Context of Brazil

Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil; Brazilian Portuguese: [bɾaˈziw] (listen)), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest country in South America and in Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3,300,000 sq mi) and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the only country in the Americas to have Portuguese as an official language. It is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass im...Read more

Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil; Brazilian Portuguese: [bɾaˈziw] (listen)), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest country in South America and in Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3,300,000 sq mi) and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the only country in the Americas to have Portuguese as an official language. It is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world, and the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other countries and territories in South America except Ecuador and Chile and covers roughly half of the continent's land area. Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage positions Brazil at number one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest, as environmental degradation through processes like deforestation has direct impacts on global issues like climate change and biodiversity loss.

The territory which would become known as Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the discovered land for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808 when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. Slavery was abolished in 1888. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A major non-NATO ally of the United States, Brazil is a regional and middle power, and is also classified as an emerging power. Categorised as a developing country with a high Human Development Index, Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy, having the twelfth largest GDP in the world by nominal, and ninth by PPP measures, the largest in Latin America. As an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, Brazil has the largest share of global wealth in South America and it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. However, the country retains noticeable corruption, crime and social inequality. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

More about Brazil

Basic information
  • Currency Brazilian real
  • Native name Brasil
  • Calling code +55
  • Internet domain .br
  • Mains voltage 220V/60Hz
  • Democracy index 6.92
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 213317639
  • Area 8515767
  • Driving side right
  • Pre-Cabraline era
    Rock art at Serra da Capivara National Park, one of the largest and oldest concentrations of prehistoric sites in the Americas[1]

    Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years.[2][3] The earliest pottery...Read more

    Pre-Cabraline era
    Rock art at Serra da Capivara National Park, one of the largest and oldest concentrations of prehistoric sites in the Americas[1]

    Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years.[2][3] The earliest pottery ever found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago (6000 BC). The pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture.[4] The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from AD 400 to 1400, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, and complex social formations such as chiefdoms.[5]

    Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people,[6] mostly semi-nomadic, who subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture. The indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups (e.g., the Tupis, Guaranis, Gês, and Arawaks). The Tupi people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, and there were also many subdivisions of the other groups.[7]

    Before the arrival of the Europeans, the boundaries between these groups and their subgroups were marked by wars that arose from differences in culture, language and moral beliefs.[8] These wars also involved large-scale military actions on land and water, with cannibalistic rituals on prisoners of war.[9][10] While heredity had some weight, leadership was a status more won over time than assigned in succession ceremonies and conventions.[8] Slavery among the indigenous groups had a different meaning than it had for Europeans, since it originated from a diverse socioeconomic organization, in which asymmetries were translated into kinship relations.[11]

    Portuguese colonization
    Pedro Álvares Cabral landing in Porto Seguro in 1500, ushering in more than 300 years of Portuguese rule
    Tiradentes, who led the separatist movement Inconfidência Mineira, was sentenced to death in 1792.
    Execution of the Punishment of the Whip by Jean-Baptiste Debret. Nearly 5 million enslaved Africans were imported to Brazil during the Atlantic slave trade, more than any country.[12]

    Following the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, the land now called Brazil was claimed for the Portuguese Empire on 22 April 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral.[13] The Portuguese encountered indigenous peoples divided into several ethnic societies, most of whom spoke languages of the Tupi–Guarani family and fought among themselves.[14] Though the first settlement was founded in 1532, colonization effectively began in 1534, when King John III of Portugal divided the territory into the fifteen private and autonomous captaincies.[15][16]

    However, the decentralized and unorganized tendencies of the captaincies proved problematic, and in 1549 the Portuguese king restructured them into the Governorate General of Brazil in the city of Salvador, which became the capital of a single and centralized Portuguese colony in South America.[16][17] In the first two centuries of colonization, Indigenous and European groups lived in constant war, establishing opportunistic alliances in order to gain advantages against each other.[18][19][20][21]

    By the mid-16th century, cane sugar had become Brazil's most important export,[14][22] while slaves purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa in the slave market of Western Africa[23] (not only those from Portuguese allies of their colonies in Angola and Mozambique), had become its largest import,[24][25] to cope with sugarcane plantations, due to increasing international demand for Brazilian sugar.[26][27] Brazil received more than 2.8 million slaves from Africa between the years of 1500 to 1800.[28]

    By the end of the 17th century, sugarcane exports began to decline[29] and the discovery of gold by bandeirantes in the 1690s would become the new backbone of the colony's economy, fostering a gold rush[30] which attracted thousands of new settlers to Brazil from Portugal and all Portuguese colonies around the world.[31] This increased level of immigration in turn caused some conflicts between newcomers and old settlers.[32]

    Portuguese expeditions known as bandeiras gradually expanded Brazil's original colonial frontiers in South America to its approximately current borders.[33][34] In this era other European powers tried to colonize parts of Brazil, in incursions that the Portuguese had to fight, notably the French in Rio during the 1560s, in Maranhão during the 1610s, and the Dutch in Bahia and Pernambuco, during the Dutch–Portuguese War, after the end of Iberian Union.[35]

    The Portuguese colonial administration in Brazil had two objectives that would ensure colonial order and the monopoly of Portugal's wealthiest and largest colony: to keep under control and eradicate all forms of slave rebellion and resistance, such as the Quilombo of Palmares,[36] and to repress all movements for autonomy or independence, such as the Minas Gerais Conspiracy.[37]

    Elevation to kingdom
    The Acclamation of King João VI of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves in Rio de Janeiro, 6 February 1818

    In late 1807, Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened the security of continental Portugal, causing Prince Regent John, in the name of Queen Maria I, to move the royal court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.[38] There they established some of Brazil's first financial institutions, such as its local stock exchanges[39] and its National Bank, additionally ending the Portuguese monopoly on Brazilian trade and opening Brazil's ports to other nations. In 1809, in retaliation for being forced into exile, the Prince Regent ordered the conquest of French Guiana.[40]

    With the end of the Peninsular War in 1814, the courts of Europe demanded that Queen Maria I and Prince Regent John return to Portugal, deeming it unfit for the head of an ancient European monarchy to reside in a colony. In 1815, to justify continuing to live in Brazil, where the royal court had thrived for six years, the Crown established the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, thus creating a pluricontinental transatlantic monarchic state.[41] However, the leadership in Portugal, resentful of the new status of its larger colony, continued to demand the return of the court to Lisbon (see Liberal Revolution of 1820). In 1821, acceding to the demands of revolutionaries who had taken the city of Porto,[42] John VI departed for Lisbon. There he swore an oath to the new constitution, leaving his son, Prince Pedro de Alcântara, as Regent of the Kingdom of Brazil.[43]

    Independent empire
    Declaration of the Brazilian independence by Prince Pedro (later Emperor Pedro I) on 7 September 1822

    Tensions between Portuguese and Brazilians increased and the Portuguese Cortes, guided by the new political regime imposed by the Liberal Revolution, tried to re-establish Brazil as a colony.[44] The Brazilians refused to yield, and Prince Pedro decided to stand with them, declaring the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822.[45] A month later, Prince Pedro was declared the first Emperor of Brazil, with the royal title of Dom Pedro I, resulting in the founding of the Empire of Brazil.[46]

    The Brazilian War of Independence, which had already begun along this process, spread through the northern, northeastern regions and in the Cisplatina province.[47] The last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on 8 March 1824;[48] Portugal officially recognized Brazilian independence on 29 August 1825.[49]

    On 7 April 1831, worn down by years of administrative turmoil and political dissent with both liberal and conservative sides of politics, including an attempt of republican secession[50] and unreconciled to the way that absolutists in Portugal had given in the succession of King John VI, Pedro I departed for Portugal to reclaim his daughter's crown after abdicating the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who thus became the Empire's second monarch, with the royal title of Dom Pedro II).[51]

    Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil between 1831 and 1889

    As the new Emperor could not exert his constitutional powers until he came of age, a regency was set up by the National Assembly.[52] In the absence of a charismatic figure who could represent a moderate face of power, during this period a series of localized rebellions took place, such as the Cabanagem in Grão-Pará, the Malê Revolt in Salvador, the Balaiada (Maranhão), the Sabinada (Bahia), and the Ragamuffin War, which began in Rio Grande do Sul and was supported by Giuseppe Garibaldi. These emerged from the provinces' dissatisfaction with the central power, coupled with old and latent social tensions peculiar to a vast, slaveholding and newly independent nation state.[53] This period of internal political and social upheaval, which included the Praieira revolt in Pernambuco, was overcome only at the end of the 1840s, years after the end of the regency, which occurred with the premature coronation of Pedro II in 1841.[54]

    During the last phase of the monarchy, internal political debate centered on the issue of slavery. The Atlantic slave trade was abandoned in 1850,[55] as a result of the British Aberdeen Act and the Eusébio de Queirós Law, but only in May 1888, after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for an ethical and legal dismantling of slavery in the country, was the institution formally abolished with the approval of the Golden Law.[56]

    The foreign-affairs policies of the monarchy dealt with issues with the countries of the Southern Cone with whom Brazil had borders. Long after the Cisplatine War that resulted in the independence of Uruguay,[57] Brazil won three international wars during the 58-year reign of Pedro II. These were the Platine War, the Uruguayan War and the devastating Paraguayan War, the largest war effort in Brazilian history.[58][59]

    Although there was no desire among the majority of Brazilians to change the country's form of government,[60] on 15 November 1889, in disagreement with the majority of the Imperial Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup.[61] A few days later, the national flag was replaced with a new design that included the national motto "Ordem e Progresso", influenced by positivism. 15 November is now Republic Day, a national holiday.[62]

    Early republic
    Proclamation of the Republic, 1893, oil on canvas by Benedito Calixto
    Getúlio Vargas (center) during the Revolution of 1930
    Brazilian soldiers in Massarosa, Italy, September 1944. Brazilian Expeditionary Force was the largest Latin American military force in World War II.

    The early republican government was a military dictatorship, with the army dominating affairs both in Rio de Janeiro and in the states. Freedom of the press disappeared and elections were controlled by those in power.[63] Not until 1894, following an economic crisis and a military one, did civilians take power, remaining there until October 1930.[64][65][66]

    If in relation to its foreign policy, the country in this first republican period maintained a relative balance characterized by a success in resolving border disputes with neighboring countries,[67] only broken by the Acre War (1899–1902) and its involvement in World War I (1914–1918),[68][69][70] followed by a failed attempt to exert a prominent role in the League of Nations;[71] Internally, from the crisis of Encilhamento[72][73][74] and the Navy Revolts,[75] a prolonged cycle of financial, political and social instability began until the 1920s, keeping the country besieged by various rebellions, both civilian[76][77][78] and military.[79][80][81]

    Little by little, a cycle of general instability sparked by these crises undermined the regime to such an extent that in the wake of the murder of his running mate, the defeated opposition presidential candidate Getúlio Vargas, supported by most of the military, successfully led the Revolution of 1930.[82][83] Vargas and the military were supposed to assume power temporarily, but instead closed down Congress, extinguished the Constitution, ruled with emergency powers and replaced the states' governors with his own supporters.[84][85]

    In the 1930s, three failed attempts to remove Vargas and his supporters from power occurred. The first was the Constitutionalist Revolution in 1932, led by the São Paulo's oligarchy. The second was a Communist uprising in November 1935, and the last one a putsch attempt by local fascists in May 1938.[86][87][88] The 1935 uprising created a security crisis in which Congress transferred more power to the executive branch. The 1937 coup d'état resulted in the cancellation of the 1938 election and formalized Vargas as dictator, beginning the Estado Novo era. During this period, government brutality and censorship of the press increased.[89]

    Throughout World War II, Brazil remained neutral until August 1942, when the country suffered retaliation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in a strategic dispute over the South Atlantic, and, therefore, entered the war on the allied side.[90][91][92] In addition to its participation in the battle of the Atlantic, Brazil also sent an expeditionary force to fight in the Italian campaign.[93]

    With the Allied victory in 1945 and the end of the fascist regimes in Europe, Vargas's position became unsustainable and he was swiftly overthrown in another military coup, with democracy "reinstated" by the same army that had ended it 15 years earlier.[94] Vargas committed suicide in August 1954 amid a political crisis, after having returned to power by election in 1950.[95][96]

    Contemporary era
    Construction of the building of National Congress of Brazil in Brasília, the new capital, 1959, during the Juscelino Kubitschek administration
    M41s along the Avenida Presidente Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, in April 1968, during the military dictatorship

    Several brief interim governments followed Vargas's suicide.[97] Juscelino Kubitschek became president in 1956 and assumed a conciliatory posture towards the political opposition that allowed him to govern without major crises.[98] The economy and industrial sector grew remarkably,[99] but his greatest achievement was the construction of the new capital city of Brasília, inaugurated in 1960.[100] Kubitschek's successor, Jânio Quadros, resigned in 1961 less than a year after taking office.[101] His vice-president, João Goulart, assumed the presidency, but aroused strong political opposition[102] and was deposed in April 1964 by a coup that resulted in a military dictatorship.[103]

    The new regime was intended to be transitory[104] but gradually closed in on itself and became a full dictatorship with the promulgation of the Fifth Institutional Act in 1968.[105] Oppression was not limited to those who resorted to guerrilla tactics to fight the regime, but also reached institutional opponents, artists, journalists and other members of civil society,[106][107] inside and outside the country through the infamous "Operation Condor".[108][109] Like other brutal authoritarian regimes, due to an economic boom, known as the "economic miracle", the regime reached a peak in popularity in the early 1970s.[110] Slowly, however, the wear and tear of years of dictatorial power that had not slowed the repression, even after the defeat of the leftist guerrillas,[111] plus the inability to deal with the economic crises of the period and popular pressure, made an opening policy inevitable, which from the regime side was led by Generals Ernesto Geisel and Golbery do Couto e Silva.[112] With the enactment of the Amnesty Law in 1979, Brazil began a slow return to democracy, which was completed during the 1980s.[54]

    Civilians returned to power in 1985 when José Sarney assumed the presidency. He became unpopular during his tenure through failure to control the economic crisis and hyperinflation he inherited from the military regime.[113] Sarney's unsuccessful government led to the election in 1989 of the almost-unknown Fernando Collor, who was subsequently impeached by the National Congress in 1992.[114] Collor was succeeded by his vice-president, Itamar Franco, who appointed Fernando Henrique Cardoso Minister of Finance. In 1994, Cardoso produced a highly successful Plano Real,[115] that, after decades of failed economic plans made by previous governments attempting to curb hyperinflation, finally stabilized the Brazilian economy.[116][117] Cardoso won the 1994 election, and again in 1998.[118]

    The peaceful transition of power from Cardoso to his main opposition leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006), was seen as proof that Brazil had achieved a long-sought political stability.[119][120] However, sparked by indignation and frustrations accumulated over decades from corruption, police brutality, inefficiencies of the political establishment and public service, numerous peaceful protests erupted in Brazil from the middle of first term of Dilma Rousseff, who had succeeded Lula after winning election in 2010 and again in 2014 by narrow margins.[121][122]

    Ulysses Guimarães holding the Constitution of 1988 in his hands

    Rousseff was impeached by the Brazilian Congress in 2016, halfway into her second term,[123][124] and replaced by her Vice-president Michel Temer, who assumed full presidential powers after Rousseff's impeachment was accepted on 31 August. Large street protests for and against her took place during the impeachment process.[125] The charges against her were fueled by political and economic crises along with evidence of involvement with politicians (from all the primary political parties) in several bribery and tax evasion schemes.[citation needed] In 2017, the Supreme Court requested the investigation of 71 Brazilian lawmakers and nine ministers of President Michel Temer's cabinet who were allegedly linked to the Petrobras corruption scandal.[126] President Temer himself was also accused of corruption.[127] According to a 2018 poll, 62% of the population said that corruption was Brazil's biggest problem.[128]

    In the fiercely disputed 2018 elections, the controversial conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) was elected president, winning in the second round Fernando Haddad, of the Workers Party (PT), with the support of 55.13% of the valid votes.[129] In the early 2020s, Brazil became one of the hardest hit countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving the second-highest death toll worldwide after the United States.[130] Experts have largely blamed the situation on the leadership of President Bolsonaro, who throughout the pandemic has repeatedly downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and dissuaded states and cities from enforcing quarantine measures, prioritizing the nation's economy.[130][131][132]

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Ribeiro (2004), O Encilhamento: anatomia de uma bolha brasileira, Bovespa, ISBN 978-85-904019-1-9 ^ Martins, Hélio L (1997), A Revolta da Armada, BibliEx ^ Moniz, Edmundo (1984), Canudos: a luta pela terra, Global ^ Sevcenko, Nicolau (2010), A Revolta da Vacina, Cosac Naify, ISBN 978-85-7503-868-0 ^ de Moura, Aureliano P (2003), Contestado: a guerra cabocla, Biblioteca do Exército ^ Thompson, Arthur (1934), Guerra civil do Brazil de 1893–1895, Ravaro ^ Roland, Maria Inês (2000), A Revolta da Chibata, Saraiva, ISBN 978-85-02-03095-4 ^ Forjaz, Maria CS (1977), Tenentismo e politica, Paz e Terra ^ Levine; Robert M. & Crocitti; John J. The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Duke University Press 1999, IV – The Vargas Era ^ Keen, Benjamin / Haynes, Kate A History of Latin America; Volume 2, Waldsworth Cengage Learning 2004, pp. 356–57 ^ McCann; Frank D. Soldiers of the Patria: A History of the Brazilian Army, 1889–1937, Stanford University Press 2004, p. 303 ISBN 0-8047-3222-1 ^ Ibidem Williams 2001 ^ E. Bradford Burns; A History of Brazil Columbia University Press 1993 p. 352 ISBN 978-0-231-07955-6 ^ Dulles, John W.F. Anarchists and Communists in Brazil, 1900–1935 University of Texas Press 2012 ISBN 0-292-74076-X ^ Frank M. Colby, Allen L. Churchill, Herbert T. Wade & Frank H. Vizetelly; The New international year book Dodd, Mead & Co. 1989, p. 102 "The Fascist Revolt" ^ Bourne, Richard Getulio Vargas of Brazil, 1883–1954 C. Knight 1974, p. 77 ^ Scheina, Robert L. Latin America's Wars Vol.II: The Age of the Professional Soldier, 1900–2001. Potomac Books, 2003 ISBN 1-57488-452-2 Part 9; Ch. 17 – World War II, Brazil, and Mexico, 1942–45 ^ Thomas M. Leonard & John F. Bratzel; Latin America during World War II Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. 2007 p. 150 ^ Mónica Hirst & Andrew Hurrell; The United States and Brazil: A Long Road of Unmet Expectations, Taylor & Francis Books 2005 ISBN 0-415-95066-X pp. 4–5 ^ Castro, Celso; Izecksohn, Vitor; Kraay, Hendrik (2004), Nova história militar brasileira, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, pp. 13–14, ISBN 978-85-225-0496-1 ^ McCann 2004, p. 441 ^ Roett; Riordan Brazil: Politics in a Patrimonial Society, GreenWood Publishing Group 1999, pp. 106–08 ISBN 0-275-95899-X ^ Keen & Haynes 2004, pp. 361–62 ^ Skidmore, p. 201 ^ Skidmore, pp. 202–203 ^ Skidmore, p. 204 ^ Skidmore, pp. 204–205 ^ Skidmore, pp. 209–210 ^ Skidmore, p. 210 ^ Fausto (2005), p. 397 ^ Gaspari, A Ditadura Envergonhada, pp. 141–42. ^ Gaspari, A Ditadura Envergonhada, p. 35. ^ Crocitti & Vallance (2012), p. 395, last paragraph. ^ Richard Young, Odile Cisneros "Historical Dictionary of Latin American Literature and Theater" Scare Crow Press 2011, p. 224, 2nd § View on Google Books ^ Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen & Amaya Úbeda de Torres "The Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Case Law and Commentary" Oxford University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-19-958878-7 p. 299 View on Google Books ^ Crocitti & Vallance (2012), p. 396. ^ Crocitti & Vallance (2012), p. 395–97. ^ Bradford Burns 1993, p. 457 ^ Fausto (1999), Chapter 6 "The military government and the transition to democracy (1964–1984)". ^ Fausto (2005), pp. 464–65. ^ Fausto (2005), pp. 465, 475. ^ Skidmore, p. 311. ^ Fausto (1999), Epilogue. ^ Fausto (2005), p. 482. ^ Fausto (2005), p. 474. ^ Fausto (2005), p. 502. ^ Zirin, 2014. Chapter 3 ^ "Global protest grows as citizens lose faith in politics and the State" article on "the Guardian" ^ Zirin, 2014. Chapter 7 & Conclusion. ^ Jonathan Watts & Donna Bowater. "Dilma Rousseff impeached by Brazilian senate". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2016. ^ Article of New York Times about the denouement of Rousseff's impeachment process. ^ Article in Financial Times (18 April 2016) about the political ambiance in Brazil on the day vote for the Deputies chamber decision about open an impeachment procedure against President Dilma. 2nd to 4th paragraph. ^ "Brazil supreme court judge orders probe into nine ministers – paper". Reuters. 11 April 2017. ^ "President Michel Temer of Brazil Is Charged With Corruption". The New York Times. 26 June 2017. ^ "A scary election in Brazil". The Economist. Retrieved 1 October 2018. ^ "Jair Bolsonaro é eleito presidente do Brasil". ^ a b Guerin, Orla (9 July 2021). "Covid-19 pandemic: 'Everything you should not do, Brazil has done'". BBC News. Brasília: BBC. Retrieved 2 August 2021. ^ Phillips, Tom (10 April 2021). "Bolsonaro's 'genocidal' Covid response has led to Brazilian catastrophe, Dilma Rousseff says". The Guardian. Rio de Janeiro: Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 2 August 2021. ^ "Covid: Brazil's Bolsonaro calls governors 'tyrants' over lockdowns". BBC News. BBC. 22 March 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
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Stay safe
  • Stay safe
    Travel Warning  WARNING: Traveling to the border area with Venezuela and Colombia (with the exception of the Brazilian city of Tabatinga at the Colombian border) is not safe due to threats of violence and kidnapping by drug traffickers and armed groups....Read more
    Stay safe
    Travel Warning  WARNING: Traveling to the border area with Venezuela and Colombia (with the exception of the Brazilian city of Tabatinga at the Colombian border) is not safe due to threats of violence and kidnapping by drug traffickers and armed groups. A high degree of caution is also recommended when traveling to Rio de Janeiro due to the high levels of crime.
    Government travel advisories
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    (Information last updated 27 Apr 2022)
    “ O Brasil não é para principiantes.
    "Brazil's not for beginners." ”

    —Tom Jobim, Brazilian musician

    By law, everyone must carry a photo ID at all times. For a foreigner, this means your passport. However, the police will mostly be pragmatic and accept a plastified color photocopy. Not carrying a photo ID can lead to problems and delays if stopped by police or in case of a medical emergency.

    Crime  Cidade de Deus favela in Rio, where the eponymous movie was set

    Brazil is one of the most criminalised countries in the world; therefore, the crime rate is high. Even though the homicide rate fell by more than 10% in 2018, the country still has one of the highest rates in the world. Pick-pocketing and theft are rampant, but perhaps what is more scary to visitors - and also depressingly common - are robberies at gunpoint, which target both locals and tourists. There are cases of armed criminals attacking hotels (from guesthouses to luxurious resorts) and even package tour buses, and armed robberies in crowded areas at plain daylight.

    Most visitors to Brazil have trips without any incidents, and a few precautions can drastically reduce the likelihood of being victim of crime. Even with those precautions, though, the chance of a bad incident may still not be negligible. Check the individual city/area articles for advice on specific cities or places. Generally speaking, with exception of a few prosperous countryside areas and smaller towns (mostly in the southern part of the country), most areas in Brazil aren't extremely safe, so it is advisable to avoid showing off expensive possessions in public areas, to avoid deserted streets during the night, and especially, to avoid poor, run-down towns or neighbourhoods. There are cases of Brazilians or tourists being shot down without warning when entering certain neighbourhoods, either in a car or on foot. If you want to visit a favela (slum neighbourhood) or indigenous village, use a licensed, reputable tour service.

    Intercity buses are generally safe, but in large cities, intercity bus terminals are often located in run-down, unsafe areas of the city, so it is prudent to take a taxi to and from the terminal rather than walk to or from it. In touristy places, tourists are often seen as "preferred prey" for criminals, so it is better to avoid looking like a tourist. For example, avoid being seen carrying a large camera or guidebook (leave them in a backpack and use them discreetly only when necessary), or dressing in a way dramatically different from the locals. It is perfectly fine to sometimes stop locals to ask questions, but avoid looking clueless and vulnerable when in public.

    Emergencies related to crime can be reported to toll-free number 190. Brazil has five police forces, one for each different purpose. Each state has a Military Police (Polícia Militar, often abbreviated as PME*, where * is the abbreviation of the state. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brigada Militar, abbreviated as BMRS), which is responsible for ostensive policing, and a Civil Police (Polícia Civil, often abbreviated as PCE*, where * is the abbreviation of the state.), which deals with investigations. In state and federal highways, road patrol is handled by the State Highway Police (Polícia Rodoviária Estadual) and the Federal Highway Police (Polícia Rodoviária Federal). Border control, security of ports and airports, and interstate crimes are handled by the Federal Police (Polícia Federal). Many municipalities in Brazil also have a Municipal Guard (Guarda Municipal), which is responsible for the security of public parks, city government buildings and city public schools.

    Road safety

    Murder is probably the top fear of visitors to Brazil, but traffic-related deaths are actually nearly as common as murders - in fact, the chance of a road fatality in Brazil is comparable to countries with poor road safety reputation, like Malaysia or Vietnam. This may come as a surprise as the traffic in Brazil, especially in large cities, appears to be relatively well-organised compared to these countries. However, this apparent sense of safety is where the danger lurks - Brazil has a large share of irresponsible drivers, who defy speed limits, drive under the influence of alcohol, and sometimes ignore traffic lights. Therefore, always keep your eyes open when crossing the road, even when the pedestrian light is green and the cars have stopped - you never know when a motorbike will pop up from between two cars.

    In certain parts of the country, especially in the northern part, roads tend to be poor-maintained, and enforcement of traffic regulations tend to be lax. Although sometimes unavoidable, it is worthwhile to re-consider taking very long road trips inside the country when there is the option of taking a plane instead.

    Natural hazards

    As Brazil is a very large country and has a wide geographical and climatic diversity, parts of the country can be affected by natural disasters.

    Floods and landslides

    In the Amazon, the rainy season occurs between December and May, bringing torrential rains and frequent flooding in these regions, which can make the highways (which are not paved) a real quagmire impossible to transit. However, it can still be a good time to visit some of the well-populated and tourist-oriented areas and, except in unusually strong floods, you can still see the strong waterfalls, igapós and other attractions in the forest that can make an interesting moment to visit.

    Floods in the semi-arid Sertão, in the inland of the Northeast region, are rare, so you would be unlucky to find them. However, if you are planning to visit a city in the Sertão and the area is flooded, you should reconsider. The terrain is flat, so the water can take weeks to drain, leaving the land swampy.

    The rainiest period in the Central West is generally around the summer months, from early October to April. Some cities can have points of flooding. On the northeastern coast and in the Southeast region of the country, including Salvador, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, the rainiest period is summer months. Torrential rains in the region can cause floods and catastrophic landslides, including in tourist areas. In São Paulo, as the city is cut by the rivers Tietê and Pinheiros and the soil is impermeable, making the water slow to drain. In mountainous areas in the southeast of the country, landslides can disrupt roads and cause damage.


    As Brazil is located in the center of the South American plate, Brazil does not usually have earthquakes of great intensity and many of them are imperceptible by the population (below 3.0 degrees on the Richter scale).


    Brazil is a difficult country for hurricanes reach, as wind shear is rare in countries close to the Equator and the temperature of the ocean reaches just 26º C on the northeast coast. The only tropical storm that has ever occurred in Brazil was Hurricane Catarina, in 2004, which hit the coast of the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Even so, cases like this are very rare in Brazil.


    The Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, the center and south of the state of Paraná and the south of the state of São Paulo are part of the South America Tornado Corridor, the second most tornado-prone area in the world (behind the United States Tornado Alley). Monitor local media notices and if you see that the sky is dark, the light take on a greenish-yellow cast or a loud sound that sounds like a freight train, this could be an indication of a tornado. Find shelter immediately.

    Refer to the tornado safety article for analysis of the issues here.


    Low humidity during the dry season in the Pantanal, in the Brazilian Central West (including the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and in Brasília) between May and October can lead to forest fires. If you have breathing problems and are visiting these areas, it is recommended to monitor information from the local media and avoid the areas of fires.


    Demonstrations and political protests are common in Brazil and are best avoided by tourists, as these demonstrations can sometimes become violent and end in clashes with the Military Police, especially when approaching city, state or federal government buildings. The majority of popular demonstrations usually take place in the capitals such as São Paulo (in places like Largo da Batata, Avenida Paulista and Praça da Sé), Rio de Janeiro (Cinelândia and Copacabana Beach), Brasília (Eixo Monumental and Esplanada dos Ministérios) or Porto Alegre (Esquina Democrática and the Historic District).

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