Jeso Carneiro
World News /18 Jul 2017

Bad News Brewing in Brazil

At this past G20 meeting, the presidents of United States and Brazil met and according to the following tweet from Brazilian President Michel Temer, Trump praised the situation in Brazil. We all know that tweets are far from facts, but it’s totally imaginable that Trump wasn’t properly briefed about the state of South America’s biggest country.

Quarterly growth (or in this case, mostly decline) of the Brazilian GDP according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Economy.

These figures clearly contradict what was tweeted about the economy. Brazil’s unemployment rate has just hit a record high of 14%. The youth unemployment rate is a whopping 29%. Many companies have frozen their investments and declared layoffs in Brazil due to the political instability, thus increasing the unemployment crisis.

Moreover, the political situation in Brasilia is at a crisis point. After President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in August 2016 for unlawful activities with the national treasury, executive power switched from the democratic-socialist Workers’ party to Michel Temer’s centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Brazil’s federal police, through Operation Car Wash, have said that investigators have found evidence that Temer received pay-to-play bribes from businesses. Lava Jato (Car Wash) has so far arrested 22 top corporate and government officials in Brazil and has issued more than a hundred warrants, with the aim of investigating a money laundering scheme totaling $9 billion. Former president Lula has just been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in Car Wash, though he still plans to run for president again next year while appealing the verdict.

For a more localized view of Brazil’s decay, one can look to Rio de Janeiro. There, thousands of cops, fire fighters and doctors have had their salary payments delayed for months. Shootings are a regular part of life in the city of Rio. In one week, there were 3 shootings every 2 hours killing 24 people.

To reform Brazilian society, the starting point should always be the molding of informed, patriotic citizens, instead of just blind voters. In a democracy like Brazil, politicians are simply the representatives of the people, a reflection of the whole nation. Politicians don’t bribe themselves and violent crimes don’t commit themselves…

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