Brazil. The state-owned oil company Petrobras announced
in early November the discovery of a new oil deposit at very
large depth at the so-called Tupí field outside Rio de
Janeiro, which can contain the equivalent of 8 billion
barrels. If the calculations are correct, Brazil can become
one of the world's largest oil exporting countries within
5-10 years, and President Lula da Silva stated that Brazil
aims to one day become a member of OPEC. Most analysts
agreed that the deposit could affect the balance of power
throughout South America, where Venezuela, under Hugo
Chávez, dominated the political scene, partly through its
position in the oil world. The discovery also affected
Brazil's December negotiations with Bolivia on natural gas
imports, where Petrobras had major interests.
Otherwise, President Lula was also hired this year by a
series of corruption scandals within his own party Partido
dos Trabalhadores (PT), just as he has done since the
takeover in 2003, and two ministers were forced to resign
during the year. The US data company Cisco turned out, for
example. have paid bribes and evaded tax of between $ 500
and $ 800 million. A commission of inquiry also ruled that
corruption in the Brazilian Civil Aviation Administration
was widespread, especially at São Paulo International
Airport Guarulhos. On December 4, Senate President Renan
Calheiros also resigned because of his involvement in a
major corruption crisis.
CountryAAH, another problem solvable was the crime. The year began
with a wave of drug-related violence in Rio de Janeiro when
25 people were killed in three days. In June, a total of
1,350 police officers with helicopters and armored vehicles
carried out the most extensive police operation to date in Complexo do Alemão, one of Rio's largest slums and a drug
trafficking center in the city. In a five-hour fire, 19
people died. At the end of the year, however, a project for
Public Security and Citizenship (Pronasci) was launched,
which for the first time will combine traditional law
enforcement with preventive social programs for vulnerable
groups, especially young people in big cities, and
improvements to the notoriously riotous prisons.
On July 17, a passenger aircraft crashed into the
Congonhas airport in São Paulo. The accident was the second
worst in Brazil's history; all 189 people on board were
In Brazil, the average income among whites is 2.5 times
that of Afro-Brazilians. 69% of the country's poor are
therefore of African origin, although this population
constitutes only 45.3% of the country's total population. In
2001, unemployment was 11% among Afro-Brazilians, while it
was 7.5% among whites. Only about 2% of Afro-Brazilians
start at university, while the number among whites is 11%.
Under the heading "For a Globalization of the World
Social Forum", the second summit of the World Social Forum
was held in the South Brazilian city of Porto Alegre from 31
January to 5 February 2002. The Summit was held in parallel
with the World Economic Forum meeting in New York, and
involved 5000 organizations analyzing, exchanging ideas,
debating and outlining alternatives as part of the
anti-globalization struggle. Four countries accounted for
80% of participants: Brazil with 8503 delegates, Italy with
993, Argentina with 924 and France with 718. There were only
about 100 delegates from all over Asia, and the Indian
delegates therefore proposed that the 2004 summit should be
held in India.
On March 30, around 500 members of the landless movement
MST invaded a estate belonging to President Cardoso's
children, with the intention of forcing the government to
release land to implement land reform in the area, located
700 km southeast of Brasilia. MST Chief Coordinator Joao
Pedro Stédile stated that the occupation was an "extreme
step taken by the landless as a result of the failure to
meet their demands". Several months earlier, the landless in
the affected area of Minas Gerais had made their claim for
the transfer of land, deeds and credits to 200 families.
2003 PT to power
Faced with the threat of a possible left-wing victory in
the October 2002 elections and the region's economic
instability, the dollar began to rise. To maintain
stability, the Cardoso government negotiated a $ 30 billion
loan in August. US $ in place with IMF.
After trying 3 times earlier, in October PT's Lula da
Silva finally managed to win over the bourgeois candidate
José Serra. Lula's victory over Serra in the 2nd rounds was
massive (60%) and made possible because the Left had allied
with parties in the center and out on the right to reduce
market fears, and at the same time it had promised to honor
its debt obligations - including payments of interest and
repayments on the huge Brazilian foreign debt. Despite the
economic and political tensions with foreign and domestic
interests, Lula came to power backed by $ 52 million.
Brazilian voters with promises to strengthen the country's
economic independence, support Mercosur's common strategies,
and implement a gradual redistribution of the economy, thus
reducing the huge inequalities that has plagued the
Brazilian economy for decades.
In March 2003, MST launched a new wave of land invasions
aimed at launching land reform. That same year, a rocket
exploded during the launch in Alcántara, killing 21 people.
Lula signed an agreement with the IMF on a new race for
disbursement in 2004 to prevent possible financial turmoil.
At the same time, the loan institution agreed to defer the
repayment term on Brazil's foreign debt from 2005 to 2006.
Also in 2003, the Senate discussed a tightening of the
gun laws. Tight rules were issued for the issue of weapons
permits and a strict penal framework for illegal weapons
possession was established. It was decided that a referendum
would be held in 2005 on the subject. About 40,000 are
killed each year by gunshots in Brazil - most in urban
areas. Brazil has a world first place in this field.
In May, Brazil received a Global Health Award - Gates
2003 - for its national program to combat HIV/AIDS. The
program was considered pioneering in its combination of free
access to AIDS medicine and highly aggressive media campaign
to curb the AIDS epidemic. The government decided to apply
the price of DKK 1 million. US $ to support groups treating
HIV infected children and adult carriers. Already in 1996,
Brazil had guaranteed free access to HIV inhibiting drugs.
In October, the UN expert on illegal executions, Asma
Jahangir, criticized the human rights situation in the
country. Jahangir had visited Brazil to investigate torture
and murder charges, allegedly committed by Brazilian police.
After visiting Borel and Jacarezinho, two of the most
violent favelas in Rio de Janeiro, the expert declared that:
“Brazil is a democracy. Still, I found in these districts a
miserable situation where the judiciary does not reach out
”. During the visit, he had spoken to over 20 mothers and
other family members of people who had apparently been
killed in police hands.
Jahangir stated that despite the government's efforts to
fight impunity and reduce violence, it was urgent to
implement measures to ensure greater respect for human
rights. He added that the seriously worsening human rights
situation in Brazil cannot be compared to anywhere else in
the world. Acc. According to a report from the Center for
Global Justice, there are now death patrols in 14 of
Brazil's 27 states.
At the 2003 WTO Annual Meeting in Cancun, Brazil was in
the lead of the Third World in the demands of the rich
countries, which eventually caused the summit to collapse
because the rich countries would not grant concessions to
the poor. However, most of the changes have been
concentrated on foreign policy, while the new government has
followed the previous government's neoliberal policy in a
number of fields, which has led to a number of strikes
facing government policy in 2003.