Monday, May 22, 2006


Magazines: Violence in São Paulo, Body Age

violence in Sao PauloEpoca 418: How Long?
Epoca shows a photo of a burning bus, and asks How Long (will the population have to stand this?)

Isto É 1909: The Chaos.
The magazine also publishes a photo related to the violent week in São Paulo.

Veja 1957: The Real Age.
Veja affirms that different body organs (heart, brain, bones, muscles) get aged at different paces, thus requiring different cares. The magazine gives tips on how to assess and retard aging of the body organs.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Brazilian alpinist dies in Everest

vitor negreteBrazilian alpinist Vitor Negrete, aged 38, died yesterday, May 18th, after reaching the summit of Everest, in Nepal. Vitor climbed the North face of Everest, without oxygen masks.
He was on the way back, and called for help when he was 550 m down from the summit. Aiders reached him still alive, he didn't survive the cold.

This expedition was troublesome. On Tuesday, English David Sharp had already died. Then, Malaysian Ravi Chandran had his fingers frozen and had to abandon the expedition.

On Wednesday, Vitor decided to climb, alone.

Vitor Negrete had already reached the summit before, on June 2nd 2005. Also, Negrete is the alpinist who climbed most times the Aconcágua, highest mountain in the Americas.

Visit his website: Vitor Negrete

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Violence in São Paulo: the revenge of the Police

More than 100 people were killed, allegedly because of "confrontation with Police forces", from Sunday to Thursday.
Reports say that 43 policemen were killed last weekend.
Despite negatives from the Police Administration, newspapers have accused the Police forces of acting with excessive violence, killing innocent people in the process.

The Police Chiefs, the Governor of São Paulo, and the Minister of Justice came to the media to deny that Police are acting arbitrarily (e.g., killing people who could have been arrested), and to affirm that, if abuses were committed, they shall be investigated and punished.

The population, who was scared with the criminals, now is fearing the Police.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Organized crime stopped São Paulo

Death toll of the violent weekend: 43 policemen and policewomen, 52 criminals.
Across the State, 85 public buses were burned down. Criminals shot against several Police Stations. At least eight banks were destroyed by bombs.

The buses stopped running, as the companies feared more attacks. A few metro stations also shut down, on rumors of eminent bomb attacks. Commerce, schools, public offices, universities and other businesses closed early. The transit became even more chaotic than usual.

Two news surprised and revolted the population.
First, surprisingly, the Governor of São Paulo, Claudio Lembo, refused the aid offered by the Federal Government (who could send in the Army, the Federal Police and the National Guard). Lembo said that there were already cooperation between the Intelligence sectors of the Polices and Army, and that troops would not be necessary.
Lembo said that he trusted the police forces of São Paulo. He mentioned that, despite the rebelions, there was not any escaping from prisons, nor there had been any concession to the rebels.

What caused revolt was the disclosure that the Police Intelligence knew that a violent movement had been planned for the Mother's Day weekend. Yet, no action was taken, particularly to protect lives of policemen and prison guards.
Governor Lembo said that they attempt to isolate the leaders of organized crime, to prevent them from combining their movements. However, the isolation seems to have yet another factor to start the rioting, as it infuriated the gang leaders.

The Security authorities said that the cellular phones are the main weapon of prisoners; criminals use phones to communicate with partners outside prisons. Widespread corruption makes it easy to smuggle phones into cells.

TV news demonstrated how easy is to install equipments which block phone signals.
The authorities reacted to this information by sending a draft of bill obliging the phone operators to develop a technology to block the signals.

Meanwhile, the incompetence and laziness of authorities continue to claim lives.

The violence in São Paulo is in the world's headlines:
Miami Herald
Financial Times

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Magazines: Ronaldinho, Uranium, Da Vinci Code

RonaldinhoEpoca 417 : "Better than Pelé?"
There are no doubts that Ronaldinho is the best football player in the World today, but Epoca casts the question: is Ronaldinho playing better than Pelé at his peak?
Epoca notes that just the admittance of such question is a great honor for Ronaldinho; never has a player in Brazil (including Romário, Ronaldo, Zico, Rivelino, among others) been seriously compared to Pelé.
Epoca ran a survey among famous journalists and players, which concluded that, out of eight criteria, Pelé was better in five, there was a draw in one, and Ronaldinho was better in two (dribbling and ball control). Pelé himself admitted recently that Ronaldinho is capable of things that he wasn't.

Isto E 1907: "The smuggling of Brazilian Uranium".
The Brazilian Federal Police found out that people were exploring mines of uranium and thorium in States of Brazilian Amazon.
According to the investigations, groups of foreigners based in Amapá would be purchasing land to, supposedly, dig for gold; instead, the groups would be illegally exploring Uranium and Thorium and sending it to countries in Europe and Asia, particularly Russia and North Korea.

Veja 1956: "Da Vinci Code". A review of the movie, which opens in Brazil this week.


Gang violence in São Paulo

Since last Friday, May 12th, the State of São Paulo has been facing a number of concerted rebellions in prisons and a surge of violence on streets.
Several prisons were overtaken by the convicts, who made many hostages. Many policemen, on and off duty, were murdered; several Police Stations were attacked.

Brazilian media says that the rebellions are commanded by the organized crime; although arrested, the criminal leaders would have sent orders to the other prisons to start rebellions and to the members of the gang outside prison to start riots.
The cause of the rebellions would be the transferring of about 600 criminals to new prisons, of high security.

The main criminal organization in São Paulo is called Primeiro Comando da Capital (First Command of the Capital). The gang is funded by extortion, drug dealing and bank robberies. The gang was created inside the prisons; most leaders are arrested, but they keep control of activities inside and outside the prisons.

Organized crime in Brazil is concentrated in two States: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, there are a few gangs, the most known is Comando Vermelho (Red Command).

The origin of the gangs in Brazil dates back to the period of military dictatorship. Political prisoners were kept confined along other criminals. The political prisoners were usually better educated, and passed their knowledge (how to organize, how to fight the Police, guerrilla tactics) to the other criminals. The first gangs resulted from this combination of aptitudes; the name Vermelho (Red) in Comando Vermelho is a reference to the "Reds", communists.

Today, São Paulo is besieged by crime.
Read news by BBC and CNN.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Bolivia seizes oil companies

President of Boliva, Evo Morales, announced yesterday, on the 100th day of his Government, that all international oil companies operating in Bolivia would be occupied by the Army.
Morales determined that, in 180 days, all companies should get in agreement with YPFB, the State owned Bolivian oil company, to adjust new contracts. Morales said that, with his act, Bolivia was recovering sovereignity over their natural resources.

The news came like a bomb in Brazil.
First because Petrobrás is today the biggest foreigner investor in Bolivia; it is estimated that Petrobrás has assets of US$ 1 billion in that country. Petrobrás operates the largest gas fields, and exports most of the production to Brazil.

The Brazilian government was more surprised, however, because in recent meetings Evo Morales had assured to President Lula himself that there would be no kind of intervention, at least as far as Petrobrás was concerned.

During the Presidential campaign, President Lula manifested his support to Evo Morales. Like Lula, who was an ex-metal worker, Morales came from the lower classes in Bolivia. Like Lula and Chavez, from Venezuela, Morales wants to strenght the "dignity and sovereignity" of their countries.

For the first time, Brazil, who always claimed to be exploited by the international capital, is now being charged of being the exploiter.

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