Brazil / by Alistair Galloway

The list of Brazilian politicians named in the ongoing Operation Car Wash corruption probe was leaked to the public, including figures such as former presidents and the current heads of Congress. On 30 March, Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of the lower house of the Brazilian Congress, was sentenced to prison for just over fifteen years under charges of corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion. Unions went on strike across Brazil in retaliation to impending pension reform that will raise the minimum age for retirement. According to a statement made on 11 March, current President Michel Temer and his family moved out of their official residence due to fears of ghosts. On 1 March, Argentina requested – and received – an explanation from Brazil’s government for allowing the British RAF to make flights from the Falkland Islands to Brazilian airports since 2015. An investigation by the federal police on 17 March resulted in the release of reports detailing corruption and unhygienic practices in the Brazilian meat industry, causing numerous countries to issue bans on Brazilian meat. As of 16 March, yellow fever cases were on the rise on Brazil, with 137 casualties. A cell phone video released on 3 March showed the beating and murder of a transgender woman on the streets of Sao Paulo, part of a recent trend in anti-trans violence. According to data released on 28 March, violence rose significantly in Sao Paulo in February 2017 when compared to last year. On 2 March, Brazilian police discovered an escape tunnel leading from a high security prison in Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil’s economic outlook continues to look poor following data released on 7 and 31 March showing a further fall in economic activity from late 2016 to early 2017. The central bank of Brazil announced possible plans to increase interest rate cuts further on 30 March. However, employment rose for the first time in nearly two years in February. Petrobras, the state run oil company, managed to reverse its losses in the fourth quarter of 2016 according to data released on 21 March. On 16 March, an auction of Brazilian airports raised 1.2 billion USD through private buyers. 

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