. Bolsonaro; São Paulo asks for extra vaccine funds; and racism shows in Brazil’s murder rates.

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6 months of coronavirus in Latin America

It has been six months since a 61-year-old man in São Paulo became

the first confirmed Covid-19 infection in Latin America. The region quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic, registering more deaths than any other place in the world —&nbsp;despite a lack of testing in most countries. Deep economic inequality, coupled with a sky-high rate of informal workers — as well as failed leadership — were the main reasons for such a debacle. <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> recapped <a href="">how the pandemic evolved</a> in some of the top economies in Latin America.</p> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>24 percent of Brazilians “sad” about the Amazon</h2> <p>A survey by the <a href="">Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban</a>) asked 1,200 people across Brazil about the importance of the Amazon — 24 percent said they feel “sad” when talking about the rainforest. Another 13 percent said they feel &#8220;shame&#8221; and &#8220;indignation,&#8221; while 11 percent cited “fear” as their sentiment about the issue. For the past 14 months, <a href="">deforestation rates</a> have increased in the Amazon when compared to the previous year — which is sparking backlash from <a href="">international investors</a>. On Friday evening, the Environment Ministry announced all anti-deforestation efforts in the region would be cancelled due to budget cuts, which was later denied by Vice President Hamilton Mourão.</p> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>5 months later, Paraguay frees Ronaldinho</h2> <p>A Paraguayan judge decided to free former footballer Ronaldinho and his brother from house arrest. The pair returned to Brazil for the first time in five months, having been arrested in Asunción in March with fake Paraguayan passports. They will also have to pay around USD 200,000 and establish a residence in Rio de Janeiro, where he and his brother must contact the Justice system every four months.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Understand the case</a>.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1 million-plus tweets in 24 hours</h2> <p>Last weekend, a reporter asked President Jair Bolsonaro about suspect money transfers between Fabrício Queiroz —&nbsp;a long-time friend of the president&#8217;s and a suspect in a <a href="">money-laundering investigation</a> —&nbsp;to First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro. Mr. Bolsonaro said he wanted to “smash [the reporter&#8217;s] face in.” The president&#8217;s tantrum sparked droves of tweets asking him the same question: &#8220;Why did First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro receive BRL 89,000 in multiple checks from Fabrício Queiroz?&#8221; In the first 24 hours, over 1 million tweets were published —&nbsp;an average of 700 per minute.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Extra BRL 1.9 billion for vaccine production</h2> <p>Produced by the São Paulo-based Butantan Biological Institute in partnership with Chinese firm Sinovac, the <a href="">Coronavac</a> vaccine is one of the many prospective inoculations against the coronavirus being tested in Brazil. The initial agreement with Sinovac was to produce 60 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021, but the São Paulo state government <a href="">has requested BRL 1.9 billion</a> (USD 340 million) in funding from the Health Ministry to double this planned output by the end of next year.</p> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>One in five NGOs out of funds due to the pandemic</h2> <p>New <a href="">research</a> by the Brazilian Fundraisers&#8217; Association (ABCR) shows that three out of four civil society organizations in Brazil were weakened due to the Covid-19 pandemic, facing severe budget constraints. One-fifth of the 1,760 institutions consulted by the study no longer have the funds to continue operations. To make matters worse, 65 percent of the institutions expect a reduction in fundraising in 2020, a stark contrast to the <a href="">increase in donations</a> seen in the country. Per ABCR’s Covid-19 donations monitor, over BRL 6 billion were raised so far to fight off the pandemic. <a href="">Read more</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>25,000 new daily tests&nbsp;</h2> <p>Brazil has recorded over 3.7 million coronavirus cases — second only to the U.S. — and yet has tested 66,474 people per million inhabitants, less than fellow South American nations Chile and Peru. Furthermore, only 42 percent of these examinations are RT-PCR tests, seen as the most reliable. Now, the biological research organization Fiocruz has opened a <a href="">new testing facility</a> in Rio de Janeiro, capable of processing 15,000 RT-PCR tests per day, along with another lab in Fortaleza, equipped to go through 10,000 daily tests.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>11.5 percent more murders of black people</h2> <p>The latest Violence Atlas showed that homicide rates <a href="">skyrocketed among black people</a>, up 11.5 percent between 2008 and 2018. Meanwhile, murders against non-blacks <em>went down</em> 12.9 percent during the same period. The report shows that for every non-black person, at least 2.7 black individuals are killed. In 2018, the country&#8217;s black and multiracial population were the victims of 75 percent of all homicides recorded in the country.

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Lucas Berti

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

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