Mato Grosso means thick forests, and the name was once apt. But today, this Brazilian state is a global epicenter of deforestation. Driven by profits derived from fertile soil, the region's dense forests have been aggressively cleared over the past decade, and Mato Grasso is now Brazil's leading producer of soy, corn and cattle, exported across the globe by multinational companies.
During her lifetime, Lispector, a catlike blond beauty with movie-star magnetism and an indefinably foreign accent, enjoyed an enormous succès d'estime in Brazil. Her fiction, which combines jewel-like language, deadpan humor, philosophical profundity and an almost psychotically lucid understanding of the human condition, was lauded for having introduced European modernism to a national literature felt to be pretty parochial.
The Brazil Institute is hiring a Program Assistant. The Assistant will work as the principal administrative support and research assistant to the Director of the Brazil Institute.
We are pleased to announce this year's group of winners of the 2009 Woodrow Wilson Center-Washington Post Fellowship for Latin American Journalists. The fellowship provides an opportunity to conduct three weeks of reporting concerning hemispheric relations on an issue of importance to journalists' home countries, and works as an immersion program in the political culture of the U.S. capital.
Cattle ranching has become the biggest environmental challenge for Brazil's Mato Grosso state, which has launched a "cattle moratorium" to combat Amazon destruction, the state's governor said on Tuesday.Mato Grosso is calling on meatpackers to stop buying cattle raised in newly cleared areas of the world's largest rain forest. Environmental activists have cited ranching as a prime driver of Amazon degradation.
Brazil has the clout and credibility to assert itself as a leading voice in world climate talks to help ensure the success of any new treaty aimed at reducing global warming, the top U.S. environmental diplomat said on Thursday.Already a pioneer in clean energy and the use of biofuels such as cane-based ethanol, Brazil could cement its pro-environment credentials if it succeeds in slowing the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern said after a three-day visit to the South American nation.
Soy, biofuels, all the other commodities you may have heard linked to Amazon deforestation — they are as nothing compared to beef. There are good reasons why ranching thrives in the Amazon: land is free or cheap in most of it, cattle need minimal care, and they can walk to market.
"New era beckons for U.S.-Latin America ties" by Stuart Grudgings
Brazil to cut back high cost of labourBrazil's government is preparing sharp cuts to the country's very high labour costs as a way of boosting productivity and growth, Guido Mantega, finance minister, has told the Financial Times.[Read full article]
"History: Stability and democracy are catalysts of success"Presidente Prudente, a bustling community of 206,000 in the south-western corner of São Paulo state, offers a good view into Brazil's rise. From its unremarkable beginning as a stop on the Sorocabana railway when coffee was king, it is now one of two dozen prosperous municipalities at the centre of one of Brazil's success stories – agro-industry. Less than one hour to the west, a high-tech ethanol plant is nearing completion. Conquista do Pontal, is one of three plants being built by ETH, a subsidiary of Grupo Odebrech, with Sojitz, the Japanese trading company. Agriculture has historically been associated with slavery and, in recent decades, with the abuse of workers rights. But, thanks to the rapid expansion of the sugar ethanol industry alongside flex-fuel cars that were introduced in 2003, it is now being transformed into an industry that is emblematic of the South American country's emergence as a social innovator on the world stage.[Read full article]For a PDF version of the entire Financial Times Brazil Survey in which Sotero's article appears, click here