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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots a Star is Born in Brazil

By Beatrice E. Rangel

For three weeks Cascavel competed with Syria and Iraq in violence.

A prison riot demanding better treatment and less crowding for inmates ended with two of them decapitated while two others were thrown from the jail walls to death. Needless to say that the only weapons absent from the strife were chemical. The rest of the weapory that the 21st century offers was not only conspicuously present but replaced when damaged or seized in the heat of the battle by a very effective logistics team that could easily rival Federal Express.

And while the government played down the incident, organized crime cried victory for the outcome over the internet; leaflets and dailies freely distributed in public transports. Reading those messages is not only interesting but also allows analysts to make some safe bets as to the future of governance in Brazil. It will largely depend on the kind of agreements that the Federal Government strikes with organized crime.

To be sure, violence in Brazil will not only not freeze but will exponentially grow menacing with turning the Southern Colossus into a rogue state.

The story of the Primeiro Comando da Capital , the leading criminal gang in the land, gives a good sense of the feasibility of this outcome. Founded by eight inmates of a Sao Paulo prison in August 1993, Primeiro Comando currently boasts a membershi of ove 12,000 with presence in 22 of the 27 Brazilian states and in Paraguay and Bolivia. The trend is indeed frightening.

Under such backdrop, seven wannabes took the podium on August the 25th seeking to win the hearts and minds of fellow Brazilians and become their president. The event was marked by the tragic departure of Eduardo Campos, the charismatic president of the Socialist Party whose life was cut short by a plane accident. In his place was, Marina Silva, his Vice-presidential running mate turned into standard bearer. And, of course, there were Aecio Neves representing the Social Democratic Party and President Roussef representing the government party.

Contrary to the Cascavel riot, this event lacked thrill. Ms Roussef sounded unconvincing when enumerating the results of inclusionary public policies. Aecio Neves looked like the incarnation of John Kenneth Galbraith without the wit. The rest of the participants were colorful but completely off track concerning the public policy demands of Brazil. The night would have been a total waste of time were it not for Ms Silva.

Given her sudden promotion to the helm of the Socialist Party, Silva had no time to become full of herself. She thus kept her combative and brisk debate style. She mastered the bulleted sound bites on public policy while recriminating Roussef and Neves for their many ‘failed to do's."

But above all, Ms Silva came through like a real person and one close to the people of Brazil. This not only won her the debate but a cheer from the markets. The benchmark Ibovespa stocks index rose 0.7% to 60233 points Wednesday in late morning trading, after advancing 0.1% Tuesday and 2.3% on Monday. Definitively, a star is born!!!!

Related:

8/26/2014 Disturbances Break Out at 2 Other Brazilian Prisons

8/25/2014 Deadly Uprising at Brazilian Prison Ends with Accord

8/24/2014 Four Prisoners Dead, Two of Them Decapitated, in Prison Rebellion in Brazil

8/21/2014 Marina Silva Enters Brazilian Presidential Contest

8/18/2014 Marina Silva Poised to Shake Up Brazil’s Presidential Race

8/15/2014 Brazil Party May Turn to Marina Silva after Candidate’s Death

8/13/2014 Presidential Candidate Campos Dies in Plane Crash in Brazil


Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was the Minister of the Secretariat for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.


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