The embattled President Rousseff © Senado Federal | Flickr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Friends of Brazil, Foes of Democracy

A response to Heloisa Pait

With her piece “Real Friends of Brazil,” Heloisa Pait seems to suggest a Schmittian reading of contemporary Brazilian politics. In a nutshell, she divides the world in two antagonistic groups. On one side, there are the “real friends of Brazil,” people like her who support the calls for impeachment of democratically-elected president Dilma Rousseff. Following the author’s logic, on the other side there are the “real enemies of Brazil,” people like us, who …

Impeachment demonstration in São Paulo, March 15, 2015 © Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil | Wikimedia Commons
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Real Friends of Brazil

The democratic promise of the movement for impeachment

An army revolt against vanishing communist forces brought back Constitutional order, halting the march toward totalitarianism, and was celebrated in Brazilian streets like a football victory. “Brazil,” The New York Times believed in 1964, “is a desperately sick country. The present struggle is simply to see who is going to get possession of the unhappy patient. Whoever the victors, a long period of economic and political convalescence is in order.” The truth, however, was very different.

Brazil was then a rapidly …

LGBTQ Flag at Brazilian National Congress © Luiz30 |Wikimedia Commons.
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionSex & Gender

LGBTQI Rights and Brazil’s Presidential Election

Controversy and the necessity to go beyond elections

For the first time in Brazil’s recent democratic history, which began in 1984 after the country’s twenty-one-year long dictatorship ended, the LGBTQI rights have appeared as the main controversial topic in this year’s presidential election. In the space of two weeks during the election first round, the topic got more attention and at a broader length than perhaps it has had previously in any of the eight democratically elected governments of the past. …

Marina Silva with Eduardo Campos © José Cruz | Agência Brasil
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

What Changes and What Remains the Same in Brazil

The electoral setting vs. the political-institutional setting in the 2014 presidential election

Until recently, candidate Eduardo Campos was playing a supporting third-place role in the Brazilian presidential race. His tragic death in a plane crash has revolutionized the Brazilian electoral setting, where the first round of presidential elections is scheduled for October 5, 2014. Despite this change, and the consequent rise of Marina Silva, the political-institutional setting remains unchanged in the country, regardless of what will be the outcome of elections.

Brazil, the largest democracy in Latin America, has been undergoing one of the most hotly contested presidential elections of its recent history. This intensity is due to an unusual event: the death of the third place candidate Eduardo Campos (PSB, Brazilian Socialist Party) in a tragic plane crash on August 13. …

Brazil vs. North Korea in the 2010 World Cup © Marcello Casal, Jr. | Agência Brasil
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The Brazilian Discontents behind the World Cup Stage

Se mancha la pelota? (Does the ball get stained?)

In a few days, the eyes of millions of people around the world will be fixed on their TV screens, following a ball rolling in some shining green field in Brazil. They will be expecting to witness one of the most exciting World Cups in history; after all, we Brazilians live in the country of football. But probably very few of these spectators know that more than 250,000 Brazilians had their rights violated and their lives harshly disrupted in the process of making such a sport spectacle possible. Entire communities were evicted to build the facilities for the games and the infrastructure to receive the tourists. The slums and the peripheral neighborhoods of major cities were militarized in a process euphemistically referred to as “pacifying.” Workers were displaced and injured, and died building the new stadiums required by FIFA, while their labor rights remained unobserved. …