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Pat Ray M Dagapioso October 10, 2009

Prof. T. Barcenas POSC 113

Explanatory Notes

1. Political Culture

a. Cultural Traditions, Values, and Attitudes

i. Identify 3 dominant political traditions, values, attitudes adhered to by the


Brazil’s significant political culture can be summarized as, lack of political

party tradition, political clientilism, and coronelismo. According to the Country

Study: Brazil, Many aspects of Brazil's political system may be explained by its

political culture (see Glossary), the origins of which may be found in traditional rural

society during the colonial and independence periods through 1930. This political

culture evolved into three styles of politics. Under the more traditional style of

politics, coronelismo, the local coronel (colonel), in alliance with other large

farmers, controlled the votes of rural workers and their families. The local political

chiefs in turn exchanged votes with politicians at the state level in return for political

appointments and public works in their municipalities (municípios ).

Reis (1996: 146), on the other hand, raised that Brazil’s political elites rougly

30% of them knew that the political elites themselves had lack of party traditions

and 9% of the bureaucrats interviewed had responded that political clientilism

existed yet, does not present as a tough problem.

b. Ideological Orientation

i. What is the general reigning political ideology adhered by the political


The Brazilian Political system is adhering a democratic state. The seventh

and current Brazilian Constitution, it was promulgated on October 5, 1988 after a

two-year process in which it was written from scratch by a Constitutional Congress

elected in 1986. Brazil’s new constitution shows that democracy in the country is

strengthened by the newly formed constitution. It appears as a reaction to the

period of military dictatorship, seeking to guarantee all manner of rights and

restricting the state's ability to limit freedom, to punish offences and to regulate

individual life. On the other hand, it did not provide clear rules for state reform and

kept the economic regulation of the country intact. In the following years, especially

from 1995 onwards, this constitution had to be amended many times to get rid of

obsolete, contradictory or unclear provisions (but also to accommodate the

economic reforms conducted by the government, for which such amendments have

been sometimes criticised). As of January 2009 this Constitution has been

amended 57 times.1

ii. Identify 2 major operating principles of this reigning ideology.

Brazil Federal Constitution. Date Retrieved: September 30, 2009.

The two major operating principles of democracy in Brazil are the institution

of liberal values in the state such as, adherence to human rights, and the role of

state in the economy. According to the Title 1, Article 4 of the Brazilian constitution:

The international relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil are governed by the

following principles: national independence; prevalence of human rights; self-

determination of the peoples; and non-intervention, among others.

c. Role Differentiation and Specialization Focused on the Local Government Units

i. Identify 2 local governmental units

The two prominent administrative distinctions in Brazil are the states and the


The Federative Republic of Brazil is a union of twenty-six estados ("states";

singular estado) and one district, the Distrito Federal ("Federal District") which

contains the capital city, Brasília. States are generally based on historical,

conventional borders and have developed throughout the centuries; though some

boundaries are arbitrary. The federal district is not a state on its right, but shares

some characteristics of a state and some of a municipality.

The municipalities of Brazil are administrative divisions of the states of

Brazil. At present, Brazil has 5,564 municipalities, making the average municipality

population 34,361.2 The average state in Brazil has 214 municipalities. Each

Brazil Federal Constitution. Date Retrieved: September 30, 2009.

municipality has an autonomous local government, comprising a mayor and a

legislative body elected directly by their people, that collects taxes and also

receives funds from the State and Union government. [1] However, municipal

governments have no judicial power, and courts are only organised at the State or

Union level. A subdivision of the State judiciary, or comarca, can either correspond

to an individual municipality or encompass several municipalities.

Municipalities can be split or merged to form new municipalities within the

borders of the State, if the people of the involved municpalities express a desire to

do so in a plebiscite. However, these must abide by the Federal Constitution, and

forming exclaves or seceding from the State or Union is expressly forbidden.[

ii. Identify and specify 2 major offices and 2 major occupants

iii. Identify specifically 2 major changes that took place in the national/local

government units: in terms of elections, charter change, coup d’etat.

Two major offices in the state are the governor and the vice governor. On

the other hand, it is the mayors and vice mayors who takes care of the cities and


Until 1994 state governors and vice governors were elected to one four-year

term, taking office on January 1 following their election. In 1998 those elected in

1994 may seek one consecutive second term. State deputies are also elected to

four-year terms but are not restricted to one term. Governors have state cabinets,

and their executive branch is organized in a manner similar to the federal executive

branch. Likewise, state assemblies organize their legislative process like that of

Congress. After 1988 state assemblies lost their salary autonomy; state deputies

may receive up to 75 percent of the salary of a federal deputy.

State governments are responsible for maintaining state highway systems,

low-cost housing programs, public infrastructure, telephone companies, and transit

police. Both state and municipal governments are responsible for public primary

and secondary schools and public hospitals. State tax revenues are concentrated

in sales taxes. State governments are allowed to operate state financial institutions,

most of which are a constant problem for the Central Bank because they run heavy

deficits, especially in election years. In 1995 the Central Bank intervened in some

of the state banks with the worst deficits (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, and

Mato Grosso) and sought to privatize others. In October 1996, Brazil had 5,581

municipalities, of which more than 15 percent had populations under 5,000. The

municipal taxing authority is concentrated on property and service taxes.

Mayors and vice mayors must be at least twenty-one years of age and are

elected to one four-year term. Reelection is now permitted as of the year 2000. City

council members must be at least eighteen years of age and are elected to

renewable four-year terms under a proportional representation system

d. Political Socialization

i. Identify 3 major agencies of political socialization

ii. What is the content of each of these agencies in learning about parties,

governments and political processes?

The three major agents of political socialization in Italy are schools, religion,

and the family.

According to the Country Study: Brazil (1998), Brazilians place high value on

family and kinship relations. These are especially valued in an environment in

which authorities, on the one hand, and one's subordinates, on the other, are

thought to be untrustworthy. Most Brazilians are genuinely fond of children and are

attached to their parents, and they cultivate a wide circle of aunts, uncles, and

cousins. In the past, relationships with godchildren, godparents, and ritual co-

parents extended these networks, but they are losing their importance in modern

urban society.

Further, education was also a mainstream socializing agent in Brazil. As in

other areas of social life, education in Brazil is marked by great inequalities, with a

highly developed university system at one extreme and widespread illiteracy at the

other. Despite considerable progress in coverage, serious problems of quality

remain. In 1995 the federal government was spending almost twice as much on the

universities as on basic education, which is the primary responsibility of states and

municipalities. Local governments often paid teachers wages that were well below

the legal minimum.

In 1990 there were 37.6 million students, as compared with 10 million in

1964. Of the 1990 total, 3.9 million students were in preschool, 29.4 million in

elementary school, 3.7 million in secondary school, and 1.7 million in university.

Despite this progress, less than 40 percent of the high school-age population was

enrolled in school.

And lastly, religion played a key role in forming the values and attitudes of

the Brazilians today. Country Study: Brazil says (1998) that, Brazil is said to be the

largest Roman Catholic country in the world. In 1996 about 76 percent of the

population, or about 122 million people, declared Roman Catholicism as their

religion, as compared with 89 percent in 1980. The decline may have resulted from

a combination of a real loss of influence and a tendency to be more objective in

answering census questions about religion.

2. Political Institutions

a. Executive Branch

i. Identify 3 major offices vested with executive powers and authority.

ii. How are they chosen?

iii. Identify 3 major functions of each.

The three major offices of the Brazilian executive branch are the president,

vice-president and the cabinet. The president is both the head of government and

the head of state.

A president must be a native Brazilian over age thirty-five 3. From 1945 to

1979, presidents had five-year terms. Following President Figueiredo's six-year

term, the 1988 constitution again set the term at five years, but the 1994

constitutional revision reduced the mandate to four years. Although all of Brazil's

constitutions since 1891 have prohibited immediate reelection of presidents,

governors, and mayors, in June 1997 Congress approved an amendment allowing

reelection. Thus, President Cardoso and the twenty-seven governors may stand for

reelection in 1998, and the mayors elected in 1996 may be reelected in 2000.

The Brazilian president has the power to appoint some 48,000 confidence

positions, of which only ambassadors, higher-court judges, the solicitor general,

and Central Bank directors must have Senate approval. The president may also

use the line-item veto, impound appropriated funds, issue decrees and provisional

measures, initiate legislation, and enact laws.

Brazil Federal Constitution. Date Retrieved: September 30, 2009.

Until 1964 the president and vice president were elected on separate tickets,

which produced incompatible duos in 1950 and 1960. The vice president's primary

job is to replace the president on the event of his or her death or resignation, and to

assume the Presidency temporarily while the president is abroad, or otherwise

temporarily unable to fulfill his or her duties.

Title 4, Article 87, states clearly the functions of The Ministers of State: has

the power to: I - exercise guidance, coordination and supervision of the agencies

and entities of the federal administration in the area of his authority and to

countersign acts and decrees signed by the President of the Republic;

II - issue instructions for the enforcement of laws, decrees and regulations;

III - submit to the President of the Republic an annual report on his administration

of the Ministry; IV - perform the acts pertinent to the duties assigned or delegated to

him by the President of the Republic.

b. Legislative Branch

i. Identify 2 chambers of the legislative branch.

ii. Identify total number of each chambers.

iii. Identify how members are chosen.

iv. Identify 3 major functions of each chamber.

The National Congress of Brazil or the Cogresso Nacional is made up of the

Federal Senate (Senado Federal) and the Chamber of Deputies (Camara dos


The Federal Senate of Brazil4 (Portuguese: Senado Federal do Brasil) is the

upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. Created by the first Constitution of

the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired in United Kingdom's House of Lords,

but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United

States Senate.

Currently, the Senate comprises 81 seats. Three Senators from each of the

26 states and three Senators from the Federal District are elected on a majority

basis to serve eight-year terms. Elections are staggered so that two-thirds of the

upper house is up for election at one time and the remaining one-third four years


The current president of the Brazilian Senate is José Sarney, from the

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party of Amapá. He was elected on early 2009 for

a two-year term.

The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil5 (Portuguese: Câmara dos Deputados) is

a federal legislative body and the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil.

As of 2006, the chamber comprises 513 deputies, who are elected by proportional

The Official website of the Federal Senate of Brazil. Date Retrieved: September 30. 2009.
National Congress of Brazil. Date Retrieved: September 30, 2009.

representation to serve four-year terms. The current president of the Chamber is

deputy Michel Temer (PMDB-SP).

Senators tend to be older and have more established political careers. Most

have served as federal deputies, and many have been governors. Deputies usually

tend to have served in city councils, state assemblies, and as state cabinet

secretaries. In the first half of the 1990s, the proportion of deputies elected with no

prior political experience increased. In 1995 the largest contingents in the Chamber

of Deputies by occupation were businessmen, 32 percent; lawyers, 20 percent;

medical doctors, 11 percent; engineers, 7 percent; labor leaders, 6 percent;

teachers, 5 percent; economists, 5 percent; public servants, 3 percent; journalists,

3 percent; and administrators, 2 percent.

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies have legislative initiative. The Senate

and Chamber of Deputies have six and sixteen standing committees, respectively,

plus a joint budget committee. The 1988 constitution gives the committees the

power to approve or kill legislation.

To override a committee decision and bring the bill to the floor of the

appropriate house requires a petition signed by a certain number of members.

Once one house passes a bill, the other deliberates on it. If a different version of

the bill is passed, it returns to the original house for a final vote on the differences.

The internal rules of each house allow members and party leaders certain

prerogatives of obstruction.

c. Judicial Branch

i. Identify 2 major judicial units in the national level and 2 judicial units in the

local level.

ii. What is the composition of each?

iii. Identify 3 powers and functions of each.

The judiciary system in Brazil can be divided into the national and local level.

The national level courts are the Superior Justice Tribunal and the Supreme

Federal Tribunal. The states on the other hand are divided into judicial districts.

These judicial districts are called comarcas. Comarcas maybe composed of one or

more cities.

Each state territory is divided into judicial districts named comarcas, which

are composed of one or more municipalities. The 26 Courts of Justice have their

headquarters in the capital of each State and have jurisdiction only over their State

territories. The Federal District only presents the federal-level judicial branch. Each

comarca has at least one trial court, a court of first instance. Each court of first

instance has a law judge and a substitute judge. The judge decides alone in all civil

cases and in most criminal cases. Only intentional crimes against life are judged by

jury. The judges of the courts are nominated after a selection process. There are

specialized courts of first instance for family litigation or bankruptcy in some

comarcas. Judgments from these district courts can be the subject of judicial review

following appeals to the courts of second instance.

There are two national superior courts making up the Supreme Court, which

grant writs of certiorari in civil and criminal cases: the Superior Court of Justice

("Superior Tribunal de Justiça" in Portuguese, shorthand STJ) and the Supreme

Federal Court ("Supremo Tribunal Federal" in Portuguese, shorthand STF), the

highest Brazilian court (decides issues concerning offences to the Brazilian


The "Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ)" is the Brazilian highest court in

non-constitutional issues and grants a Special Appeal (Recurso Especial in

Portuguese) when a judgement of a court of second instance offends a federal

statute disposition or when two or more second instance courts make different

rulings on the same federal statute. There are parallel courts for labor law, electoral

law and military law.

The STF grants Extraordinary Appeals (Recurso Extraordinário in

Portuguese) when judgements of second instance courts violate the constitution.

The STF is the last instance for the writ of habeas corpus and for reviews of

judgments from the STJ.

The superior courts do not analyze any factual questions in their judgments,

but only the application of the law and the constitution. Facts and evidences are

judged by the courts of second instance, except in specific cases such as writs of

habeas corpus.

3. Political Dynamics

a. Interest Groups

i. Identify 4 major interest groups.

ii. Describe their composition.

iii. Identify 2 major principal philosophies.

Brazil is abundant with interest groups trying to influence the bureaucratic

process. Among these are, the Sao Paolo State Federation of Industries, Brazilian

Institute of Social Economic Analysis, CNBB and Petrobas.

In 1983 the Interunion Parliamentary Advisory Department (Departamento

Intersindical de Assessorial Parlamentar--DIAP) was founded to coordinate and

unify the lobbying efforts of the labor movement. The DIAP represented 517

unions, nine confederations, and one central federation in 1992. The DIAP soon

proved highly efficient in monitoring legislative activities, publishing profiles of the

performance of congressional members, and identifying friends and enemies of

workers. In the 1991-94 period, the party leadership's manipulations attempted to

thwart DIAP monitoring by floor voting, and very few roll-call votes were taken

during that session.

Since the 1930s, business groups have been organized into umbrella

federations at the state level and confederations at the national level, such as the

São Paulo State Federation of Industries (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de

São Paulo—FIESP.

Professional groups, such as associations of medical doctors, lawyers,

pharmacists, and engineers, are usually more active regarding the regulation of

their professions, but occasionally attempt to influence more generalized economic

and social legislation. Since the 1970s, there has been a steady growth of urban

social movements and groups concerned with issues such as the prevention and

treatment of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), racial prejudice,

consumer rights, ecology, the homeless, Indians, mortgages, street children, and

tenants. As a result, there has been a parallel growth of nongovernmental

organizations (NGOs). Some NGOs are considered aggregative, such as the

Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Instituto Brasileiro de Análise

Social e Econômica--IBASE) in Rio de Janeiro,

b. Political Parties

i. Identify 3 major political parties.

ii. Describe their composition.

iii. Identify 2 major principal philosophies.

Among the chief political parties in Brazil are the Worker’s Party, Brazilian

Democratic Party, and the Socialism and Freedom Party.

The Workers' Party (Portuguese: Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) is a

socialist political party in Brazil.6 It is recognized as one of the largest and most

important left-wing leadership movements of Latin America. The party was

Worker’s Party Official Website. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

launched under a democratic socialism trend. After the 1964 coup d'état, Brazil's

main federation of labor unions, the General Command of Workers (Comando

Geral dos Trabalhadores - CGT), which since its organization gathered leaders

approved of by the Ministry of Labour - a practice tied to the fact that since the

Vargas dictatorship, unions had become quasi-state organs - was dissolved, while

unions themselves suffered intervention of the military regime. Therefore, the

Workers' Party emerged rejecting the traditional leaders of official unionism, and

seeking to put into practice a new form of democratic socialism, trying to reject

political models it regarded as decayed, such as the Soviet and Chinese ones.

The Brazilian Social Democracy Party7 (Partido da Social Democracia

Brasileira, PSDB) is a centrist/center-left political party in Brazil. Its mascot symbol

is a blue and yellow colored toucan (and its members are called "tucanos" for such

reason) and its election code is 45. PSDB questions the use of what it considers

"outdated political labels", such as "left" and "right".

The Socialism and Freedom Party8 (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade, P-SOL)

is a Brazilian political party. Among the party leaders are Heloísa Helena (Alagoas),

federal deputies Luciana Genro (Rio Grande do Sul) and Babá (Pará), and a

number of well-known Brazilian left-wing leaders and intellectuals, such as Milton

Temer, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Ricardo Antunes, Francisco de Oliveira, João

Machado, Pedro Ruas and others.

Brazilian Social Democracy Party website. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.
PSOL Official Website. Date Retrieved: October 1,

PSOL was formed after Heloísa Helena, Luciana Genro, Babá and João

Fontes (also a federal deputy, now a member of the Democratic Labour Party,

PDT) were expelled from the Workers' Party, after voting against the pension

reform proposed by Lula. After collecting more than 438,000 signatures, P-SOL

became Brazil's 29th officially recognized political party, the first to do so by this


c. Mass Media

i. Identify 2 major national media outfits.

ii. Identify 2 principal programs of each outlet and how they exert impact in

shaping political decisions and orientations.

Brazil hosts more than a hundred tv and radio relay stations. Among these

numbers are the TV Band and Rede Globo, which operate nationwide coverage in

all of Brazil.

Rede Globo (English: Globo Network, better known as TV Globo, Globo TV

or simply Globo) is a Brazilian television network, owned by media conglomerate

Organizações Globo. The network is currently the largest in the Latin America and

the fourth largest in the world, just behind the U.S. networks ABC, CBS and NBC,

being watched by 120 million people daily. [1][2][3]

Globo is headquartered in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood of Rio de

Janeiro, where its news division is based. The network's main production studios

are located at a complex dubbed Projac (in Portuguese "Projeto Jacarepaguá"),

located in Jacarepaguá, Rio's western area. In 2007, Globo moved their analogue

operations to a purpose-built high-definition television production in digital

broadcasting. It is composed of 121 owned and affiliate television stations

throughout Brazil plus its own international networks, Globo Television International

and Rede Globo Portugal (Network Globo Portugal).

Rede Record (Network Record) is a Brazilian television network. Owned by

Bishop Edir Macedo, founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, it

currently is Brazil's second largest television network[1]. With 55 years of

uninterrupted transmission, it is also the oldest TV network of the country.

IV. Political Change and Development

a. System Capabilities

i. Identify 3 system capabilities that need to be addressed by the political

system. (justify)

ii. Identify 3 current activities (political, economic, social, cultural) that is

undertaken by the political system to reinforce the 3 system capabilities.

The three system capabilities that need to be addressed by the political

system are: regulative capability, responsive and distributive capabilities.

Regulative behaviour refers to the political system’s exercise of control over

behavior of individuals and groups. Terrorism was one of the problems in Brazil,

that had been addressed well in the country.

The Government of Brazil extended practical, effective support to US

counterterrorism efforts in 2002. Authorities have been cooperative, following up on

leads provided by the US Government on terrorist suspects.

A Sao Paulo judge sentenced three Chileans, two Colombians, and one

Argentine to 16 years in prison for kidnapping a Brazilian advertising executive. A

well-known terrorist and former high-ranking member of the largely defunct Manuel

Rodriguez Patriotic Front (Chile), Mauricio Hernandez Norambuena, was among

those sentenced.

The Brazilian Federal Police in 2002 arrested individuals with alleged ties to

terrorist groups. In April, police arrested Egyptian Mohammed Ali Aboul-Ezz al-

Mahdi Ibrahim Soliman (a.k.a. Suleiman), in the Triborder city of Foz do Iguazu.

Soliman was arrested on the basis of an Egyptian Government extradition request

for his alleged involvement in the 1997 al-Gama?a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)

attack on tourists in Luxor, Egypt, but the Brazilian Supreme Court released him on

11 September due to insufficient evidence to extradite. On 14 September, another

IG suspect, Hesham al-Tarabili was arrested in Brazil at Egypt’s request in

connection with the Luxor attack.

In another case, authorities in June arrested Assad Ahmad Barakat as a

result of an extradition request from Paraguay on charges of tax evasion and

criminal association. Barakat is a naturalized Paraguayan of Lebanese origin who

had lived in the Triborder area for approximately seven years and had become

notorious for allegedly moving millions of dollars to Lebanese Hizballah. The

Brazilian Supreme Court on 19 December approved the extradition request. At

year’s end, Barakat was still in Brazilian custody and applying for refugee status in


In January 2004, former President Fernando Cardoso proposed a revision of

Brazil’s antiterrorism laws that would define terrorism more precisely and impose

stricter punishment for those involved in terrorist acts. Brazil became a party to the

International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings in 2002, making

it party to nine of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to

terrorism. Legislation also was pending to allow wiretaps for court-approved

investigations and to become a party to the 1999 International Convention for the

Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. At year’s end, neither piece of

legislation had yet been submitted for Congressional approval. The Brazilian

Government is willing and able to monitor financial operations domestically[.

Responsive capability talks about the relationship of the inputs and the

outputs of the political system. The responsive capability of Brazil is shown in its

fight for sustaining the Amazon forests.

The ongoing expansion of agriculture in Brazil is seriously threatening rare

and vulnerable habitats such as the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado, and the Amazon.

The major threat for these vast – but not infinite – natural areas is the often

destructive expansion of a vegetable, more precisely a bean: soy.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), soy was Brazil’s

main agricultural crop by harvested area in 2004, with more than 21 million ha

under cultivation. Another crop of concern is cocoa, which has been blamed for

widespread deforestation in Brazil. During the cocoa economic boom of the 1970s,

expansion of this crop was a leading cause of the decline of Brazil’s endangered

Atlantic Forest ecosystem, of which only about 10% persists - barely.

The Cerrado, an extensive woodland savanna ecosystem in Brazil, is

threatened by cattle ranching. The expansion of cattle ranching is closely linked to

the increased soy cultivation - which poses serious concerns about the impact of

this industry on sensitive ecosystems.

There are also concerns about the expansion of chicken and pork production

moving into the Cerrado.

Early September this year, Brazilian government sought to ban sugar cane

plantaiton in the forests reserves.9 The proposal, which must be passed by

Congress, comes amid concerns that Brazil's developing biofuels industry is

increasing Amazon deforestation. Environment Minister Carlos Minc said the

Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

measures would mean ethanol made from sugar cane would be "100% green". The

government agenda is becoming more environmentally friendly ahead of the 2010

presidential poll, analysts say. The plans unveiled by Mr Minc would limit sugar

cane plantations to 7.5% of Brazilian territory or 64m hectares, and prevent the

clearing of new land for the crop.

Further, the Brazilian government tries to protect the remaining forests

lands. Brazil's Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme (ARPA) 10 has been

instrumental in the formation of these protected areas. It is the world's largest

tropical forest conservation programme and aims to protect 60 million hectares in

the Amazon by 2013 – an area equivalent to the size of Spain and Portugal.

Lastly, the distributive capability refers to the allocation of goods, services,

honors and statues and opportunities of various minds from political system to

individuals and groups in the society.

School non-attendance by absence and malnutrition is one of the biggest

educational problems in Brazil. Work under the age of 16 is forbidden by law,

however Brazil has many cases of child labor. Children from large poor families

start working from the age of 10 in order to help their parents, despite the law of

compulsory education between the ages of 10 and 14. Other reasons for school

non-attendance are the lack of sufficient school places and the high examination

Brazilian government protects new tracts of Amazon. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

failure rate. Malnutrition also materially affects the intellectual development of

children, giving them little chance of adapting to an educational environment.

The standards of primary and secondary public education have been falling

over the past decades. Since the country invested little in education, public

education's standards dropped and the middle class moved their children to private

schools. Nowadays, practically all the middle class sends their children to private

schools. Costs may vary from as little as R$ 600 (US$ 240) p.a. in smaller cities to

R$ 30,000 (US$ 17,000) p.a.[in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

The situation has been improving over the past few years thanks to two

official projects: Bolsa Escola, by which parents who keep their children in school

and with good health receive a small allowance, and FUNDEF, by which

municipalities receive federal funds in accordance to the number of children

enrolled. Bolsa Escola was a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that offered

mothers in poor households a monthly stipend if their children ages 6 to 15

attended school on a regular basis. The program was implemented across all of

Brazil between the years 2001 and 200311, until it was folded into the broader Bolsa

Familia program.

Folha Online. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

Further, Brazil is participating of the One Laptop Per Child project, aiming at

providing low cost laptops to poor children in developing countries, but the program

is moving slowly.

b. Political Issues and Problems Affecting the Political Change and Development of

the Political System

i. Identify 3 current and major national issues and problems affecting political

change and development.

Three astounding problems in Brazil are poverty, crime, and social


Poverty. Poverty in Brazil is most visually represented by the various

favelas, slums in the country's metropolitan areas and remote upcountry regions

that suffer with economic underdevelopment and below-par standards of living. An

attempt to mitigate these problems is the "Fome Zero" hunger-eradication program

implemented by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003. Part of this is "Bolsa

Família", a major anti-poverty program that gives money directly to impoverished

families so as to keep their children in school.

Lula's government reduced 19.8% the rate of misery based on labour

income during June 2002 and June 2006 according to Fundação Getúlio Vargas. In

June 2006 the rate of misery is 18.57% of the population.12

Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

The rate of poverty is in part attributed to the country's economic inequality.

Brazil ranks among the world's highest nations in the Gini coefficient index of

inequality assessment.

A study on the subject shows that the poor segment constitutes roughly one

third of the population, and the extremely poor make out 13% (2005 figures).13

However, the same study shows the income growth of the poorest 20% population

segment to be almost in par with China, while the richest 10% are stagnating.

Crime. Crime in Brazil involves an elevated incidence of violent and non-

violent crimes. According to most sources, Brazil possesses high rates of violent

crimes, such as murders and robberies; the homicide rate has been steadily

declining, but it is still above 20.0 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, placing the

country in the top 20 countries by intentional homicide rate. The Swiss-based NGO

Small Arms Survey says that, in light of recent improvements, Brazil is no longer

one of the most violent places on Earth. Kidnappings occur, but increased police

know-how has somewhat alleviated the problem. Prostitution per se is not a crime

in Brazil, unlike procuring. The Government of Brazil has recently increased efforts

to combat child prostitution and sex tourism.

World Bank. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009. http://www-

It is believed that most life-threatening crime in Brazil can be traced back to

drug trade and alcoholism.14 Brazil is a heavy importer of illicit cocaine, as well as

part of the international drug routes. Arms and marijuana employed by criminals are

mostly locally-produced. New legislation has brought stricter punishment to

domestic abuse and driving under the influence. Thousands of human trafficking

and slavery cases are reported annually, usually associated with sugarcane

plantation or, in cities, illegal immigrants from Asia and Latin America.[11] Crime

rates vary greatly across the country, with a higher incidence in metropolitan

suburbs and in border zones.

White-collar crime is targeted mainly by public prosecutors and the Federal

Police, and receives new attention from lawmakers: the crime of money laundering

was introduced in 1998.15 Corruption of public officials rarely results in criminal

prosecution, due to confusing laws; voter fraud was tackled by universal electronic

voting. The Internet is also home to numerous Brazilian hackers, while online hate

speech, heavily penalized in the Brazilian Penal Code, eludes officers. Land crime

is propitiated by bureaucracy and government tolerance, and conflicting ownership

claims, particularly in rural areas, challenge the rule of law; deforestation, once

rampant, today has sharply declined as negative incentives are imposed and

satellite tracking is perfected.

Country Data. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.
New Zealand Herald. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

Social Apartheid. Some consider that these parallels between South Africa

during the apartheid era and modern-day Brazil are strengthened by that fact that

inequities in the economic and social status particularly affect Afro-Brazilians16.

According to São Paulo Congressman Aloizio Mercadante, a long-standing

member of Brazil's leftist Workers' Party (PT), "Just as South Africa had racial

apartheid, Brazil has social apartheid." Afro-Brazilians trail White Brazilians in

almost all social indicators, including income and education, and those living in

cities are far more likely to be abused or killed by police, or incarcerated. Brazil's

social apartheid also has negative impacts on educational opportunities for the

disadvantaged. These inequities are so great that the wealthy live in walled-off

gated communities, and the disadvantaged classes do not interact at all with the

wealthy "except in domestic service and on the shop floor". According to France

Winddance Twine17, the separation of both class and race even extend into what

she terms "spatial apartheid", where upper-class residents and guests, presumed

to be white, enter apartments buildings and hotels through the main entrance, while

domestics and service providers, presumed to be black, enter at the side or rear.

Carlos Verrisimo states that Brazil is a racist state, and that the inequities of

race and class are often inter-related. Michael Löwy agrees, stating that the "social

apartheid" is manifested in the gated communities, a "social discrimination which

also has an implicit racial dimension where the great majority of the poor are black

Social Apartheid in Brazil. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.
Logos journal. Date Retrieved: October 1, 2009.

or half-caste."[ Despite Brazil's retreat from military rule and return to democracy in

1988, social apartheid has only gotten worse