Guns, God and fake news dominate Brazil’s presidential race
Dec 12, 2011 at 12:01 AMDec 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Brazil’s presidential election campaign of 2012 has become a battle for the control of the country’s economy.
Brazil now faces two seemingly incompatible challenges: that of a social revolution for greater political freedoms and the economic collapse of an already weak economy.
The country’s presidential election next year will be only the latest example of a global pattern that has made the world, particularly in the poor and underdeveloped world, increasingly uncomfortable with governments which allow and even encourage revolutions.
Some of those countries in the global South have begun to seek their own path after years of economic turmoil. Brazil, Latin America’s most developed capitalist country, as well as Brazil’s neighbor Peru, are currently showing signs of a political revolution, but their respective governments are still far from being on the same political or economic path.
The Brazilian government has responded, the past week or so, by arresting five mayors of small towns, who had been meeting to plan their communities’ budgets, which in some cases had been stolen from them, according to some reports.
The arrests, which followed the arrest of a small town mayor last week, is part of a series of investigations into corruption. The country’s biggest media empire, the Globo Network, suspended its Brazilian operations for a week following the arrest of several Globo Network reporters.
The corruption case against the detained mayors was based partly on the fact that, when one of the arrested mayors asked for the police to investigate a fellow mayor for stealing her tax money, the other mayor said, “Why not first examine me?”
Two of the arrested mayors were later released by the federal police and one was not held, and all of the detained mayors have denied allegations of any corruption and have claimed that they were merely taking part in political campaigns.
The Brazilian government has also begun to call for a major protest at the capital city of Brasilia and has placed an official ban on demonstrations. The Brazilian government had earlier allowed the peaceful protests of tens of thousands of citizens.
Police in the country have also begun to ban peaceful demonstrations by students, teachers, workers and union members, and have also begun a massive crackdown on social networks and internet cafes, which for weeks have been used to organize