Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category

Brazilian Poll Shows Rousseff Gaining Momentum as Election Nears

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

(Reuters) RIO DE JANEIRO — President Dilma Rousseff gained steam but remained locked in a dead heat for votes with challenger Aecio Neves ahead of Brazil’s Oct. 26 presidential runoff, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Rousseff had 45.5 percent of voter support versus 44.5 percent for Neves, according to the survey by polling firm MDA, its first since the election’s first-round vote on Oct. 5. The difference between the two is statistically insignificant because it is within the poll’s margin of error.

Excluding undecided voters, spoiled and blank survey responses, Rousseff has 50.5 percent against 49.5 percent for Rousseff.

Recent surveys by the more closely watched Datafolha and the Ibope pollsters showed Neves slightly ahead of Rousseff, but within the surveys’ margin of error.

Still Monday’s poll echoed indications in the last ... Read More

Scandal Over Brazilian Oil Company Adds Turmoil to the Presidential Race

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By Simon Romero

RIO DE JANEIRO — Paulo Roberto Costa was living an oilman’s dream.

He had a house in a luxurious gated community here. He bought a yacht and drove an armored Range Rover. He had more than $25 million stashed in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

But that dream evaporated recently when the police arrested Mr. Costa and charged him with orchestrating a bribery scheme on an epic scale at Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, and funneling the proceeds to the governing Workers Party and its allies while enriching himself.

The case has presented a major challenge to President Dilma Rousseff, who is in a bitter re-election fight against Aécio Neves, a centrist who has been gaining momentum as the vote next Sunday approaches.

With ... Read More

Conservatives gaining force in Brazil Congress

| October 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By JENNY BARCHFIELD

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — With its Carnival reputation and skin-baring beach life, Brazil may look like a liberal bastion. But unease over a worsening economy and deteriorating public safety, plus a backlash against recent gay-rights gains, are propelling a conservative rise that will shape the next administration, regardless of who wins the presidency.

The general election held earlier this month saw a greater share of Brazil’s National Congress seats go to various conservative caucuses, which now control nearly 60 percent of the 513 seats in the lower house. They include evangelical lawmakers who oppose gay marriage or access to abortion; the “ruralistas” whose pro-agriculture positions counter environmentalists and indigenous groups; and a law-and-order faction that demands a crackdown on crime.

Ahead of the presidential runoff Oct. 26, there’s no doubt such conservatives are giving greater support to center-right challenger Aecio Neves ... Read More

Ibovespa Climbs as Petrobras Rallies After Presidential Debate

| October 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Filipe Pacheco

The Ibovespa rose for the first time in three days as Senator Aecio Neves’s performance in yesterday’s presidential debate bolstered speculation he’ll win election and reduce intervention in state-run companies.

Government-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA contributed the most to the equity gauge’s gain, rallying as crude oil advanced. Meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA climbed after Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating one step to B+. Marisa Lojas SA declined after Deutsche Bank AG cut its recommendation to sell from hold.

The Ibovespa added 1 percent to 54,816.88 at 10:41 a.m. in Sao Paulo, paring its drop this week to 0.8 percent. The real gained 0.5 percent to 2.4605 per dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.3 percent to $82.91 a barrel.

Brazil’s benchmark equity index has rallied 22 percent from this year’s low in March on speculation that President Dilma Rousseff will be voted out of office as the ... Read More

Latin America is a region plagued by incumbents

| October 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez

Six weeks after falling for Marina Silva, pro-market souls (and the markets themselves) have bounced back, developing a new infatuation with the man who defeated her in Brazil’s presidential election. Propounding sensible policies and polling strongly, Aécio Neves will face off next month against Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s formidable incumbent. He may yet prevail. Brazil’s anaemic projected growth, coupled with rising unemployment, should be fertile ground for any challenger. Yet if history is any guide there is only one thing Ms Rousseff needs to do for her re-election to be all but certain: run.

Incumbents have an advantage everywhere. They enjoy high visibility and voters tend to prefer the devil they know. Yet the record of sitting Latin American presidents is astonishing. No Brazilian president seeking immediate re-election has ever failed to attain it. As far back as the 19th century, only two governing presidents anywhere in Latin America – Nicaragua’s ... Read More

Rising Dragon? The Chinese Mafia Threat in Latin America

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
From In Sight

By David Gagne

Chinese mafia operations in Latin America are little understood, but a recent report on these groups in Argentina illustrates how they make their presence felt via extortion, human smuggling rings, and the occasional murder. As China deepens its economic relationship with Latin America, it’s possible these mafias may become ever more prominent.

Authorities in Argentina have attributed 31 murders over the last five years, and four in 2014 alone, to seven Chinese mafias operating in the country, reported La Nacion. These mafias reportedly earn revenue by extorting businesses within the Chinese community, and resort to violence when owners do not comply with their demands.

In at least three of the 2014 cases, the victim did not appear to have been robbed, leading authorities to believe they were killed after running afoul of criminal groups in the Chinese community. According to La Nacion, the Chinese mafias (also known ... Read More

Poll: Brazil presidential race remains deadlocked

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s presidential race remains deadlocked after the first debate between President Dilma Rousseff and her challenger in the runoff election.

A survey released Wednesday night by the Datafolha polling group says opposition candidate Aecio Neves has support from 51 percent of voters against Rousseff’s 49 percent. The poll, which had an error margin of two percentage points, got the same result as a Datafolha poll last week.

Neves made a surprise comeback in the Oct. 5 first-round election to finish second and force Rousseff into a runoff round since no candidate won a majority.

Brazilians go back to the polls on Oct. 26 to decide who’ll be the next leader of Latin America’s biggest economy.

The latest Datafolha survey interviewed 9,081 voters across Brazil on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Click here for original ... Read More

Brazilian presidential candidates trade punches in first debate last night

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and challenger Aécio Neves squared off last night in the first of four debates leading up to the runoff election on October 26th. Several recent polls show a technical tie, and the debates could prove to be decisive.

Rousseff and Neves advanced to the second round by winning the most votes on October 5th, after a surprisingly competitive three-way contest in which the incumbent used cool and commanding debate performances to fend off a challenge by political maverick Marina Silva, whose surge in the polls was beaten back by a withering negative ad campaign.

Tuesday night’s encounter was a tough and personal showdown—the first one-on-one debate between the candidates of Brazil’s two main political parties. Rousseff was aggressive and confrontational, but Neves (a former governor and congressman) counterpunched effectively—putting the president on the defensive over the failing economy, unpopular policies, and alleged corruption.

For example, Rousseff cited fear among Brazilians that ... Read More

Brazil Presidential Contenders Face off in Debate

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
ABC News

By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON and BRAD BROOKS

President Dilma Rousseff and her rival in the Oct. 26 runoff election faced off Tuesday night in their first debate since the opening round ballot, a crucial confrontation with recent opinion polls showing the pair locked in a dead heat.

Challenger Aecio Neves, a center-right, business-friendly candidate, attacked Rousseff’s economic record and focused on a growing kickback scandal at Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras.

Brazil’s growth has slowed since 2010 and the economy went into a recession earlier this year, while there are near-daily revelations about the alleged multimillion-dollar corruption scandal involving top figures at Petrobras, one of whom has said Rousseff’s Workers’ Party benefited from the scheme.

“I’ve spent my entire life combatting corruption,” Rousseff shot back after Neves read off a litany of accusations.

The leader noted that she has gone after those accused of corruption in her own government, forcing out several Cabinet ministers at ... Read More

Petrobras scandal adds fuel to Brazil’s fiery election campaign

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Joe Leahy

Common wisdom has it that Brazilians have become so desensitised to political scandals – so frequent are they on all sides of the political spectrum – that they make little difference in elections.

But there are signs that what could end up being Brazil’s biggest corruption case – the alleged kickbacks from state-owned oil company Petrobras – could be different.

Politicians from the Workers’ party-led ruling coalition are accused of skimming 3 per cent off billions of dollars of contracts signed by Petrobras ahead of the election of incumbent president Dilma Rousseff in 2010.

Not only are Brazilians taking more notice of this scandal – one Facebook user complained last week it meant he was paying 3 cents of every dollar to the Workers’ party, or PT, whenever he fills his car with petrol. “Better to ride a bicycle,” he said.

But what is different about the Petrobras scandal is ... Read More

Brazil Election Polls: Dilma Rousseff Trailing Aecio Neves In Presidential Race

| October 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
International Business Times

By Cristina Silva

President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for her political survival with a poll Monday indicating she is trailing rival Aecio Neves ahead of Brazil’s presidential runoff later this month. Rousseff’s sagging ratings come as Brazil’s once mighty economy has fallen into a technical recession and months after millions of Brazilians took to the streets in protest during the World Cup games to demand better infrastructure and health care.

Aecio leads Rousseff 52.4 percent to 36.7 percent in the Oct. 26 runoff, according to a Sensus poll published on the website of IstoE magazine. The survey of 2,000 people Oct. 7-10 had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. Two earlier polls by Ibope and Datafolha showed the candidates statistically tied, with Neves leading 51 percent to 49 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Neves unexpectedly emerged as Rousseff’s main opponent after the Oct. 5 first-round election saw him win 34 percent of the vote behind the president’s ... Read More

Dilma Rousseff’s presidency at risk in Brazil election

| October 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Aécio Neves, an economist like Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, but younger and more charismatic, could defeat Rousseff in the second round of voting on Oct. 26. At least two pollsters give Neves, the candidate of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, an almost 10-point advantage.

It will drop. That difference can be substantially reduced, and even disappear, as the attacks from the Rousseff’s Workers Party intensify, with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leading the firing squad. Neves today has the advantage of four days of positive media glory after the surprising results of the first round, so he will have to defend himself and attack if he wants to prevail on election day.

Why has Rousseff’s popularity plummeted? Because of a combination of three factors:

▪ The economy. The country is entering a recession. The productive apparatus is not growing, and exports are declining because of the cooling of the ... Read More

Brazilian Stocks Drop as Cyrela Leads Decline Among Homebuilders

| October 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Ney Hayashi

The Ibovespa fell for a second time in three sessions as Cyrela Brazil Realty SA Empreendimentos e Participacoes led homebuilders lower after reporting a quarterly sales drop.

State-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA slipped from a one-month high after a Vox Populi poll showed Brazil’s election is too close to call. Mining company MMX Mineracao e Metalicos SA dropped after saying production at its Sudeste MMX unit will remain halted.

The Ibovespa decreased 0.7 percent to 57,570 at 10:16 a.m. in Sao Paulo, with 38 stocks lower and 29 higher. The real weakened 0.3 percent to 2.4004 per dollar. Cyrela fell 2.7 percent after saying booked sales dropped 27 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. The BM&FBovespa Real Estate Index retreated 1.3 percent.

Brazil’s benchmark equity index has rallied 29 percent since this year’s low in March on speculation a change in government will reduce ... Read More

Brazil’s Election Shows How The Left Thrives On Welfare Dependency

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Investor's Business Daily

Dependency: A Brazilian economist has shown a near-exact correlation between last Sunday’s presidential election voting choices and each state’s welfare ratios. Sure enough, handouts are the lifeblood of the left.

Much of the attention in Brazil’s presidential election has been on the surprise rise of Aecio Neves, the center-right candidate who bolted to second place in the space of a week in the first round of Brazil’s election last Sunday, putting him in a face-off against leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff at the end of the month.

Neves won 34% of the vote, Rousseff took 42% and green party candidate Marina Silva took about 20% — and on Thursday, Silva endorsed Neves, making it a contest of free-market ideas vs. big-government statism.

But what’s even more telling is an old story — shown in an infographic by popular Brazilian economist Ricardo Amorim.

In a Twitter post, Amorim showed a near-exact correlation among Brazil’s states’ welfare ... Read More

Restarting the rollercoaster: The contest is Dilma Rousseff’s to lose, but she is no shoo-in

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

IF A clever pundit had taken a bet on the first-round result in Brazil’s presidential contest three months ago, just as the campaign got cracking, the prediction would probably have been spot-on. In the ballot on October 5th the left-wing incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, got 42% of valid votes, eight points more than Aécio Neves of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), the main centre-right opposition, but not enough to escape a run-off on October 26th. The candidate of the centrist Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) came third, with a respectable 21%. Now, as then, Ms Rousseff is the favourite to win.

But the race went through amazing twists and turns to end up where it had begun (see chart). Days before the election Mr Neves was polling third, with the support of less than one in five voters. His status as the putative pretender had been usurped by Marina Silva, who ... Read More

Brazil’s presidential election has been fair but ugly

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

By The Editorial Board

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT Dilma Rousseff is in a tough fight for reelection, as she should be. During four years in office, the former Marxist guerrilla-turned-Socialist has presided over the stalling of Brazil’s once-booming economy, mounting corruption in the state bureaucracy and a public rebellion against poor services. The economy has tipped into recession, with two consecutive quarters of negative growth, while inflation just hit 6.75 percent, the highest level in three years.

The good news about Brazilian democracy, three decades after the end of military rule, is that Ms. Rousseff drew two serious challengers, both of whom promised to correct her statist excesses and who together collected 55 percent of the vote in last weekend’s first round. The incumbent, who received 41.5 percent, will face Aecio Neves, a center-right former state governor, in a runoff on Oct. 26.

The bad news for Brazil’s prospects as a would-be 21st-century ... Read More

Challenger makes strong start in sprint to runoff in Brazil

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

Good news this week for Aécio Neves, the Social Democrat who is challenging Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in the October 26th runoff election: Neves landed the endorsement of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) on Wednesday; and the first three polls published since the initial round of voting on October 5th show him leading Rousseff by two- to eight-point margins.

In the first round, Rousseff received 41.6% of the vote and Neves 33.5%; these top two candidates will square off in the second round. The PSB’s candidate, the former environmental minister and senator, Marina Silva, finished third, receiving about 21.3%. The 22 million votes cast for Silva is roughly the same number she received as the Green Party nominee in 2010—underscoring her personal appeal to a sizeable bloc of voters.

Silva’s support could be pivotal; according to pundits, in order to defeat Rousseff, Neves would have to capture the support of 70% of Silva’s voters. Although the ... Read More

Monsters Versus Ghosts Now Playing in Brazil’s Election

| October 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Raymond Colitt

Aecio Neves, who came from far behind to make the second round of Brazil’s presidential election, emerged largely unscathed as the campaign cannon fire landed elsewhere. Now he won’t have that luxury.

With Neves running third in polls for six weeks before the Oct. 5 vote, President Dilma Rousseff concentrated her attacks on challenger Marina Silva, while Silva aimed most of her criticism at the incumbent. After a surprise second-place finish, Neves will be the sole target of the Workers’ Party campaign machine, which carried out what Vice President Michel Temer called the “deconstruction” of Silva. The only poll published since the first round so far shows Neves ahead of Rousseff.

To win the Oct. 26 runoff, Neves will have to reassure lower-income voters that his plans to cut spending and bring inflation to target won’t undermine welfare benefits that helped pull 22 million people out of extreme poverty since ... Read More

Partido Socialista de Brasil apoyará a Aécio Neves en segunda vuelta de las elecciones

| October 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

El Partido Socialista Brasileño (PSB), que postuló a la ecologista Marina Silva a la Presidencia, declaró el miércoles su apoyo al opositor Aécio Neves para la segunda vuelta electoral, aunque la ex candidata aún no se ha pronunciado sobre el asunto.

La decisión del PSB fue anunciada después de una reunión de la dirección nacional del partido celebrada en Brasilia, en la que 21 de 29 miembros se inclinaron por apoyar a Neves, quien se enfrentará en una segunda vuelta a la presidenta y candidata a la reelección, Dilma Rousseff.

Otros siete integrantes de la dirección defendieron la neutralidad de la formación y solo uno pidió que el partido respalde a Rousseff.

Neves, candidato del Partido de la Social Democracia Brasileña (PSDB), quedó en segundo lugar en las elecciones del domingo pasado, con un 33.55% de los votos, frente al 41.59% que obtuvo Rousseff.

La decisión del PSB se sumó a las anunciadas también ... Read More

El legado de Insulza y el futuro de la OEA

| October 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Pais

POR EZEQUIEL VÁZQUEZ-GER

Corría Febrero del año 2011. Un grupo de estudiantes en Venezuela había decidido iniciar una huelga de hambre en protesta contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez. En Washington, junto con un grupo de estudiantes venezolanos, decidimos apoyar la protesta pidiendo un pronunciamiento de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA). Lo hicimos a través de decenas de cartas dirigidas a cada uno de los embajadores, notas de prensa, y una protesta frente al Edificio principal del organismo, previo a una sesión de su consejo Perrmanente.

Terminada esta sesión, el secretario general José Miguel Insulza nos otorgó una audiencia privada, en la que nos dijo: “Me compadezco con ustedes, yo también sufrí una dictadura en carne propia y tuve que refugiarme en el exterior. Pero tienen que entender, a Chávez no lo van a vencer con cartas, Chávez es un dictador, y en Venezuela hay una dictadura militar”.

Esta anécdota sirve para describir el ... Read More

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