Brazil in 2012, a retrospective
A quick five topic retrospective of a year that was dominated by a political scandal, minuscule economy growth, a virginity auction and a soap opera in the dump.
1 – Politics – After 7 years, the Supreme Court is concluding the investigation of Mensalão, a political scandal involving several leaders of the ruling party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT. They are accused of systematically corrupting congressmen and manipulate their votes. Some of them, including éminence grise José Dirceu, might face jail President Dilma Rousseff was one of the three Brazilians (the others were multi billionaire Eike Batista and Petrobras oil company president Graça Foster) included in the 100 most influential people list elaborated by Time magazine. Former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, still influential in national politics, is recovering from a cancer treatment.
2 – Economy – The country had a minimal GDP growth, only 1% (official estimates, early in the year, predicted 4,5%), despite claims by the president that Brazil was virtually isolated from the international financial mayhem. Banco Central, the equivalent of the American FED, reduced the interest rates to 7.25% per year, the lowest historical level. The federal government negotiated a 15% reduction in electricity bills for both homes and corporations. The government also reduced the taxes on new cars and home appliances.
3 – Sports – Corinthians, a popular soccer team from São Paulo, won its second World Championship, after defeating British Chelsea in Tokyo. Ricardo Teixeira, the powerful boss of the Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF), quit amid scandals after 23 years in power. Brazil women volleyball team got its second golden medal in a roll at the Olympic Games in London, after defeating the US. The country got a record number of 17 Olympic medals (3 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze), a meager result, considering the size of the country.
4 – Society – The Supreme Court allowed abortions of anencephalic babies. In the little city of Tupã, state of São Paulo, a judge celebrated the marriage of three individuals. Brazilian Catarina Migliorini auctioned her virginity on the web and became the talk of the town. Carminha (Adriana Esteves), de villain of “Avenida Brasil” soap opera, a rag-to-riches story with a waste dump as backdrop, was the woman the country loved to hate. Joaquim Barbosa became the first Black person leading the Supreme Court. Violence in the city of São Paulo grew dramatically and over 90 policemen were killed by organized criminals, death-squad-style.
5 – Deaths – TV hostess/personality Hebe Camargo, caustic humor writer and cartoonist Millôr Fernandes, multi-talented comedian and composer Chico Anysio and internationally acclaimed centenarian architect Oscar Niemeyer left the scene. To learn more about them, check these previous posts: Chico Anysio – the 10 best characters of the late comedian; Oscar Niemeyer, furniture designer; Communist Niemeyer’s churches and Niemeyer at 102.
I wish you all a fabulous 2013, the best year of your lives. And thanks for keep visiting Deep Brazil. I really appreciate your company.Tags: Economy, Politics, Soccer, Sports