Tag Archives | Brazil

Inside Henry Ford’s Failed Planned-City Jungle Utopia

fordistanDamn Interesting on the forgotten history of Henry Ford’s surreal Fordlandia, a rubber-plantation-slash-corporate-city in the Amazon where workers would have American values stamped into them, and which was ultimately abandoned at a loss equivalent to $200 million today:

By the late 1920s, automobile tycoon Henry Ford’s hundreds of thousands of new cars needed millions of tires, which were very expensive to produce when buying raw materials from the established rubber lords. To that end, he established Fordlandia, a tiny piece of America which was transplanted into the Amazon rain forest for a single purpose: to create the largest rubber plantation on the planet.

In 1929, Ford purchased a 25,000 square kilometer tract of land along the Amazon river, and immediately began to develop the area.

Scores of Ford employees were relocated to the site, and an American-as-apple-pie community sprung up from what was once a jungle wilderness. It included a power plant, a hospital, a library, a golf course, and rows of white clapboard houses.

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Footage Suggests Undercover Police Acting As Agent Provocateurs In Brazil Protests

Could the police themselves be throwing Molotov cocktails in order to justify the police crackdown? The New York Times ponders:
40 seconds of video released by Rio’s military police showed a man near the front line between the two sides lighting and then hurling a Molotov cocktail, which exploded near officers in riot gear. Within hours the clip was mysteriously removed from YouTube. According to the theory advanced by supporters of Brazil’s protest movement, the bomb thrower pictured in the police video, wearing a T-shirt with a bulky design on the front, was identical to a man caught on video later, retreating behind police lines and pulling off his T-shirt, alongside a second man also suspected of being an undercover officer. Other bloggers pointed out that another video clip recorded by a witness to Monday’s demonstrations showed the same two men passing unmolested through a crowd of uniformed officers after displaying identification:
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Angry Crowds In Brazil Protest Cost Of Pope’s Visit

Perhaps not the reception the new pope was hoping for. Via PressTV:
Brazilian police have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters in Rio de Janeiro rallying against the vast amount of public funds spent on Pope Francis’ visit to the country. The demonstration was held on Monday near the Rio state governor’s palace after a meeting there between the pope and President Dilma Rousseff. One photographer suffered a head injury after being clubbed by a riot police officer and at least five protesters were arrested. The Brazilian government has spent $53 million in public funds for the Pope’s week-long visit to the country, which is his first trip abroad after becoming head of the Catholic Church in March. The protesters argued that the government should instead spend public funds on health, education and other public services.
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Brazilian Television Host Fails Hilariously In Effort To Paint Protests As Unpopular

A must-watch case of mainstream media manipulation crashing and burning as a broadcaster is repeatedly stymied in his efforts to use a live push poll to make it seem as if the Brazilian public at large is opposed to the recent political unrest. As he would put it, “It’s neck and neck but a lot more people say 'yes' than 'no'. But we can say it’s equal.”
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Largest Protests In Decades Fill Major Cities Of Brazil

Initially a response to a hike in public transportation prices, the unrest is centered around the country's wealth inequality and spending of public money on lavish stadiums in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. Russia Today reports:
Mass protests continued throughout Brazil on Monday, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators converging in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, the capital of Brasilia and other cities. Protests initially began last week following a government announcement of an increase in public transportation costs, which brought out students and young workers and led to more than 250 arrests. In a sign that public dissatisfaction was still simmering, soccer fans booed president Dilma Rousseff on Monday during the opening of a two-week tournament at a stadium in the capital Brasilia. The heckling only intensified when the president of the global soccer body, FIFA, reprimanded the crowed for failing to show the president “respect.”
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‘Lost’ Report Exposes Brazilian Indian Genocide

Brazilian American Indian MongoloidVia Survival International:

A shocking report detailing horrific atrocities committed against Brazilian Indians in the 1940s, 50s and 60s has resurfaced – 45 years after it was mysteriously ‘destroyed’ in a fire.

The Figueiredo report was commissioned by the Minister of the Interior in 1967 and caused an international outcry after it revealed crimes against Brazil’s indigenous population at the hands of powerful landowners and the government’s own Indian Protection Service (SPI). The report led to the foundation of tribal rights organization Survival International two years later.

The 7,000-page document, compiled by public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia, detailed mass murder, torture, enslavement, bacteriological warfare, sexual abuse, land theft and neglect waged against Brazil’s indigenous population. Some tribes were completely wiped out as a result and many more were decimated.

The report was recently rediscovered in Brazil’s Museum of the Indian and will now be considered by Brazil’s National Truth Commission, which is investigating human rights violations which occurred between 1947 and 1988.

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Brazilian Doctor Arrested For Using Silicone Fingers To Fool Fingerprint-Based Biometric Check-In

Our key-less and password-less future will hinge on being identified via our fingerprints, irises, and vocal tones. The problem is, someone else may have a copy of your finger. Via the BBC:

A Brazilian doctor faces charges of fraud after being caught on camera using silicone fingers to sign in for work for absent colleagues, police say.

Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo. She is accused of covering up the absence of six colleagues. Her lawyer says she was forced into the fraud as she faced losing her job.

Police said she had six silicone fingers with her at the time of her arrest, three of which have already been identified as bearing the fingerprints of co-workers.

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Brazilian Police Baffled By Gift-Wrapped Human Skulls Appearing Around Sao Paulo

Would you be brave enough to confront the woman in the long skirt? The Washington Post reports:

Police in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo are baffled by a macabre puzzle: someone has been leaving gift-wrapped human skulls around town.

The first skull in cherry-red wrapping was found on February 20 in a planter near a residential building downtown. Since then, seven others have been found near Mormon temples or consulates, including those for Russia, the Czech Republic and South Africa. The skulls are old, with traces of dirt.

Investigator Paul Henry Bozon Verduraz Verduraz says security cameras captured images of a woman in an ankle-length skirt leaving the skulls, which seem old, with traces of dirt. He thinks this may be part of some sort of ritual.

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Brazil To Clone Animals In Danger Of Extinction

After our planet’s climate drastically changes, the wildlife of today will exist in cloned form in tomorrow’s zoos, Inter Press Service reports:

Brazilian scientists are attempting to clone animals in danger of extinction, like the jaguar and maned wolf, although the potential impact on the conservation of these threatened species is still not clear.

The cloning initiative is being undertaken by the Brasilia Zoological Garden in partnership with the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, EMBRAPA, and is now in its second phase. “We already have 420 germplasm samples stored in our bank and are going to continue collecting,” [said] EMBRAPA researcher Carlos Frederico Martins.

Eight animals have been chosen, including the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). The bank has also been stocked with germplasm from the bush dog (Speothos venaticus), coati (genus Nasua), collared anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), gray brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira) and bison (genus Bison).

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