Brazil: people react to Bolsonaro’s upcoming pension reform

Brazilians react to a new pension reform that President Jair Bolsonaro will present this week, which will push the age of retirement to 62 for women and 65 for men.

Brazilians mourn for Flamengo fire victim

Relatives and friends of Flamengo youth football player Samuel Thomas, 15, a victim of the fire at the Brazilian club’s training facility that killed 10 minors and left several injured on February 8, attend his funeral at Vila Rosali Cemetery, in the city of Sao Joao de Meriti, Brazil.

Brazilians mourn 10 young footballers killed in a fire

Brazilians mourn the deaths of 10 young footballers killed on Friday after a fire ripped through their youth training facility at Flamengo, the country’s most popular club. Brazilians expressed sadness and anger in this latest tragedy which could have been avoided.

Brazil’s Drug Gangs Are Prepared To Go To War Over Bolsonaro’s Gun Crackdown (HBO)

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, signed a temporary decree on Tuesday fulfilling a campaign promise to tackle the country’s epidemic of violence by making it easier for Brazilians to buy guns.

“I signed this decree, created by many upstanding people, so that at this first moment, upstanding citizens can have peace inside their homes,” Bolsonaro said at the signing ceremomy in the country’s capital, Brasília.

Bolsonaro, a conservative former Army captain, was sworn in as president on Jan. 1 after sweeping to power last year on a hard-line law-and-order platform, pledging to reduce the countrys record murder rate and booming trade in illegal drugs that fuels it.

On the main highway leading into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Federal Highway Patrol or PRF say they’re confiscating record numbers of illegal guns and drugs. The officers patrolling the road seized 18 tons of drugs last year — a more than 300-percent increase from the year before.

“It’s a traditional route for drug traffickers – not just for drugs, but also heavy arms,” Alcino Galvao da Silva, Unit Leader of the Federal Highway Patrol, told VICE News. “Machine guns, bullets, marijuana, and cocaine… It has grown quite a bit, especially in Rio de Janeiro.”

“Johnny,” as he asked VICE News to call him, has been dealing drugs for the Third Command drug gang since he was 16 years-old. Now at 28 he manages all the drugs corners in the neighborhood and isn’t afraid to defend them by force.

“I can tell you that today I’ve got 35 homicides,” “Johnny” told VICE News. “Fear? We don’t have fear. That’s what we’re here for. To kill and die. We’ll die, but die fighting. It’s our war motto: Die fighting.”

Bolsonaros plan to “give guns to good people,” and ramp up the military’s role by giving security forces more power to shoot and kill armed criminals isn’t getting the drug gangs to drop their guns. Third Command says their stockpilling weapons of war.

“He’s going to take the world into an urban war,” “Johnny” told VICE News. “Instead of us killing the Red Command we’re going to go after the guy who is in the police who listened to one of Bolsonaro’s orders.”

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Divided Brazilians react to far right Bolsonaro taking office

Divided Brazilians weigh in on Brazil’s new far right president Jair Bolsonaro who took office on January 1st.

Brazilians react to Lula’s failed prison release

Brazilians react a day after one judge’s order that could have freed imprisoned ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was shot down by another judge..

Why Young People Helped Elect A Far-Right Authoritarian In Brazil (HBO)

On Sunday, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency, putting an ultra-right wing authoritarian in charge of the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

His campaign was fueled by a growing movement of right-wing youth, who promoted him relentlessly on WhatsApp and other social media. They grew up under the center-left government of the Worker’s Party, which ruled Brazil from 2003 until 2016, until it effectively collapsed under the weight of economic crisis and political scandal — all of which was successfully exploited by the right.

That means they’re are also too young to remember the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985. Supporting military rule has been the centerpiece of Bolsonaro’s three-decade career in politics, and his young supporters subscribe to his version of history.

“I was born in 1997, so I didn’t live through it,” said Juan Gabriel Rodrigues Silva, a student and activist in Nova Iguaçu, a city north of Rio de Janeiro. “But when you ask normal people who lived their lives and worked, and weren’t out doing bullshit on the streets, all those people say it was the best period of their lives.”

Brazil’s military regime, with help from the United States, made a systematic effort to exterminate the left. It tightly censored the press and the arts, and it tortured, murdered, and exiled thousands. It also helped install and manage even bloodier dictatorships in Chile, Uruguay, and elsewhere in South America. Bolsonaro’s words echo the military regime to this day: One week before the election, he delivered a speech promising a “cleansing” of the left.

“I’m afraid. It makes me very apprehensive that the population doesn’t know it’s history,” said Lucio Bellentani, an autoworker who was arrested in 1972 for belonging to a union at a Volkswagen plant in São Paulo. Bellentani was imprisoned for two years and tortured repeatedly with electric shocks and beatings.

“I think this is worse than the coup in ’64,” Bellentani said. “Why? Because they are taking power through democratic means. They’re using the system they never wanted — using the instruments we fought for — to gain power.”

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Divided Brazilians react to Bolsonaro election win

Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro share their thoughts the day after the election of far right congressman Jair Bolsonaro as leader of South America’s biggest country; some welcome the much needed “change,” whilst others share their “sadness” over with the victory of the former army captain.