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A purely analytical perception...


BRAZIL

AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN

 

Continued from page 1

City Hall

A few weeks later, while the Mayor and his cronies were meeting in chambers, next door, an armed man slithered by countless guards in city hall and robbed a bank branch within the complex. Unbelievably, the villain had the audacity to demand that the two tellers that had faithfully already turned over $55,000 to him, not to say a word about it for 30 minutes. Even more incomprehensibly, the tellers complied with his courteous request and never said a word about the robbery for the required time even though the robber was obviously, long gone. When asked why he not said a word about the robbery for half an hour, the senior guard indicated that he had given the bandit his word, and his word is his bond. While this seemed rather strange, no one chastised him for his actions.

 To make the matter even more bizarre, the only way into the branch was by signing a register at the entrance to Gunabara Palace, where 15 security guards hold court and then there was the metal detector that visitors had to go through that was of extreme sensitivity. One of the town fathers who had been regularly going off and on like a light bulb when he went through the device, once remarked that the contraption could sense the zipper on his pants in his mistresses apartment three miles away. However, this statement was not made for attribution.

 The fact that a man with a gun could sign the register and stroll through the detector, pass the fifteen armed guards and then wander into the branch and then leisurely have the tellers disgorge all of their available cash, literally within sight of the security, and stroll by them again carrying laundry bags filled with money, without drawing as much as whisper, caused substantial public consternation. Public relations-conscious Mayor Marcello Alencar, when called on the carpet by reporters who found the story beyond belief stated; “We live in Rio de Janeiro and we run the same risks as any other city resident. The palace is policed but it is not meant to be a bunker.” Three cheers for Marcello, the really put those newspaper people in their places.   

The homicide rate is 6.4 times greater in Sao Paulo than in New York or Lisbon, and it is 5.7 times higher in Rio than in New York or Lisbon. Reported robberies and muggings in Sao Paulo are rising at the rate of 15 percent a year, and a recent study showed that a resident of the city has a one in six chance of being the victim of a violent crime. In spite of the fact that cities like Rio and Sao Paulo have roughly 30 percent of their police forces dedicated to investigating crimes, only 2.5 percent are solved because resources are inadequate.” ([1])

 Crime

Crime is rampant in Brazil and the best reason that can be given for it is the fact that police are uniformly poorly paid and as been brought out in a recent court trial; they have to moonlight, oft-times representing the same thugs at night as they were hunting down during daylight hours. Reuters remarked; "International human rights observers have stated that police violence is common in Brazil and contend beatings, torture and summary executions by police are all too common.  

 “Despite their reputation for tardiness and diffidence in daytime law enforcement, the Military Police are famous for off-hours over-zealousness. Human rights groups estimate that there are two police-committed killings a day on average in Brazil. About 200 police officers are fired every year for their participation in organized kidnapping, corruption and death squads. The Vigario Geral shantytown massacre on August 30, 1994, is probably the most famous example of their devotion to cleaning up the streets. That night 21 men, women and children were murdered by at least 30 masked gunmen believed to police officers acting in vengeance for 4 officers killed two days earlier in the shantytown." 

“But while the Policia Militar (usually retired or off-duty police officers) spend their off-hours in hit squads eliminating street kids, the hit squads are being hunted by other less violent but equally eager hit squads. Brazil has created a force to police the police force, a federal police unit tasked with investigating and eliminating death squads all over the country. Death squads and drug traffickers are considered major contributors to Rio’s murder rate of more than 60 per every 100,000 people.” 

“Rather then retaining attorneys to handle legal matters, Brazilians prefer hit men. The tab reads like a restaurant menu. Want to off an impoverished peasant? This week’s specials is only $70. But if you want to take out a prominent politician, expect to pay for the caviar: about $20,000. About half of the 12 killings a day in Sao Paulo are contract snuffings.” ([2]

Payoffs

Another area that has become a victim of crime in Brazil is cargo theft, one of the fastest growing businesses in the entire country. The reason is simple; drug sales have brought the criminal gangs substantial excess cash. They can afford to payoff employees involved in unloading merchandise substantial sums to indicate what of value is being delivered. Once the subject with enough value is identified, it is an easy matter to bribe the unloading crew to look the other way while the expensive cargo vanishes into the mist.   

The merchandise is often warehoused until a buyer is identified. In order to fight the bad guys, Brazilian corporations have had to resort to armed convoys to get their goods to the destination without having them disappear. Sounds a little like the covered wagons in the western part of the United States during the 1800s. Maybe these folks should hire Roy Rogers or the Lone Ranger to show them how to circle the armored cars if attacked. However, with over one-half million people already employed in Brazil’s private security industry, there may not be enough money available to pay these super cowboys the kind of money that they have been used to getting.  

The number of cargo theft incidents continues to rise. During the first half of 1999, for example, the number of cargo theft occurrences was reported at 938, versus 564 for the same period in 1998. The problem has become so serious that many insurance companies will no longer provide coverage for merchandise in transit. Of 130 insurance companies in Brazil, only six are reported to provide coverage against cargo theft and even those may not cover food products, cigarettes or agrochemicals…The trucking industry in Brazil loses approximately 10 percent of its total billings to cargo theft, which amounts to roughly $2.2 billion per year. These losses have caused many shipping firms to close their doors.” ([3])

 Tough Guys

And the criminals in Brazil are not exactly what you would call pussy cats. They have their own ways of dealing with threats to their fiefdoms and they are extremely harsh. A recent and interesting example of this would be that of a judge in the State of Mato Grosso by the name of Leopoldino Marques do Amaral. It seem that he made the mistake of taking various serious charges against other judges in his state to higher authorities in a public forum. Leopoldino spoke of his cohorts taking money from drug dealers in exchange for the judges giving them freedom or having their sentences substantially reduced. This didn’t sit well with either the drug dealers, the other judges that he had ratted on or the people higher up on the payoff totem pole that were in on the payoffs. He was found “dead in neighboring Paraguay soon afterwards, shot in the back of the head and in standard Brazilian Mafia style, his face had been totally burned off. “ ([4])

 Justice 

This is the type of thing that has been going on in Mexico for years that no one has been able to deal with, even their army. However, the fact is that Brazil is absolutely ripe for this type of situation because their judges are on the take and in Brazil and the reason that they are able to get away with it is simple; there is no judicial oversight. Unconscionably, Judges for some strange reason are not rated by their peers and an historical precedent in this country has always been such that you do not condemn your fellow adjudicators for any reason whatsoever. In addition, the judge hires those that run and operate the court system in many Brazilian states so that by appealing to a higher bureaucratic authority in this country you may only be appealing to a the presiding judge’s son-in-law. A strange system at best.  

In addition to protecting those that line their pockets, Brazilian judges as a rule are very protective of the state in which they make their decision. In even the most egregious cases, the state and its employees seem to always emerge victorious. A horrifying example of this form of justice would be the situation in Eldorado do, an area in the Amazon where a group of landless pheasants were protesting that fact. The police seemed to be getting bored with the endless complaining by the natives and shot, point blank into a crowd of them. Although there were countless witnesses to the massacre and there was literally no reason for the shooting, the man that ordered the carnage was never even reprimanded and still serves in his post. Although the media in the country has caused a substantial stink, nothing has ever been done.  

Brazil isn’t as bad a Mexico yet, but it is on its way. Criminals though are finding new ways to avoid jail in this country. One of those methods is purely the continuing filing of appeals in cases in which they are indicted. The judicial system in Brazil is so hopelessly overloaded that more often than not, after the third or fourth appeal has been filed, the court either losses interest in the case or the file. High court rulings do not seem binding on lower courts and very little time is dealt with precedent in this country. No matter how closely a case that had been heard and adjudicated resembled a new one, in Brazil it is often like the first case had never been heard. Justice begins once again and the outcome is always in doubt.

Prison Guards

Even when the criminal is convicted and sentenced to jail and is locked up the scenario is not yet over. Guards are constantly on the take and for a price the jails can be emptied with impunity. One of the more interesting examples is the case where 80 percent of the prisoners locked up at Brazil's maximum-security prison in close proximity to Sao Paulo escaped without a shot being fired. The story was reported by the Associated Press and goes as follows. "De Silva (Paulo Roberto da Silva, a guard at the prison) said the guard claimed he was approached by an inmate who told him another prisoner was ill. The guard went to check and left three inner doors open, making it easy for the inmates to simply run out the prison's main gate. There have been nine previous breakouts from the $10 million jail, which holds convicted criminals as well as suspects awaiting trial. In 1997, nearly 200 prisoners escaped, the year before, 157."

This is probably the worst record in the history of the world's penal institutions and in the most recent breakout, the warden along with a number of his associates was given the gate as the flabbergasted investigators struggled to figure out how almost an entire prison could have emptied without one guard taking notice of the disappearance of the majority of incarcerated guests of the state. Picture walking into Sing Sing with all the guards at the posts but when you go into the area where the cells are they are empty. You turn to one of the guards and ask where the prisoners are and he answers, "Gee, they seem to be gone, they were here just a little while ago." And this just wasn't another prison, it was Brazil's finest maximum security operation.    

The Theory of Law 

 “The idea of letting higher courts call in and extinguish cases, plus another proposal now apparently abandoned - to require lower courts by law to follow the precedents set by more senior ones - had faced stiff opposition from lawyers as well as judges. Both groups have benefited from the creeping chaos in the judicial system…” ([5])

 However, many of the problems with the court system in Brazil may rest more with the structure itself. While we in the United States are used to what is called “common law”, which is the system originated by William the First, Duke of Normandy, who after he had invaded England was not interested in reinventing the wheel. His main concern was that things should operate pretty much as they had in the past. He sent his emissaries out, combing the countryside to find out what rulings had been made in the past and then molded them into what became the law of the land. The English law from this point forward drew on these documents and continued to build on them in order to create law, piece by piece. New decisions were always based on decisions that had preceded them, which were based on historic usage and practice.

However, Brazil is in a totally different league, their system is based on Roman law. Precedent has little to do with the judge’s final decision. It is left up to the individual judges in this country to use their best efforts in interpreting what the legislators meant when they created the law, no matter what thought processes went into the handing down of the higher court’s decision making process on similar. This type of system leaves a lot to be desired and from a legal point of view, every case heard in Brazil is literally being heard for the first time. How can you even have a summary judgment when you have this type of justice. It is no wonder that the system is breaking down under its weight. When overload hits the courts, the winners are always the bad guys and that is exactly what is happening in this country.  The only problem is that there is more weight here than most anywhere else.  

Honest Citzens?

Interestingly enough, it is not only the criminals that use this decrepit court system of justice to their advantage. It turns out that in Brazil, fully 80% of the appeals are made by governments or quassi governmental bodies. For the most part, they are just trying to delay the payment of their bills. In a country in which inflation, historically has risen both continually and at an enormous clip, this is certainly a winning strategy. Even if the court hits the entity making the appeal with fines and damages, it is almost impossible that the new sum would ever equal the current real value of money that would if been due if the payment had been made promptly.

 As an example, let us assume that $100,000 is due by the City of Sao Paula to the national Government of Brazil for its share of social security payments. Sao Paulo has a barren treasury and cannot pay anyway so the line of least resistance is filing a lawsuit that will tie the case up in court for seven years or more. Based on recent trends, their cost in present value terms to do this would be about $1000 plus legal fees. If they won, there would be no cost at all. However, their legal fees are kept at a bare minimum by keeping a large staff of in-house lawyers on their payrolls. 

Making a bad thing worse, there is no serious penalty in Brazil for bringing what in the United States would be called a frivolous action ([6]). In Federal Court here, a lawyer bringing an action that has little or no merit can be hit with sanctions by the court and fined, censored or even eventually disbarred for his actions. With no such penalties, it is no wonder that Brazil has become the land of endless litigation.

 However, would by believe that an end is in sight? It is called E-Judge. The Electronic Judge is a new project called Justice-on-wheels. A mobile justice units consists of a van, a driver, a judge, a lawyer and a computer containing just about everything you would ever want to know about the law. It works something like this:

 …the team responds, ideally within about 10 minutes to a reported infraction. A human judge runs the computer program that presents a series of logical questions concerning the incident. If the incident involved a traffic accident at an intersection, for example: Has the accused illegally crossed a traffic light? Was he/she driving under the influence of alcohol? Do we have a witness? Does he/she confirm that the accused illegally crossed the traffic light? Written in visual Basic, the Electronic Judge processes the simple “yes” or “no” answers from the involved parties and eyewitnesses. It then writes a report with possible solutions for the case according to Brazil’s legal code. The judge evaluates this report and if the judge and involved parties agree, settlement is reached on the spot.”[7]

I guess anything is better than the system that is now bogged down by 12,000 judges who are in the process of handling more than 7,000 cases apiece each year. That’s a lot of justice in any man’s language. Of course, the municipalities would never allow swift justice to ruin their little game so for the moment at least, we believe that E-Justice will be limited to traffic infractions.

Dealing With The Past

When run by military dictatorships, Latin American Governments have been known to be rather brutal when they feel that their rule is being threatened. For over twenty years, from 1964 until 1985, Brazil was run by a series of military regimes, each more oppressive than its predecessor. For the most part, anyone that questioned their authority was either summarily executed or jailed. They were able to accomplish a substantial number of killings under the aegis of fighting those that they believed represented a threat to their way of life. 

This period has become know as the time of the “dirty war” However, Brazil wasn’t alone in what it went through during this time. Their neighbors, Chile and Argentina both had military dictatorships that stayed in office because of a perceived threat from the communists and other leftist groups. In those years, many people just disappeared and for many years, nothing was done in any of the three countries to account for what had occurred.

 Argentina and Chile were willing to come to grips with the situation and installed what they called “truth commissions” to investigate and prosecute any egregious circumstances that were uncovered. However, Brazil, thinking, that it may have had more to hide than its neighbors caused the government to resist global and local efforts to redress this smoldering sore. Adherents of the theory that allows sleeping dogs to lie where they are so as not to disturb them, brought up many interesting arguments against bringing back awkward memories. 

An act that had been passed by the Brazilian legislature in 1979 gave amnesty against prosecution of soldiers and military agents for acts of violence along with lamebrain excuses that many of the papers necessary to prosecute these matters had long since disappeared. Rather than deal directly with the matter, the Brazilian government determined that their best course of action would be to pay the families of the victims an indemnity, and let the matter ride. The military still maintained a lot of power and the government was not about to raise their ire. This act of cowardliness seems to have brought an end to one of the gravest violations of human rights in national history. ([8])

Slash and Burn 

Scientists have estimated that the fires that ravaged Indonesia several years ago had produced three billion tons of carbon dioxide -considered one of the most damaging greenhouse gasses - into the atmosphere. This is equivalent to the European Union’s entire CO2 output for the year. (Reuters, 3/12/98) It is strange to note that little was ever effectively done to extinguish the blazes in spite of all the talk about how serious the situation that it has become. Brazil showed the world that they had a solution when their farmers in the Amazon set the forest ablaze to reclaim land for farming. It wasn’t long before the fires got completely out of control and threatened to destroy the entire jungle. Brazil was quick to act and did the only thing that was readily available, a quick call went out to two shamans renowned in the country for the great mystical powers.

 It was believed by senior analysts in the Brazilian Government that two shamans were necessary because of the enormity of the danger. The foremost and most senior shaman soon picked a site in the Yanomami Indian reservation and suggested a particular ritual aimed at repelling the smoke and potentially bringing rain that was quickly agreed upon by officials at the scene. Most of those present expressed optimism that as soon as the shaman and their ritualistic equipment could be moved onto the site, all would be well. 

However,  of even greater importance, local bookmakers were laying a line of 8 to 5 that the shaman would extinguish the blaze in short order. Now this is the kind of thinking we believe that they needed in Indonesia. Authorities on the subject housed at the United Nations were closely monitoring the situation in Brazil. Should shamanism prove successful, plans are in the works to make this group of witchdoctors part of a new United Nations’ agency charged with flooding and drought.   

Napster Junior  

Brazil was not only tormented by a rebirth of the James family in downtown Rio, it was also suffering from an excessive amount of music piracy according to the International Federation of the Phonograph Industry (IFPI). They had estimated that 90 percent of all of the music purchased in the country was illegal and more than fifty percent of that amount arrives on a regular basis from Paraguay, its friendly neighbor. Most other estimates contend that 95 percent of all cassettes are pirated in this, the sixth largest music market in the world.  

Interestingly enough, Paraguay has tax-free bazaars in which large selections of pirated music can be purchased in large open markets, usually in the town square. Countless Brazilian traders travel to Paraguay, make their purchases and load them on their backs for the lengthy trip home. These sacoleiros (bag carriers) are so all pervasive that the IFPI estimates that Brazil is second only to Russia as a market for the purloined music and this industry is making the mom and pop delivery system one of Paraguay’s largest exports.

Paraguay is not a wealthy country and has few resources. In addition they have a President whose name is Juan Carlos Wasmosy. Juan, aimlessly talks a lot about any number of subjects many of which that he has no knowledge of whatsoever. Probably for this reason he has often been accused at times of having “foot-in-mouth” disease. While talking to an Argentinean newspaper, La Nacion he said that there was “10 times more corruption” in Argentina then there was in Paraguay. 

He was apparently referring to the recent story of the blind man, Julio Cesar Perez that got a driver's license in Buenos Aires by paying a bribe of $180. To the consternation of the local drivers testing facility, it had previously been well known that anything was available at a price at that facility and a television crew had followed Julio, his guide dog and red cane to see if he could successfully buy a drivers license.  Horrified viewers were able to watch the entire scene unfold on television, the next day. Worse yet, the bribe taker, was still on the job when the television people went back to check on what changes had been made in the licensing process.

However, many believed that all of this noise was an apparent attempt by Wasmosy to take the heat off himself in some bizarre election maneuvering he had been engaged in. For the last half century, the Colorado party has controlled the country. A small but vocal faction of the party was started to throw its weight around and got Lino Oviedo, former head of the army chosen as the party’s candidate instead of Wasmosy, a move tantamount to election.

Naturally, Wasmosy did what anyone would have done in the same situation, he had Oviedo tried, convicted, sentenced and carted off to jail for leading a clandestine coup attempt against the government. However, this coup attempt  was so secret, no one ever heard about it and people are still scratching their heads wondering what had happened. In spite of his conviction, Oviedo remained the popular choice to lead the country so Wasmosy played his most important card, he had the Supreme Court confirm the sentence, which effectively checkmated his opposition by knocking Oviedo completely off the ballot.

 A triumphant Wasmosy stated in a moment of extreme pride the fact that; “These are the usual problems of the transition to democracy which makes me proud, especially since the solution has been institutional.” He added that of all the varying groups making up the Paraguayan hegemony, “the armed forces are the ones who have adapted to democracy best.” We want to take this moment to share with Wasmosy a pride in the way that the country has adapted to democratic ideals. We feel that they are an example for the rest of Latin America when it comes to forward thinking and purity of government. Three cheers for Wasmosy.   

A Criminal Place

The City of Ciudad Del Este is located in Paraguay at the confluence of Brazil and Argentina, where the magnificent Iguacu Falls shines its magnificent glory on all three countries. Paraguay his its own trademark laws and no matter what the name, it can be trademarked once again in Paraguay. The strangest example of this law is the case of a Paraguayan designer who trademarked the name Calvin Klein and used it so extensively that the local people were shocked to find out that he was not Calvin Klein himself. This type of law has caused legitimate companies such as Walt Disney to avoid the country like the plague.

 It has been estimated that 100,000 vendors take over every available inch of ground in the city, every morning to display their wares, which include every major designer name of importance. Police are either stultified by the process or substantially bribed. In either event, they do not even attempt to close down stalls with obviously black market goods with excuses like, “how will these people feed their families if we close them down.” However, economists have estimated that the goods make up a substantial part of the Paraguayan gross domestic product and the vendors that hawk these goods may be the single most important voting bloc in the entire country.

 The wholesale trade, which operates in the shadows of Ciudad Del Este, is every bit as important as its retail counterpart. Cheap unmarked goods are shipped into the city from the Pacific Rim and as such avoid the restrictive quotas usually placed on these type of goods. Additionally, because the merchandise is not branded, the tariff is negligible.  Designer labels are either imported or printed domestically and slapped onto the goods for reshipment throughout South America where entrepreneurs take advantage of tax treaties to avoid duty. Although statistics are hard to come by, Paraguay does rank as one of the few countries in the world where the black economy is at least as large its accounted for economy.

 “Ciudad del Este is a tax-free center and popular with Paraguayans for its bargains on        consumer goods. The 400-yard bridge is usually packed with trucks and passenger cars stuffed with brand-new goods bought in Brazil. It is also a great place to pick up bogus U.S. dollars, antiaircraft guns, rare and endangered animals, weapons and drugs. The area is also called the “Triangle” - the frontier area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay - a South American Barbary Coast rough-and-ready area with a Shiite Muslim community of about 6,000 people. Lebanese, Syrians and Iranians came here in the early 1980s and brought with them a New World cell of Hezbollah. Hezbollah trains local recruits in the jungles and the main city of Foz do Iguacu and gets its support from both the local merchants and Iran. To combat Ciudad del Este’s emergence as the globe’s hub of nastiness, the FBI is opining an office in Brasilia. But Ciudad del Este makes Waco look like a warehouse for Mormon pamphlets.”

This kind of activity going on right next door doesn’t do Brazil any good. If the counterfeiting was done within the country’s borders, at least some commerce would remain inside the country. The system that has been set up by the Paraguayans, drains industry, taxes and labor from the Brazilian market. The government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil became incensed and under his guidance passed two regulations, one regarding intellectual property rights, which covers music and films and along with the so called “Software Law” which addresses the massive pirating that goes on in the software marketplace. 

Its regulation was ceded to the taxing authorities, which set the penalties at four years in jail and 3000 times the value of each illegal item they produce. Brazil now becomes the only Latin American country to have a such a piracy law. However, one would wonder what made them wait so long to enact legislation that is so logical.  That aside, the trade with Paraguay continues unabated. 

An interesting aspect of the Paraguay - Brazil situation is the fact that many years ago Paraguay being substantially under-populated literally offered bounties to Brazilians that were willing to move to their country. These bounties for the most part took the form of Homestead rights and before too long, a great number of Brazilians took them up on the offer. Thus, a very high percentage of Paraguay is populated by ethnic Brazilians or at least something close. This is caused by so many of the migrs originally being of Nordic blood. Thus, Brazilians are easily spotted in Paraguay because for the most part they have blond hair and blue eyes. 

This contrasts to the primarily Indian background of the ethnic Paraguayans. As the flow of Brazilians increased, language, at least that which was spoken near the borders country's soon became Portuguese as opposed to Spanish and with no indigenous television, Paraguay was only able to receive their TV in Portuguese. Thus, the children began to talk that language in the homes. In spite of the fact that the Brasiguayos (Brazilian migrs into Paraguay) became citizens of Paraguay more often than not, most of them continued to use Brazilian money, speak the Brazilian language, cheer for the Brazilian soccer team and basically do a really bad job in the assimilation department. 

What struck the native Paraguayans as even worse was the fact that these Brazilians were extremely aggressive and before long controlled a good deal of the country's wealth. However, in spite of the fact that the Brasiguayos have brought a touch of prosperity to the country, there is much jealousy and a lot of talk about ethnic cleansing. Incidents are rife and very often it is necessary to bring in the police in a situation to restore order.  There is a feeling among the native Paraguayans that if they do not do something about the situation soon, their country will become a Brazilian State. No one on either side of the fence is particularly happy about what is going on and how it will turn out.   

Banking

 Brazil uses public sector divestitures indirectly as a bank. Tax collections are augmented by the timely sale of State owned assets to expand infrastructure development and lower national debt. Revenue shortfalls can be made up by carefully culling assets without increasing the tax burden on the citizens. Inflation has been brought under tighter rein and the economy is functioning more efficiently than at any time during this century. In the next three years, almost $60 billion will come into the Brazilian Treasury, thanks to a carefully orchestrated sale of state owned assets. It is estimated that this figure will equal or exceed any short fall in the country’s balance of payments. 

 So while most other countries have yet to learn how to deal with the nuances of privatization, Brazil has become a most unlikely expert. Yet this makes their ultimate fall even harder.  The pool of government assets available for sale is becoming extremely limited, and the ongoing fire sale has failed to correct systemic economic distortions. Bloated bureaucracy, nepotistic civil services and continuing fraud by the government’s elite persist, although they are sugar coated by the temporary benefits provided by privatization. The country has only a few more years to eliminate these inefficiencies, or rampant inflation will again decimate the economy.  While proceeds from state sales have generally been put to good use, investment in the flawed system will be inadequate to prevent collapse once the sale ends. 

The poverty-stricken lower classes have essentially seen zero benefits from the past growth of the economy. About half of all Brazilians are black, and they make, on average, about half of what the whites make. In Brazil, nearly one-fifth of the population is illiterate. The country also has one of the world’s most disparate income distributions: 60% of the national wealth is possessed by one percent of the population, with maybe 50 percent of the population living in poverty. Since World War II, the purchasing power of Brazil’s minimum wage has been cut in half. Because of widespread inefficiency and corruption, only 8 percent of the government’s social spending reaches the poorest of the population. In Rio, poor families have become squatters on empty lots and in abandoned and partially completed housing complexes. Brazil’s underbelly is also being corroded by the spread of drug abuse and such diseases as AIDS, bubonic plague and cholera—a few good reason for a lot of crime.” ([9])



[1]  Cracking Crime in Brazil, (industrial security) James Wygand, Information Access Company 7-1-2000

[2]  Robert Young Pelton, The World’s Most Dangerous Places, 4th Edition.

[3]  Cracking Crime in Brazil, (industrial security) James Wygand, Information Access Company 7-1-2000  

[4] The Price of Justice, The Economist, September 18, 1999.

[5] The price of justice, The Economist, September 18,1999.

[6]  While there can be penalties accessed for “litigation in bad faith”, the law is almost never used or even addressed, especially against government agencies.

[7] E-Judge Hits the Streets, Justice Goes High Tech in Brazil, Antonio Brasil, ABCNews.com.

[8]  Rights groups criticize Brazil in probe of “dirty war” deaths. Jack Epstein, The Dallas Morning News, 7-3-1996

[9] Robert Young Pelton’s, The World’s Most Dangerous Places, Fourth Edition, HarperResource, 2000

 

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