Brazil. In June, it was revealed that some fifty members of the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores), including President Lula da Silva’s Chief of Staff José Dirceu and several other top names in the party, were involved in a bout where Congress members received bribes to vote for the government’s bill. According to countryaah, Brasilia is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Brazil. Finance Minister Antonio Palocci was also accused of corruption, and large companies such as Banco do Brasil and the oil company Petrobras were accused of illegally funding PT’s election campaign. President da Silva still enjoys great confidence among voters, but the corruption charges began to approach his person when his son Fábio da Silva and his brother Genival Inácio da Silva also appeared in the rumor flora in July and October. The corruption scandals, the worst in Brazil in ten years, have seriously damaged and divided PT, which has always emerged as a party with great moral integrity. The split became apparent at the party leadership election on October 9 when Ricardo Berzoini, representative of the party’s historic center flank to which also President da Silva belongs, managed to win but only by a small margin of victory; 51% against 49% for Raul Pont, representative of the party’s dissatisfaction.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BR stands for the country of Brazil and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
A government proposal to ban private firearms was rejected in a referendum on October 23 by 64% of voters, despite all opinion polls pointing to a yes just a few weeks earlier. The high crime rate was both the yes and the no side arguments. On average, 36,000 people die each year from gunshot injuries in Brazil, which means it’s more common for people to be shot to death than dying from cancer or traffic accidents. Despite the defeat, the government continues its campaign for disarmament to the public, where it receives the equivalent of about SEK 1,000 for each firearm handed in to the authorities; So far, 464,000 weapons have been submitted.
The widespread corruption within the police force is often cited as a reason why the fight against crime has not succeeded better. Just a month before the referendum, for example, seized. the Rio de Janeiro police, in a raid against Colombian cocaine smugglers, 1.6 tons of cocaine and $ 670 million in cash. A few days later, the money seized was stolen from the police station and seven local police officers were arrested for the theft.
1992 Collor de Mello set aside for corruption
In May 1992, a parliamentary commission of inquiry was formed to investigate corruption within the government – through friend services that led to deposits in the president’s personal bank accounts. The popular demonstrations against the corruption and the emergence of evidence implicating even more people in the scandal led all parties to vote for a political lawsuit against the president. In September, Congress sent the President on leave to address the prosecution. Instead, the embassy was taken over by Vice President Itamar Franco. In December 1992, the Senate found Collor guilty of “personal responsibility for the corruption” and sentenced him to lose his term and political rights up to the year 2000. The presidential office was finally taken over by Franco.
The new president tried to give his policy an expression of asceticism and ethics in dealing with public business. After several replacements at the Finance Minister post, Fernando Henrique Cardoso was appointed to the post.
At the end of 1992, 111 prisoners from the Carandiru Chambers in São Paulo were killed by military police, who called in to end a conflict between two prison groups. The subsequent investigation revealed that 85 prisoners had been executed after surrendering. In July 1993, a police patrol executed 8 street children while sleeping on the stairs in front of the Candelaria church in Rio de Janeiro. The following month, 50 men entered the Vigario Geral favela (slums), killing 21 innocent people in revenge for the deaths of four military policemen in a drug-dealing fire.
The public indignation over these incidents prompted a number of measures by the authorities. In Rio de Janeiro, for the first time, a judge sentenced the heads of the jogo do bicho – an illegal lottery with links to the police and the drug trade – to prison. In São Paulo, a police commissioner was sentenced to a total of 516 years in prison for causing the death of 18 prisoners in a cell at the police station in 1992.
The civic campaign against hunger and for Life was started in April 1993 at the initiative of sociologist Herbert de Souza. It organized tens of thousands of independent committees across the country that collected and distributed food items and contributed to the creation of jobs. The movement involved about 2 million people – predominantly housewives, members of religious communities and unions. By August 1994, 4 million families had received wastewater assistance.
1993 Cardoso defeats Lula in the presidential election
In late 1993, Finance Minister Cardoso presented the Real Plan for Stabilizing the Economy. It put an end to the automatic exchange rate adjustments and in July introduced a new currency: the Real. The plan brought a sharp slowdown in inflation and made Cardoso the most popular candidate in the presidential election on October 3 of that year. Already in the first round of elections he defeated Luiz Inacio (Lula) da Silva of PT, who had been a favorite until recently.
Cardoso initiated a privatization program of state-owned companies, including parts of Petrobras and the telecommunications company. But besides the economic stabilization, an increase in unemployment, the professional fighting spirit in the cities, the crime and the land occupations by poor farmers could be recorded.
In September 1995, the President announced a multi-year government plan with investments totaling $ 153,390 million, specifically in the area of economic infrastructure. According to statistics published in August, 10% of the Brazilian population seized 48% of total income, or four times more than what the country’s poorest half earned. According to figures from the World Bank, 0.83% of landowners in 1997 controlled 43% of the arable land. These figures place Brazil as one of the countries in the world with skewed income and property distribution. In June of that year, Parliament passed a constitutional amendment that allowed the president the re-election.
In September, Cardoso decreed the demarcation of 23 areas totaling 8.4 million hectares – 10% of Brazil’s total – in favor of the country’s indigenous population alone. In March 1998, the MST’s marches and land occupations were indirectly supported by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in its document: “For a better distribution of land, the challenges of land reform”.
As of mid-January, the largest fire in the Amazon had ever sent tens of thousands of peasants and entire native villages on the run. In March, more than a quarter of the northern state of Roraima was ravaged by the forest fire.
In the October 1998 presidential election, Cardoso was re-elected with 53.1% of the vote already in the first round of elections. That was 20% more than his main counterpart, PT’s Luiz Ignacio da Silva.