Brazil / by Michelle Ryan

Brazil’s former richest man, Eike Batista, was arrested and subsequently jailed under bribery charges, as part of the ongoing anti-corruption probe, Operation Car Wash. On 20 January, Teori Zavascki, the Supreme Court judge overseeing the Operation Car Wash investigation, died when his plane crashed into the sea. According to Attorney General Deltan Dallagnol, the probe is likely to double in size following the upcoming testimonies of former executives from construction firm Odebrecht. On 16 January Rolls-Royce announced that it would pay $25 million as part of a plea bargain for bribery and corruption charges. Prosecutor-General for Labour, Ronaldo Fleury, released a report condemning President Michel Temer’s proposed labour reforms. Brazil’s health ministry ordered 11.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine in an effort to combat the country’s worst outbreak since 2000. A riot in the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex prison in the Amazon lasted for 17 hours, resulting in the deaths of 56 people and the escape of 184 prisoners. More prison riots followed across Brazil from 2 January to 14 January. A mass shooting occurred at a New Year’s Eve party in Campinas, resulting in the deaths of 11 people. On 11 January, the Maracana stadium was broken into and looted. Brazil’s unemployment rate reached a new record high of 12 per cent, between October and December 2016. The Brazilian trade ministry stated that Brazil’s trade surplus in 2016, was the largest ever recorded at $47.7 billion. The central bank made an unexpectedly deep cut to the main interest rate in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

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