/breuh zil"/, n.
[1350-1400; ME brasile < ML < It < Sp brasil, deriv. of brasa live coal (the wood being red in color) < Gmc; see BRAISE]

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Introduction Brazil -
Background: Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has overcome more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of the interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, Brazil became South America's leading economic power by the 1970s. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem. Geography Brazil
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 8,511,965 sq km land: 8,456,510 sq km note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo water: 55,455 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries: total: 14,691 km border countries: Argentina 1,224 km, Bolivia 3,400 km, Colombia 1,643 km, French Guiana 673 km, Guyana 1,119 km, Paraguay 1,290 km, Peru 1,560 km, Suriname 597 km, Uruguay 985 km, Venezuela 2,200 km
Coastline: 7,491 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge of the continental margin exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m
Natural resources: bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Land use: arable land: 6.3% permanent crops: 1.42% other: 92.28% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 26,560 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south Environment - current issues: deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills Environment - international party to: Antarctic-Environmental
agreements: Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador People Brazil -
Population: 176,029,560 note: Brazil took an intercensal count in August 1996 which reported a population of 157,079,573; that figure was about 5% lower than projections by the US Census Bureau, which is close to the implied underenumeration of 4.6% for the 1991 census; estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28% (male 25,140,954; female 24,199,276) 15-64 years: 66.4% (male 57,424,151; female 59,409,928) 65 years and over: 5.6% (male 3,992,017; female 5,863,234) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.87% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 18.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 9.32 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/ female total population: 0.97 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 35.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.55 years female: 67.91 years (2002 est.) male: 59.4 years
Total fertility rate: 2.05 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.57% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 540,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 18,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Brazilian(s) adjective: Brazilian
Ethnic groups: white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and black 38%, black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80%
Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 83.3% male: 83.3% female: 83.2% (1995 est.) Government Brazil -
Country name: conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil conventional short form: Brazil local short form: Brasil local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
Government type: federative republic
Capital: Brasilia Administrative divisions: 26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins
Independence: 7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
National holiday: Independence Day, 7 September (1822)
Constitution: 5 October 1988
Legal system: based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: voluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory over 18 and under 70 years of age
Executive branch: chief of state: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government election results: Fernando Henrique CARDOSO reelected president; percent of vote - 53% elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 4 October 1998 (next to be held 6 October 2002) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president head of government: President Fernando Henrique CARDOSO (since 1 January 1995); Vice President Marco MACIEL (since 1 January 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; three members from each state or federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third elected after a four-year period, two-thirds elected after the next four-year period) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms) election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party PMBD 27, PFL 20, PSDB 16, PT 7, PPB 5, PSB 3, PDT 2, PPS 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PFL 106, PSDB 99, PMDB 82, PPB 60, PT 58, PTB 31, PDT 25, PSB 19, PL 12, PCdoB 7, other 14 note: Federal Senate - seats by party (as of January 2002) - PMDB 24, PFL 18, PSDB 13, PT 7, PDT 5, PSB 4, PTB 4, PPB 2, PPS 2, PL 1, independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - seats by party (as of January 2002) - PFL 96, PSDB 93, PMDB 90, PT 59, PPB 49, PTB 33, PL 24, PDT 17, PSB 16, PPS 13, PCdoB 10, other 13 elections: Federal Senate - last held 4 October 1998 for one-third of the Senate (next to be held 6 October 2002 for two-thirds of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 4 October 1998 (next to be held 6 October 2002)
Judicial branch: Supreme Federal Tribunal (11 ministers are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Higher Tribunal of Justice; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life) Political parties and leaders: Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Michel TEMER, president]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Jose Carlos MARTINEZ, president]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Senator Jose ANIBAL, president]; Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Miguel ARRAES, president]; Brazilian Progressive Party or PPB [Paulo Salim MALUF]; Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Renato RABELLO, chairman]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Leonel BRIZOLA, president]; Liberal Front Party or PFL [Jorge BORNHAUSEN, president]; Liberal Party or PL [Deputy Valdemar COSTA Neto, president]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Senator Roberto FREIRE, president]; Worker's Party or PT [Jose DIRCEU, president] Political pressure groups and left wing of the Catholic Church,
leaders: Landless Worker's Movement, and labor unions allied to leftist Worker's Party are critical of government's social and economic policies International organization AfDB, BIS, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-15, G-
participation: 19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Rubens Antonio BARBOSA FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827 consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 238-2700 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Donna
US: J. HRINAK embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia mailing address: Unit 3500, APO AA 34030 telephone: [55] (061) 321-7272 FAX: [55] (061) 225-9136 consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo consulate(s): Recife
Flag description: green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars (one for each state and the Federal District) arranged in the same pattern as the night sky over Brazil; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress) Economy Brazil
Economy - overview: Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. The maintenance of large current account deficits via capital account surpluses became problematic as investors became more risk averse to emerging market exposure as a consequence of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian bond default in August 1998. After crafting a fiscal adjustment program and pledging progress on structural reform, Brazil received a $41.5 billion IMF-led international support program in November 1998. In January 1999, the Brazilian Central Bank announced that the real would no longer be pegged to the US dollar. This devaluation helped moderate the downturn in economic growth in 1999 that investors had expressed concerns about over the summer of 1998, and the country posted moderate GDP growth. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001 - to less than 2% - because of a slowdown in major markets and the hiking of interest rates by the Central Bank to combat inflationary pressures. Investor confidence was strong at yearend 2001, in part because of the strong recovery in the trade balance.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.34 trillion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.9% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,400 (2000 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9% industry: 32% services: 59% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: 22% (1998 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 1%
percentage share: highest 10%: 46.7% (1997) Distribution of family income - Gini 59.1 (1997)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.7% (2001)
Labor force: 79 million (1999 est.) Labor force - by occupation: services 53%, agriculture 23%, industry 24%
Unemployment rate: 6.4% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $100.6 billion expenditures: $91.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000)
Industries: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 342.302 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 5.85% other: 3.74% (2000) hydro: 88.97% nuclear: 1.44% Electricity - consumption: 360.641 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 42.3 billion kWh note: supplied by Paraguay (2000)
Agriculture - products: coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Exports: $57.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactures, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
Exports - partners: US 24.4%, Argentina 11.2%, Germany 8.7%, Japan 5.5%, Italy 3.9%, Netherlands (2001)
Imports: $57.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemical products, oil, electricity, autos and auto parts
Imports - partners: US 23.2%, Argentina 11.2%, Germany 8.7%, Japan 5.5%, Italy 3.9% (2001)
Debt - external: $251 billion (2001) Economic aid - recipient: NA
Currency: real (BRL)
Currency code: BRL
Exchange rates: reals per US dollar - 2.378 (January 2002), 2.358 (2001), 1.830 (2000), 1.815 (1999), 1.161 (1998), 1.078 (1997) note: from October 1994 through 14 January 1999, the official rate was determined by a managed float; since 15 January 1999, the official rate floats independently with respect to the US dollar
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Brazil - Telephones - main lines in use: 17.039 million (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 4.4 million (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment: good working system domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations international: 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station Radio broadcast stations: AM 1,365, FM 296, shortwave 161 (of which 91 are collocated with AM stations) (1999)
Radios: 71 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 138 (1997)
Televisions: 36.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: .br Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 50 (2000)
Internet users: 11.94 million (2001) Transportation Brazil -
Railways: total: broad gauge: 5,679 km 1.600-m gauge (1,199 km electrified) narrow gauge: 24,666 km 1.000- m gauge (930 km electrified) dual gauge: 336 km 1.000-m and 1.600-m gauges (three rails) standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge note: in addition to the interurban routes itemized above, Brazil has 247.8 km of suburban railway consisting of 170.8 km of 1.600- m gauge (75 km electrified) and 77 km of 1.000-m gauge (1999 est.)
Highways: total: 1.98 million km paved: 184,140 km unpaved: 1,795,860 km (1996)
Waterways: 50,000 km
Pipelines: crude oil 2,980 km; petroleum products 4,762 km; natural gas 4,246 km (1998)
Ports and harbors: Belem, Fortaleza, Ilheus, Imbituba, Manaus, Paranagua, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande, Salvador, Santos, Vitoria
Merchant marine: total: 165 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,662,570 GRT/5,875,933 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Chile 2, Germany 6, Greece 1, Monaco 1 (2002 est.) ships by type: bulk 32, cargo 25, chemical tanker 5, combination ore/ oil 9, container 12, liquefied gas 11, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 54, roll on/roll off 10, short-sea passenger 1
Airports: 3,365 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 627 over 3,047 m: 6 2,438 to 3,047 m: 21 1,524 to 2,437 m: 153 914 to 1,523 m: 407 under 914 m: 40 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 2,738 1,524 to 2,437 m: 72 914 to 1,523 m: 1,316 under 914 m: 1,350 (2001) Military Brazil -
Military branches: Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy (includes naval air and marines), Brazilian Air Force, Federal Police (paramilitary) Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 48,859,610 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 32,743,504 (2002
service: est.) Military manpower - reaching males: 1,762,740 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $13.408 billion (FY99)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.9% (FY99)
GDP: Transnational Issues Brazil - Disputes - international: uncontested dispute with Uruguay over islands in the Rio Quarai (Rio Cuareim) and the Arroio Invernada (Arroyo de la Invernada)
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis; minor coca cultivation in the Amazon region, used for domestic consumption; government has a large- scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Colombian and Peruvian cocaine headed for the US and Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian, Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine

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Country, eastern and central South America.

Area: 3,300,171 sq mi (8,547,404 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 174,619,000. Capital: Brasília. Brazil's ethnic groups have intermixed since the earliest days of its colonial history. Unmixed elements are rare; those Indians untouched by immigration are restricted to the most remote parts of the Amazon River basin. Language: Portuguese (official). Religions: Roman Catholicism, traditional Indian and African beliefs. Currency: real. Brazil may be divided into many regions, but the Amazon lowlands and the Brazilian Highlands (often called the Central Highlands or Central Plateau) dominate the landscape. The highlands, a plateau with an average elevation of 3,300 ft (1,000 m), are primarily in the southeast, while the Amazon lowlands, with elevations below 800 ft (250 m), are in the north. The Amazon River basin, with its more than 1,000 known tributaries, comprises nearly half of the country's total area. Brazil's other rivers include the São Francisco, Parnaíba, Paraguay, Alto Paraná, and Uruguay. Except for the islands of Marajó and Caviana at the mouth of the Amazon and Maracá to the north, there are no large islands along the roughly 4,600 mi (7,400 km) of Brazil's Atlantic Ocean coast. There are good harbours at Belém, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, and Pôrto Alegre. The country's immense forests are a source of many products, while its savannas support cattle raising. Agriculture is important, and mineral reserves are large. Brazil has a developing market economy based mainly on manufacturing, financial services, and trade. It is a republic with two legislative houses; its chief of state and government is the president. Little is known about Brazil's early indigenous inhabitants. Though the area was theoretically allotted to Portugal by the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, it was not formally claimed by discovery until Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral accidentally touched land in 1500. It was first settled by the Portuguese in the early 1530s on the northeastern coast and at São Vicente (near modern São Paulo); the French and Dutch created small settlements over the next century. A viceroyalty was established in 1640, and Rio de Janeiro became the capital in 1673. In 1808 Brazil became the refuge and seat of the government of John VI of Portugal when Napoleon I invaded Portugal; ultimately the Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarve was proclaimed, and John ruled from Brazil (1815–21). On John's return to Portugal, Pedro I proclaimed Brazilian independence. In 1889 his successor, Pedro II, was deposed, and a constitution mandating a federal republic was adopted. Beginning in the 20th century, immigration increased and manufacturing grew, and there were frequent military coups and suspensions of civil liberties. Construction of a new capital at Brasília, intended to spur development of the country's interior, worsened the inflation rate. After 1979 the military government began a gradual return to democratic practices, and in 1989 the first popular presidential election in 29 years was held. A severe economic crisis began in the late 1990s.
(as used in expressions)
fazenda Brazil
Prendergast Maurice Brazil

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▪ 2009

8,514,877 sq km (3,287,612 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 187,163,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

      Having suffered in December 2007 his first major policy defeat in five years—the termination of the Provisional Contribution on Financial Transactions (CPMF) tax—Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began 2008 by raising the Financial Operations tax as well as the Social Contribution on Net Profits tax in order to compensate for the loss in revenues from the CPMF. Throughout the year Brazil benefited from a wave of high commodity prices, new infrastructure investment programs, a burgeoning domestic market, and record state and federal revenues. On April 30 Standard & Poor's became the first rating agency to upgrade Brazil to investment-grade status; Fitch Ratings followed suit on May 29. After riding the commodity boom to its peak in July, Brazil later witnessed declining liquidity and tighter credit markets as the global economy began its downturn. Nonetheless, the Lula administration forged ahead with its ambitious Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which aimed to accelerate Brazil's economic growth to 5% annually; the PAC was spearheaded by Lula's chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, who was viewed as a leading candidate to succeed Lula as the standard-bearer of the Workers' Party (PT) in the 2010 presidential elections.

      In 2008 there were few but significant changes in the composition of Lula's cabinet. On January 21, in a move to satisfy the Lula administration's coalition ally, the Brazilian Democratic Movement, Sen. Edison Lobão of Maranhão state was sworn in as the new minister of mines and energy, in which post he would preside over one of Brazil's largest ministerial budgets. On May 13 Minister of Environment Marina Silva resigned and returned to her seat as senator representing the state of Acre. Silva had seen her conservation agenda weakened following the 2007 split of the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA) into two units, one responsible for conservation and the other responsible for environmental-impact assessments, authorizations, and licenses. Her replacement, Carlos Minc, formerly the secretary of environment for the state of Rio de Janeiro, was sworn in on May 27. Minc would have as his major challenge shepherding Brazil's numerous infrastructure-development projects through the country's stringent environmental-licensing processes.

      More than 110 million voters went to the polls on October 5 to elect mayors and town councils in Brazil's 5,563 municipalities. The most important mayoral race—in Brazil's most populous city, São Paulo—featured Lula's preferred candidate, former tourism minister Marta Suplicy of the PT, incumbent Mayor Gilberto Kassab of the Democratas (formerly the Liberal Front Party), and 2006 presidential runner-up Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Party of Social Democracy. In a hotly contested first round, Kassab narrowly defeated Suplicy, winning 33.61% of the valid vote to Suplicy's 32.79%, while Alckmin trailed in third with 22.48%. With no candidate reaching an absolute majority, a runoff election between Kassab and Suplicy was held on October 26. This time Kassab—with the support of Alckmin and José Serra, the governor of São Paulo state and the 2002 presidential runner-up—soundly defeated Suplicy, garnering 60.7% of the valid vote to Suplicy's 39.3%. The election result was seen by many observers as strengthening Serra as he positioned himself to run in the 2010 presidential elections.

      Throughout the year Brazil's Supreme Court heard the case for demarcation of the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve, located in the northern state of Roraima near the Venezuelan and Guyanese borders. Lula had signed a decree in 2005 that delimited the reserve as “continuous”—all non-Indian communities within the reserve would have to be abandoned—but many non-Indians, including rice growers, miners, and ranchers, resisted withdrawal. Although 8 of the 11 Supreme Court judges were in favour of continuous demarcation of the reserve and for the removal of non-Indians, the president of the court, Gilmar Mendes, on December 10 granted a request by one of the judges, Marco Aurelio Mello, for more time to deliberate; final judgment on the matter would be rendered in February 2009, when the Supreme Court returned from its holiday recess.

      Notwithstanding the global financial crisis, the Brazilian economy showed continued signs of growth. For the 12-month period ended in September, GDP grew an estimated 6.3%. With the central bank's Open Market Committee maintaining high benchmark discount interest rates (13.75% at year's end), accumulated inflation through November as measured by the National Consumer Price Index reached only 5.61%. Global volatility, however, did affect the Brazilian stock market, which fell nearly 60% from its highest close of 2008—73,517 points on May 20—to its lowest of the year, 29,435 on October 27. By December 30, the last day of 2008 trading, the stock market had recovered slightly, closing that day at 37,550.

      To prepare for further economic turbulence, the Brazilian government took steps to give the central bank as well as state banks more interventionary powers. On October 7 and October 22, Lula issued Provisional Decrees 442 and 443, respectively. Provisional Decree 442 gave the central bank the power to sell international reserves, buy banks, and extend credit lines, and Provisional Decree 443 empowered the two principal state banks (Bank of Brazil and Caixa Economica) to buy banks, insurance companies, and pension funds, if necessary. Despite market turmoil, Lula finished the year with the highest approval ratings of his administration—80.3% in the Sensus Institute's December opinion polling, which was commissioned by the National Confederation of Transportation.

      Severe flooding wreaked havoc in the southern state of Santa Catarina in late November. The flooding resulted in the deaths of more than 130 people and left tens of thousands homeless and more than one million without power.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2008

8,514,877 sq km (3,287,612 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 189,335,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

      On Jan. 1, 2007, Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT) was sworn in for his second four-year term; 27 state governors also assumed office. In his inaugural speech, Lula highlighted economic growth and public security as themes of his administration. Over the course of the year, bolstered by a continuingly successful monetary policy that kept inflation under control and attracted foreign and domestic capital investment, Brazil exhibited signs of entering a “virtuous cycle” of economic growth that placed strong demands on infrastructure, environment, and human resources. On January 22 Lula unveiled the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) as his second administration's signature policy initiative. The PAC, steered by Chief of Staff Dilma Rouseff, aimed at boosting economic growth to 5% annually in part by funding an array of development projects.

      In early February the Congress convened, and the Senate reelected Alagoás Sen. Renan Calheiros of the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) as its president. Calheiros was a central figure in a number of corruption scandals that plagued the upper house during the year. In late May several accusations of corruption surfaced against Calheiros, including allegations that a construction firm lobbyist made payments on Calheiros's behalf to a former journalist with whom the Senate president had an out-of-wedlock child. The Senate Ethics Council held hearings on the evidence and on whether to strip Calheiros of his mandate. With Calheiros using his office to maneuver and influence colleagues, he evaded losing his mandate, yet his troubles paralyzed the Congress. Calheiros requested a temporary leave of absence from his post on October 11 to prepare his defense. Finally, on December 4, he stepped down permanently as Senate president, returning to assume his seat representing Alagoás. This move forced the Senate into new leadership elections; Rio Grande do Norte Sen. Garibaldi Alves Filho (PMDB) was chosen as Senate president on December 12. Calheiros's resignation also cleared the obstacles for voting on important legislation favoured by Lula, such as extension of the Provisional Contribution on Financial Transactions (CPMF) tax, an important revenue source for social programs. The two most significant opposition parties, the Brazilian Party of Social Democracy and the Democratas (formerly the Liberal Front Party), had been reluctant to move forward on the CPMF with Calheiros still installed. On December 13 the Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to extend the CPMF. The tax bill, which needed 49 votes to reach the 60% approval threshold for constitutional amendments, fell four votes short. The defeat represented perhaps the greatest setback of the year for the Lula administration. The CPMF was set to expire at the end of 2007.

      On April 25 Minister of Environment Marina Silva announced significant structural and personnel changes that split the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA) into two entities, one responsible for conservation and the other responsible for environmental-impact assessments, authorizations, and licenses. For the Lula administration, the lack of progress on environmental licensing was stalling progress on the PAC, particularly the multibillion-dollar power-generation projects on the Madeira River in Rondônia. To the dismay of IBAMA workers who ended a two-month strike on July 13, IBAMA gave initial approval on July 9 for the two Madeira River hydroelectric projects, Santo Antônio and Jirau.

       Violence and public safety in Rio de Janeiro continued to be a major issue in 2007. In April Lula authorized the armed forces to help quell violence in Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the Pan American Games in July. The Games were seen as a precursor to Brazil's hosting greater international events, such as the World Cup or the Olympics; on October 30 the president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, Joseph Blatter, announced that Brazil would host the 2014 World Cup.

      On July 17 Brazil suffered its worst-ever air traffic disaster when a TAM Airbus crashed on landing at São Paulo Congonhas airport. The accident, which occurred at night amid rainy conditions, killed 199 people, including all the passengers and crew members and several people on the ground. Following so soon after the 2006 disaster involving a Brazilian Gol Airlines plane that claimed 155 lives, the TAM crash shook Brazilian civil aviation to its core. On July 25 Lula named former Supreme Court chief justice Nelson Jobim minister of defense; in his post Jobim replaced directors of the National Civil Aviation Agency and proposed several sets of structural changes to improve Brazilian aviation. Throughout 2007 air passengers were confronted with aviation work stoppages, delays, and airport shutdowns as Brazil coped with the sector's operational and management problems.

      On August 22 the Brazilian Supreme Court began to hear accusations against 40 persons involved in the 2005 mensalão (“monthly allowance”) payola scandal. On August 25 the Supreme Court voted to move forward with indictments against all 40, a group that included former Lula chief of staff José Dirceu and former Workers' Party president and current São Paulo Federal Deputy Jose Genoino.

      The economy showed signs of strengthening. The benchmark discount interest rate, set by the central bank's Open Market Committee, began the year at 13.25% and, through a series of interest-rate declinations that carried through to October, settled at 11.25%. Bolstered by increased corporate transparency and a sequence of attractive initial public offerings—many of them in the fast-growing biofuels sector—the São Paulo Stock Market (Bovespa) opened the year at 45,382 points; as of market closing on December 4, the Bovespa index had reached 63,482 points, a gain of almost 40%. While opening the year with international reserves of $85.8 billion, by the end of October Brazil had international reserves of $167.9 billion, nearly approaching its announced external debt of $194.6 billion. With the government's macroeconomic policy of targeting inflation, Brazil showed an inflation rate of 4.12% for the 12 months ended in October. Growth in GDP measured by the Brazilian Census Bureau for the 12-month period ended in July reached 4.8%, close to the targets set by the PAC.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2007

8,514,877 sq km (3,287,612 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 186,771,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

 On Oct. 29, 2006, Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT) won reelection to a second term in office (2007–10). By securing more than 58 million votes—61% of the valid votes cast—he defeated former São Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) in a second-round runoff election. Lula not only managed to escape the negative impact of various corruption scandals and congressional inquiries that weakened the PT and the Congress, but he also claimed victory with five million more votes than he had achieved in winning his first term in 2002. His campaign platform stressed economic growth, education, and family grant programs, but Lula's appeal was based more on his personal charisma and the ameliorating impacts of his administration's deepening progressive and redistributive social and economic policies.

      The year began with the continuation of two congressional parliamentary inquiries (CPIs); one investigated rigged procurement practices within the postal service and the other a monthly payola scheme used by the PT to buy votes in Congress. As these CPIs mounted and occupied Congress, cases were brought against 15 deputies; 4 deputies resigned their seats before proceedings were initiated and thus escaped the prospect of losing their political rights for eight years. By the time the last deputy facing expulsion was absolved by the Chamber of Deputies on December 6, the CPI of the monthly payola scheme had resulted in the expulsion of 3 congressmen and the absolution of 12 others, 6 of whom won reelection to Congress. Two of the four deputies who resigned were also reelected.

      In early May a much wider scandal broke that involved the misallocation of public funds in the procurement of ambulances by local municipalities. Dubbed “Operation Bloodsucker” by the federal police working with the Anti-Corruption Office of the Presidency of the Republic, the fraud involved scores of congressmen who were implicated in receiving kickbacks. On June 7 a CPI was launched, which investigated businessman Luiz Antônio Trevisan Vedoin, the mastermind of the scheme. The report, issued by the congressional inquiry on August 10, implicated 69 deputies and 3 senators. On August 15–16, 11 deputies resigned, and the Chamber of Deputies Ethics Council began proceedings against 19 deputies. Federal police carried out a nationwide raid at 200 locations in 8 states and made more than 70 arrests. On August 21, at the behest of Chief Federal Prosecutor Antônio Fernando de Souza, the Supreme Court started investigations of 27 deputies. The scheme was gigantic and involved more than 500 municipalities and dozens of companies. A few days before September 30, the date of the first round of presidential elections, PT associates close to President Lula purchased and leaked to the press a dossier that was meant to implicate PSDB São Paulo gubernatorial candidate José Serra in the scandal. The ensuing fallout over the dossier resulted in a temporary leave of absence for the PT president, Ricardo Berzoini.

      Very little of significance was achieved in the Congress, owing to its concentration on corruption scandals. Lula's economic team suffered a setback on March 27 when Finance Minister Antônio Palocci resigned amid charges that he was involved in illegally obtaining the bank statement of a worker whose CPI testimony was damaging to the government; the action breached the groundskeeper's fiscal privacy. Palocci was replaced by Guido Mantega, the former president of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development. The Lula administration opened the year with Operation Fill Potholes, an emergency public works project to repair highways. A 16.7% minimum-wage increase that went into effect on April 1 raised the monthly minimum salary to 350 reais (about $160). An ineffectual Congress approved the 2006 federal budget on April 18.

      On April 21 Lula proclaimed Brazil's self-sufficiency in petroleum, led by state-owned enterprise Petrobrás. Notwithstanding the country's achievement, on May 1 Bolivian Pres. Evo Morales (Morales, Evo ) (see Biographies) nationalized the petroleum and gas industries in Bolivia. This action threatened the industries in southeastern and southern Brazil that relied on Bolivian natural gas. The president of Petrobrás, José Sérgio Gabrielli de Azevedo, announced that Brazil would contest any expropriations, accept no unilateral price increase, and halt investments in Bolivia. Meanwhile, Petrobrás announced that it would pursue expansion of domestic capacity with new investments in the Santos basin.

      On May 10 President Lula appointed Carmen Lucia Antunes Rocha to the Supreme Court to replace Nelson Jobim. Antunes Rocha, who was sworn in on June 21, became the second woman on the Supreme Court. Earlier in the year, Supreme Court Minister Ellen Gracie Northfleet was sworn in to a two-year term as the new president of the Supreme Court, the first woman to occupy the post. Lula also nominated Rio de Janeiro state Supreme Court Justice Enrique Ricardo Lewandowski to the Supreme Court to replace Carlos Velloso, who retired in January.

       Protesting prison conditions and the transfer of its leaders to maximum-security installations, the First Capital Command criminal gang launched widespread attacks and prison rebellions against civil and military police in the states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso on May 12–15. The attacks, which were coordinated inside prison walls via cell phones, were repeated in July and August, with new assaults on banks, bus terminals, buses, courthouses, supermarkets, and auto dealerships. The violence paralyzed the nation's financial capital and most important states and left more than 200 dead, including police, prison guards, civilians, and suspects.

      In 2006 the Brazilian economy showed mixed signs. In 2005 the output grew 2.3%, with inflation in check at 6.9%. The benchmark overnight discount rate opened the year 2006 at 18%, but by the end of November the central bank's Open Market Committee had cut it to 13.25%, the lowest rate since the creation of the Brazilian real. By the end of October, inflation stood at 3.26%. The central bank forecast a GDP growth for 2006 of 2.95%, and the government aimed to achieve 5% GDP growth in 2007.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2006

8,514,877 sq km (3,287,612 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 184,016,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

      The year 2005 in Brazil was marked by challenges to the government of Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. For much of the year, a series of corruption scandals consumed the government and prevented it from making significant progress on its agenda. In early May the weekly newsmagazine Veja reported that a hidden camera had captured Maurício Marinho, a top official in the Brazilian postal service's Department of Contracts and Administration, accepting a bribe of 3,000 reais (R$1 = about U.S.$0.45) from two businessmen seeking a procurement contract with the state-run entity. Played to the nation on network television, the videotape also showed Marinho implicating Roberto Jefferson, a federal deputy and the president of the Brazilian Labour Party, which was allied with the Lula government. The exposé created a maelstrom of accusations and investigations. On May 17 Congress began an inquiry into the postal service and the Brazilian Reinsurance Institute. On June 7 Lula sacked all of the directors at both institutions.

      Facing expulsion from the Chamber of Deputies, Jefferson blew the whistle on a payola scheme orchestrated by the ruling Workers' Party (PT) to curry favour with politicians from smaller political parties. The mensalão (“monthly allowance”) scandal, as the payola scheme was dubbed, implicated dozens of deputies and top PT leaders. Moreover, Jefferson accused the president's chief of staff, José Dirceu, of being the scheme's mastermind. The Senate launched an inquiry into the mensalão scandal on July 20. While Lula himself was not directly linked to either the postal service or the mensalão affairs, the top echelon of the PT soon began to fall. The party president, treasurer, and executive secretary were replaced. Dirceu resigned as Lula's chief of staff on June 16. Former minister of mines and energy Dilma Rousseff was named the new chief of staff on June 20. On September 14 Jefferson was expelled from Congress, and on November 30 Dirceu, who after his resignation had returned to the Chamber of Deputies, was also forced out of Congress. Both officials lost their right to hold public office for eight years.

      Scandal also stalked the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Severino Cavalcanti. On September 21 Cavalcanti resigned his post and federal deputy seat over looming corruption charges. He was accused of having accepted bribes in exchange for granting food-service contracts at the congressional building. A São Paulo federal deputy, Aldo Rebelo of the Brazilian Communist Party, was elected to replace him as chamber president. In November the Chamber of Deputies voted to extend the parliamentary inquiry of the postal service scandal to the following April, guaranteeing that corruption and ethics would be major themes during the presidential election year of 2006.

      On February 12, near Anapu, Pará state, gunmen shot and killed Sister Dorothy Stang (Stang, Sister Dorothy ) (see Obituaries), a 72-year-old American nun and naturalized Brazilian citizen who had been assisting rural families living in an area of the Amazon rainforest near the BR-163 federal highway. In the days leading up to the killing, Stang had reportedly complained to Human Rights Minister Nilmário Miranda of death threats made against peasant farmers by illegal loggers and ranchers in the area. The shooting called national and international attention to the problems of uncontrolled expansion and land-related violence along BR-163, which had been used as an access route to the rainforest. After Stang's murder the government announced the establishment of an approximately 37,000-sq-km (14,000-sq-mi) forest-protection area on the western side of BR-163 as well as plans to strengthen security in the area. In December two men were convicted of killing Stang and received sentences of 27 and 17 years. Three others accused of ordering the murder were awaiting trial.

      On April 15 Lula signed a controversial decree delimiting the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve in northeastern Roraima state as “continuous,” which meant that all non-Indian villages and settlements within the reserve would have to be abandoned. This touched off violence by some area residents against the federal police. On April 17 four federal policemen were kidnapped by Macuxi tribesmen. Although most Macuxi and other tribespeople who lived in the reserve supported the “continuous” demarcation, some feared the negative impact it might have, particularly when non-Indian employers left the area. On April 30, following discussions between the hostage takers and Roraima Gov. Ottomar Pinto, the four police officers were released unharmed. While the government did not revoke the decree, as the hostage takers had demanded, it promised to help improve living conditions on the reserve.

      On March 28 Finance Minister Antônio Palocci announced that Brazil would not renew its standby loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, an agreement that had been in place since 1998 and renewed in 2002. The announcement underscored the strength of the country's economic recovery over the past several years. Successful economic policy had engendered lower inflation, GDP growth, a trade surplus, stable balance of payments, reduced unemployment, and increased foreign direct investment. On November 18 foreign reserves were estimated at $49 billion. The accumulated trade surplus for the first 10 months of 2005 reached $36.35 billion, compared with $28 billion in 2004. The economy continued to meet or surpass export targets. By the end of October, exports had exceeded 2004 totals and reached $96.6 billion. Brazilian monetary policy continued to mandate high interest rates to meet inflation targets set at 4.5–5.1%. The central bank's open-market committee began the year with a series of interest-rate increases; the discount rate began at 17.75% in January and rose to 19.75% by May before falling to 18.5% in November. Brazil's real interest rate stood at approximately 13–14%.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2005

8,514,877 sq km (3,287,612 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 180,542,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

      During 2004 Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the federal government continued to maintain the economic stability policies implemented by the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration (1995–2002). Despite his long history of leftist militancy and past dedication to Worker's Party (PT) social programs, Lula, a former union leader, continued the economic goals of his predecessor, such as achieving a primary budget surplus in accordance with an IMF agreement, keeping inflation in check, and pushing for budget cuts. With an eye toward the midterm municipal elections held in October, however, the government advanced little through an agenda that included a biosecurity law, reform of the regulatory agencies, judicial reform, a public-private partnership law, independence for the central bank, an increase in the minimum wage, a bankruptcy law, and an informatics law. Instead, the federal government negotiated cabinet positions and political accords in order to advance its candidates.

      A cabinet reform was undertaken in January with the objective of removing ineffective ministers, strengthening the positions of PT mayoral candidates in the October elections, and bringing the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) into the PT-led governing coalition. The Lula government suffered its first major scandal in mid-February when a two-year-old videotape surfaced that showed Waldomiro Diniz da Silva—a congressional-relations assistant to José Dirceu, Lula's chief of staff—appearing to solicit campaign donations from the boss of an illegal numbers game in Rio de Janeiro. Lula immediately sacked Diniz, but the scandal continued through the rest of the year. In March the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro state created a commission to investigate Diniz's activity, and in October it recommended that he be arrested. The scandal came at an inopportune time for Lula and Dirceu, as it showed a link between a member of Dirceu's staff and gambling operators just before Lula outlawed bingo parlors and video-gaming machines. Even worse, Congress repudiated the president's action on May 6, and finally in August the Supreme Court ruled that only federal legislation could regulate bingo operations.

      On June 17 Lula suffered his second major defeat of the year at the hands of the legislature when his provisional measure to raise the minimum wage to 260 reais (one real  =  about $0.32) a month was struck down by the Senate. On July 13 Congress approved a target budget surplus of 4.25% for 2005 and a multiyear budget plan. The Supreme Court upheld the social security reform provision that taxed retirees' pensions by 11%; judicial injunctions in January had halted such a practice in some states.

      Under increasing pressure from the opposition, the administration strengthened its economic and finance team over the course of the year. On July 16 Dirceu was named coordinator of the Council of Economic Development Policy, a collegial body presided over by the finance minister. On August 16 Lula signed a measure that gave central bank president Henrique Meirelles the status of cabinet minister, with the benefit of insulating Meirelles from accusations of tax evasion and ensuring that only the Supreme Court would rule on any possible criminal conduct.

      On October 3, 120 million voters cast their ballots for mayors and town councilmen. Following two rounds of elections, the PT won nine state capitals and more than doubled the number of municipalities it had won in the 2000 elections; the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PMDB) took 841 municipalities, including 5 state capitals. Despite its gains, the PT did not win the nation's two largest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and suffered setbacks in Rio Grande do Sul state, losing the capital, Porto Alegre, a city it had held for 16 years. After the elections and in anticipation of another cabinet reform, in November a number of top executives were replaced, including the defense minister, the president of the Bank of Brazil, and the president of the National Social and Economic Development Bank.

      Over the course of 2004, the monetary policy committee of the central bank sought to maintain its benchmark interest rate. The rate in January 2004 was 16.5%, and after successive reductions in March and April that lowered it to its lowest level in three years (16%), the rate was increased to 16.25% in September and to 17.25% by the end of November amid inflationary pressures. Cumulative inflation was 7.2% year-on-year at the end of August. In 2003 Brazilian GDP reached 1.5 trillion reais. Showing evidence of the results of fiscal restraint, declining interest rates, favourable exchange rates, primary surplus targeting, and a general economic recovery, the public-sector net debt fell from 58.7% of GDP in December 2003 to 55.3% by the end of July 2004. In the first six months of 2004, Brazilian GDP grew 4.2% year-on-year. On October 11 the Brazilian Census Bureau reported that industrial production for August 2004 was up 13.1% year-on-year. At year's end the economy was on track to grow 5.3%, and the trade surplus was a record $33.7 billion.

      In April extended clashes between heavily armed Cinta Larga Indians defending their lands and unarmed illegal diamond miners resulted in the killing of at least 35 prospectors in the jungles of the huge Roosevelt Reserve in Rondônia state. President Lula sent 350 troops and federal police to defuse the situation. Meanwhile, a group of more than 100 Indians convened at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasília on April 19 to draw attention to the lack of progress in government policy for demarcation of indigenous reserves. Another violent land conflict erupted on November 19 at the encampment of the Landless Workers' Movement in Minas Gerais state. At least five hooded gunmen invaded the farm, razed the structures, and killed five people.

      President Lula led a historic mission to China in late May during which several investment agreements were negotiated. A reciprocal visit to Brazil in mid-November led by Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao brought agreement by Brazil to support Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2004

8,514,047 sq km (3,287,292 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 178,470,000
Head of state and government:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

      After winning the 2002 election with 61% of the vote, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT) was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2003, as president of Brazil before a crowd of 100,000 people. The inauguration ceremony marked the first time in more than 40 years that a democratically elected incumbent president had transferred power to a democratically elected successor.

      Though he had campaigned on a leftist platform, President Lula immediately instituted austerity measures. After having raised the overnight bank rate for government bonds from 25% to 25.5% on January 22, the central bank's monetary policy committee (Copom) raised the rate to 26.5% on February 19. That same day the central bank increased the compulsory deposits held by banks from 45% to 60%. In the face of market uncertainty after a political change, these moves were intended to keep inflation in check, pull money from circulation, and send a signal to the international financial community that the new administration would continue to prioritize macroeconomic stability. Responding to the success of its inflation-targeting program, Copom reduced the overnight rate for government bonds throughout the year, finally taking it to 16.5% on December 17.

      More than 100,000 participants gathered January 23–28 at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Pôrto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. WSF participants organized in opposition to the annual World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switz. At the WSF, 126 countries, 30,000 delegations, and 5,480 organizations were represented. Lula, a former labour militant, addressed the WSF before traveling to Davos, where he called for “globalization with solidarity.” The two visits encapsulated much of the new administration's challenge in governing Brazil.

      The Brazilian Congress opened on February 1, and the 508 deputies and 54 senators who had been elected in 2002 were sworn in to the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, respectively. Fresh from winning the presidency, the PT won the presidency of the Chamber with the election of João Paulo of São Paulo. José Sarney of Amapá state was elected leader of the Senate; he was a former president of Brazil and represented the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB).

      The judiciary faced allegations of corruption and nepotism throughout the year. Federal investigations involving wiretaps uncovered a corruption scheme whereby members of the judiciary sold habeas corpus decisions to organized-crime interests. Federal wiretaps implicated members of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), including Minister Vicente Leal and Ceará Federal Deputy Pinheiro Landim, and caused a split among jurists. Further investigations found clear links to STJ judges' family members and organized crime. On February 25 Landim resigned, and the STJ voted to suspend Leal on April 4.

      A crime wave, linked to organized crime and drug trafficking, spread throughout Rio de Janeiro in February and March; supermarkets were looted and vehicles demolished, partly in protest against the transfer of drug kingpin Fernandinho Beira-Mar from Bangu penitentiary in Rio de Janeiro to a maximum-security prison in Presidente Bernardes, São Paulo. With “shoot to kill” orders, the federal government sent 3,000 army troops into the streets of Rio on February 27 in order to maintain law and order during the Carnival period. The army maintained its presence until March 14, the same day that Judge Antonio Machado Dias, who was responsible for authorizing Beira-Mar's transfer, was assassinated. The assassination forced changes in the courts; judges were granted anonymity in their prison-transfer decisions and were provided with escort guards. Beira-Mar's location of imprisonment continued to be a hot political issue in 2003; he went from Presidente Bernardes to an Alagoas state penitentiary on March 27, only to return to Presidente Bernardes on May 6.

      During the month of May, Lula named three judges to the 11-member Supreme Court to replace jurists who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. The Senate confirmed all three nominees, including Joaquim Benedito Barbosa Gomes, the first self-proclaimed Afro-Brazilian to sit on the Supreme Court.

      Lula pressed forward on his earlier promises of reform, and social security and tax-reform legislation worked its way through Congress. In order to win the support of Congress, Lula held a series of meetings with state governors who were seeking assurances that the reforms would not affect their already-limited fiscal capacities adversely. In return for their support in influencing their congressional delegations, the governors, led by Minas Gerais Gov. Aécio Neves, lobbied for benefits ceilings on social security and the discretion to redirect earmarked federal transfers. The debates on social security caused controversy among privileged classes, such as civil servants and the judiciary, giving rise on June 11 to the first large protest movements of the Lula administration. Protests took place in Brasília, São Paulo, and Belo Horizonte.

      The PT's governing coalition was bolstered when the PMDB joined the coalition on May 27. It was expected that once tax and social security reforms had been passed at the end of 2003, Lula would reshuffle his cabinet to reflect the inclusion of the PMDB. The governing coalition also attracted a number of individuals who switched parties in time to meet the October deadline for establishing party identity on the side of the government to contest the 2004 municipal elections.

      On October 20 Lula announced the unification of several social programs, including Zero Hunger, his first policy initiative, into the Family Stipend, which included government efforts to bolster education and help the poorest families combat hunger, poverty, and child labour. Other social initiatives taken by Lula included a pledge in November to redistribute land for the benefit of some 400,000 landless peasants and a strict new law in December that prohibited the carrying of guns and set up a national firearms registry.

      According to the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, Brazil's GDP grew 1.9% in 2002. The poor domestic performance continued in 2003 as national retail sales from January to July fell 5.4% year-on-year. Unemployment in the country's six major metropolitan regions registered 12.8% in July, and the broad consumer price index (IPCA) recorded 11.02% inflation for the 12 months ended in November. A favourable exchange rate for exports permitted increases across all sectors, which led to record trade surpluses of $17.8 billion from January through August and $23.1 billion for the12 months ended in August. In percentage terms exports grew 22% from January to September year-on-year, and imports fell 1.4% during that same period.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2003

8,514,047 sq km (3,287,292 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 174,619,000
Head of state and government:
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

      The October 2002 elections for president, the legislature (Federal Senate and Chamber of Deputies), governorships, and state assemblies dominated the year's events in Brazil. Unable to stand for reelection, Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso would in January 2003 oversee the first transition of a democratically elected president to a democratically elected successor in Brazil in more than 40 years.

      Entering 2002 the three front-runners for the presidency were “Lula” (Luiz Inácio da Silva; see Biographies (Lula )) of the leftist Workers' Party (PT), Roseana Sarney of the centre-right Liberal Front Party (PFL), and government-backed candidate José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). The spectre of political violence emerged early on. On January 20 the body of Celso Augusto Daniel, mayor of Santo Andre, was discovered riddled with bullets on a dirt road outside São Paulo. Daniel, who had been kidnapped two days earlier, had been a moderate voice in the PT and was responsible for preparing the government program for Lula. This was the second murder of a PT mayor in São Paulo state in six months, the first having been the September 2001 assassination of Campinas Mayor Antônio da Costa Santos. Responding to the killings, Cardoso stated, “Violence has surpassed all reasonable limits in Brazil....We need a war against organized crime, against banditry in Brazil, and against impunity.” Adding to the terror, on February 2 the headquarters of Unified Labour Central, a PT-influenced labour union, was broken into and robbed. Claiming responsibility for the mayoral murders was an unknown group, the Brazilian Revolutionary Action Front.

      On March 1 a federal circuit court judge issued an order for federal police to conduct a search-and-seizure operation in São Luis, Maranhão state, at the offices of the Lunus consultancy, owned by PFL presidential candidate and the governor of Maranhão, Roseana Sarney, and her husband, State Planning Secretary Jorge Murad. Finding about $570,000 in cash at the offices, authorities alleged that Lunus had benefited from a corruption scheme involving the defunct Superintendency for Development of the Amazon. The federal Supreme Court quashed the investigation, however, ruling that only it was imbued with powers to judge governors accused of crimes. Viewing the allegations as a political maneuver by the government to bring down the ascending candidacy of Sarney, the PFL formally broke its seven-year alliance with the PSDB. On March 4 four PFL cabinet ministers resigned their posts. Sarney withdrew her candidacy for president on April 13, though she decided to run for the Senate in Maranhão.

      On September 13 Lula addressed the Superior War College and the Air Force Club, which included the leaders of the high command of three branches of the armed forces. In an effort to assuage military fears of his candidacy, Lula gave his views on foreign policy, national defense, and the role of the armed forces, stressing compulsory military service, investments in defense, and a review of Brazil's participation in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and agreement with the U.S. concerning use of the Alcântara satellite base.

      On October 6 more than 94 million Brazilians went to the polls in first-round elections. With no candidate receiving a majority of the valid votes cast for president, Lula (46.4%) and Serra (23.2%) competed in a second-round runoff election on October 27. During the lead-up to the second round, the third- and fourth-place finishers, Anthony Garotinho of the Brazilian Socialist Party and Ciro Ferreira Gomes of the Popular Socialist Party, threw their support behind Lula. With an overwhelming 62% of the valid votes, Lula was elected president on October 27. On his coattails the PT became the largest party in the 513-seat lower house, increasing its numbers from 58 to 91 seats, followed by the PFL (84), the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (74), and the PSDB (71). The gubernatorial landscape was markedly different, however, with a number of parties winning states; the PSDB led the way with seven states, the PT claiming only three.

      President-elect Lula named the mayor of Ribeirão Prêto, Antônio Palocci, to lead his transition team. To facilitate the transfer of power, Cardoso created a transition team with ministerial status. The PT platform, launched on June 23 and titled “Change Without Rupture,” stressed, among other provisions, an end to hunger, more job creation, economic growth of 5% per annum, and a reduction in the workweek from 44 to 40 hours. The PT also promised to continue to maintain a floating exchange rate with inflation targets and to honour the privatizations concluded and under way.

      Beset with political uncertainty, Brazil faced volatile foreign exchange markets in 2002. The Brazilian real lost ground against the U.S. dollar, beginning the year at R$2.30 and topping R$4 in trading on October 10. By mid-November the real had strengthened to R$3.50 to the dollar. To mitigate damage caused by a weak currency, the central bank on October 11 implemented several measures to remove the real from the market, increasing the reserve requirement from 48% to 53% on checking deposits and from 23% to 30% for savings deposits. Banks were limited to using only their own funds on the exchange market, which could not exceed 30% of their net assets, and on October 14 the monetary policy committee raised its benchmark interest rate from 18%—where it had been for most of the year—to 21%.

      The official expanded consumer price index (IPCA), which the government used for its inflation targets with the International Monetary Fund, revealed inflation to have been 7.67% in 2001. In the 12 months leading up to October 2002, the IPCA had accumulated inflation of 7.4%. In 2001 the Brazilian Census Bureau reported weak industrial growth of gross domestic product of 1.5%.

      On June 30, led by star Ronaldo (see Biographies (Ronaldo )) and coach Felipão, Brazil won its fifth World Cup association football (soccer) championship by defeating Germany 2–0. The national team returned to Brasília on July 2 to a record assembly of 400,000 fans in the streets. The victory complemented World Cups from 1958, 1962, 1970, and 1994 and gave Brazil more World Cup titles than any other country.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2002

8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 172,118,000
Head of state and government:
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

      Leadership elections in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in 2001 strained Brazilian Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso's fragile governing coalition, which included the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), the Liberal Front Party (PFL), the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), and the Brazilian Progressive Party. The PMDB candidate for Senate president, Jader Barbalho of Pará state, won the election by a narrow majority (receiving 41 of 81 votes) on February 14 after having traded charges of corruption with his rival, the incumbent Senate president, Antônio Carlos Magalhães (PFL). Though the victory earned Barbalho the title of president of Congress, it exacerbated his feud with Magalhães, which carried on throughout the year and impeded progress relating to Cardoso's agenda. The Chamber of Deputies elected Aécio Neves (PSDB) of Minas Gerais state to head the lower house.

      On January 25–30 Pôrto Alegre, the capital of Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state, hosted the World Social Forum, an event that shadowed the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switz. The Pôrto Alegre conference attracted more than 10,000 people, including representatives of approximately 900 nongovernmental organizations from Europe, Africa, and Latin America. The forum criticized the policies of international multilateral financial institutions and called for international debt amnesty and a financial transactions tax levied on behalf of citizens.

      On February 18 riots broke out in 29 state penitentiaries involving around 28,000 inmates and more than 5,000 visitors. Angered by the transfer of its leaders from São Paulo's Carandiru prison, a gang of convicts used mobile phones to order simultaneous riots during weekend visiting hours. By the time order was restored on February 19, at least 15 persons had been killed and 8 injured.

      Throughout the first part of 2001, the federal government sought to avoid a parliamentary commission of inquiry (CPI) into government corruption that would occupy Congress and the executive branch. Adding fuel to the opposition's call for a CPI, on February 22 Magalhães gave an interview to state prosecutors in which he hinted at corruption involving Cardoso, Barbalho, the PMDB, the PFL, and the Supreme Court. The interview, which was leaked to the press, prompted Cardoso to begin sacking government appointments linked to Magalhães, most notably cabinet ministers Rodolpho Tourinho (mines and energy) and Waldeck Ornelas (social security) on February 23.

      With public opinion favouring investigation into allegations of government corruption, the opposition sought the votes of 27 senators and 171 federal deputies necessary to constitute a CPI. On May 8, after the opposition had apparently secured these votes, Barbalho canceled a joint session of Congress and thereby prevented the opposition from bringing the issue to the floor. Afterward, political maneuverings persuaded enough legislators to change their minds, and the CPI threat was ended. On May 16 Saturnino Braga, the rapporteur of the Senate Ethics Committee, concluded that Magalhães and the government leader in the Senate, José Roberto Arruda of the Federal District, were guilty of having violated secrecy rules in the June 2000 vote that expelled Federal District Sen. Luis Estevão from Congress. After damaging testimony from the director of the Senate data-processing system, who stated that she broke into the voting system under orders from Magalhães and Arruda, the Senate Ethics Committee recommended the impeachment of Magalhães and Arruda for having broken Senate decorum. Rather than risk impeachment and a loss of political rights for eight years, Arruda resigned on May 24; Magalhães followed suit on May 30.

      With Arruda and Magalhães out of office, Congress, at risk of becoming ineffectual, continued to be mired in scandal as more allegations of past corruption involving Barbalho surfaced. A growing number of investigations into fraud in the state Bank of Pará, the Superintendency for Development of the Amazon, and the National Land Reform Institute revealed the involvement of Barbalho when he was governor of Pará and minister of land reform. Barbalho took a leave of absence from his post as senate president on July 20. In the face of mounting evidence and the likelihood of impeachment, he resigned from the Senate on October 4, following the same path of Magalhães and Arruda. For Barbalho the loss of immunity opened up the possibility of indictment by federal police.

      In late April and May, Brazil faced a looming energy crisis, which threatened to cause blackouts. The federal government formed an energy crisis task force chaired by the presidential chief of staff, Pedro Parente. On May 18 the energy crisis team introduced a rationing plan, which included incentives, surcharges, rate hikes, and the threat of disconnection to persuade households and businesses to curb power usage by approximately 20%. Among the factors contributing to the energy crisis were insufficient rainfall to sustain hydroelectric power generation, rising demand for energy, and weak transmission infrastructure. Plans to privatize the energy sector were temporarily halted as the government announced its short-term rationing plan with medium-term plans to increase capacity by auctioning hydroelectric-power-generation and gas-turbine units.

      A breakdown of law and order ensued in June and July when armed police officers protesting low wages went on strike in the states of Tocantins, Alagoas, Pernambuco, and Bahia. On August 10 Cardoso issued temporary measures to tighten public security, permitting state governors to borrow police from neighbouring states during strikes and authorizing federal intervention of the armed forces.

      On September 14 the International Monetary Fund approved a new agreement with Brazil, making more than $15 billion available through December 2002. The agreement was conditioned on the federal government's reaching primary budget surpluses of 3.35% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001 and 3.5% in 2002. By October the Brazilian census bureau was estimating that inflation for 2001 would reach 5.8% ( 2%). Over the course of the year, the central bank raised the benchmark interest rate from 15.25% in January to 19% in October. By midyear Brazil's GDP had increased an estimated 3.12% from a year earlier.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2001

8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 166,113,000
Head of state and government:
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

      In Brazil the year 2000 began with escalating political crises just as the country was preparing to commemorate its 500-year anniversary. (See Sidebar.) On January 18 Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso fired Élcio Álvares, Brazil's first civilian minister of defense, owing to fallout from a December 1999 luncheon of 600 current and former military officers in Rio de Janeiro. At the luncheon—which was held in support of Air Force Comdt. Brig. Walter Bräuer, who had been sacked by Álvares after alleging that the minister was involved in drug trafficking—many in attendance sharply criticized the Cardoso administration. Cardoso was angered by Álvares's failure to take action or make any public statement regarding the event. The controversy subsided after Cardoso appointed former government legal counsel Geraldo Quintão the new minister of defense. Quintão was sworn in on January 24.

      During a special session of Congress in January, the federal government moved quickly to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL). With municipal elections looming in October, Cardoso signed the FRL into law in May. The FRL capped government salaries, set fines for officeholders who violated those ceilings, prohibited state governors from increasing budgets unless there was a rise in tax revenues, and excluded the federal government from bailing out states and municipalities.

      February brought resolutions to some of the fiduciary fiascoes of 1999. Gov. Itamar Franco of Minas Gerais ended his state's 13-month moratorium on debt payments by making final payments on Eurobonds and rescheduling debt obligations to the federal government. Also, former central bank president Francisco Lopes was indicted for having used public resources for personal gain during the January 1999 devaluation when the central bank sold currency to small private banks at privileged rates.

      Just as the legislative session opened on February 15 with Cardoso's Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) leading the largest party bloc, debate ensued over raising the minimum wage. In late March Cardoso issued a decree raising the monthly minimum salary from 136 reais to 151 reais (1 real = about $0.51). The federal government later passed legislation permitting state and municipal governments to make upward adjustments.

      On March 24 Mayor Celso Pitta of São Paulo was thrown out of office by the São Paulo regional court after testimony from his ex-wife. She provided evidence that he used 800,000 reais to buy votes on the city council in order to prevent his impeachment. The Supreme Justice Tribunal in Brasília, however, paved the way for Pitta to be reinstated after ruling that only the city council could remove him from office. Court battles over his status continued throughout the year, but Pitta remained in office.

      Cardoso's most troubling scandal of 2000 emerged on April 24 when Judge Nicolau dos Santos Neto fled authorities after a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Santos Neto was charged with siphoning off 169 million reais intended for construction of the regional courthouse of São Paulo. The judge's telephone records led investigators to former secretary-general of the presidency Eduardo Jorge Caldas Pereira. As manager of Cardoso's 1998 reelection campaign, Caldas Pereira allegedly had used his influence to lobby for disbursements for the courthouse. Payments were made to Santos Neto and businessman Luis Estevão, who was elected senator in 1998. For his role in the courthouse scam, the Senate stripped Estevão of his seat and revoked his parliamentary immunity and political rights for 151/2 years.

      After Caldas Pereira gave testimony to Congress on August 3, plans to move forward with a parliamentary board of inquiry started to lose momentum. On September 13 the committee charged with investigating the scandal dissolved until after the October elections. Nevertheless, faced with the mounting pressures from recent scandals, Cardoso on August 21 launched Transparent Brazil, an anticorruption package designed to better monitor public spending and improve public service by instituting a code of ethics.

      The rift between Cardoso and Gov. Itamar Franco heightened in September when Franco failed to deter members of the landless movement from occupying a 1,100-ha (2,700-ac) farm owned by the Cardoso family in Minas Gerais. For the second time since May, the farm was surrounded as the movement launched a national offensive to occupy farmland and seek liberation of the 2,150,000,000 reais budgeted by the federal government for land reform. More than 300 federal policemen and elite army troops were called to the farm. On September 14, after issuing Cardoso a 12-hour ultimatum for removing federal troops, Franco obtained a Supreme Court injunction ordering the troops to leave. Supreme Court Minister Nelson Jobim delayed the ruling, however, and on September 15 the landless left the area.

      The Brazilian economy showed mixed signs of improvement. The stock market hit an all-time high early in the year, closing at 18,053 on January 17. The central bank's open-market committee continued its policy of gradually reducing the interest rate, lowering it in several rate declinations from 19.5% in January to 16.5% in June, where it remained unchanged through mid-November—its lowest level since 1986. The central bank also eased credit restrictions by lowering the compulsory reserves of bank deposits it held from 65% to 45%. Inflation was expected to remain within the range of 6–8% agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund. Despite the country's improving monetary policy, in 1999—the latest year for which statistics were available—average per capita income shrank 5.5% and taxation as a share of gross domestic product reached 30.3%, up from 29.9% in 1998.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 2000

8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 163,947,000
Head of state and government:
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

      No sooner had Brazilian Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso been inaugurated for his second four-year term on Jan. 1, 1999, than his administration faced one of its toughest challenges—avoiding an economic meltdown. On January 6 Itamar Franco, governor of the state of Minas Gerais, announced a moratorium on the state's debt to the central government. This touched off widespread speculation on the future of the Brazilian currency that resulted in central bank president Gustavo Franco's resignation on January 13. Two days later Brazil devalued its currency by about 8% before allowing it to float on January 15. With capital flight estimated at between $500 million and $800 million daily, rumours circulated on January 29 that the government might confiscate bank accounts, and bank runs occurred in major cities. Cardoso twice appeared on national television to dispel the notion that the government was going to confiscate accounts. In February Cardoso appointed Armínio Fraga Neto, a former hedge fund manager for investor George Soros, as central bank president. Assuming office on March 3, Fraga began to direct the bank's market intervention strategy, raising basic interest rates to 45% in early March to defend the real. In March and in April, the government renegotiated its $41.5 billion loan package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to regain credibility. The loan required Brazil to meet a budgetary surplus target of 3.1% of its gross domestic product in 1999, following a fiscal adjustment strategy of raising taxes, cutting spending, devaluing the currency, balancing the budget, and tightening credit in the economy. In March it was estimated that Brazil's GDP would shrink by 3.5–4.5% by the end of 1999.

      March also saw political disputes heat up as federal judges went on strike to demand higher wages. Congress launched two Congressional Inquiry Committees (CPIs), one into corruption of the judiciary and the other into alleged improprieties in the financial system. The attention given to the CPIs prevented Congress from making progress on reform measures such as the fiscal responsibility law, social security reform, and tax reform.

      In late May scandal took centre stage as a leading São Paulo newspaper released tape-recorded phone conversations between Cardoso and Andre Lara Resende, former president of the Brazilian National Bank for Social and Economic Development, which appeared to show that presidential favouritism played a role in the privatization auction of state-owned telecommunications giant Telebrás. Adding to Cardoso's burdens, half of the Brazilian states pressed for rescheduling of their debts with the federal government. In June Pernambuco state refused to honour its debt. Congress limped into the winter recess in July having survived political and economic tumult but with little momentum to carry out the structural reforms favoured by the IMF.

      Cabinet reshuffling marked the winter recess. Pedro Parente moved from the Budget Ministry to become the president's chief of staff; Martus Tavares was named budget minister; and Chief of Staff Clovis Carvalho became minister of development, industry, and trade. Key Cardoso allies were retained, such as Paulo Renato as minister of education. These ministerial changes largely enhanced Cardoso and the Brazilian Social Democratic Party's control of the executive branch.

      In late July 350,000 truckers went on strike in 17 states to protest gas prices and increases in tolls, and major highways were paralyzed for several days. The government ceded to the truckers' demands by suspending a planned increase in roadway tolls and keeping gas prices stable. On July 26 the Landless Workers' Movement (MST), the Catholic Church's Pastoral Social (CPT), the Sole Worker's Central (CUT), and the Workers' Party (PT) embarked on a 1,580-km (982-mi) march from Rio de Janeiro, arriving in Brasília on October 7. Cardoso faced the wrath of 15,000 farmers who filled the esplanade in Brasília with tractors from August 16 to 19 to seek the forgiveness or postponement of more than $18 billion in rural debt. Finally, on August 26, the “March of the 100,000,” organized by the PT, CUT, MST, and elements of the CPT, rallied an estimated 60,000–80,000 persons in Brasília in the largest protest against the Cardoso government.

      Reacting to social unrest and the lowest approval ratings of his tenure, Cardoso attempted to make a comeback, unveiling a multi-year budget plan called “Forward Brazil” on August 31. The four-year plan (2000–03) forecast government spending of $578 billion, including $165 billion destined for 358 projects covering social needs, transport, energy, telecommunications, and environment. Forward Brazil also estimated a return to GDP growth of 4% in 2000, followed by 5% for the next two years. In May, Congress promulgated social security legislation taxing the pensions of government retirees as well as raising the contributions of active civil servants. The Supreme Court, however, found these measures unconstitutional at the end of September, forcing the government to seek a constitutional amendment.

      According to the Brazilian Census Bureau, the Brazilian economy grew just 0.12% in 1998. Per capita income actually decreased 1.45%, the worst showing since 1992. Despite the predictions of an economic contraction of approximately 4% of GDP for 1999, the first six months showed only a slight drop in GDP—0.42%—from the same period in 1998. Brazil had largely avoided the predicted economic recession, and revisions even pointed to a possible positive growth by year's end. Inflation was expected to reach approximately 10%. Up to mid-September the government had met all the IMF targets, and a policy of slow and steady market intervention by the central bank had reduced the basic interest rate from 45% to 19% at the end of October. On October 14 Cardoso and the central bank launched 21 measures designed to open credit markets and reduce the interest rates on bank accounts held by individuals and businesses. Among the measures were a reduction of the tax on bank loans from 6% to 1.5%, the publication of interest rates charged by banks, and the elimination of banking reserve requirements for balances held in time deposits, previously at 10%.

      On December 7 Cardoso established the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, a federal body with powers similar to those of the FBI. It was the nation's first nonmilitary intelligence agency.

John Charles Cuttino

▪ 1999

      Area: 8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 161,766,000

      Capital: Brasília

      Head of state and government: President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

      During January and February 1998, Pres. Fernando Cardoso pressed ahead with his bid to push through constitutional reforms in the areas of social security (pensions) and government administration (civil service and state enterprises). In February the administrative reform won Senate approval (leaving regulatory matters to be dealt with), and the Chamber of Deputies approved the social security bill in the first-round vote (the bill having already been approved by the Senate). A favourable second-round vote was achieved at the beginning of June, but a number of opposition amendments were not completed prior to the elections, these going through only in early November.

      By late March the prospect of a Cabinet reshuffle was evident, as ministers running for other offices had to resign by April 4, six months prior to the election date. On March 30 former planning minister José Serra, a close associate of the president and a cofounder of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB), was confirmed in the post of health minister. In early April the other main changes were announced, with Edward Amadeo becoming labour minister (succeeding Paulo Paiva, who took the planning portfolio) and new incumbents at agriculture, justice, industry, social security, and institutional reform. There was no change to the key post of finance minister, held by Pedro Malan, which was to prove important as global economic difficulties intensified.

      Late in April two of Cardoso's key political allies died: Communication Minister Sergio Motta and government Chief Whip Luís Eduardo Magalhaes. This unexpected development required Cardoso to take the lead in pushing through his reform agenda at a time close to the onset of his reelection campaign. The latter part of May and much of June registered some erosion of popular support for the president in the opinion polls, but by early July support for Cardoso was rebuilding. Through August and September he maintained the confidence of the electorate by adopting a pragmatic stance and demonstrating a firm commitment to dealing with economic problem areas, particularly the deficits on the public sector and current accounts.

      On October 4 Cardoso was reelected with 53.1% of the valid votes, comfortably ahead of Luiz Inácio ("Lula") da Silva (31.7%), whereas Ciro Gomes, a former PSDB member running for the small Popular Socialist Party (PPS), finished third with almost 11%. In the 513-member Chamber of Deputies, the seats won by the main pro-government parties were as follows: Liberal Front Party (PFL), 105; PSDB, 99; Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), 82; Progressive Renewal Party (PPB), 60; and Labour Party (PTB), 31. The leading left-of-centre opposition parties, the Workers' Party (PT) and Democratic Labour Party (PDT), took 58 and 26 seats, respectively. In the 81-member Senate, the PMDB became the largest party, with 27 seats, followed by PFL with 20, PSDB with 16, and PT with 7. Most of the 27 contests for governor were won by candidates from parties in the pro-government alliance (including seven for the PSDB) with the opposition taking 6 overall.

      The favourable results for Cardoso, as well as for the loose coalition of parties backing him, ran counter to the crisis environment that had intensified since July and that had brought the government into negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and creditors in an effort to avert a collapse of the real; this followed huge capital outflows in August and September that totaled approximately $30 billion, reducing reserves to about $52 billion and driving up interest rates to almost 50%. In order to obtain contingency financing from these sources, the government in late December enacted measures designed to raise $5.6 billion to help reduce the budget deficit.

      It was agreed with the IMF that a budget surplus of 2.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) would be achieved in 1999, increasing to 2.8% in 2000 and 3% in 2001. For such targets to be viable, austerity measures totaling $84.5 billion over the three-year period were announced on October 28. While most of these were awaiting congressional approval, on November 13 the IMF and multilateral and bilateral creditors announced a standby loan totaling approximately $41.3 billion.

      The economy showed only moderate growth of 1.22% in the first half of 1998 compared with the same period of 1997, and in the third quarter there was a decline of 0.14% from the corresponding period of the previous year as manufacturing industry contracted sharply (down 4.09%) and industry overall fell 2.06%. Annual GDP growth of about 0.5% appeared likely (after 3.7% in 1997).


▪ 1998

      Area: 8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 159,691,000

      Capital: Brasília

      Head of state and government: President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Domestic Affairs.
      The year 1997 began with the federal legislature called into a special session by Pres. Fernando Cardoso, who was attempting to ensure that progress would be made on a number of legislative matters, including the constitutional amendment concerning the reelection of the president of the nation and also of state governors and mayors. The reelection amendment was approved in two rounds of voting by the Chamber of Deputies in late January and late February, each by the required three-fifths majority. It took almost three more months before the Senate approved the bill, also in two rounds. Passage of the amendment effectively cleared the way for Cardoso to run for another four-year term of office in the elections scheduled for 1998.

      Legislative maneuverings concerning the reelection were influenced early in the year by elections in both chambers of the federal legislature. Former Bahia state governor Antônio Carlos Magalhães of the Liberal Front Party (PFL) was elected to head the Senate, replacing José Sarney of the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), who was president of Brazil from 1985 to 1990. The Chamber of Deputies elected Michel Temer of the PMDB to replace Luis Eduardo Magalhães (son of Antônio and also from the PFL). These outcomes were favoured by Cardoso as part of the effort to gain votes from the loose alliance of parties backing his minority Brazilian Social Democratic Party.

      At the end of March, an inquiry into the allegedly illegal authorization of several billion dollars of bond payments by some state and municipal governments contributed to delays on the reelection bill. Further problems arose in May when a leading São Paulo newspaper broke a story alleging that bribes had been offered to federal legislators in exchange for votes in favour of the reelection amendment.

      Deliberations on other pending constitutional amendments moved slowly, although in early April first-round approval was given by the Chamber of Deputies to the administrative reform bill that would set salary limits and remove job guarantees for public employees. Second-round approval was granted in November. The social security reform bill, which was being reworked by the Senate after the bill was diluted in the lower house in 1996, was approved by early October but had to return to the Chamber of Deputies for two rounds of votes.

      Two changes were made in the Cabinet in the second half of May, to replace Justice Minister Nelson Jobim, who was elevated to head the Supreme Court, and Transport Minister Odacir Klein, who had resigned in late 1996. The Justice post was filled by Sen. Iris Resende, and Eliseu Padilha moved from the Chamber of Deputies to Transport. Both were from the PMDB (as were their predecessors), and the balance of parties in the Cabinet was thereby maintained. In late July, Gustavo Loyola resigned as head of the central bank and was replaced by Gustavo Franco, who had previously been the bank's director of international affairs. The transition was a smooth one, with Franco's appointment heralding policy continuity.

The Economy.
      Gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the first half of 1997 revealed an increase of 4.3% from the same period of 1996. This growth, which was underpinned by a sound industrial performance, was expected to slow slightly in the second half of the year, particularly since interest rates were unlikely to come down further, and consumer credit would thus be kept relatively tight. By October it appeared likely that GDP would increase by about 4% for the year. The annual rate of inflation was expected to be about 5% for 1997.

      Brazil's main difficulties concerned the deficits on the public sector and current accounts. In 1996 there was an operational deficit (balance of public-sector accounts including interest payments) of 3.9% of GDP with a primary surplus (the balance excluding interest payments) of 0.4% of GDP. For 1997 the government hoped to improve on that position, although in September, Planning Minister Antônio Kandir acknowledged that the target of achieving a primary surplus of 1.5% of GDP was unlikely to be met, with 0.6% viewed as more viable. This was the case despite the government's moving ahead with the sale of state assets, including a major stake in the state mining concern, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, in May. By the final quarter of the year, preparations were well advanced for the disposal of government-owned assets in the telecommunications and electrical power industries.


▪ 1997

      Brazil is a federal republic situated in eastern South America on the Atlantic Ocean. Area: 8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 157,872,000. Cap.: Brasília. Monetary unit: reais, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a controlled rate of 1.03 real to U.S. $1 (1.62 reais = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

      Contrary to the climate of optimism prevailing when Pres. Fernando Cardoso began his term a year earlier, the start of 1996 was overshadowed by political controversies that had erupted in late 1995: the award of a contract for a surveillance project in the Amazon region to the U.S. firm Raytheon, and the so-called pink file concerning political campaign donations made by the failed Banco Economico. In addition, the government's plans to win approval for a series of constitutional reforms in the spheres of social security, administration, and taxation were running behind schedule. Despite special sessions of the National Congress during January and February, little was achieved in this regard, although the extension to mid-1997 of the emergency financial fund, formerly known as the emergency social tax, was approved. In large measure members of Congress were anticipating municipal elections scheduled for October, in which about 25% of the members of the Chamber of Deputies would run.

      A further setback for the reform agenda occurred when the Senate voted in March to set up a parliamentary inquiry into the banking sector following irregularities discovered at another bank, the Banco Nacional. The inquiry was later shelved, which allowed limited headway on reforms.

      In late April the Cabinet was reshuffled, partly in order to reinforce congressional backing for the reforms, with the timing being linked to the departure of Agriculture Minister José Eduardo Vieira. Vieira's post went to another member of the Brazilian Labour Party, Sen. Arlindo Porto. But the more important move was to bring into the Cabinet a member of the Brazilian Progressive Party (PPB) to help firm up votes of PPB legislators for the government. Accordingly, Francisco Dornelles, a former finance minister, was given the industry and commerce post, replacing Dorothea Werneck. Two new extraordinary ministerial posts were created: one, for land reform, went to Raúl Jungman, whose initial task was to improve confidence following a police massacre of peasants from the landless movement; the other, for congressional coordination, went to Luiz Carlos Santos of the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, who had been the government leader in the Chamber of Deputies. Santos was replaced in the legislature by Benito Gama of the Liberal Front Party (PFL), Cardoso's core alliance partner. An additional change followed the departure of Planning Minister José Serra in late May to become the mayoral candidate in São Paulo on behalf of Cardoso's Party of Brazilian Social Democracy. Serra's replacement was Antônio Kandir, who in 1990-91 was economic policy secretary in the administration of Fernando Collor de Mello.

      From about midyear politics was dominated by campaigning for the municipal elections. A special session of Congress was convened during the July recess to further the reform process but, again, with only limited results. A diluted version of the social security reform was, however, approved by the Chamber of Deputies and forwarded to the Senate. Obstacles to the privatization of the state mining concern Vale do Rio Doce were also overcome, with a view to a sale date in February 1997. In September the goods-circulation tax for most commodity exports and semiprocessed materials was eliminated, and a financial-transactions tax to raise funds for the health budget was approved.

      The first round of the municipal elections was held on October 3. By October 9 the final tally of party results in the more than 5,000 municipalities remained to be finalized, although it appeared that the main pro-government parties had increased their showing over 1992. Immediately after the first round, the government embarked on a vigorous campaign to muster support for a constitutional amendment to permit the reelection of the president for a second term, with this possibly to be extended to other elected executive posts (state governors and mayors). The second round of elections on November 15 resulted in defeats for Cardoso's candidates in the "big three" cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. The most significant victory was by Celso Pitta of the right-wing Brazilian Progressive Party, an opponent of Cardoso who won 57% of the vote in São Paulo.

The Economy.
      On the economic front, during 1996 the Cardoso administration succeeded in maintaining the stability engendered by the Real Plan, which had been launched early in 1994. By the end of September, the annual rate of inflation was less than 14%. Under the constraint of continuing tight monetary and credit policy (despite a gradual reduction of interest rates and a modest relaxation of some credit rules), economic activity increased only marginally in the first half of 1996, with a 0.27% growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Signs of an improvement were evident in the second quarter, however, when GDP rose 2.3% above that of the same period in 1995. In August the authorities indicated that the growth forecast for the year was being revised downward to less than 3%. This was reversed by early October, when IPEA, the research institute linked to the Planning Ministry, predicted a 3% growth rate for the year.

      In the absence of fiscal reform, the public sector deficit was not brought under control. It was, however, expected to be reduced significantly—to about 3.5% of GDP in 1996 from almost 5% in 1995.

      Brazil's balance of trade improved over 1995, when there was an annual deficit of $3,150,000,000. The government expected that there would be a deficit of about $2.5 billion by the end of the year. The current-account deficit was to be kept under 3% of GDP and was expected to be substantially less than the $17.6 billion deficit of 1995. (SUSAN M. CUNNINGHAM)

▪ 1996

      Brazil is a federal republic in eastern South America on the Atlantic Ocean. Area: 8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 155,822,000. Cap.: Brasília. Monetary unit: real, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a controlled rate of 0.96 real to U.S. $1 (1.52 reais = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

      The year 1995 began on an optimistic note as Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office on January 1, having been elected with 54% of the vote in a single round in the elections held on Oct. 3, 1994. Most state governors were also inaugurated at the beginning of 1995, but new members of the national legislature took their seats on February 1, with business beginning in earnest in mid-March.

      In common with the previous administration—first under Pres. Fernando Collor de Mello (1990-92) and then Itamar Franco (1992-94)—Cardoso lacked a majority in the legislature. His Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) needed to forge a core alliance with the conservative Liberal Front Party (PFL), the Brazilian Labour Party (PTB), and minor parties and enlist support from the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) and the Progressive Reform Party (PPR) to win approval for constitutional amendments, which required a three-fifths majority in two rounds of voting in both houses of the legislature.

      The first group of economic-reform proposals were presented to the legislature as amendments to the constitution on February 22. These consisted of four main items: permitting private-sector participation in the distribution of natural gas by pipeline; opening coastal shipping to foreign lines; redefining what constitutes a Brazilian enterprise; and breaking down monopolies conferred upon the state telecommunications concern, Telebras, and the oil concern, Petrobrás (each requiring a separate amendment). All secured approval in the Chamber of Deputies during May and June, with the first three also having cleared the Senate by June 28 and the telecommunications amendment in early July. The Senate voted on October 18 by 58-17 to end the government's monopoly of oil exploration, refining, and importing by allowing private investment in Petrobrás. Final passage of the bill came on November 8 by a vote of 60-15.

      Plans launched in March to reform the Social Security system had to be shelved temporarily owing to opposition in the legislature. They were resubmitted in August, together with proposals for fiscal and administrative reform. Along with the fiscal package, the government sought to extend until 1999 the Emergency Social Fund (FSE), which was due to expire in December 1995, in order to achieve greater flexibility for its budgeting plans.

      Legislative deliberations on the reforms were complicated by the souring of relations between the government and the PFL following the central bank's intervention in the Banco Economico, a private-sector bank in the state of Bahia that ran into difficulty in August. The former Bahia state governor and current PFL senator Antõnio Carlos Magalhães sought to retain the bank in private hands, but the government's demand for a substantial injection of funds could not be met.

      In early October the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Luis Eduardo Magalhães, indicated that an extension of the FSE for the full period was unlikely, but the Congress finally agreed in October to extend the FSE for another 18 months. There were doubts whether the other reforms would be fully approved before the end of the year. Also evident was opposition to plans to privatize the Rio Doce mining concern during 1996.

      On the economic front, the Cardoso administration during 1995 was able to sustain the stability engendered by the "Real Plan" that began with the plan's inception in 1994, when Cardoso was still finance minister, and continued after the launch of the new currency on July 1, 1994. Monthly inflation averaged about 2% in the first nine months of 1995, with the University of São Paulo index down to 0.74% in September. During the first quarter of the year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 10.5%, which signaled that the economy was overheating despite continuing high real interest rates (high rates also had the adverse effect of pushing up federal public debt from 61.8 billion reais at the end of 1994 to 92 billion reais at the end of September 1995). The authorities took action at the end of March to tighten credit and restrict imports, especially of automobiles and approximately 100 consumer durables, on which import tariffs were increased to 70%.

      During the second quarter the growth rate briefly turned negative but came out at about 8%, and there was some easing of credit in the third quarter as output fell and unemployment rose. By midyear there was a continuing deficit on the trade account—which had begun in November 1994. Between January and the end of June 1995, the trade deficit reached some $4.2 billion. Ostensibly in a further attempt to reverse this trend, quotas for automobile imports were introduced in June; this caused a furor with neighbouring Argentina, Brazil's major partner in the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) and an exporter of automobiles to Brazil. The row was defused after meetings between Cardoso and Pres. Carlos Menem of Argentina. Following other protests to the World Trade Organization, it was announced in the second week of October that the remaining quota restrictions would be lifted.

      Having allowed the real to become overvalued against the U.S. dollar by some 30% between July 1994 and March 1995, the authorities formally established a floating trading band of 0.88-0.93 real per dollar for the currency in early March 1995, widening the band to 0.91-0.99 per dollar from June 23. In subsequent months central bank management resulted in an orderly downward adjustment that brought the real to 0.958 per U.S. dollar by October 10.

      The improved competitiveness of the real and continued slowing of GDP growth (5.7% was projected for the year) began to help reverse the trade position during the third quarter, with modest monthly surpluses returning (by the end of August the deficit stood at about $3.9 billion). In October the central bank was projecting a current account deficit for 1995 of some $16 billion-$17 billion, about 3% of GDP. With the country's international reserves having rebuilt to $45.8 billion (on a cash basis) by the end of August from a low of $29.9 billion in April, the authorities were in a comfortable position to meet payments obligations. (SUSAN M. CUNNINGHAM)

▪ 1995

      Brazil is a federal republic in eastern South America on the Atlantic Ocean. Area: 8,511,996 sq km (3,286,500 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 159 million. Cap.: Brasília. Monetary unit: real (introduced July 1 to replace the cruzeiro real at the rate of 1 real = 2,750 cruzeiros reais (a rate par to the U.S. $ on July 1), with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 0.89 real to U.S. $1 (1.34 reais = £1 sterling). President in 1994, Itamar Franco.

      The year 1994 proved to be a complex one for Brazil. It was the final year of the term being served by Pres. Itamar Franco after Fernando Collor de Mello had to step down in the final quarter of 1992. (Collor was acquitted of bribery charges in December.) The year began with the final stages of a congressional inquiry (begun in October 1993) into allegations of impropriety by some two dozen senior political figures with respect to misappropriation of budget funds. "Budgetgate," as the episode was known, affected the progress of the constitutional revision, which also had begun in October 1993, and it contributed to delays in the legislature in approving the 1994 budget. During the year the budget was repeatedly revised, and it was not passed until late October. One important measure—the creation of a $15 billion emergency social fund—was approved in February, however.

      A mid-March deadline for completion of the constitutional review had originally been set, but this was extended until May 31. Even so, few changes of major significance were approved, leaving such key proposals as fiscal reform, modifications to statutes governing state monopolies in telecommunications and oil, and the removal of discrimination against foreign mining concerns to be dealt with by the next government.

      General elections for federal and state posts, including the president of the republic but excluding municipal positions, provided a central focus of attention during the year. They were scheduled for October 3 (with a second round on November 15 when a candidate for an executive post failed to obtain a clear majority). At the end of March, Finance Minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso (see BIOGRAPHIES (Cardoso, Fernando Henrique )) of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), who had been in that office since late May 1993, stepped down in order to run for president. His place was taken by Rubens Ricupero, a career diplomat, from April until early September, after which Ciro Gomes (a PSDB politician and former state governor) served.

      Until late July Cardoso was trailing well behind Luis Inácio Lula da Silva ("Lula") of the Workers Party (PT), the top contender in all opinion polls over a prolonged period. During the remaining months before the election, however, Cardoso pulled sharply ahead of his main rival, boosted by the apparent success of an economic strategy—the Real Plan (so named after the new currency introduced from July 1) that he was instrumental in creating.

      In the election Cardoso succeeded in winning the presidency in a single round, with some 54% of the vote against 27% for da Silva. This result also reflected the success of Cardoso's strategy of allying the PSDB in an electoral pact with two other parties, the Liberal Front (PFL) and the Labour Party (PTB). The congressional results were not as favourable for the Cardoso coalition, as it failed to secure a majority in either house. In the Chamber of Deputies the Cardoso grouping took some 36% of the 503 seats and in the Senate about 41% of the 81 seats.

      Only 9 state governorships were decided on October 3, leaving 18 to be fought out on November 15. On the latter date there was also a rerun of legislative elections in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where investigations had shown that there had been widespread fraud. To avert a repeat of the fraud and to combat mounting criminal activity, heavy security was applied during the rerun, along with a military crackdown in the poorer favela (slum) districts, where drug traffickers had established a strong presence.

      Having won only one governorship in the first-round poll (the state of Ceará), candidates from Cardoso's PSDB went on to win five more in November, including the three most economically important (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais) together with Pará and Sergipe in the northern and northeastern regions, respectively. By contrast, the PFL and PTB fared poorly, with the PFL in particular registering a decline in the number of states it controlled from nine to two.

      The largest party—the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB)—was able to improve its number of governorships from seven to nine, and the PT won two states (having held none previously). Leonel Brizola's Democratic Labour Party lost one of its three governors. During the second half of November, Cardoso was negotiating with the PMDB—which held some 28% of Senate seats and 22.5% of those in the Chamber of Deputies—in an effort to build majority congressional support. If constitutional reforms were to be pursued, however, a three-fifths majority would be required.

      Increased crime in Rio de Janeiro caused President Franco in early November to order the Brazilian army to help the state and local police restore order in the city. In many of Rio's shantytowns, the police had been confronted with drug gangs firing automatic weapons and with residents burning buses and building street barricades. The army announced that its first effort would be to carry out arrest warrants against 300 suspected drug traffickers.

      During his period in office as finance minister, Cardoso inaugurated policies for economic stabilization. The foundations for this were laid in the second half of 1993; on Aug. 2, 1993, the cruzeiro became the cruzeiro real as a prelude to the launching of the real as a new stronger currency during 1994. The core of the Real Plan was developed during the first quarter of 1994 before Cardoso left office. An interim stage of the plan began on March 1 with the phasing in of a single exchange-rate-linked index for inflation—the unit of real value (or URV)—that was set daily by the central bank. Most prices, with the main exception of rents, had been converted to the new index by the end of June, reducing monthly rates of inflation as expressed in URVs. Expressed in terms of the cruzeiro real, however, monthly inflation in June was about 50%. This was reduced to the 5-8% range the following month (with a low 1-2% in September), after the introduction of the real on July 1, 1994.

      A growth of more than 4% in gross domestic product was expected for the year. Fueled by an improvement in real incomes, consumption rose in the second half of the year, though a consumer boom was held in check by high interest rates and import liberalization. The trade surplus at the end of October stood at $11,880,000,000. The country's debt rescheduling, which had been negotiated with commercial bank creditors in 1993, was completed in mid-April. International reserves were buoyant at $40 billion.

      Brazil and the world lost two enormously popular figures in 1994, race-car driver Ayrton Senna and songwriter and jazz musician Antônio Carlos Jobim. (See OBITUARIES (Jobim, Antonio Carlos ).) (SUSAN M. CUNNINGHAM)

▪ 1994

      Brazil is a federal republic in eastern South America on the Atlantic Ocean. Area: 8,511,996 sq km (3,286,500 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 156,493,000. Cap.: Brasília. Monetary unit: cruzeiro real (introduced August 2 to replace the cruzeiro at the rate of 1 cruzeiro real = 1,000 cruzeiros), with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 128.47 cruzeiros reais to U.S. $1 (194.64 cruzeiros reais = £1 sterling). President in 1993, Itamar Franco.

      Late in 1992 Itamar Franco (see BIOGRAPHIES (Franco, Itamar )) replaced Fernando Collor de Mello as president of Brazil when the latter resigned during his impeachment trial. Franco was sworn in to complete the remainder of Collor's five-year term, which was to run to January 1995. Early in 1993 Franco managed to galvanize cross-party support from the great majority of members of Congress—who had supported the impeachment of Collor for his alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar corruption and influence-peddling scheme—for legislative measures needed to help overcome a fiscal crisis.

      In late January, Congress approved a package of partial tax reforms and the modernization-of-ports bill. On January 20 the introduction of a tax of 0.25% on checks and related bank transfers was approved. This aimed to raise some $7 billion of additional revenues in a full year, but obstacles to implementation prevented it from going into effect until the end of August. Only a few weeks after its introduction, the Supreme Court suspended collection pending a review of its constitutionality, which was due to be completed by the end of the year.

      To help win support for the fiscal measures, Franco had to assure members of key parties (especially the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement [PMDB] and the Workers Party [PT]) that a portion of new revenues would be deployed in social projects in the spheres of housing and education. Finance Minister Paulo Haddad had incorporated such provisions in his plans for the economy, but they were delayed until late April owing to his resignation on March 1. His successor, Eliseu Resende, retained the basic outlines of the plan, which was announced on April 24, but also emphasized the use of funds originally designated for privatization to finance social projects. The Resende plan included a $2.6 billion low-income-housing program, public works projects, an emergency food-distribution plan, reduced import tariffs on medicines, and subsidies to agriculture.

      Following a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.9% in 1992, the government's underlying aim was to reflate the economy modestly so as to provide growth of about 3.5% in 1993. Although initially well received, the plan faced implementation difficulties and required a revision of the budget, which had been approved only one month earlier. Resende's stay in office proved short, his resignation coming in the third week of May after allegations that he had been involved in influence-peddling activities. On October 17 a former senior treasury official accused more than 30 politicians, including some members of the Cabinet, of corruption and unleashed a new congressional inquiry.

      Brazil's national plebiscite on the form and system of government took place as planned on April 21. Two-thirds of the 50 million voters who cast valid ballots favoured retaining the presidential system, and a six-to-one majority also voted to keep the republican form of government.

      Revision of the constitution was scheduled to begin after Oct. 5, 1993. Despite efforts of some groups (led by the PT and the Democratic Labour Party [PDT]) to prevent it, the review did begin on October 7. Deliberations during the remainder of that month were dominated by procedural issues and amendment proposals, with long-term fiscal reforms (including changes in the allocation of federal funds to state and municipal governments) being among the priorities.

      Fernando Henrique Cardoso of the Social Democrat Party (PSDB) was nominated to the post of finance minister (having previously been foreign minister) after Resende's departure in late May. Cardoso moved in the following months to appoint other PSDB members to senior posts both within his ministry and to other key agencies such as the National Development Bank and the central bank. Cabinet posts were reshuffled during August and September, triggered initially by the failure of the Socialist Party (PSB) to support the government in a crucial vote on a revised wage bill; the government later won a majority in the vote on the bill. The PSB relinquished several Cabinet posts, providing Franco with an opportunity to bring in the Progressive Reform Party and widening his base of political power.

      Incidents of violence continued to mar life in Brazil in 1993. In July three military policemen were arrested and charged with the killing of seven homeless boys in Rio de Janeiro, and a month later 33 policemen were apprehended for the murder of 21 people in a Rio shantytown. Also in August illegal Brazilian gold miners in remote Amazonas state reportedly killed 73 members of the Yanomamö Indian tribe, although later reports significantly reduced the number of deaths and placed the killings across the border in Venezuela.

The Economy.
      It became evident during the first quarter of 1993 that a recovery was under way, industrial output having begun to improve in late 1992, helped by lower domestic interest rates. Industrial output for the first quarter of 1993 increased 8% over the same period of 1992, largely because of even larger rises in the consumer durables sector, where there was buoyant vehicle production. GDP grew about 5.5% during the first half of 1993, led by a 10.9% increase for manufacturing.

      Despite the efforts of successive finance ministers to stabilize the economy and bring the public-sector accounts into balance without resorting to such drastic measures as price and wage freezes, inflation continued on an upward curve, increasing from more than 27% in January to about 30% in June and 35% in October. The draft budget for 1994 was made available in early August 1993, but the events of October made it necessary for Cardoso to revise this with a view to reducing a projected deficit of some $25 billion.

      Legislation was signed on September 8 to separate the accounts of the central bank and the treasury (the move also permitted the transfer of $52 billion held in government debt instruments from the bank to the treasury), paving the way for the central bank to deal with monetary and exchange-rate policy while the treasury handled fiscal policy. Further progress was made with privatization, with the entire steel sector having been disposed of by the end of September. A number of petrochemical concerns were scheduled to be auctioned in November.

      The external accounts position continued to be positive. By the end of September, the nine-month trade surplus had reached $10.3 billion, with exports close to $29 billion and imports $18.6 billion. (SUSAN M. CUNNINGHAM)

* * *

officially  Federative Republic of Brazil , Portuguese  República Federativa do Brasil  
Brazil, flag of  country of South America that occupies half the continent's landmass. It is the fifth largest nation in the world, exceeded in size only by Russia, Canada, China, and the United States, though its area is greater than that of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Brazil faces the Atlantic Ocean along 4,600 miles (7,400 km) of coastline and shares more than 9,750 miles (15,700 km) of inland borders with every South American nation except Chile and Ecuador—specifically, Uruguay to the south; Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia to the southwest; Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana to the north. Brazil stretches roughly 2,700 miles (4,350 km) from north to south and from east to west to form a vast, irregular triangle that encompasses a wide range of tropical and subtropical landscapes, including wetlands, savannas, plateaus, and low mountains. Brazil contains most of the Amazon River basin, which has the world's largest river system and the world's most extensive virgin rainforest. The country contains no desert, high-mountain, or arctic environments.

 Brazil is the fifth most populous nation on Earth and accounts for one-third of Latin America's population. Most of the nation's inhabitants are concentrated along the eastern seaboard, although its capital, Brasília, is located far inland, and increasing numbers of migrants are also moving to the interior. The nation's burgeoning cities, huge hydroelectric and industrial complexes, mines, and fertile farmlands make it one of the world's major economies; however, Brazil also struggles with extreme social inequalities, environmental degradation, intermittent financial crises, and a sometimes deadlocked political system.

      Brazil is unique in the Americas because, following independence from Portugal, it did not fragment into separate countries as did British and Spanish possessions in the region; rather, it retained its identity through the intervening centuries and a variety of forms of government. Because of that hegemony, the Portuguese language is universal except among Brazil's native Indians, especially those in the more remote reaches of the Amazon basin. At the turn of the 21st century, Brazilians marked the 500th anniversary of Portuguese contact with a mixture of public celebration and deprecation.

Ronald Milton Schneider

The land (Brazil)
 The Brazilian landscape is immense and complex, with interspersed rivers, wetlands, mountains, and plateaus adjoining other major features and traversing the boundaries of states and regions.

Geographic regions
      The Brazilian government has grouped the country's states into five large geographic and statistical units called the Major Regions (Grandes Regiões): North (Norte), Northeast (Nordeste), Central-West (Centro-Oeste), Southeast (Sudeste), and South (Sul). The tropical North—comprising the states of Acre, Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Roraima, and Amapá—covers more than two-fifths of Brazilian territory and includes the largest portion of Amazon rainforest and parts of the Guiana and Brazilian highlands; however, the region accounts for a limited proportion of the nation's population and economic output.

      The Northeast, which experiences some of the nation's driest and hottest conditions, has nearly one-fifth of Brazil's land area and more than one-fourth of the population. It contains the states of Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia, and Pernambuco, the latter including the island of Fernando de Noronha (Fernando de Noronha Island), some 225 miles (360 km) off the Atlantic coast. The region's oldest cities date from the 16th century, when the Portuguese first established sugarcane plantations there. The Northeast accounts for one-fifth of the nation's agricultural production, but the industrial and service sectors lag far behind those of the Southeast and South, and the unemployment rate remains high.

      The Southeast covers only one-tenth of Brazil's territory but has two-fifths of its population and the greatest concentration of industrial and agricultural production in the nation. The region includes São Paulo state, which is the nation's economic and demographic heartland, landlocked Minas Gerais, whose very name (meaning “Extensive Mines”) testifies to great mineral wealth, and the populous coastal states of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. The city of Rio de Janeiro, the national capital from 1763 to 1960, remains Brazil's main cultural and tourist centre.

      The South, which stretches below the Tropic of Capricorn, includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. It occupies an area nearly as large as the isle of Britain but is the smallest of Brazil's regions. Its diversified economy includes strong manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors. The South has about one-seventh of the nation's population, including many people of European ancestry, particularly from Germany and Italy. The South's tourist trade partly depends on the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, at the Argentine border.

      The Central-West consists of the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the Federal District, in which Brasília is located. The region covers roughly one-fourth of Brazil, including forested valleys, semiarid highlands, and vast wetlands. A small proportion of the nation's population lives there, but an increasing number of settlers have been moving into the region and extending its agricultural frontiers.

      Brazil is a predominantly tropical country famous for its extensive Amazon lowlands; however, highlands cover most of the national territory. Brazil's physical features can be grouped into five main physiographic divisions: the Guiana Highlands in the North, the Amazon lowlands, the Pantanal in the Central-West, the Brazilian Highlands (including the extensive coastal ranges), and the coastal lowlands.

      Brazil shares the rugged Guiana Highlands with Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Forested mesas and mountain ranges, scenic waterfalls, and white-water rivers characterize the area. The highest point in Brazil is Neblina Peak, which reaches 9,888 feet (3,014 metres) along the Venezuelan border in the Serra do Imeri. The Serra da Pacaraima, farther east, rises to 9,094 feet (2,772 metres) at Mount Roraima (Roraima, Mount), where the borders of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil meet. The less rugged Acaraí and Tumuc-Humac (Tumucumaque) ranges border on the Guianas.

Amazon lowlands
      The Amazon lowlands are widest along the eastern base of the Andes. They narrow toward the east until, downstream of Manaus, only a narrow ribbon of annually flooded plains (várzeas) separates the Guiana Highlands to the north from the Brazilian Highlands to the south. The várzeas fan out again as the watercourse approaches the Atlantic, but no delta extends into the ocean. The basin's most widespread topographical features are gently undulating hills called terra firme (“solid ground”), composed of layers of alluvial soil that were deposited as much as 2.5 million years ago and subsequently uplifted to positions above flood level. Shallow oxbow lakes and wetlands are found throughout the region.

      The immense Pantanal, an extension of the Gran Chaco plain, is a region of swamps and marshes in northwestern Mato Grosso do Sul and southern Mato Grosso states and, to a lesser extent, in northern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia; it is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the world, covering some 54,000 square miles (140,000 square km). The Pantanal is dissected by the effluents of the upper Paraguay River, which overflows its banks during the rainy season, inundating all but the tops of scattered levees and low hills. (See also Drainage (Brazil).)

      The Brazilian Highlands make up more than half of the country's landmass and are the main source of the nation's abundant mineral wealth. In Brazil the highlands are often called the Planalto Central (Central Highlands, or Central Plateau), but that term may be limited to the part of the highlands around Brasília and Goiás. The rugged highlands include steep cliffs, flat-topped plateaus, ravines, rolling hills, and rock outcrops; however, the region's maximum elevations are below 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). Its highest elevations are in two areas: the first along a series of ridges less than 300 miles (500 km) from the eastern coast, and the second in the environs of Brasília and the border dividing Bahia state from Tocantins and Goiás. The highlands to the north and west of Goiás extend for some 600 miles (1,000 km) until they descend into the Amazon lowlands. A massive escarpment marks the eastern edge of the Brazilian Highlands, extending along the coast for some 1,600 miles (2,600 km) and forming mountain ranges that average approximately 2,600 feet (800 metres) in elevation, with many individual peaks rising above 7,000 feet (about 2,100 metres).

      The major ranges of the northeastern highlands include the Serra Grande, which skirts the Piauí-Ceará border; the Araripe Upland (Chapado Araripe) in Pernambuco state; and the Diamantina Upland (Chapada Diamantina) in Bahia. The Serra do Espinhaço (Espinhaço Mountains) extends from central Minas Gerais into southern Bahia, where Almas Peak reaches 6,070 feet (1,850 metres). The Serra Geral de Goiás separates the states of Goiás and Tocantins to the west from Bahia to the east. Goiás state also includes some of the more elevated parts of the Planalto Central, the Serra dos Pirineus, and the Serra Dourada. The ranges and plateaus farther north and west, which are neither as elevated nor as deeply dissected as their eastern counterparts, include the mineral-rich Serra dos Carajás in eastern Pará state, the Serra do Cachimbo, mainly in southwestern Pará, and the Parecis Upland (Chapada dos Parecis), which stretches between Rondônia and Mato Grosso. Other highland regions of Mato Grosso state are sometimes collectively designated the Mato Grosso Plateau.

      The Serra do Mar (Mar, Serra do), averaging some 3,000 feet (1,000 metres) above sea level, is the largest segment of the escarpment along the Atlantic coast. The range extends from southeastern Minas Gerais to eastern Paraná; in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, where the range is also known as the Serra dos Orgãos, it presents an almost sheer face to the sea and creates the outcrops of Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) and Gávea and a string of small islands. The Serra da Mantiqueira (Mantiqueira Mountains), located just north of the Serra do Mar but still somewhat near the coast, marches southward from the Serra do Espinhaço; in southern Minas Gerais the Mantiqueira range reaches 9,143 feet (2,787 metres) at Agulhas Negras Peak on the Rio de Janeiro state border and 9,482 feet (2,890 metres) at Bandeira Peak, near the Serra dos Aimorés (Aimorés Mountains), which extends along the Minas Gerais–Espírito Santo border. A series of ridges southwest of the Serra do Mar is known as the Serra de Botucatu in São Paulo state and the Serra Geral from Paraná southward. The Iguaçu River in southwestern Paraná tumbles over a steep rim of diabase rock to form the spectacular Iguaçu Falls. Guaíra Falls on the Paraná River were a similar attraction until 1982, when the huge hydroelectric dam at Itaipú was completed and they were submerged.

Coastal lowlands
      The Atlantic lowlands, which comprise only a tiny part of Brazil's territory, range up to 125 miles (200 km) wide in the North but become narrower in the Northeast and disappear in parts of the Southeast. Nevertheless, their features are widely varied, including level floodplains, swamps, lagoons, sand dunes, and long stretches of white sandy beaches that are protected in some areas by coral reefs and barrier islands. Various deep harbours exist where the rocky slopes of the coastal ranges plunge directly into the ocean, such as at Guanabara Bay, where Rio de Janeiro and Niterói are located, and All Saints Bay, the site of Salvador; cities in these locations occupy small valleys or considerably narrow strips of land, but many poorer neighbourhoods occupy perilously steep ridges on the periphery. The coastal plain widens again in the South at the site of Patos Lagoon, one of the continent's largest lagoons, and Mirím Lagoon, along the Uruguayan border.

      Brazil is drained by the Amazon River, which is the centrepiece of the most extensive river system in the world, and by other systems that are notable in their own right—the Tocantins (Tocantins River)-Araguaia (Araguaia River) in the north, the Paraguay (Paraguay River)-Paraná (Paraná River)-Plata in the south, and the São Francisco (São Francisco River) in the east and northeast. Numerous smaller rivers and streams drain directly eastward to the Atlantic from the Brazilian interior, but most are short, have steep gradients, and are not impounded for hydroelectric developments or suitable for waterborne traffic. The more navigable rivers of this group are the Paranaíba, between the states of Piauí and Maranhão, and the Jacuí in Rio Grande do Sul.

 The Amazon River rises from a point in the Peruvian Andes within 100 miles (160 km) of the Pacific Ocean, whence its course meanders some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) to the Atlantic. There it contributes as much as one-fifth of all of the Earth's surface runoff from the continents to the sea. The river's great tributaries include the Juruá (Juruá River), Purus (Purus River), Madeira (Madeira River), Tapajós (Tapajós River), and Xingu (Xingu River) rivers on the southern side and the Negro River on the northern side (see photograph—>). Six tributaries exceed 1,000 miles (1,600 km) in length, and some carry more water individually than does North America's Mississippi River, so that the Amazon's annual discharge to the Atlantic is more than 10 times that of the Mississippi. Ships of considerable size navigate upstream to Manaus, and smaller vessels can reach Iquitos in eastern Peru, some 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the sea. However, shipping is limited on the Amazonian tributaries, all of which are interrupted by falls and rapids where they descend from the highlands; none of the main effluents have been harnessed to produce hydroelectric power.

      The Paraguay-Paraná-Plata is the second of the great river systems of Brazil; it also drains large parts of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. In Brazil the system rises in the highlands of Mato Grosso, Goiás, and Minas Gerais states and flows southward in two sections—the Paraguay (Paraguay River) and Paraná (Paraná River) (or Alto Paraná, as it is sometimes called before the two rivers join). The upper reaches of the Paraguay flow through the Pantanal and form part of the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The Alto Paraná collects numerous tributaries from southeastern Brazil, including the Paranaíba (Paranaíba River) (not to be confused with the Paranaíba of the Northeast), Grande (Grande River), Tietê (Tietê River), and Paranapanema (Paranapanema River). The Alto Paraná and Paraguay rivers unite southwest of Brazil, on the Argentina-Paraguay border, to form the Paraná proper, which eventually reaches the sea through the Río de la Plata estuary. Brazil's two southernmost states are drained through the Uruguay River, which also flows into the Río de la Plata. In Brazil these rivers were navigable only for short stretches until they were dredged in the 1990s. Brazilians have built hydroelectric complexes and reservoirs on many tributaries of the system, including the Iguaçu, Paranapanema, Tietê, and Grande.

      The Tocantins-Araguaia river system rises in the highlands of Goiás and Mato Grosso states and discharges into the Pará River just south of the Amazon delta. The Tocantins, though popularly regarded as a tributary of the Amazon, is technically a separate system draining some 314,200 square miles (813,700 square km)—nearly one-tenth of Brazil's national territory. The middle course of the Araguaia River, in a marshland some 220 miles (350 km) northwest of Brasília, temporarily divides into western and eastern branches to form the vast Bananal Island. The Araguaia joins the Tocantins after flowing northward another 600 miles (1,000 km). In the mid-1980s the Tucuruí Dam was built on the lower Tocantins, some 120 miles (200 km) southwest of Belém, in order to generate hydroelectric power for much of Pará and Maranhão as well as for the nearby Carajás mining complex.

      The São Francisco River basin covers more than 249,000 square miles (645,000 square km) in eastern Brazil. The river rises in the highlands of western Minas Gerais and southern Goiás and flows more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northward before it turns eastward to the Atlantic. Shallow-draft riverboats ply the waters between Pirapora in Minas Gerais and Juàzeiro (Juazeiro) in Bahia, at the eastern end of the Sobradinho Reservoir. Hydroelectric installations harness the river's energy near Paulo Afonso Falls. and at Juàzeiro. Only the watercourse below the falls is navigable for oceangoing ships.

      Brazil has a humid tropical and subtropical climate except for a drier area in the Northeast, sometimes called the drought quadrilateral or drought polygon, that extends from northern Bahia to the coast between Natal and São Luís; that zone receives about 15–30 inches (375–750 mm) of precipitation a year. Much of Brazil receives 40–70 inches (1,000–1,800 mm) annually, but precipitation often is much heavier in parts of the Amazon basin and the sea-facing rim of the Serra do Mar.

      The central parts of the Brazilian Highlands receive most of their precipitation during the summer months (November to April), often in the form of torrential downpours. Storms and floods may strike the Northeast at that time, depending on weather patterns, but the region may also experience prolonged drought. These shifting conditions make life difficult in the sertão, the backlands of the Northeast, and are a major cause for migration out of the region. Summer temperatures are largely uniform. In January most of the lowlands average roughly 79 °F (26 °C), and the highlands are a few degrees cooler, depending on elevation. The coast of Rio Grande do Sul is also somewhat cooler, averaging around 73 °F (23 °C), whereas the Northeast backland's drought quadrilateral, the hottest region of the country, averages some 84 °F (29 °C), with daytime temperatures exceeding 100 °F (38 °C). However, the Northeast's low humidity makes the heat less oppressive than in Rio de Janeiro.

      In the winter (May to October) the Brazilian Highlands are generally dry, and snow falls in only a few of the southernmost states. Regular frosts accompany winter air patterns from the south, and near-freezing temperatures can reach as far north as São Paulo. Cool, rainy weather may extend along the coast as far north as Recife and, in the west, to the Pantanal. Cool air occasionally spills over from the Paraguay lowlands into the western Amazon basin and may travel as far north as the Guyana border. Winter temperatures in the Amazon lowlands remain virtually unchanged from those of the summer months, but temperatures in the drought quadrilateral drop to about 79 °F (26 °C). Temperatures in the Brazilian Highlands average about 68 °F (20 °C) in the central and northern regions and are cooler toward the south: Curitiba, at an elevation of some 3,000 feet (900 metres), averages 57 °F (14 °C) in June and July. During those months the mean temperature at Porto Alegre is the same, but Rio de Janeiro is much hotter, averaging 73 °F (23 °C), partly because of the warm currents that bathe the entire Brazilian coast.

      Brazil's soils form a vast and intermixed pattern. A large band of nutrient-rich, deep reddish purple soil (terra roxa) lies in the Southeast and South between central Rio Grande do Sul and southern Minas Gerais, including large areas of Paraná and São Paulo states. That region contains Brazil's most heavily farmed lands; however, terra roxa is not necessarily more productive than soils in other regions of the country. Soils in the Northeast also contain many nutrients, but agriculture is limited there because few fields are irrigated. Heavy rainfall has intensely leached many soils, leaving them with few nutrients but with an overabundance of insoluble iron and aluminum silicates. Laterites (soils dominated by iron oxides) and other infertile soils are especially prevalent in the Brazilian Highlands, where they can reach depths of as much as 90 feet (27 metres).

      Amazonian soils are also leached but not as deeply. In the terra firme of the rainforest, dead organic matter quickly decays and is recycled. However, once the overlying forest canopy is destroyed—e.g., by clear-cutting or burning—that regenerative cycle is interrupted, and many nutrients and organic matter are lost. More fertile Amazonian soils, interspersed between the zones of leached soil, include várzea alluvial deposits and terra preta dos indios (“black earth of the Indians”), which has developed throughout Amazonia on the sites of prehistoric settlements.

Plant and animal life
Highlands, coastal regions, and the Pantanal
      Most of the original ecosystems of the eastern highlands have been destroyed, including the once luxuriant hardwood forests that dominated the eastern seaboard and the formerly magnificent Paraná pine (Araucaria) forests that covered the southern plateaus. Monkeys, parrots, and other formerly common wildlife are now found only in zoos, private menageries, or small patches of forest that still support the original flora. Saltworks, marinas, and condominiums have replaced the former coastal waterways and swamps that once teemed with waterfowl and alligators.

      The Brazilian savannas in the semiarid Northeast have no massive herds of wild animals like their African counterparts. Jaguars and ocelots once inhabited the forest edges, but they have been extensively hunted by ranchers and are now endangered. The plant life varies considerably from coarse bunchgrasses to thorny, gnarled woods known as caatinga, the name derived from an Indian term meaning “white forest”; most caatinga are stunted, widely spaced, and intermingled with cacti. Woodlands known as agreste are found in slightly more humid areas. Most areas of agreste are located near the São Francisco River and on elevated slopes, where some remaining moisture in the air is wrung from the trade winds. Thorny trees in those regions may attain heights of up to 30 feet (9 metres) and form barriers with their interlocking branches that even leather-clad vaqueiros (“cowboys”) cannot penetrate. Artificial pastures and grain fields have largely replaced the native grasslands of Rio Grande do Sul.

      The Pantanal's vast sloughs and watercourses support an abundance of flora and fauna, including the giant pirarucu, a fish that is herded into enclosures like underwater cattle pens until needed for food. Aquatic birds include ibis, herons, ducks, and migratory geese. There are numerous lizards and snakes, including deadly fer-de-lance (jararacas) and rattlesnakes. Among the larger mammals are armadillos and anteaters, which prey on ants and termites, whose nests may stand more than 6 feet (2 metres) high. Rheas (the South American relative of the ostrich), roadrunners (siriemas), and a variety of game birds, notably quail and partridge, are ubiquitous to the Pantanal's higher ground and to the savannas of central Brazil.

      The Amazon basin has the greatest variety of plant species on Earth and an abundance of animal life, in contrast to the scrublands that border it to the south and east. The Amazonian region includes vast areas of rainforest, widely dispersed grasslands, and mangrove swamps in the tidal flats of the delta. Individual plants of most species tend to be widely dispersed, so that blights and other natural threats cause them only limited damage. A typical acre (0.4 hectare) of Amazonian forest may contain 250 or more tree species (in contrast, an acre of woods in the northeastern United States might have only a dozen species).

 The crowns of giant Amazonian trees form a virtually closed canopy above several lower canopy layers, all of which combine to allow no more than 10 percent of the sun's rays to reach the ground below. As a result, more plant and animal life is found in the canopy layers than on the ground. The tallest trees may rise to 150–200 feet (45–60 metres) and are festooned with a wide variety of epiphytes, bromeliads, and lianas, while their branches teem with animal life, including insects, snakes, tree frogs, numerous types of monkeys, and a bewildering variety of birds. Several hundred bird species nest in the immediate vicinity of the main Amazon channel, and alligators, anacondas, boa constrictors, capybaras, and several smaller reptiles and mammals are found along the riverbanks. In the waters are manatees, freshwater dolphins, and some 1,500 identified species of fish, including many types of piranhas (not all of them flesh-eating), electric eels, and some 450 species of catfish. There may also be hundreds of unidentified species.

      The Amazon is also home to the world's largest freshwater turtle, the yellow-headed sideneck (Podocnemis), which weighs an average of 150 pounds (70 kg) and is extinct everywhere else except on the island of Madagascar. The turtles, once a mainstay of local Indians' diets, are now endangered, but they continue to be hunted illegally for their meat.

Conservation and ecology
 Dozens of parks, biological reserves, and other protected areas have been established in Brazil's vast wildernesses, many of which remain pristine; however, state and federal governments have not adequately maintained many parklands, and some have been modified to allow for new highways or other construction projects. In addition, pollution has degraded Brazil's rivers, threatening the water supplies of most of the population, and ecological disasters are common: in 2000 alone there were major oil spills in Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay and in the Iguaçu River. The Brazilian government's environmental agencies regularly fine manufacturers and mining companies for failing to provide adequate environmental safeguards, but the fines are often small and oversight lax. São Paulo and some other cities have dangerous levels of smog, mainly because of motor vehicle emissions; in response, the government has promoted the use of fuels containing ethanol and pollution-control policies to improve air quality. In the late 20th century Curitiba, one of Brazil's larger cities, rapidly decreased local air pollution and traffic congestion by developing an innovative busing system and other programs.

      Brazil's first conservation law, issued in 1797, prohibited the burning or destruction of forests. The country's first national parks were created in the late 1930s. From the mid-20th century, Brazilian and international environmental organizations have pressured the national government to curb damage to the Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal, and other ecosystems in Brazil. The government has become increasingly willing to address environmental issues, although widespread destruction has continued. The chief Brazilian environmental agency (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis, or IBAMA) was created in 1989 in an attempt to reform Brazil's conservation system. IBAMA, which operates under the Ministry of the Environment, oversees the use of renewable resources, enforces federal environmental laws, and coordinates the efforts of various agencies. However, IBAMA has had limited funding and personnel: in the late 20th century it employed only one staff member for every 110 square miles (290 square km) of federally protected land. In 1992 Rio de Janeiro hosted the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (the Earth Summit), and a few years afterward Brazil and the major developed countries of the world issued a joint plan for the protection of the rainforest. (See also Amazon River: Ecological concerns (Amazon River).)

      Many state and national parks are located near urban centres, but most of the newer national parks lie in remote areas, particularly at the headwaters of Amazon tributaries and adjacent to biological reserves or Indian reservations; they are not intended for any great number of visitors. Among the more popular national parks are Itatiaia, Iguaçu, and Serra dos Órgãos, all of which were created in the 1930s. The larger national parks, which range in size from roughly 2,170 to 8,770 square miles (5,620 to 22,700 square km), include Neblina Peak (1979), Jaú (1980), Amazônia (Tapajós; 1974), Serra do Divisor (1989), Pacaás Novos (1979), and Cape Orange (1980), all in the North, and Xingu (1961) and Araguaia (on Bananal Island; 1959), both in the Central-West. In the mid-1980s the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iguaçu Falls a World Heritage site, followed by Serra da Capivara National Park in 1991 and two coastal regions in 1999, including the Serra do Mar in the Southeast and the Discovery Coast of Bahia state.

Settlement patterns
 Frontier settlement and domestic migration have been features of Brazilian society since prehistoric times. The settlement of what is now Brazil began many thousands of years ago with the arrival of hunters and gatherers. At the time of European contact (in 1500), skilled farmers and fishers occupied the best lands of the Amazon and Paraguay river systems and most of the coastal plains, making up the bulk of the region's two to six million native inhabitants.

The Northeast coast
      The first European occupants of Brazil settled in the early 16th century among the coastal Indian villages or at the trading posts that they established at Salvador and at Cabo Frio (now in Rio de Janeiro state). They exchanged hardware and trinkets with the Indians for brazilwood, which was used for making a valuable, fire-coloured dye (brasa is Portuguese for “live coals”). Sugarcane began to dominate the colonial economy in the second half of the 16th century, giving rise to a scattering of urban centres, among which Olinda and Salvador were the most important. By that time the coastal Indian populations had been decimated, and slaves from Africa were being imported to work on the rapidly expanding plantations, which flourished particularly during the early and mid-17th century.

The Southeast: mining and coffee
      During the first two centuries of Brazilian colonization, little attention was paid to the nearly inaccessible and seemingly unproductive highlands, although parties of explorers, known as bandeirantes, traversed them from time to time, capturing Indians for slaves and searching for precious metals and stones. Some of the bandeirantes settled in the interior and introduced small groups of cattle that eventually expanded into large herds; cattle raising came to dominate Brazil's economy from the caatinga to the Pantanal. The first gold strike occurred in what is now Minas Gerais in 1695, and during the 18th century Brazil furnished a large portion of the world's gold reserves. Diamonds were found in the same region in 1729, and visions of instant wealth attracted many plantation owners, with their slaves, from the Northeast. They spent money lavishly on the construction of fine towns, such as Ouro Prêto and Diamantina, and also invested in small industries to supply the mines and farms, which were soon producing a surplus for export. Brazil's economic and political centre shifted from the Northeast to the Southeast after settlers built roads over the Serra do Mar to the coast, and the royal government transferred the colonial capital from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro in 1763. During the 19th century, great coffee plantations brought additional wealth into the region. The plantations developed chiefly in the Paraíba do Sul valley, which runs from eastern São Paulo to eastern Rio de Janeiro states. By the 1860s thousands of European immigrants, chiefly Italians, were flowing into the region, and two decades later their influx increased to some 40,000 per year.

      Rio de Janeiro's population had passed 500,000 by the time the slaves were fully emancipated in 1888, whereas the city of São Paulo, the entrepôt for all of Brazil south and west of Minas Gerais, was still a modest town of 65,000. That situation changed as the flood of European immigrants began to arrive. Some of the newcomers worked as tenants on the coffee plantations that were expanding across São Paulo and northern Paraná states, while others established themselves on small freeholds along the southern coast and in the forests. The southernmost group remained physically and culturally isolated until after World War II, but the immigrants in São Paulo played a key role in building railroads and industries that gave the city and the state their preeminence in the Brazilian economy.

The backlands and Amazonia
      During the same period, the Northeast's large population struggled to advance economically in the face of drought, high rates of unemployment, and an archaic landholding system that concentrated all of the best coastal lands in the hands of a few powerful landowners. The Northeast remained economically depressed throughout much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and economic booms elsewhere drew people out of the region. Among the first groups to migrate outward were large numbers of farmers who had settled in the sertão, or backlands, of the Northeast; they abandoned their lands in the 1870s and '80s because of severe drought but found employment by resettling in the Amazon region to the north and west, where they tapped rubber trees. Northeasterners took part in another mass migration in the mid-20th century, primarily to the central interior of the country to help construct Brasília. Others began moving to the sparsely populated forests in the northern part of the Brazilian Highlands and to the frontier Amazonian zones of Rondônia and Acre. There they were joined by migrants from southern Brazil who had lost their livelihoods to the spread of mechanized agriculture.

 The entire Amazon region had an estimated population of merely 40,000 in the mid-19th century, but the population exploded after Northeasterners and other Brazilians poured into the area during the rubber boom, which reached its apex between 1879 and 1912. As a result, Belém and Manaus grew from somnolent villages into modest cities, and by the end of World War I the region's population rose to some 1.4 million. In the late 1950s Japanese settlers began raising jute and black pepper along the lower Amazon, and in the process they created a temporary economic boom. Brazilians also developed manganese deposits in Amapá from the mid-20th century, and a pioneer zone appeared along a newly constructed highway between Belém and Brasília. Forestry, cattle raising, and gold mining spread deeper into the region at the expense of the rainforest; nevertheless, the Amazon region remained the most underpopulated part of Brazil, and government attempts to lure more settlers there had limited success.

Ongoing domestic migration
      Low rural incomes, limited landownership, and variable climatic conditions have continued to drive migration in Brazil; in addition, large-scale commercial agriculture in the South and Southeast has limited the number of jobs available to unskilled rural labourers, causing whole families of poor sertanejos (people from the sertão) to flee to frontier areas or cities. The North and Central-West regions have the highest net influx of population, especially in the Federal District and Rondônia. Parts of the Southeast and South have also received large numbers of migrants, particularly São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, which have also benefited from foreign immigration. Some rural families from the southeastern state of Minas Gerais and the southernmost states of Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná have moved to an agricultural frontier arching from Rondônia and northern Mato Grosso to western Bahia. Many other migrants to the frontier have come from the Northeast, particularly from the state of Piauí, in the heart of the drought region. Families in Maranhão have been leaving its eastern half, which is also in the drought quadrilateral, and moving into its western half, which is a zone of rainforests.

 Brazil's rural settlement patterns were largely defined by the mid-20th century, after which the nation began a headlong drive toward industrialization: this transformed Brazil from essentially rural to urban, led by the cities of the Southeast and South. By the turn of the 21st century, government statistics described four-fifths of the population as urban and one-fifth as rural; however, according to an alternative set of definitions, about three-fifths of the population could be described as urban, nearly one-third as rural, and about one-tenth as partly urban and partly rural. In 1940 less than one-third of a total population of 42 million lived in urban areas; by the end of the 20th century about 18 million lived in the São Paulo metropolitan area alone, which ranked as one of the world's most populous cities. In addition, by that time the highly urbanized state of São Paulo had about one-third of Brazilian industry, a gross domestic product greater than that of many nations, and a population rivaling that of Argentina.

       Rio de Janeiro has Brazil's second largest metropolitan population. Other major urban areas include Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Curitiba, and Recife—each with millions of residents. Slightly smaller are Brasília, Belém, Manaus, Goiânia, and Campinas. Rapid urban growth has produced a series of physical and social problems, while the demand for housing has raised urban land values to staggering heights. As a result, members of the middle class have been increasingly forced to live in minuscule apartments in densely packed high-rises, while the poor are confined in nearby favelas (“shantytowns”) or in residential areas that may be several hours away from their workplaces. Brasília and Curitiba, unlike most Brazilian cities, have benefited from large-scale urban planning.

Preston E. James Richard P. Momsen, Jr. Ronald Milton Schneider

The people (Brazil)
      The following section discusses ethnicity, languages, religions, and demography in Brazil. For treatment of the lifestyles and artistic achievements of the Brazilian people, see Cultural life (Brazil).

Ethnic groups
  Brazil has long been a melting pot for a wide range of cultures. From colonial times Portuguese Brazilians have favoured assimilation and tolerance for other peoples, and intermarriage was more acceptable in Brazil than in most other European colonies; however, Brazilian society has never been completely free of ethnic strife and exploitation, and some groups have chosen to remain separate from mainstream social life. Brazilians of mainly European descent account for more than half the population, although people of mixed ethnic backgrounds form an increasingly larger segment; roughly two-fifths of the total are mulattoes (mulatos; people of mixed African and European ancestry) and mestizos (mestizo) (mestiços, or caboclos; people of mixed European and Indian ancestry). A small proportion are of entirely African or Afro-Indian ancestry, and peoples of Asian descent account for an even smaller division of the total. Indians are, by far, the smallest of the major ethnic groups; however, as many as one-third of all Brazilians have some Indian ancestors.

      Brazilians of African descent (referred to by outside scholars as Afro-Brazilians) can be further characterized as pardos (of mixed ethnicities) or pretos (entirely African); the latter term is usually used to refer to those with the darkest skin colour. Although skin colour is the main basis of the distinction between pardo and preto, this distinction is often subjective and self-attributed. Many Brazilians of colour consider it more advantageous to identify themselves as pardos and therefore do so.

      Skin colour and ethnic background influence social interactions in Brazil. Brazilians with darker skin colour account for a disproportionately large number of the country's poor; nevertheless, racially motivated violence and intolerance are less common in Brazil than in the United States and some parts of Europe. Blatant discrimination is illegal but pervasive, especially in predominantly white middle- and upper-class areas, and racism often takes subtle forms. Interethnic marriages are rare, partly because there is little social interaction between people of different social classes and geographic regions—two factors that are closely tied to ethnicity in Brazil. The country is not a “racial democracy” as some observers have claimed; however, its social barriers are somewhat flexible and even permeable: members of the light-skinned majority seldom discriminate against Afro-Brazilians who have achieved high levels of education or socioeconomic status. As a consequence, most Afro-Brazilians pursue social advancement through individual rather than collective actions, such as civil rights movements.

      The tropical forest peoples of Brazil adapted superbly to their environment prior to European contact, although they did not develop empires such as those of the Andes and Mesoamerica. They built dugout canoes and sailing rafts called jangadas (still used along the northeastern coast), slept in hammocks (which many people in Amazonia now use instead of beds), produced pottery and works of art, and cultivated tropical crops, corn (maize), and cassava. The indigenous peoples and the first Portuguese settlers generally benefited from trade and peaceful relations, but Europeans unwittingly introduced influenza, measles, smallpox, and other diseases that drastically reduced the Indian population. In addition, the colonizers began to enslave Indians and force them to live on plantations. Many Indians fled the coastal areas and took refuge in the most distant and inaccessible areas—in the forested regions of the Tocantins and Amazon basins or in the savannas of Mato Grosso. However, they were not completely sheltered in the interior: from the 16th to the 18th century, the Portuguese launched devastating, Indian-hunting bandeiras (bandeira) (slave (slavery) raids or expeditions) from São Paulo and some northeastern towns. Over subsequent generations many Indian populations on the coast blended with their European or African counterparts, whereas native peoples in the interior carried on a protracted struggle against further encroachments.

      Although Brazil's Indians constitute a statistically marginal part of the national population, they form some 230 different cultural groups. Indians reside in each of the country's five principal regions, but their numbers are greatest in the North, and roughly half now live in urban areas. The principal Indian peoples include the Yanomami in Roraima state, near the border with Venezuela, the Mundurukú in Pará and Amazonas, the Kayapó and Kayabí (Kaiabi) in Mato Grosso, the Guajajára and Fulnio in the Northeast, and the Kaingáng in the South and Southeast. All but the most isolated Amazonian groups have some regular contact with other Brazilians, such as personnel from the government's National Indian Foundation.

      More than 350 scattered Indian reservations have been demarcated since the promulgation of the 1988 constitution, which entitles Indian communities to territory that they historically occupied. Some of the reservations cover thousands of square miles, and their combined area is nearly as large as Bolivia—that is, more than one-tenth of Brazil's land area. However, other Brazilians do not always respect the reservation boundaries: garimpeiros (transient miners) have trespassed in several locations, including the lands of the Yanomami, where particularly violent confrontations occurred in the 1980s and '90s. The government subsequently issued new guidelines for demarcating Indian lands.

      There are more people of mainly African descent in Brazil than in any other nation outside of Africa, and African music, dance, food, and religious practices have become an integral part of Brazilian culture. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the slave trade brought to Brazil some four million Africans, mainly peoples from West Africa and Angola. Most were taken to the sugarcane plantations of the Northeast during the 16th and 17th centuries. From the 18th century onward, when the mining of gold and diamonds began, more slaves were sent to Minas Gerais. The majority worked as labourers and domestic servants, but some escaped and fled into the interior, where they established independent farming communities or mixed with Indian groups. After the abolition of slavery in 1888, a large proportion of Africans left the areas where they had been held captive and settled in other agricultural regions or in towns; however, the Northeast retained the heaviest concentration of Africans and mulattoes. From the 1860s to the 1920s, Brazilian manufacturers hired millions of European immigrants but largely avoided employing the descendants of slaves, who remained at the margin of Brazil's economy. By the turn of the 21st century, an increasing number of individuals used education to attain upward mobility.

Europeans and other immigrants
      People of European ancestry constitute the largest segment of the Brazilian population, owing to a steady influx of Portuguese immigrants as well as some four million other Europeans (mainly Italians) who migrated there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; their arrivals during that relatively short period were equal to the total population of African slaves brought to Brazil during the previous three centuries.

      Until the late 1800s, Lusitanian (i.e., Portuguese) immigrants were practically the only Europeans to enter Brazil. They were found in all classes of society and were anxious to obtain wealth quickly as plantation owners or as merchants. Immigrants of diverse origins joined the Portuguese only following the proclamation of independence in 1822. Italians, the most numerous of the non-Portuguese European groups, settled primarily in São Paulo and northern Rio Grande do Sul states. The Italians were culturally similar to the Portuguese and were easily assimilated. Less numerous Mediterranean immigrant groups, including those from Spain and Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Lebanon, mainly arrived during the first quarter of the 20th century. Like the Italians, they adapted rapidly to their new homeland and began to contribute to Brazilian industry, finance, politics, and the arts.

      German immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries and Japanese shortly before World War I further diversified the ethnic mix; however, those two groups remained culturally distinct for much longer than had earlier immigrants. This occurred largely for two reasons: first, the Germans and Japanese settled mainly in isolated rural areas and, second, they received teachers, textbooks in their native languages, and other assistance from their home governments. However, after World War II they were largely integrated into mainstream society. As a whole, Brazilians of Japanese descent now have a markedly higher level of education than the norm. Other immigrant groups have included Slavic peoples from eastern Europe and small but vital Jewish communities concentrated in major urban centres. Immigration had dwindled by the late 20th century, and less than 1 percent of Brazil's population was foreign-born.

      Portuguese is the first language of the vast majority of Brazilians, but numerous foreign words have expanded the national lexicon. The Portuguese language has undergone many transformations, both in the mother country and in its former colony, since it was first introduced into Brazil in the 16th century. The two countries have largely standardized their spellings, but pronunciations, vocabularies, and the meanings of words have diverged so widely that it now may be easier for some Brazilians to understand Spanish-language films from other Latin American countries than films from Portugal. Italians, Germans, Japanese, and Spanish-speaking immigrants have introduced new words and expressions in Brazilian Portuguese, such as the ubiquitous expression tchau (“farewell”), which was adopted from the Italian ciao. Foreign products and technologies have introduced additional terms.

      Brazil's indigenous peoples speak dozens of discrete languages, and some authorities suggest that the greatest divergence of the Brazilian language from the Portuguese can be traced to initial contact with the Indians. The Tupian, or Tupí-Guaraní (Tupí-Guaraní languages), language group has especially influenced Brazilian place-names and added perhaps thousands of words and expressions to Brazilian Portuguese. Tupian was the principal language of Brazil's native peoples before European contact, and it became the lingua franca between Indians and Portuguese traders, missionaries, adventurers, and administrators; it was widely used in the Amazon region and western Brazil until the 19th century. The Tupian influence also caused Brazilians to enunciate more clearly and to use more nasal speech patterns than their Iberian counterparts.

      Almost three-fourths of the Brazilian people are Roman Catholics, making it the most populous country of that faith in the world. Roman Catholicism ceased to be the official religion after the proclamation of the republic in 1889, which loosed the formerly close links between church and state; however, the predominance of Catholics among the immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries contributed to the lasting predominance of that religion. Nearly all the rest of the population is Protestant, dominated by fundamentalist and Pentecostal groups. Evangelical groups gathered rapid support from the 1990s by taking some members from the Catholic ranks; in response, Catholic groups initiated a series of charismatic masses and rallies.

      Brazil has smaller numbers of adherents to Eastern Orthodoxy, Buddhism, Shintō, Islam, and other religions, all of which together are about numerically equal to those practicing a form of spiritualism, or spiritism, that is based on the 19th-century teachings of the French medium Allan Kardec. Many Brazilians also practice syncretic religions, such as Macumba, Candomblé, Xangô, and Umbanda, that blend Christian beliefs with rites imported from Africa or with spiritualistic practices. Candomblé predominates in Bahia. The Nagô Candomblé sect, derived from the religion of Yoruba slaves, is particularly widespread and influences the rites of other sects. Macumba and Umbanda have many adherents in Rio de Janeiro state, whereas Xangô is most influential in Pernambuco. Practitioners generally identify their deities with Roman Catholic saints and believe that these deities intercede for them with a supreme being. Priests and priestesses are mostly of African ancestry, but adherents are drawn from every ethnic group and social class, especially in urban centres. Perhaps tens of millions of Brazilian Catholics occasionally participate in syncretic or spiritualist feasts and ceremonies.

      Like most developing countries, Brazil has a young population, but the median age has been increasing since the mid-20th century. By the 1980s the proportion of people under 20 had declined to less than half of the total, and the trend continued during the following decade, when less than one-third of Brazilians were recorded as age 14 and under. During that time the proportion of people in the older age groups increased, so that by the mid-1990s nearly one-fifth of the population was age 45 and over.

      As Brazilian society has modernized and become more affluent, life expectancy has increased and the rate of population growth has declined. The birth rate has also generally declined but varies according to region. In 1960 the national average was just over 6 births per female of childbearing age, with a high of 8 to 8.5 in the most rural states and much lower rates in Rio de Janeiro. Over the next four decades the national average dropped to roughly 2 births per childbearing woman, partly because of the populace's gradual acceptance of family planning measures. Infant mortality rates are still a serious concern but vary widely according to region and socioeconomic status: in the affluent urban districts the rate is quite low, but in the favelas and other poor communities, particularly in the Northeast, it is much higher.

The economy
 Brazil is one of the world giants of mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, and it has a strong and rapidly growing service sector. It is a leading producer of a host of minerals, including iron ore, tin, bauxite (the ore of aluminum), manganese, gold, quartz, and diamonds and other gems, and it exports vast quantities of steel, automobiles, electronics, and consumer goods. Brazil is the world's primary source of coffee, oranges, and cassava (manioc) and a major producer of sugar, soy, and beef; however, the relative importance of Brazilian agriculture has been declining since the mid-20th century when the country began to rapidly urbanize and exploit its mineral, industrial, and hydroelectric potential. The city of São Paulo, in particular, has become one of the world's major industrial and commercial centres.

      Brazil's economic history can be largely characterized as a cycle of booms and busts. From the 16th to the mid-20th century, the country was heavily dependent on one or two major agricultural products, whose prices fluctuated widely on international markets. The cyclical aspect of the economy began with the export of brazilwood in early colonial times and continued with a sugar boom, a mineral boom in the 18th century (paced especially by gold and diamond mining), a coffee boom from the mid-19th century, and a rubber boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Brazilian government in the 20th century attempted to diversify the country's production and reduce its dependency on agricultural exports by strongly encouraging manufacturing.

      The government, hoping to ensure domestic control of key industries, spearheaded a host of nationalistic policies following the Great Depression of the 1930s. It took ownership of some of the country's largest companies, usually in partnership with one or more local or foreign corporations, and subsequently sold stock to private investors. The government's growing involvement in the industrial sector was criticized for promoting political and social objectives rather than economic ones and for its cumbersome and inefficient bureaucracy; however, some industries attributed their successes to government measures, which included direct investments, tax and other incentives, protective tariffs, and import restrictions. The government initiated several key industries, including a modern shipbuilding program, a petrochemical sector led by the huge Petrobrás company (created in 1953), a burgeoning microelectronics and personal computer industry, and aircraft manufacturing by the Embraer corporation, including commercial jetliners, aviation and surveillance equipment, and aircraft for the Brazilian air force. It established a motor vehicle industry in the 1950s to replace U.S. and German imports and assembly plants. For a period during the late 20th century, manufacturing accounted for the largest segment of the gross domestic product (GDP) before it was overtaken by the service sector.

      Almost continuously high rates of inflation in the late 20th century affected every aspect of Brazil's economic life. Inflation came in part from the government's policies of deficit spending, heavily financing industrial expansion, and subsidizing business loans, as well as the practice among individual Brazilians of obtaining loans from foreign banks when domestic credit was restricted. In the latter part of the 20th century, Brazil indexed nearly all transactions for inflation, according to the constantly corrected value of the government's bonds. This practice virtually institutionalized inflation and led to public acceptance of its inevitability. As a result, Brazil's anti-inflation programs were only fleetingly successful until the mid-1990s, when the government initiated the Real Plan (Plano Real), a program that strictly limited government spending, introduced a new currency, and made other fiscal reforms.

      The government privatized dozens of financial institutions, manufacturers, and mining companies in the 1990s, including several major steel producers and the Rio Doce Valley Company (Companhia Vale do Rio Dôce; CVRD). The CVRD, Brazil's giant mining and shipping conglomerate, was apportioned into separate (but still economically formidable) mining and shipping units. The government also sold a minority of its Petrobrás shares to private investors and partially opened the petroleum industry to competition.

      At the beginning of the 21st century, serious problems marked the Brazilian economy, aggravated by political uncertainties. Inflation, financial instability, and unemployment (or underemployment) remained constant threats, and political and financial scandals periodically erupted throughout the country. However, by mid-2004 the inflation rate had decreased, and for the first time Brazil issued bonds in its own currency, the real, instead of the dollar. Brazil still has one of the world's most lopsided distributions of wealth: 10 percent of the people received nearly half of the country's income, whereas the poorest 40 percent of the population brought in less than one-tenth of the total. In addition, patterns of landownership continued to be grossly uneven, as they were in colonial times, and social movements agitated for reforms.

      Brazil has some of the world's most abundant renewable and nonrenewable resources. Most of the country's proved mineral reserves, agriculturally productive land, and other sources of wealth have been exploited in the Southeast and South, the country's economic heartland; however, other regions have been growing in prominence. Improved transportation has made more of these resources accessible either for export or for use by Brazil's burgeoning industries and growing population.

      Brazil contains extremely rich mineral reserves that are only partly exploited, including iron ore, tin, copper, pyrochlore (from which ferroniobium is derived), and bauxite. There are also significant amounts of granite, manganese, asbestos, gold, gemstones, quartz, tantalum, and kaolin (china clay). Most industrial minerals are concentrated in Minas Gerais and Pará, including iron ore, bauxite, and gold. Mato Grosso and Amapá have most of the known manganese ore deposits. The vast majority of kaolin is found in the Amazon basin. Low-quality coal reserves are located in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Brazil also has deposits of several other metallic and nonmetallic minerals, some of which are major exports. Brazil has huge offshore reserves of petroleum and natural gas, notably in the Southeast.

Biological resources
      Forests cover about three-fifths of Brazil's land area, representing between one-sixth and one-seventh of the world's forest coverage. Hardwoods predominate in the Amazon and Atlantic coastal zone. Only a small portion of Brazil's annual timber harvest comes from the Amazon basin, but loggers are increasingly exploiting the region's forests as additional roads are built and settlements grow. With its long coastline and numerous well-stocked rivers, Brazil has access to substantial fishing grounds, but the fishing industry is underdeveloped and productivity is low.

Hydroelectric resources
 Brazil, with its extensive river systems and plentiful rainfall, has one of the largest hydroelectric potentials in the world. Most of its hydroelectric dams are concentrated in the Southeast and the South, the areas that consume the vast majority of power in Brazil; among the rivers harnessed in that area are the Iguaçu, Tietê, Paranapanema, Paranaíba, Grande, and upper reaches of the São Francisco. The Tocantins River (in the North) and the lower São Francisco (in the Northeast) are also dammed. Several other rivers hold enormous hydroelectric potential but are distant from major industrial and urban complexes.

Agriculture, fishing, and forestry
      Farming and stock raising account for about one-fifth of the labour force and roughly one-twelfth of the GDP; although fishing and forestry are important, they are much smaller parts of the overall economy.

      The country is essentially self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs and is a leading exporter of a wide range of crops, including oranges, soybeans, coffee, and cassava, which are grown mainly in the South and Southeast. Brazil, unlike most Latin American countries, has increased agricultural production by greatly enlarging its cultivated area since World War II, but this expansion has come at grave environmental cost in frontier areas.

 Brazil is the world's leading producer of coffee; it was the country's most important single export in the early and mid-20th century. Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo are the principal coffee-producing states, followed by São Paulo and Paraná. In the 1990s soybeans and their derivative products, particularly animal feeds, became a more valuable source of revenue than coffee. Most of the country's soybeans are grown in Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul; Mato Grosso do Sul state has also become a leading producer, because farmers there have increasingly used machinery and fertilizers to work the savanna soils.

      About one-third of the world's oranges are grown in Brazil—more than twice the amount produced in the United States, which is the world's second major supplier. Brazil is also the world's main producer of cassava and a leading grower of beans, corn (maize), cacao, bananas, and rice. Although the bulk of these products are consumed domestically, some are exported, including jute and black pepper from the Amazon region; palm oils from the Northeast coast; garlic from Minas Gerais; peanuts (groundnuts), oranges, and tea from São Paulo; and tobacco from Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil nuts are economically important only in limited areas of the North.

      Brazil has one of the world's largest livestock populations (at more than 200 million) and slaughters more cattle annually than does the United States. The most extensive grazing lands are concentrated in the South and Southeast, with a smaller but increasing share in northern states and frontier zones, such as Amazonia. The meatpacking industry's principal operations are in Rio Grande do Sul, the state closest to the beef-producing plains of Uruguay and Argentina. Brazil also produces great quantities of poultry; both poultry and meat are important exports.

      Mechanized farming is still somewhat rare in Brazil. Tractors and other large machinery are employed mostly in the South and Southeast as well as on the western frontier (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Acre, and Rondônia). Few tractors are available in the Northeast, where even the sugar plantations rely on manual labour. That region contains about half of Brazil's farms but most cover only some 12 acres (5 hectares) or less. The government has built costly, large-scale irrigation projects in the Northeast, but they have helped few family farms. Many poor families barely subsist on small, overworked patches of land, whereas some of the largest rural landholdings lie fallow or largely unused. To promote land reform, tens of thousands of impoverished Brazilians have participated in the Landless Movement (Movimento dos Sem Terra), which has organized protests and property invasions, sometimes risking violent confrontations. The government began to redistribute land on an unprecedented scale in the 1990s, although budgetary constraints and administrative backlogs hampered the program.

  Brazilian technological advances and scientific efforts have benefited the agricultural sector, including the discovery in mid-2000 of the genetic sequence of Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium that infects orange trees. A government initiative in the 1970s began to replace costly, imported gasoline as a motor fuel with ethanol ( ethyl alcohol) produced mainly from sugarcane, as well as rice and wood shavings. Brazil's gasoline-substitution program became the most successful effort of its kind in the world: the area under sugarcane cultivation rapidly expanded in São Paulo state and on the Northeast coast, modern distilleries were built, and, for a few years, virtually all new automobiles in Brazil were engineered to run on the fuel. Many Brazilian engines now burn fuel that is one-fifth to one-fourth ethanol, and some use a larger proportion of ethanol than gasoline. Brazil is one of the leading producers of ethanol.

      Brazil catches significantly less fish than does Argentina or Mexico, although most of Brazil's population lives on or near the country's extensive Atlantic coastline. Brazil's commercial fishing fleets account for roughly two-thirds of the saltwater catch. They sail mainly from Southern and Southeastern ports, partly because of their proximity to markets but also because the coastal waters are warmed by the southward-flowing Brazil Current, which supports fewer fish than do the colder waters farther south. Most ocean fishing in the Northeast focuses on lobsters and shrimps, which are caught primarily for export.

      Roughly one-fourth of Brazil's total catch is freshwater fish, of which a major portion comes from the Amazon River system. The Northeast accounts for another large segment, much of it from reservoirs that the government has stocked with Tilapia, a fast-growing fish introduced from Africa. In Fortaleza manufacturers use the skins of tilapia and cambulu, a saltwater fish, to make fashionable shoes, clothing, and accessories—products formerly made from the hides of alligators, which are now endangered.

 The South and Southeast account for the majority of Brazil's timber production, about half of it from plantations of eucalyptus trees introduced from Australia; Honduras pine and several other exotic species are also harvested. The timber from plantations is used mainly to manufacture cellulose and paper products. Each year, Brazilians burn vast tracts of rainforest and wooded parts of the highlands to make room for pastures, crops, and settlements; however, few of the trees destroyed in that process are used for fuel, and almost none are used for wood products. Most of the small timber yield of the Northeast is used as fuelwood. The forests of eastern Minas Gerais produce the largest share of Brazil's charcoal, followed by those of western Maranhão, southern Bahia, and Tocantins.

      Whereas other Latin American countries export the vast majority of their mineral and petroleum production, Brazil's powerful manufacturing sector is a ready market for primary materials.

Mining and quarrying
      Brazil's industries absorb most of its mineral production, including iron ore from Minas Gerais and Pará (though ore from the Carajás region is largely exported); chrome, magnesium, and quartz from Bahia; copper and lead from Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul; bauxite from Pará; asbestos from Goiás; manganese from Amapá, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Bahia; zinc and graphite from Minas Gerais; nickel from Goiás and Minas Gerais; and limestone from various states. Brazil is self-sufficient in cassiterite (tin ore), found along a belt south of the Amazon. Mines in Rio Grande do Norte meet nearly all of the country's tungsten requirements, and Bahia and Paraná provide most of Brazil's silver. Coal production, which is centred in Santa Catarina, supplies more than half of the country's needs.

      Brazil is a major gold and diamond producer, but quantities fluctuate widely from year to year and place to place as deposits are located and exhausted. Most gold and diamonds are mined in Minas Gerais, and smaller amounts are produced in Pará, particularly in the vicinity of Serra Pelada, where tens of thousands of garimpeiros swarmed during gold rushes in the 1980s and '90s. Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Espírito Santo are the major sources of Brazil's enormous range of gems—topazes, amethysts, opals, aquamarines, tourmalines, emeralds, and others—that make Brazil a world leader in precious and semiprecious stones.

Petroleum and natural gas
      Brazil produces the majority of its petroleum and some natural gas, mainly from offshore fields along the continental shelf. Drilling was confined to the Northeast, in the Bahia basin just north of Salvador, from 1940 to the 1960s, after which the area of exploration expanded to include wells on the mainland and offshore from Fortaleza in the north to Santos (in São Paulo state) in the south. Brazil extracts more than two-thirds of its petroleum from the Campos basin on the continental shelf off Rio de Janeiro state. There Petrobrás has developed some of the most advanced deepwater drilling technology in the world, including a well more than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) below the surface. In the mid-2000s Petrobrás confirmed that the Tupi offshore oil field, located about 4.3 miles (6.9 km) underwater, contained about five to eight million barrels of oil and natural gas, which boosted Brazil's supply of oil reserves substantially. Most of the country's natural gas comes from Bahia and Sergipe states, and there are petroleum and natural gas reserves throughout the Amazon basin, but oil refineries near Manaus have a limited capacity.

      Brazil's total power capacity has expanded rapidly since 1950, mainly through hydroelectricity, which now accounts for nine-tenths of the country's electric power. The government has given lower priority to thermal power generation because of the poor quality of Brazilian coal. The opening of a gas pipeline from Bolivia in 1999 has led to a program for construction of gas-fired thermoelectric generating plants, chiefly in the Southeast. The opening of a Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline in 1999 has encouraged the construction of numerous gas-fired thermoelectric plants, chiefly in the Southeast.

 Brazil's first nuclear reactor, Angra I, opened in 1982 near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's second nuclear reactor, Angra II, began operating in 2000. In 1984 the Itaipú (Itaipú Dam) hydroelectric complex, the world's largest power station at its completion, began operating on the Alto Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay. Dozens of smaller generating stations function on the Paraná and Uruguay rivers and their tributaries. Among other major complexes are Tucuruí, which began operating on the Tocantins River in the mid-1980s, and Sobradinho and the Paulo Afonso series of stations, all on the lower São Francisco River. Major hydroelectric projects for the Amazon region have been held in abeyance owing to ecological concerns.

      Manufacturing accounts for about one-fifth of the GDP and more than one-tenth of the labour force. With few exceptions, the Southeast contains the largest, most varied, and most efficient establishments in every sector of industry. It also employs three-fifths of the country's industrial workers, who earn most of Brazil's wages and produce the largest value of its goods. The South employs more than one-fifth of the country's industrial workers, but the Northeast employs roughly half that number, and at lower wages than in the Southeast and South. Within the Southern and Southeastern states, the manufacturing sectors of Paraná, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, and Espírito Santo are increasingly offsetting the industrial strength of São Paulo, which alone produces nearly two-fifths of Brazil's manufactured goods. Generally speaking, Brazil's factories are not large; only a few employ a hundred or more workers. As might be expected, the largest firms are in the Southeast, followed by the South.

      Since the mid-20th century Brazil has been a major world supplier of automobiles, producing nearly two million vehicles per year. Other major manufactures include electrical machinery, paints, soaps, medicines, chemicals, aircraft, steel, food products, and paper. Brazil has been a major producer of textiles, clothing, and footwear since the early 19th century. The textile industry began in Bahia in 1814, using local supplies of raw cotton; it is now centred in São Paulo and Fortaleza. The footwear industry, centred in Rio Grande do Sul, began in the 1820s with small leather works supplied by surplus hides from the meatpacking industry.

      The rapidly expanding service sector is Brazil's largest employer, accounting for more than half of the labour force. It is composed of private and government services, including national and local bureaucracies, public utilities, and a host of special agencies. In the private sector the largest number of workers are employed in hospitality industries (hotels, restaurants, and bars) and repair shops of various kinds. Retail sales and personal services each account for most of the rest of the private-sector workers. Employment is growing most rapidly in the field of information technology.

      The National Monetary Council, under the direction of the minister of finance, is Brazil's chief financial policy-making body. It oversees the Central Bank of Brazil, which issues currency (the real) and controls the money supply, credit, foreign capital, and other top-level financial matters. The federal government also uses other public financial institutions to implement its policies, the most important of which is the Bank of Brazil. The largest bank in the country, it has numerous agencies at home and abroad and is the main source of long-term loans for farmers and exporters of manufactured goods. The National Economic and Social Development Bank channels government and international loans into large-scale development projects, including loans to state governments for projects that they cannot finance themselves, such as the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro subways. The National Housing Bank provides home-building loans, and the Federal Savings Bank (Caixa Econômica Federal) makes short-term loans to individuals.

      Many states have their own government banks, among which the Bank of São Paulo is the most important. A lesser share of Brazil's commercial banking is in the hands of private banks, which also provide short-term loans and savings accounts. In the 1990s federal and state governments privatized or closed several formerly state-owned banks and allowed foreign investors to control more financial institutions. The main stock market is that of São Paulo (1890); Rio de Janeiro has a smaller market (1845), and the cities of Pôrto Alegre, Vitória, Recife, Santos, and São Paulo have commodity exchanges. The securities system, which historically has been underregulated and volatile, underwent reforms at the beginning of the 21st century.

      Foreign trade has been critical to the Brazilian economy throughout the country's existence; however, exports historically accounted for only a small part of the national income, and Brazil had difficulty maintaining a favourable trade balance, partly because of its huge foreign debt payments. The situation began to change with several years of trade surpluses in the 1980s and '90s. By the beginning of the 21st century, as the country's foreign debt fell, exports flourished (spurred by government financing as well as efforts to negotiate increased access to foreign markets), and Brazil enjoyed a significant positive balance of trade. Another important contributor to the growth of exports was the country's expanding ethanol industry.

      The United States is Brazil's principal trading partner. However, regional trade has been increasing, notably with Argentina, since the Southern Common Market ( Mercosur, or Mercosul) was established in 1991. Other major trading partners include Germany, Japan, Italy, France, China, and the United Kingdom.

 Tourism is a growing industry in Brazil, which receives some three million foreign visitors a year. However, Brazilians visiting abroad spend significantly more money than do foreigners visiting Brazil; among Brazilians' preferred destinations are Uruguay, Argentina, and the United States. Most tourists in Brazil travel to Rio de Janeiro and other easily accessible sites that are in or around urban centres with well-established hospitality industries. Salvador and other parts of Bahia are major tourist attractions, and increasing numbers of vacationers are visiting other coastal areas of the Northeast. Eco-tourism is moderately popular in the Amazon region, while in the South the beaches of Santa Catarina draw large crowds of Argentine tourists. The spectacular Iguaçu Falls, which are now connected to major urban centres by highways and air routes, annually attract more than one million foreign and domestic tourists. Pristine beaches in the Northeast, national parks in the interior, and historic sites throughout Brazil are garnering increasing interest. In the 1980s the cities Ouro Prêto, Olinda, Salvador, and Brasília were designated World Heritage sites, as were portions of the Northeast coast in 1999.

      The larger Brazilian cities have a wide range of accommodations, but most luxury hotels are in Rio de Janeiro, and there are some large spas, hotels, and resorts in the Minas Gerais highlands and at Iguaçu Falls. Hotel construction has boomed in the cities of the Northeast and South. A growing number of Brazilians travel throughout the country by automobile and aircraft during vacations.

      Developing an efficient means of transportation has been a matter of critical importance for a country as large as Brazil. Throughout much of its history the country's coastal regions were connected via shipping and a few short roads, whereas the interior remained an isolated frontier. Railroads were built in the 19th century to link Brazil's mineral-producing regions to ocean ports; however, they facilitated only limited settlement of the interior, unlike in other Latin American countries, and the rail network could not be integrated quickly because different rail companies used incompatible gauges. Brazil's transportation infrastructure changed dramatically after World War II, first with the growth of air transport and, subsequently, with the extension of a modern road network. By the 1970s Brazil had the world's third largest commercial air fleet, and its roads were developing rapidly. In the 1990s the country's road system was the third-longest in the world (after the United States and India), and Brazil was among the top 10 countries in automobile registrations.

      Roads account for the vast majority of passenger traffic and roughly two-thirds of freight tonnage hauled. The country had few good paved roads at the time Brasília was constructed in the late 1950s. A four-lane highway linked Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, but there were no paved roads from those cities to Pôrto Alegre, Curitiba, the Northeast, or west of Belo Horizonte. During the rainy season some roads could be flooded or blocked for a week or more at a time, stranding motorists in areas with limited housing and food supplies.

      The construction of Brasília, for which many bulky materials had to be airlifted in during the rainy season, alerted the country to the poor state of its roads, and when the military assumed power in 1964 it made the upgrading of the road system a primary objective. As a result, a comprehensive system of paved highways now connects all of the major points in Brazil, including several cities in the Amazon region; paved roads account for about one-tenth of the Brazilian road system. Among the more prominent arteries are the Trans-Amazonian Highway and the Trans-Brasiliana project. Given Brazil's vast extent, these and other highways are extremely long and difficult to maintain, especially in the Amazon region.

      Railroads are of little importance to Brazil's transportation network except for certain bulk ore carriers and the commuter lines to the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília. In contrast to Brazil's dynamic highway construction program, few new railways of any significance have been built in the country since World War II, when Rio de Janeiro was linked by rail to Salvador because of attacks by German submarines on coastal shipping. The modest construction since that time has included a branch line from Minas Gerais to Brasília, the ore-carrying line (opened in 1985) between the Carajás mining project and Pôrto do Itaqui (near São Luis), and the Ferronorte line, which carries bulk agricultural products between Alto Taquari and the Alto Paraná River in the Central-West. Brasília's metropolitan rail system, linking the capital with its suburbs, inaugurated its first section in 1994 and expanded rapidly thereafter. The federal government sold off its controlling shares of railways in 1997, but many states and cities retain control of local lines.

      Brazilian coastal shipping was, for many years, in no better condition than its railways. After the federal government launched a shipbuilding program in the 1960s, however, cargo tonnage increased markedly, and, more significantly, ships began to carry a larger percentage of high-value goods as the frequency and reliability of services improved. Three-fourths of Brazil's ships are involved in coastal trade, with the largest proportion of oceangoing vessels owned by Petrobrás.

      Brazil has also upgraded its specialized bulk terminals, including one on Sepetiba Bay, west of Rio de Janeiro, and the Itaqui ore terminal, just south of São Luís, as well as the iron-ore terminal at Tubarão, near Vitória, and the oil terminal at São Sebastião, on the São Paulo coast. Traffic through São Sebastião accounts for about half of the export value of São Paulo state, and much of the rest is handled through the port of Santos, which is the country's busiest port. Other significant ports include Rio de Janeiro, Paranaguá, Salvador, and Recife. Brazil's major port facilities, historically known for their high costs and low efficiency, were significantly improved in the late 1990s, mainly through privatization.

 The extensive Brazilian river system has a total navigability of some 31,000 miles (50,000 km). Navigable waterways are the principal means of transportation in the North, where the principal ports are Belém, at the mouth of the Pará River (an effluent of the Tocantins), and the Amazon port of Manaus, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) inland. Smaller boats ply the Amazon River system as far west as Pôrto Velho, on the Madeira River in Rondônia state, and the Peruvian port of Iquitos. The Paraguay-Paraná-Plata river system is little suited for long-distance navigation, although certain stretches were used for local transport in the early days of settlement. Barge traffic is increasing, however, and shallow-draft vessels can use the system to access the Atlantic through the Río de la Plata estuary. In the late 1990s the government began to improve navigation on the Tocantins, Araguaia, and Tietê rivers.

      The São Francisco River is navigable in two separate sections: for 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northward from Pirapora to the hydroelectric dam at Petrolina and Juàzeiro, and for about 170 miles (270 km) eastward from the Paulo Afonso Falls to the sea. Few of the shorter rivers flowing to the Atlantic are navigable; only the Paranaíba in the far north and the Jacuí in Rio Grande do Sul carry significant shallow-draft and barge traffic.

      Brazilians were among the pioneers in flying, and they have long claimed that their countryman Alberto Santos-Dumont (aviation), not the Wright brothers, flew the first successful airplane. Numerous airlines flourished in Brazil at one time or another, but they have been consolidated into three major companies that compete nationwide: Varig, which since the late 1920s has been a largely employee-owned airline; the now privately owned São Paulo State Airline (VASP), which handles mainly domestic flights; and Transbrasil.

      Every capital and major city in Brazil has an airport, and some 1,500 smaller cities and towns have airstrips. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília are all linked by air shuttle services, although the overall frequency of flights and the size of terminals are much smaller than those of comparable centres in western Europe and North America. This is due to the relatively high cost of air fares and competition from inexpensive intercity bus services. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which each have two international airports, handle most international air traffic.

      Brazil is second only to French Guiana as a Latin American leader in space exploration. It began testing rockets in the 1960s and created the first wholly Brazilian-made satellite in the early 1990s. Satellites are launched from a base at Alcântara, on the Maranhão coast just south of the Equator, because rockets launched into orbit from equatorial regions require significantly less fuel than do those launched from higher latitudes. The Brazilian space industry, long under military control, was placed under civilian leadership in 1994. Several Brazilian companies cooperate to design and build launch vehicles and satellites.

Administration and social conditions

Constitutional framework
      Brazil is a federal republic divided into 26 states and the Federal District (Distrito Federal), the latter including the capital city, Brasília. Since 1934 the nation has had universal suffrage. In 1988 Brazil promulgated a new constitution—the eighth since the country's independence in 1822—that abolished many traces of the military regime (1964–85), defined civil rights, and outlined the functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It restricted the president's power to legislate, proscribed government censorship of the arts, condemned the use of torture, prohibited extradition for political crimes, set the minimum voting age at 16 years, and allowed the federal government to intervene in state and local affairs. The constitution has been amended several times since its promulgation, but some of the changes have been temporary, with specifically designated timespans.

The legislature
      Legislative power is exercised by the bicameral National Congress (Congresso Nacional), comprising the Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) and the Federal Senate (Senado Federal). Congress meets every year in two sessions of four and a half months each. The constitution gives Congress the power to rule in matters involving the federal government, particularly those related to fiscal policies and to the administration of the union. Congress also ratifies international treaties negotiated by the executive, authorizes the president to declare war, and decides whether or not the federal government may intervene in the affairs of the states. If the president vetoes a congressional bill or any of its provisions, Congress has 30 days to overrule the veto by an absolute majority vote.

      The Chamber of Deputies consists of representatives of the states elected every four years by direct universal suffrage. The number of deputies is in rough proportion to the population of each state, but no state can be represented in the chamber by more than 70 or by fewer than eight deputies. This system grants a disproportionate share of political power to the states of the Northeast and North and severely underrepresents the heavily populated state of São Paulo.

      The 81-seat Federal Senate is composed of three representatives from each state and the Federal District who serve eight-year terms. Senatorial elections are held every four years, alternating between one-third (27) and the remaining two-thirds (54) of the seats. Senators are directly elected by the residents of each state.

The executive
      Executive power is exercised by the president, who is head of state and government, is directly elected to a four-year term (and is eligible for one reelection), and appoints a cabinet of various ministers of state and several other heads of ministerial-level departments. The executive has wide powers, particularly in economic and foreign policy, finances, and internal security. The president can submit bills to Congress and request legislative approval within 30 days; if Congress does not comply within this period, the bill is considered approved. The president can partly or totally veto any bill submitted by Congress in addition to issuing provisional measures that remain in effect for 30-day periods. The president is also commander in chief of the armed forces; in practice, however, civil-military relations in Brazil have never been taken for granted (see Armed forces and security (Brazil)).

      The Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) is Brazil's highest court. It is composed of 11 members nominated by the president with approval of the Federal Senate. The court hears cases involving the president, Congress, the judiciary, government ministers, foreign powers, and the political or administrative divisions of the union.

      The Federal Superior Court (Superior Tribunal de Justiça) consists of 33 judges appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate. It hears cases involving governors of the states and the Federal District, members of the judiciary, and ministers of state. The Court of Appeals is the court of last resort for common pleas. Each state, as well as the Federal District, constitutes a judicial district. The federal judges there preside over cases related to labour unions, public organizations, and some political crimes. Electoral courts are responsible for the registration of political parties and the control of their finances. They also select the date of elections and hear cases involving electoral crimes. Labour courts mediate in conflicts between management and workers, and military courts have jurisdiction in cases involving members of the armed forces.

      The Brazilian judicial system has long been criticized for inefficiency, incidents of political favouritism, and widespread corruption; however, proposals for reform have been mired in controversy. Within the nation's prisons, harsh and overcrowded conditions have often incited mass escape attempts and riots, during which many prisoners have been killed.

Regional, state, and local administration
      The federal government does not provide for separate regional administrations, although it promotes economic growth in the poorer regions through agencies known as the superintendencies for the development of the Northeast, or SUDENE (founded 1959), and of the Amazon region, SUDAM (1966). SUDENE and SUDAM grant federal funds to development projects and oversee tax incentives that are intended to stimulate local and regional investment; however, the policies of the agencies have varied significantly under different federal administrations, and agency functions frequently overlap, especially at the local level.

      The states are semi-autonomous with their own constitutions, justice systems, and directly elected governors and legislative assemblies. The Federal District has been administered by a directly elected governor since the 1990s; previously, the president had appointed a mayor (prefeito) to oversee the district.

      Brazil is also subdivided into more than 5,000 municipalities (municípios) that are created by the states according to federal guidelines. The municipalities, which are similar to counties and may cover urban or rural zones, have their own fiscal resources and autonomous governments, including directly elected mayors and municipal councillors. Major cities are generally state capitals, and relations between governors and mayors are often pervaded by bureaucratic rivalries.

      The current political party system began to emerge in the 1940s under President Getúlio Dorneles Vargas (Vargas, Getúlio), who established the Social Democratic Party and the Brazilian Labour Party to buffer his weakening administration. A number of other parties were organized and entered elections through the 1950s and early '60s, but few of them gained much influence. In 1965 the military government, which had taken power the previous year, abolished all political parties and replaced them with a single government party, the National Renewal Alliance, and a lone opposition party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (Brazilian Democratic Movement, Party of the). The government abolished these two organizations in 1979 and allowed more parties to participate but still under restrictive regulations. After civilian government was restored in 1985, Brazil again legalized all political parties, and a highly fragmented multiparty system emerged, anchored by the Liberal Front Party, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, and the Workers' Party.

Luciano Martins Ronald Milton Schneider

Armed forces and security
      Brazil has the largest army, air force, and navy in South America, accounting for more than 300,000 soldiers—roughly one-third of the region's total military personnel. Much of its weaponry is made in Brazil, including diesel-powered submarines, jet fighters, air transports, and firearms. In the latter part of the 20th century, Brazil became a leading arms exporter; however, its sales declined in the late 1980s when the Iran-Iraq War ceased and the Soviet bloc began to collapse, and by the mid-1990s Brazil was a net importer of weaponry.

      Although the Brazilian president is commander in chief, the nation does not have a long-standing tradition of civil control over the military. Many senior officers, whose careers were rooted in the 1964–85 period of military rule, still consider their institution to be the nation's ultimate political moderator and the most dedicated guardian of national interests; however, younger officers appear more willing to accept constitutional limitations. Since 1985 Brazil's democratically elected governments have presided over relatively stable and peaceful conditions and have gradually limited the military's political influence. In addition, long-standing concerns over the defense of Brazil's southern borders have largely dissipated as Brazil and Argentina have strengthened their economic ties.

      Historically, Brazil's national defense strategy focused mainly on the compact, developed southern border with Argentina and Uruguay; however, in the 1990s the perceived Argentine threat dissappeared as Brazil and Argentina developed stronger economic ties.The military has partly refocused its efforts on the sparsely populated northern and western borders, which have been threatened by Colombian guerrillas and international drug traffickers (notably those smuggling cocaine from Bolivia and Peru to Colombia). Since 1994 Brazil has invested heavily in monitoring and controlling air traffic and other movement in the Amazon region, particularly in a wide band along the northern border, by coordinating a system of satellites, land-based and airborne radar, weather sensors, and other devices that have both civilian and military value. Increasing numbers of airstrips, garrisons, river patrols, and outposts have also been established or reinforced; however, given the enormous expanses in the region, the military presence there remains largely token.

      Most of Brazil's law enforcement officers are members of the Military Police, whose units are commanded at the state level; the Military Police have operated independently of the armed forces since 1988. Brazil's plainclothes Civil Police handle investigative work, whereas only a few thousand Federal Police attempt to patrol the nation's vast sea, air, and land frontiers—a task for which they have long relied on military assistance. Violence and corruption among police are serious concerns in Brazil, exacerbated by low wages and educational attainment. Each year police in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are implicated in hundreds of extrajudicial killings as well as in drug trafficking, kidnapping, theft, and other crimes. Attempts at reform have been frustrated by the sheer number of such incidents and by frequent conflicts between police agencies.

      Education is a means to economic success in Brazil: unschooled labourers earn roughly one-fourth the wages of secondary-school graduates, who in turn attain only half the salary of those with university degrees; in addition, unemployment among the college educated is only one-fourth the national average. However, many poor Brazilians must seek work at an early age and thus regard education as a luxury, whereas the nation's wealthier, well-connected families generally ensure that their children attain higher degrees and better jobs. The government estimates that roughly one-sixth of the adult population (15 years and older) is illiterate, but the actual rate may be much higher.

Primary and secondary school
      School is free and compulsory for students at the primary (ages 7–14) and secondary (ages 15–17) levels, but roughly three-fifths of Brazilians have only four years of schooling or less. Approximately nine-tenths of children aged 7–14 are enrolled in school (in contrast to 1960, when only half of the children of that age group attended school). The primary schools of the Northeast, North, and Central-West are smaller and more dispersed and are run by teachers less qualified than those in the South and Southeast. Furthermore, the northern and western schools tend to be financed out of meagre municipal budgets, whereas southern schools are predominantly state-supported. Several states markedly increased educational spending in the mid-1990s, notably Minas Gerais and São Paulo, and overall an increasing number of primary students in Brazil have been continuing on to the secondary level.

      Less than three-fifths of students aged 15–17 attend school, and, of those who do, some are still finishing a delayed and interrupted primary education; about half the total number of students are in the Southeast and South. However, secondary-school enrollments increased dramatically in the late 20th century, and the number of annual graduations in the mid-1990s was twice that of the previous decade. Secondary schools have low overall enrollment rates in part because many students are compelled to earn wages at an early age (the federal census records child labourers as young as 10). Other students complete only a short-term vocational program rather than a full three- to four-year curriculum. In addition, most secondary schools are located in large towns, particularly in the Northeast, and rural households with children in city schools incur a considerable financial burden paying for room and board. Many people pursue a high-school equivalency diploma through evening courses after they enter the workforce.

      Universities enroll roughly one-ninth of Brazilians aged 18–24. Nearly three-fourths of undergraduate students, and an even higher proportion of postgraduate students, are located in the South and Southeast. Compared with developed countries, university attendance is limited in Brazil; higher education remains largely the prerogative of the wealthy and of the more ambitious members of the middle class. However, in the 1990s schools began offering a greater number of weekend and extension courses to accommodate the needs of the upwardly aspiring working class and the lower strata of the middle class.

      The Federal District and each of the states has at least one university, although in many cases these are limited to institutions established by the federal government. The largest of the national institutions is the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, which has a campus on an island in Rio's Guanabara Bay. The universities of Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul are the next largest federal institutions, followed by those of several cities in the Northeast. The University of São Paulo is the largest and most important state university, with the country's largest graduate student population. Its main campus is in the city of São Paulo; among its branch campuses is an internationally renowned school at Campinas. São Paulo also has a second tier of public campuses much like that of the U.S. state of California. Cândido Mendes University in Rio de Janeiro is among the more notable private schools. The Roman Catholic church administers universities and other schools throughout Brazil.

Welfare and health
      The social gap between Brazil's small privileged upper class and the masses at the bottom of the earnings scale is vast. Sandwiched between them is a substantial and diverse middle class. Because of inflation, salaries are expressed as multiples of the official minimum wage. Nearly two-thirds of the working population earns two minimum salaries or less. About half of the Northeastern workforce earns less than the minimum; in contrast, nearly four-fifths of those in the South and Southeast earn more than five minimum salaries.

      Many of Brazil's health problems stem from widespread undernourishment and endemic diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, amoebic dysentery, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, and the dread Chagas disease (Chagas' disease), which is transmitted by the bite of an insect that infests the walls of wattle-and-daub houses. Most of those diseases are common in lowland areas but rare at higher elevations and in the subtropical climate zones. The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, located in Rio de Janeiro, is Brazil's major research institute for tropical diseases.

      Although most endemic tropical diseases have been eradicated in the major cities, migrants from infected areas have reintroduced some maladies as far south as São Paulo. Poor sanitary and housing conditions exacerbate health risks, particularly among Brazil's millions of shantytown dwellers, or afavelados, who are concentrated in and around São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other large cities. In those areas new systems of potable water and sewage have greatly reduced the spread of disease. Government programs and privately supported clinics have been established in many favelas to improve health conditions, particularly prenatal and infant health care.

      The majority of workers are covered by various benefits: health and unemployment insurance, retirement and severance pay, obligatory savings plans, and holiday pay. These are paid by the employer to the National Social Security Institute on the workers' behalf. Brazil customarily spends a greater percentage of its gross national product on social services than it does on its military budget. There are, however, widespread complaints about the administration of the public health system, including the level and quality of benefits provided. The government changed the structure of the system in the 1990s after several officials were implicated in scandals.

      Roughly four-fifths of the hospitals in Brazil are public institutions. The ratio of doctors to population is lowest in the North and Northeast but rises progressively through the South and Central-West and is the highest in the Southeast. The largest share of the country's doctors and hospitals are concentrated in the urban areas. The quality and promptness of services provided also varies greatly; public hospitals, which mainly serve poorer Brazilians, have been criticized for responding slowly to emergencies and otherwise delaying treatments. Numerous state and national agencies operate a variety of health care services, although often with limited programs.

Cultural life
 The cultures of the indigenous Indians, Africans, and Portuguese have together formed the modern Brazilian way of life. The Portuguese culture is by far the dominant of these influences; from it Brazilians acquired their language, their main religion, and most of their customs. The Indian population is now statistically small, but Tupí-Guaraní (Tupí-Guaraní languages), the language of many Brazilian Indians, continues to strongly influence the Brazilian Portuguese language; other Indian contributions to Brazilian culture are most apparent in the Amazon basin. African influences on the Brazilian way of life are strongest along the coast between the Northeast and Rio de Janeiro; they include traditional foods, religions, and popular music and dance, especially the samba. Commercial and cultural imports from Europe and North America have often competed with—and influenced—Brazilians' own cultural output, and critics have argued that the nation's cultural identity is suffering as a result. Despite numerous social and economic challenges, Brazilians continue to be exuberant and creative in their celebrations and art forms.

Cultural institutions
      The Brazilian Academy of Letters, with its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, is generally regarded as the most prestigious of the country's numerous learned societies. The National Library, also in Rio, was founded in 1810 with 60,000 volumes from the Portuguese royal library; it now holds millions of books and documents. Most of Brazil's other libraries have limited holdings. Among the major history museums are the Museum of the Republic (1960; housed in the former governmental palace) and the National Historical Museum (1922), both in Rio, the São Paulo University Museum (1895), and the Imperial Museum (1940) in Petropólis. The São Paulo Art Museum (1947) and Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (1948) are internationally renowned. Both Rio and São Paulo have major museums of anthropology and numerous theatres. A notable institution for the performing arts is the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (1953; revitalized 1972), housed since 1999 in the Sala São Paulo, a renovated early 20th-century railroad station. Few of the country's major cultural institutions are based in Brasília.

The arts
      Brazil has had many world-renowned literary figures whose cumulative writings are regarded by many to be richer than those of Portugal because of their variety of ethnic and regional themes. Joaquim Machado de Assis (Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria), the son of a freed slave, was a leading voice of the 19th century with his romantic novels. In the 20th century the Northeast produced a particularly wide range of superb writing, including that of Gilberto Freyre (Freyre, Gilberto de Mello) on the subject of life under slavery, Graciliano Ramos (Ramos, Graciliano)'s tragedies about the drought quadrilateral, João Guimaraês Rosa (Guimarães Rosa, João)'s tales of survival and violence in the interior, and Jorge Amado (Amado, Jorge)'s lighthearted stories set in the cacao-growing zone of Bahia. Érico Veríssimo (Veríssimo, Érico Lopes)'s tales of southern Brazil have also been translated into many languages.

 The landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx (Burle Marx, Roberto) has made urban Brazilians especially aware of the splendours of their natural environment by replacing the traditional, formal European-style gardens containing imported plants with a profusion of native species in approximation to their natural settings. Some of Marx's landscapes have been used to set off the imaginative structures of Brazil's world-renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer (Niemeyer, Oscar). Among his works, Niemeyer designed a striking array of public buildings in Brasília, in collaboration with Lúcio Costa (Costa, Lúcio), the creator of the capital's original layout. Brazil also cherishes numerous splendid structures from its colonial and imperial past, from the tiled houses and ornate churches of Salvador to the palaces and public buildings of Rio de Janeiro. Among the most revered of these are the 18th-century churches in Minas Gerais that were adorned by facades, biblical scenes, and statues carved in soapstone by Antônio Francisco Lisboa, better known as Aleijadinho (“Little Cripple”).

      Western styles of painting began developing in Brazil in the 18th century, and in the 19th century Belmiro de Almeida, Jr., introduced an original Brazilian art style, influencing a trend toward realism. In the 20th century the painter Cândido Portinari was a major proponent of another uniquely Brazilian style, which blended abstract European techniques with realistic portrayals of the people and landscapes of his native land; the painter Emílio Di Cavalcant, a contemporary of Portinari, gained equal international renown. Celebrated photographic collections, such as the works of Sebastião Salgado (Salgado, Sebastião), have also interpreted Brazil's social and natural settings. The country's most prestigious art exhibition is the International Biennial of São Paulo (established 1951), which regularly attracts participants from more than 50 countries.

      The classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (Villa-Lobos, Heitor) was a powerful force in breaking with tradition to create distinctively Brazilian compositions by weaving folk themes and rhythms of Portuguese, Indian, and African origins into his music. In contemporary music, João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim (Jobim, Antonio Carlos) introduced the world to bossa nova rhythms (including the classic song "The Girl from Ipanema" ) by blending samba rhythms with cool jazz. Francisco Buarque de Hollanda composed a wide range of popular music including ballads and socially relevant light opera. The poet-songwriter Vinicius de Moraes (Morais, Vinícius de) caught the urban Brazilian spirit in his memorable lyrics, and the pop singer Roberto Carlos Braga built up a considerable following throughout Latin America in the latter part of the 20th century. Other popular musical styles include sertanejo, especially in the South and Central-West, axé, which is a blend of samba and reggae often heard in the Northeast, and pagôde, an energetic samba style that developed in urban areas. Musical influences from Brazil, North America, and Europe have been blended to create the tropicália style. The larger Brazilian cities periodically host contemporary musical extravaganzas, and free outdoor concerts of classical music attract multitudes of listeners in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and elsewhere. Brazil also has a long tradition of folk music, such as the Northeast's cantoria (sung poetry) contests, in which musicians improvise to win “duels.”

      Theatrical productions are widespread and well attended, from the bawdy regional comedies in neighbourhood theatres to lavish classical productions in Rio de Janeiro's opera house. Brazilian theatre has reached international audiences through playwrights such as Alfredo Dias Gomes, author of Roque Santeiro (Roque, the Saint Maker). Motion pictures are enormously popular in Brazil, with offerings for popular and sophisticated audiences. Brazil's film industry has produced several contenders for international prizes; actors such as Fernanda Montenegro and her daughter Fernanda Torres have won worldwide acclaim, as have many directors, including Fábio Barreto and Bruno Barreto. However, imported North American and European films are the most popular movie fare in Brazil.

Daily life
      The rapid, large-scale urbanization of Brazil following World War II radically altered the lifestyle of the majority of the country's inhabitants. In most ways, large Brazilian cities differ little from others in the Western world, but their greater degree of crowding and large volume of pedestrian traffic may in some cases compare more closely to the cities of China than of North America.

      Brazilians' family ties, both immediate and extended, generally remain stronger than in western Europe and North America; family members customarily live in relatively close proximity to one another, holding frequent reunions or gathering at a family farm or ranch on weekends and holidays. However, this traditional system of kinship ties depends on a certain degree of wealth and stability for its preservation, and it is no longer as strong as it once was, given the increased mobility and urbanization of the Brazilian people. In the favelas, various members of an extended family may occupy the same dwelling because of economic pressures or family tradition. Automobiles have become a household fixture for most middle-class families, to the extent that Brazilians are said to have a love affair with cars; however, families with lesser means must rely on bus trips as the only practical way to commute to work or, on the weekend, to the beach or countryside.

      The traditional national dish of Brazil is the feijoada completa, a mixture of up to 20 different dried, salted, or smoked meats simmered in a stew of black beans (feijoadas) and often served with rice, vegetables, and other foods. There are many dishes of African origin in Bahia, such as vatapá, which is made of rice flour, coconut oil, fish, shrimps, red peppers, and assorted condiments. Rio de Janeiro contains acclaimed Portuguese restaurants, whereas Italian cuisine is better represented in São Paulo. Steakhouses (churrascarias) abound throughout the country, but North American fast-food chains are rapidly expanding in large and medium-sized cities.

      The four-day pre-Lenten carnival is the most famous and exuberant Brazilian holiday. Carnival in Brazil is the traditional combination of a Roman Catholic festival with the lively celebrations of people of African ancestry. It evolved principally in urban coastal areas, notably in the former plantation zones along the coast between Recife and Rio de Janeiro.

      Millions of Brazilians from the working and middle classes find a social outlet in carnival preparations. During a considerable part of the year, they spend their leisure time preparing for the annual activities and competitions of Carnival in so-called samba schools (escolas de samba), which function as community clubs and neighbourhood centres. Both children's and adults' groups make up the several thousand dancers and musicians of each samba school, and many more people are involved in constructing floats and making elaborate costumes. The samba schools in Rio de Janeiro carry on the most extravagant expression of the festival, focused mainly along Copacabana beach. Most of the schools also attend competitions at the 85,000-seat Sambadrome (Samba Dome; 1984), which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Some Brazilians celebrate Carnival in nightclubs, where dancing and elaborate look-alike contests have grown in popularity. Nearly all the neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro and other cities are festooned with streamers and lights, and live samba music is ubiquitous. Salvador's Carnival is less highly commercialized and has a stronger African component.

Sports and recreation
      Football (soccer) is the nation's most popular sport, and Brazilians are highly enthusiastic fans. It is played virtually everywhere by young and old and amateur and professional, and international matches in the major cities draw huge crowds, notably to Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which has a capacity of 155,000. Brazilian teams are consistently among the top contenders for the World Cup, and from Brazil came the world-renowned Pelé, widely considered the greatest player of all time. Many other Brazilian players, such as the strikers Ronaldo and Rivaldo, have also led top football teams throughout Europe and Latin America. Women's football has gathered an increasing share of interest in Brazil. The country's string of successes in volleyball since the mid-20th century have made it Brazil's second most popular sport. Municipal governments often provide volleyball courts and other recreational equipment for the country's beaches, including Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana and Ipanema. Brazil's beaches are gathering places for young people, the more athletic of which play football and various racket games. Brazilian championships of beach football and volleyball draw thousands of spectators and television coverage.

      Brazilians have also achieved international fame in a variety of other sports. There were surges in interest in tennis in the 1960s, when Maria Bueno (Bueno, Maria Ester Audion) won Wimbledon and U.S. championships, and when Gustavo Kuertan won the 1997 and 2000 French Opens. Auto racing has been popular since the late 20th century, when Brazilians won several Formula One championships and U.S. Grand Prix races. Brazilians often are top contenders in international equestrian competitions, such as polo and show jumping. Brazil has competed in every Olympic Games since 1920, except the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam. It has been successful in many events, including track-and-field, swimming, yachting, and such team sports as football, volleyball, and basketball.

      Families use the beaches and numerous public parks, both within the cities and at nearby scenic areas, for picnics and other casual recreation. For the young, the urban nightlife includes music, dance clubs, and restaurants. Brazilians have increasingly congregated in shopping malls, which, like their North American counterparts, include food courts, movie theatres, play areas, video arcades, and a variety of retail stores.

      In addition to Carnival, there are various official and church holidays during the year, including Independence Day, on September 7, and St. John's Night (Noite de São João) in June. The latter is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks, and the launching of small paper hot-air balloons. Along the coast on New Year's Day (a national holiday), fishers pay homage to the African deity Iemanjá, goddess of the oceans (also St. Barbara, patron of artillerymen), by sailing out to sea with offerings that are thought to determine the success or failure of the coming year's catch.

Press and telecommunications
      Brazil publishes more daily newspapers than does Germany, Mexico, or Russia; however, the circulation per capita is limited. Among the nation's principal newspapers are O Estado de São Paulo (Estado de S. Paulo, O) and Folha de São Paulo, both in that city, and O Globo, Jornal do Brasil (Jornal do Brasil, O), and O Dia in Rio de Janeiro. There are also several weekly publications, including the newsmagazines Veja, Época, and Isto É and the glossy pictorial Manchete. Popular monthly publications include the health magazine Saúde and such widely circulated fashion reviews as Claudia and Manequim.

      Large private companies in Brazil control both press and broadcasting networks, including television's TV Globo network, which, with Rádio Globo, is by far the largest and most influential of the country's broadcasting systems. Among the country's several other broadcasters are the TVSBT network, TV Bandeirantes (affiliated with Rádio Bandeirantes), TV Record, Rede TV!, Rádio Mulher, Rádio Nacional, and Rádio Jornal do Brasil. There are also several regional and local stations. A publicly funded educational network broadcasts to a limited number of major cities. In the late 1990s cable services began to expand rapidly in the larger urban areas.

      About nine-tenths of Brazilian households have TV sets. Common television fare includes the tremendously popular prime-time novelas (soap operas), sporting events, news, special reports, foreign movies dubbed into Portuguese, and children's programs. In many ways television, in conjunction with massive urban migration, has helped to homogenize Brazilian culture by modifying regional differences; in the 1990s, for example, the Brazilian novela Pantanal helped to revitalize the sertanejo musical style and spread its influence.

      The former Brazilian Telecommunications Company (1965), provider of long-distance and international telephone service, was divided into four parts and privatized in 1998, and some state and regional companies were subsequently sold off. The resulting influx of private investment led to a rapid increase in the number of Brazilian phones in the late 1990s, and the country now has roughly 160 telephones per 1,000 persons—a higher proportion than in most Latin American nations but substantially lower than in more developed countries. Cellular phones are increasingly popular because of the high cost of wire-transmitted telephone service.

      At the turn of the 21st century, Brazil's middle and upper classes were increasingly joining the computerized, online world. Households and businesses purchased ever greater numbers of personal computers, and there was a concomitant increase in the number of Brazilians connected to the Internet. The number and type of Internet service providers proliferated, and Brazil became an important and growing market for e-commerce.

Richard P. Momsen, Jr. Ronald Milton Schneider

      The following discussion focuses on Brazilian history from the time of European settlement. For a treatment of the country in its regional context, see Latin America, history of.

      Archaeological sites near the Amazonian towns of Santarém and Monte Alegre and elsewhere in Brazil show that the region has been inhabited since at least 9000 BC. Mixed communities of farmers, fishers, and hunters and gatherers developed in the Amazon lowlands, whereas hunters and gatherers predominated in the drier savannas and highlands. Between two million and six million indigenous Indians (South American Indian) lived in the region at the time of European contact in 1500.

       Tupian-speaking Indians inhabited the coastal areas and were among the more significant of the tropical forest groups. Portuguese explorers of the region first encountered Tupians and principally dealt with them for many years. Indeed, Tupians may have been the most important Indian influence in Brazil's early colonial period and in the culture that subsequently developed; however, European diseases decimated the indigenous population, and many surviving Indians endured harsh treatment under Portuguese domination.

Early period
Exploration and initial settlement
      Europeans explored the Brazilian coastline only after mapping parts of the Caribbean Sea and the northeastern coast of South America; moreover, intensive exploration of Brazil resulted indirectly from Portugal's efforts to expand its colonies in Africa and Asia. In 1498 the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama discovered an all-water route to the Indies and the Spice Islands via Africa's Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese king, hoping to capitalize on this discovery, dispatched an imposing armada to India under Pedro Álvares Cabral (Cabral, Pedro Álvares), whose sailing directions had been drawn up by da Gama himself. To avoid the calms off the Gulf of Guinea, Cabral bore so far to the west that on April 22, 1500, he sighted the mainland of South America. The Treaty of Tordesillas (Tordesillas, Treaty of) (1494) between Spain and Portugal had established a line at about longitude 46° 30′ W that divided Spanish (west) and Portuguese (east) claims in the New World. The region sighted by Cabral lay well within the Portuguese zone, and the crown promptly claimed it. Portugal's new possession was initially called Vera Cruz (“True Cross”), but it was soon renamed Brazil because of the copious amounts of brazilwood (pau-brasil) found there that yielded a valuable red dye.

      The tidings of Cabral's landing aroused great enthusiasm among the Portuguese, and the crown began to sponsor major transatlantic explorations, including that of the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (Vespucci, Amerigo), whose small fleet sailed along the coast of Brazil and for the first time estimated the extent of the land. Vespucci, calendar in hand, baptized different points on the coast with the names of the saints on whose days they were discovered.

      Interest in Brazil waned over the subsequent two decades. The Portuguese began a desultory trade with the Indians for brazilwood, but they failed to discover precious metals in Brazil and thus focused their attention on the lucrative trade with Asia. Brazil became a sort of no-man's-land over which the Portuguese crown wielded only a shadowy control, and European rivals quickly took advantage of that neglect. The French, in particular, trespassed on Portuguese claims in South America and shipped the dyewood to Europe. Portugal's apathy ended, however, during the reign (1521–57) of John III, who gradually shifted the focus in colonial affairs from Asia to America.

      The Portuguese crown made the first systematic effort to establish a government in Brazil in 1533. It divided the colony into 15 hereditary captaincies, or fiefs, each extending 50 leagues—i.e., about 160 miles (260 km)—along the coast and an indefinite distance inland. These grants were distributed to favoured persons, chiefly courtiers, who became known as donatários (donatário) (“donees”) and wielded extensive rights and privileges; however, only two of the captaincies were ultimately successful: São Vicente (in present São Paulo state) and Pernambuco. The former included the town of São Vicente, the growing port of Santos, and the village of São Paulo on the Serra do Mar's fertile Piratininga Plateau, all of which had a combined population of about 5,000 by the mid-16th century. The captaincy of Pernambuco developed in northeastern Brazil, centred on the town of Olinda. Its donatário, Duarte Coelho Pereira, converted Pernambuco into a great sugar-producing region, offering the first example of a profitable agrarian export from the New World to Europe.

Royal governors, Jesuits, and slaves
      King John III resolved to strengthen his authority in Brazil by unifying the inefficient donatários under a central administration. He appointed as governor-general Tomé de Sousa (Sousa, Tomé de), a Portuguese noble with impressive experience in Africa and India. Sousa landed in Brazil in 1549 and founded Salvador (Bahia), a capital from which Brazil was governed for 214 years. Sousa also placed local officials over the captaincies and fortified strategic points along the coast. In the cities, he established municipal organizations similar to those in Portugal. Brazil then began to attract settlers in increasing numbers. By 1600 Bahia and Pernambuco each had a population of roughly 2,000 Europeans and more than twice as many African slaves and Indians.

       Jesuit brethren provided labour and expertise that were central to the progress of the colony. At the request of John III, Manuel da Nóbrega (Nóbrega, Manuel da) and several other Jesuits had accompanied Tomé de Sousa to Salvador and became the first of a long line of missionaries devoted to protecting and converting the Indians (South American Indian) and raising the moral level of the colonists. As soon as they converted Indians to Christianity, the Jesuits settled them in aldeias (“villages”) that were akin to the missions in Spanish America. Most other Portuguese colonists owned Indian slaves, however, and resented the Jesuits' control over such a valuable labour supply. A conflict arose between the two groups and reverberated throughout the colony, and both parties appealed to the crown. The Jesuits won a partial victory in a royal decree of 1574 that granted them full control over the Indians in the aldeias while permitting the colonists to enslave Indians captured in “legitimate warfare.” In the Amazon River basin, Father António Vieira (Vieira, António) became the centre of a somewhat similar conflict in the 17th century, when he established a chain of missions there. Though the missions helped protect Indians from slavery, they greatly contributed to the spread of deadly European diseases. Brazilian colonists, facing a compounding labour shortage in the mid-16th century, imported increasing numbers of African slaves.

Dutch and French incursions
      Brazil had hardly been brought under royal Portuguese authority before the French made a determined effort to establish a permanent colony there. In 1555 French troops took possession of the beautiful harbour of Rio de Janeiro, which, inexplicably, the Portuguese had neglected to occupy. A large Portuguese force under Mem de Sá, the governor-general, blockaded the entrance to the harbour, eventually forced the French garrison to surrender, and founded (in 1567) the city of Rio de Janeiro to ward off future attacks.

      Portugal was united with Spain from 1580 to 1640, and Brazil was consequently exposed to attacks by Spain's enemies, including the newly independent Netherlands. The Dutch seized and briefly held Salvador in 1624–25, and in 1630 the Dutch West India Company dispatched a fleet that captured Pernambuco, which remained under Dutch control for a quarter-century. The company chose as governor of its new possession John Maurice, count of Nassau-Siegen (John Maurice Of Nassau), a prince of the house of Orange and perhaps the ablest administrator in the Netherlands. The Dutch also invited distinguished artists and scientists to make known to Europe the resources and beauties of Brazil; however, the profit-driven directors of the company refused to support John Maurice's enlightened social policies, and he resigned in 1644. João Fernandes Vieira, a wealthy plantation owner, subsequently launched a rebellion that steadily gained ground against John Maurice's incompetent successors. The Brazilians, acting without Portuguese aid, defeated and expelled the Dutch in 1654, an achievement that helped spark Brazilian nationalistic sentiments.

Expansion and unification
      Brazil's westward expansion was one of the most significant events of the colonial period. The Treaty of Tordesillas forbade the Portuguese from crossing 46° 30′ W, but Brazilian colonists soon expanded far beyond that line in three groups: missionaries, cattlemen, and bandeirantes (explorers and slave hunters). Missionaries continued to extend their reach along the Amazon and in the South and Southeast. In the Northeast, cattlemen searching for new pastures pushed inland from the sugar-producing zones of Pernambuco and Bahia to the present states of Piauí, Maranhão, and Goiás. Paulistas, as settlers from São Paulo were called, were the most active in the movement westward, organizing major expeditions into the interior, known as bandeiras (bandeira), in order to capture Indian slaves and search for gold and precious stones. Some of the more adventuresome bandeirantes reached as far west as the silver-mining region of Alto Peru (now Bolivia) and as far northwest as Bogotá in Colombia. In the 17th century they explored the wildernesses of Mato Grosso and attacked the reducciones (Indian missions in Spanish-held areas) in the Paraná and Uruguay river basins. Indians and Jesuits resisted most of bandeirante encroachments, and near the Río de la Plata, in what is now Uruguay, Spanish settlers defeated the invading Paulistas. The bandeirantes' efforts, though often violent and cruel, contributed significantly to the unification of the huge subcontinent of Brazil.

      Shared cultural traits and economic factors also helped integrate the region. The Portuguese language formed a common bond between plantation residents, cattlemen, miners, slaves (both Indian and African), slave hunters, and city dwellers and distinguished them from their Spanish-speaking counterparts elsewhere in South America. Brazilians almost uniformly derived from Portugal an expanded, patriarchal family structure, and the heads of a few powerful families controlled nearly all of the land, slaves, cattle, and, later, mines that produced the wealth of the colony. Only four important cities developed in Brazil during the colonial period: Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Ouro Prêto. Moreover, Portugal maintained contact with all parts of Brazil—albeit intermittently—and little trade or other regular contact existed between Brazil and neighbouring Spanish colonies. These common factors held Brazil together in spite of strong regional variations.

Agriculture and prospecting
      Brazil's society and economy were based on agriculture and mining, especially the export-oriented production of sugar and gold. The sugar industry, confined primarily to the Northeast, was the principal source of Brazilian wealth from the 16th to the 18th century, and it provided the crown with most of its revenue through the time of independence. Sugar production called for major investments in land, labour (i.e., slaves), and machinery; consequently, a relatively small number of wealthy, plantation-owning families controlled the industry. Small landholders produced cotton and coffee, which became major exports in the 18th century. Independent freemen living near the sugar plantations raised tobacco and cattle, products that also became prominent by the end of the colonial period.

      Colonists vainly sought gold in Brazil from the period of first settlement until 1695, when prospectors discovered large deposits in what is now the state of Minas Gerais. The subsequent gold rush rapidly changed the course of Brazilian settlement. Towns sprang up as if by magic in the hitherto unbroken wilderness while large sections of the coast were virtually depopulated. Slaves from Brazil's sugar plantations and Africa's gold-working regions, who were quickly brought into the region, introduced several mining techniques there. The gold mines had a huge impact on the Brazilian economy and brought such vast sums of money into the Southeast that the Portuguese government transferred the colonial capital from Salvador (in the Northeast) to Rio de Janeiro in 1763. The search for gold led also to the discovery of diamonds in the early 18th century in Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Mato Grosso. The mining boom tapered off as the original deposits were depleted, although smaller quantities of gold and diamonds continued to be mined.

Colonial reforms
      The treaties of Madrid (1750), Pardo (1761), and Ildefonso (1777) with Spain recognized many Portuguese claims, including the conquests of the bandeiras. Meanwhile, King Joseph's prime minister, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, marquês de Pombal (Pombal, Sebastião de Carvalho, marquês de), introduced into Brazil a number of reforms that profoundly affected the social, administrative, and religious life of the colony. He abolished the donatário system, granted legal rights to the Indians, encouraged immigration from the Azores and Madeira, created two privileged companies to oversee Brazilian trade, and established a monopoly over the diamond fields. Pombal expelled the Jesuits (Jesuit) from Brazil and Portugal in 1759; many Brazilian elites endorsed the expulsion because the Jesuits had seemingly profited at their expense by resisting the enslavement of Indians and engaging in commercial ventures. Pombal progressively centralized the Brazilian government during the final decades of Portuguese rule.

      Brazil entered nationhood with considerably less strife and bloodshed than did the Spanish-speaking nations of the New World; however, the transition was not entirely peaceful. José Joaquim da Silva Xavier (Silva Xavier, Joaquim José da), popularly known as Tiradentes (Tiradentes Conspiracy) (“Tooth Puller”), instigated in 1789 the first rebellion against the Portuguese, who defeated his forces, executed him, and unwittingly made him a national hero in his martyrdom.

      The French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars deeply affected Brazil, although the main events of those conflicts unfolded across the Atlantic. In 1807 Napoleon I invaded Portugal, a British ally, largely to tighten the European blockade of Great Britain. The Portuguese prince regent Dom João (later King John VI [João VI]) decided to take refuge in Brazil, making it the only colony to serve as the seat of government for its mother country. The prince, the royal family, and a horde of nobles and functionaries left Portugal on November 29, 1807, under the protection of the British fleet. After several delays, they arrived at Rio de Janeiro on March 7, 1808.

      The colonists, convinced that a new era had dawned for Brazil, warmly welcomed Dom João, who promptly decreed a number of reforms. He abolished the Portuguese commercial monopoly on Brazilian trade, opened all harbours to the commerce of friendly nations (mainly Great Britain), and repealed laws that had prohibited Brazilian manufacturing.

      Dom João installed in Rio de Janeiro his ministry and Council of State, Supreme Court, exchequer and royal treasury, Royal Mint, royal printing office, and the Bank of Brazil. He also founded a royal library, a military academy, and medical and law schools. His decree of December 16, 1815, designated the Portuguese dominions the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves, thus making Brazil coequal with Portugal. Dom João's mother died in 1816, whereupon he ascended to the throne.

      Most Portuguese desired John VI's return after the French withdrawal, but he remained away as Iberian troubles mounted. The king finally became preoccupied with the situation when radical revolts erupted in Lisbon and Oporto in 1820. On April 22, 1821, he appointed his son Dom Pedro (Pedro I) regent and two days later sailed for Lisbon.

      Dom Pedro faced a difficult political situation: antagonism was growing between the Portuguese and Brazilians, republican propagandists were gaining greater influence, and the Cortes (parliament) of Lisbon instituted a series of shortsighted policies. The majority in the Cortes favoured restoring Brazil to its formerly dependent colonial status, and the parliament began repealing most of the reforms introduced by John VI. The Cortes then ordered Dom Pedro to return to Europe, fearing that he might head an independence movement.

      These acts aroused great indignation in Brazil. Dom Pedro responded by defying the Cortes with a speech known as the “Fiço” (“I am Staying”), and most Brazilians supported his decision. In January 1822 he formed a ministry headed by José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (Andrada e Silva, José Bonifácio de), a distinguished Paulista scholar later known as the Patriarch of Independence because he proved a tower of strength to the young regent during the first uncertain months of independence. On June 3 Dom Pedro convoked a legislative and constituent assembly, and on September 7, on the plain of Ipiranga, near the city of São Paulo, he proclaimed the independence of Brazil; he was crowned emperor on December 1. The United States officially recognized the new nation in 1824, and the Portuguese acknowledged Brazilian independence the following year, whereupon other European monarchies established diplomatic relations. (See also Latin America, history of: Brazil (Latin America, history of).)

The Brazilian Empire
Pedro I and the regency
      The first decades of independence were difficult though not as chaotic as in Latin America's Spanish-speaking republics. Brazil underwent a series of regional revolts, some of which resulted in thousands of deaths, but the national economy remained strong and the central government largely intact. The emperor was impulsive, however, and made generally despotic and arbitrary decisions. In 1823 he dissolved the constituent assembly, which he regarded as unruly and radical, and sent Andrada e Silva and his two brothers into exile. However, the emperor and his Council of State subsequently wrote a constitution that was liberal and advanced for its time, although it strengthened the hand of emperor. The municipal councils debated and approved the document; Pedro promulgated it in 1824, and it proved versatile enough to last throughout the imperial period. The constitution helped centralize the government by granting the emperor power to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies, select members of the Senate, and appoint and dismiss ministers of state. Pedro I's popularity declined thereafter because he lost Brazil's Cisplatine province (now the republic of Uruguay) following a costly war with Argentina (1825–28), appointed few mazombos (Brazilian Creoles) to high office, overly preoccupied himself with Portuguese affairs, failed to get along with the legislature, and signed treaties with Great Britain that kept import duties low and exacted a promise to abolish the slave trade. As a result, Pedro formally abdicated on April 7, 1831, in favour of his five-year-old son, Dom Pedro de Alcântara (later Pedro II).

      The next decade proved to be the most agitated period in Brazilian history. From 1831 to 1835 a triple regency tried in vain to end civil warfare in the provinces and to control lawless and insubordinate soldiers. In 1834 it amended the constitution to provide for the election of a sole regent to a four-year term; the document also partly decentralized the government by creating provincial assemblies with considerable local power. The priest Diogo Antônio Feijó, who was chosen as regent in 1835, struggled for two years to hold the nation together, but he was forced to resign. Pedro de Araújo Lima succeeded him. Many Brazilians were impatient with the regency and believed that the entire nation would rally behind the young ruler once he was crowned. On July 23, 1840, both houses of parliament agreed that he had attained his majority, though he was only 14.

      The reign of Pedro II lasted nearly half a century and constituted perhaps the most varied and fruitful epoch in Brazilian history. The prestige and progress of the nation were due largely to the enlightened statesmanship of its ruler, who was always simple, modest, and democratic, though not without personal distinction. He possessed an insatiable intellectual curiosity and was never happier than when conversing with scholars. He was generous and magnanimous to a fault. One of his favourite occupations was inspecting schools, and he professed a desire to have been a schoolteacher. Yet this kindly, genial, and scholarly ruler regarded his sovereign prerogatives and duties with great seriousness, and he was the final arbiter in all principal matters. A kind of parliamentary government functioned under the watchful eye of the emperor, who maintained power with the aid of Luis Alves de Lima e Silva (Caxias, Luiz Alves de Lima e Silva, duque de) (subsequently the duke of Caxias), Brazil's most outstanding military figure. Lima e Silva, the son of General Francisco de Lima e Silva (who headed the first regency following Pedro I's abdication), led several army units, quelled sundry regional revolts in the 1840s, and, the following decade, became minister of war and twice president of the Council of Ministers.

      Pedro II's government took a keen interest in the affairs of its southern neighbours, especially of Uruguay, which it sought to control through indirect measures. Brazil helped overthrow the Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1852. In 1864 Brazil invaded Uruguay to help decide the outcome of a civil war there; believing that Brazil was dangerously expanding its power in the region, the Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López (López, Francisco Solano) declared war, first on Brazil and subsequently on Argentina. The resultant costly and bloody conflict became known as the War of the Triple Alliance (Triple Alliance, War of the), or Paraguayan War (1864–70). Brazil, allied with Argentina and Uruguay, eventually destroyed the Paraguayan army and navy and overthrew López. The war was the bloodiest in South American history; it devastated the Paraguayan population and also had profound consequences in Brazil. It provided an opportunity to free a significant number of Brazilian slaves, led to the army's unwillingness to hunt down runaway slaves, and greatly weakened each state's ability to recapture them. The war also caused young officers to question Brazil's economic backwardness and to consider whether a drastic change of regime might be needed—a change that could be instigated by a military rebellion. The empire's relations with the United States and with Europe were generally cordial, and Pedro II personally visited Europe in 1871, 1876, and 1888 and the United States in 1876.

      The empire's major social and economic problems during the period sprang from slave-based plantation agriculture. That system mainly produced sugar, which was the nation's leading export, although cotton and coffee were becoming increasingly important. Real political power remained with large rural landholders, who controlled sugar production, formed the Brazilian elite class, and stood unrivaled economically because gold mining had declined; they were also largely insulated from the global antislavery sentiment of the times. Although manumission was common, and the number of freedmen and their descendants far surpassed the number of slaves (slavery) in Brazil, the slave owners as a group resisted pressures for the complete abolition of the institution. The Brazilian emperor had agreed in 1831 to phase out the slave trade, but that promise was made under pressure from Great Britain, and transatlantic slave traffic did not completely cease for another 20 years. Antislavery agitation began in the 1860s. Pedro II was opposed to slavery, but he did not want to risk antagonizing slave owners; accordingly, he felt that the nation should abolish it by degrees. In 1871 Brazil enacted the Law of the Free Womb, which granted freedom to all children born to slaves and effectively condemned slavery to eventual extinction. However, this concession did not satisfy abolitionists for long, and the young lawyer and writer Joaquim Nabuco de Araújo (Nabuco de Araújo, Joaquim Aurelio Barreto) led them in demanding immediate and complete abolition. Nabuco's book O Abolicionismo (1883; Abolitionism) argued that slavery was poisoning the very life of the nation. The movement succeeded: in 1884 the governments of Ceará and Amazonas freed slaves in those regions, and the following year the national government liberated all slaves over 60 years of age. Finally, the princess regent (in the absence of the emperor) decreed complete emancipation without compensation to the owners on May 13, 1888. About 700,000 slaves were freed.

The collapse of the empire
      Brazil had progressed considerably under Pedro II's wise guidance. Its population grew from 4,000,000 to 14,000,000, its public revenues increased 14-fold, the value of its exports rose 10-fold, and the nation's newly constructed railroads extended more than 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Immigration also increased, with more than 100,000 entering Brazil in 1889 alone. Yet people were generally dissatisfied.

      Many historians have ascribed the fall of the monarchy to a restive military, a brooding landed aristocracy, and a resentful clergy. Indeed, those three powerful groups were increasingly critical of the emperor. Perhaps more pertinent, however, was the stress placed on the traditional social structure in the late 19th century, owing to a widening gulf between the elites in the neo-feudal countryside and the more progressive urban residents and coffee planters. Members of the urban middle class, the military, and the coffee planters believed that the monarchy represented the past and was too closely tied to the landed elite. They reasoned that a republic better suited the goals of Brazil's emerging capitalist system, which increasingly was based on coffee and industrial production. A civil-military conspiracy formed, and military officers carried out a coup on November 15, 1889. Pedro II abdicated and went into exile in Europe. The abolition of slavery in 1888 and the overthrow of the monarchy in 1889 terminated the two major institutions that had shaped Brazil's past; in so doing they initiated a period of social, economic, and political change that accelerated modernization. Accordingly, the period between 1888 and 1922 has been described as the emergence of a “new Brazil.”

The republic to 1960
Transition to civilian rule
      Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca (Fonseca, Manuel Deodoro da), who had led the coup, became provisional president of the military-led government with the support of the nascent middle class and the prosperous coffee planters. He established a republic, separated the powers of church and state, and on February 24, 1891, promulgated a new constitution that combined elements of presidential, federal, democratic, and republican forms of government. The new states of the republic exercised more power than had the empire's provinces.

      Congress elected Fonseca president later that year, but he proved unable to govern under the new constitution. When he attempted to dissolve the dissenting Congress and rule by decree, the public raised such an outcry that he was forced to resign. Floriano Peixoto, the equally militaristic vice president, ascended to office on November 23, defeated several monarchist and military revolts, and restored a measure of tranquillity and order to the nation.

The “coffee (coffee production) presidents”
      In 1894, amid peaceful conditions in all but the extreme South, Peixoto reluctantly turned over the presidency to the first civilian president, Prudente de Morais, who had served as the first republican governor of coffee-rich São Paulo. Brazil's successive “coffee presidents,” who were primarily from the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, helped ensure peace, reform financial institutions, and increase coffee exports. However, they gave Brazil little real democracy, because only a select landowning minority was allowed to vote, fraudulent elections were widespread, and regional political bosses had virtual impunity as long as they supported the president in power.

      The economic and political centres of the nation shifted even farther during the 18th and 19th centuries from the old sugar regions of the Northeast to the new coffee regions of the Southeast. Coffee dominated the economy, accounting for more than half of export earnings by the turn of the 20th century. However, Brazilian farmers soon produced an overabundance of coffee, and the slumping value of that product's exports threatened the nation's prosperity. In response, representatives of the three major coffee-producing states—São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro—inaugurated a federally supported scheme in 1906 by which the government would purchase excess coffee and remove it from the international market in order to maintain a stable price.

      Brazil received increasing numbers of immigrants, and its rate of urbanization accelerated. The rubber boom in the Amazon River basin changed isolated Manaus into a cosmopolitan city with electricity, streetcars, cinemas, and a grandiose opera house. Meanwhile, the prefect Francisco Pereira Passos helped change Rio de Janeiro into one of the world's most beautiful cities, and the distinguished physician and scientist Oswaldo Cruz made it a more healthful place by virtually eradicating yellow fever there. The prosperous coffee economy attracted huge numbers of immigrants to São Paulo, the nation's bustling commercial centre, whose population jumped from 35,000 in 1883 to 350,000 in 1907; nearby Santos became one of the world's busiest ports, sending vast quantities of coffee to the cities of Europe and North America.

      Brazil also underwent a literary renaissance during this period, as intellectuals such as Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria) and Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (Lima Barreto, Afonso Henriques de) took penetrating looks into the traditions, turmoil, and changing nature of Brazilian society. Euclides da Cunha (Cunha, Euclides da), in his masterful historical narrative, Os Sertões (1902; Rebellion in the Backlands), described a bloody struggle between government forces and a group of messianic separatists in the untamed interior of Bahia state; against this tragic backdrop, Cunha reflected on the shortcomings of Brazilian society, including the pervasive divide between rural and urban traditions: the conflict between the “two Brazils.”

      The policy of territorial expansion reached its fruition under the brilliant leadership of the Baron of Rio Branco, José Maria da Silva Paranhos, a diplomat who served most notably as foreign minister (1902–12). On his recommendation, the Brazilian military closed off thousands of miles of inland borders and assumed control of vast disputed territories; consequently, other South American nations yielded to Brazil some 342,000 square miles (886,000 square km) of land—an area larger than France. Except for his land grab, Rio Branco avoided international misunderstandings, disputes, and other potential causes for war. In addition, he emphasized diplomatic relations with the United States over the United Kingdom, partly in deference to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (Roosevelt, Theodore). Brazil, which was generally sympathetic to the Allied cause in World War I, declared war on Germany on October 26, 1917, and it subsequently held a temporary seat on the council of the League of Nations.

Rebellion against the coffee elite
      Members of the growing urban middle class resented the government's political and economic assistance to coffee planters, and some junior military officers shared their feelings. An urban and military coalition challenged the coffee elite in the 1922 presidential election, but, amid charges of fraud, the government declared victory. In response, a handful of disgruntled officers staged a poorly planned and unsuccessful coup in Rio de Janeiro in July. Their revolt initiated an eight-year period of unrest aimed at toppling the old republic.

      Groups of junior officers, known as tenentes (Tenentismo) (“lieutenants”), staged more threatening uprisings in the mid-1920s. The survivors of a 1924 rebellion marched thousands of miles through the interior in an attempt to stir up revolt; however, local landowners retained control over the rural workers and effectively resisted the insurrection. Brazil's urban areas, in contrast, nourished growing demands for social and political progress. Public gatherings and civic events, such as the Modern Art Week in São Paulo in 1922, promoted nationalistic sentiments. Nationalists increasingly criticized the politics of the “coffee governments,” including their selfish tendencies to monopolize power along regional lines, manipulate elections, and resist economic diversification.

      By 1926 the movement of the tenentes adopted a somewhat imprecise nationalistic ideology that championed political and economic development. The tenentes fervently believed that the military could alter the habits of the country and propel it into the modern age. Their primary concern was not democracy but reform and development, which included plans to oust entrenched politicians, expand the base of government, and modernize the economy. They hoped to eradicate regionalism by favouring a strong, centralized government. The tenentes also revealed social democratic tendencies by proposing that the government recognize trade unions and cooperatives, carry out agrarian reform, nationalize natural resources, and establish a minimum wage, maximum working hours, child labour laws, and new educational opportunities. After carrying out reforms, they would consent to return the nation to constitutional rule. Much of the program advocated by the tenentes favoured the goals of the urban middle class, but the two groups failed to coordinate their actions, and the military rebellions did not gain effective urban support. Two related events finally ended the political monopoly of the coffee elites. First, coffee prices declined precipitously because of the international financial crisis of 1929–30, and, second, the elite politicians attempted to install yet another national president.

The Vargas era
      Getúlio Vargas (Vargas, Getúlio), the losing candidate in the 1930 presidential election, led a revolt that placed him in power. Vargas, formerly the governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, remained central to Brazilian national life for the next 24 years, holding office as chief executive on two occasions, 1930–45 and 1951–54.

      The Great Depression of the 1930s, which occurred during Vargas's first presidency, caused considerable economic difficulties for Brazil. In addition, the states vied with the national government for political control, and the people of São Paulo staged a bloody, though unsuccessful, revolt. In 1934 a new constitution granted the central government greater authority and provided for universal suffrage. Three years later, following another uprising, President Vargas seized virtually absolute powers and set up still another constitution, under which he continued as president. The new administration, known as the Estado Nôvo (Estado Novo) (“New State”), so heightened Vargas's control that he was able to suppress all manifestations of popular will and strip Brazil of most of the trappings through which it might eventually hope to become a democracy. Vargas increasingly shifted the states' political, economic, and social functions to the aegis of the national government. However, he also diversified the agricultural sector, enacted social legislation that benefited the working class, and urged further industrialization through import-substitution (using protective tariffs and other policies to limit imports while encouraging domestic manufacturing).

      After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Vargas government supported the U.S. policy of inter-American solidarity, and on August 22, 1942, it declared war against Germany and Italy. Brazil's air force helped defend the South Atlantic by flying antisubmarine patrols, and the United States used some Brazilian naval and air bases, including a major air field at Natal that provided the closest link between the Americas and Africa. Brazil sent an expeditionary force to Italy in July 1944 that distinguished itself in several battles. The Brazilian armed forces significantly upgraded their equipment through the U.S. lend-lease program, and the two governments agreed to increase Brazil's exports of raw materials. As the war drew to a close, some military officers believed that President Vargas might attempt to retain power, and on October 29, 1945, they staged a coup that forced him to resign. Brazil then experimented with democracy.

The democratic interlude
      General Eurico Gaspar Dutra (Dutra, Eurico Gaspar), Vargas's own choice, won the presidential election in December 1945; Vargas himself was elected to the Senate. The following year Brazil promulgated a new constitution—the nation's fifth and the fourth of the republican era—which included safeguards intended to prevent the rise of another overpowering president or dictator. It limited the presidential term to five years, separated the three branches of government, and restricted federal intervention in the affairs of the states.

      The general elections of 1950 returned Vargas to power by a substantial margin. Although he failed to win a clear majority in the four-way race, he secured 1,500,000 more votes than the runner-up and nearly as many as the combined total for the three rival candidates. Accordingly, he was again installed in the presidency on January 31, 1951, in spite of the serious apprehensions of the military leaders who had deposed him in 1945. Vargas, however, was unable to dominate the political forces of the country or to exploit social and economic trends to his advantage, and, because he endeavoured to abide by the constitution of 1946, some Brazilians criticized him for weak leadership. Lacking a firm majority in the Congress, he could neither enact his own programs nor resist the contradictory pressures of his supporters and opponents. Brazil faced grave economic problems, including inflation and a growing national debt, as government expenditures consistently outran revenues. To counter these trends, Brazilians desired more rapid industrial development and measures to limit inflation and government spending. Vargas maintained a precarious balance between those advocating greater state intervention in the economy (including government ownership of industries and natural resources) and those insisting instead on domestic and foreign private investment. In 1953 the government intervened directly by creating a national petroleum corporation, Petrobrás.

      For three years Vargas's popularity largely protected him from attack by political adversaries, who directed their criticism against members of his administration. João Goulart (Goulart, João), Vargas's young protégé and vice president of the Brazilian Labour Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro; PTB), was accused of using his office to transform organized labour into a political machine loyal to Vargas. He was dismissed as labour minister in 1954 because of his role (with the president's acquiescence) in radically doubling the minimum wage, an action that contributed greatly to the inflationary spiral. A series of crises followed, reaching a climax on August 5, 1954, when assassins murdered an air force officer and attempted to kill Carlos Lacerda, the editor of an opposition newspaper. Subsequent investigations revealed that the president's personal guard had hired the assassins and that corruption was widespread within the administration. The former dictator was engulfed in a wave of antipathy. In response, a group of army officers demanded Vargas's resignation, and on August 24, 1954, he committed suicide in an apparent attempt to engender sympathy for his policies and his followers.

Kubitschek's administration
      Vice President João Café Filho served out most of the remainder of Vargas's term and carried out preparations for the presidential election of October 1955. The major political parties did not unite behind a single candidate; rather, three strong contenders emerged: former Minas Gerais state governor Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira (Kubitschek, Juscelino), popularly regarded as Vargas's political heir; former São Paulo state governor Ademar de Barros, who had broad backing from financial and commercial groups; and Marshal Juárez Távora, considered to be the representative of conservative military and civilian groups. Kubitschek won the election with slightly more than one-third of the total vote. Brazilians widely interpreted the elections as a popular vindication of the Vargas position. However, civil unrest loomed on the horizon: the conservative press regarded Kubitschek as a dangerous radical, and the illegal but active Communist Party, which had thrown its unsolicited support to Kubitschek, claimed to have provided his margin of victory. In addition, following a heart attack that incapacitated Café Filho, rumours circulated of a coup that would prevent Kubitschek's inauguration. However, Teixeira Lott, the war minister, and Marshal Odílio Denys, who commanded army troops in Rio de Janeiro, staged a “countercoup” on November 11, 1955, in order to guarantee the president elect's inauguration, and Kubitschek took office as scheduled on January 31, 1956.

      Kubitschek encouraged a widespread nationalistic spirit by appealing to the popular demand for economic development and to the belief that Brazil was destined to become a great power among the nations of the world. Kubitschek felt that the national government should play a vital role in economic areas that seemed unattractive to private investment; thus, his administration undertook ambitious programs to construct highways and hydroelectric power projects, expand iron, steel, petroleum, and coal production, and assist privately owned industries. His role in planning, initially constructing, and dedicating (April 21, 1960) Brasília, a new federal capital 580 miles (930 km) northwest of Rio de Janeiro, was perhaps his most outstanding and controversial accomplishment. Kubitschek wanted Brasília to focus attention on the interior of the country, hasten settlement of the region, and develop its untapped resources. Residents of Rio de Janeiro denounced the project, but most Brazilians in other regions regarded the nascent city as a symbol of the nation's future greatness. In inter-American relations, the Kubitschek administration proposed adopting Operation Pan America, an economic development program for Latin America that foreshadowed the Alliance for Progress.

      Brazil achieved great material progress during the Kubitschek period but at a high price: the cost of living and the volume of currency in circulation tripled between 1956 and 1961, while Brazil's large foreign debt nearly doubled. The gross national product rose to unprecedented levels, but living standards mainly remained unchanged or declined. At the same time, evidence emerged of large-scale graft and favouritism among those holding public office.

Brazil since 1960
Political turmoil
      The presidential and vice presidential elections of 1960 were hotly contested. Jânio Quadros (Quadros, Jânio da Silva), a maverick politician who had governed São Paulo successfully, won the presidential contest at the head of the National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional; UDN), the largest conservative party. João Goulart, the vice president under Kubitschek and a member of Vargas's PTB won the vice presidential race. The two politically divergent politicians took office on January 31, 1961.

      The election of Quadros was hailed as a revolution by ballot, because anti-Vargas political groups controlled the presidency for the first time in three decades. Quadros took office in an atmosphere of popular expectation, but he was soon opposed by the Congress, where parties loyal to the Vargas tradition still commanded a large majority. Quadros responded by attempting to dramatically expand his executive powers, but his arbitrary and autocratic manner alienated many of his former adherents, and he failed to enact political reforms or measures to fight inflation. In international affairs Quadros was more successful. His foreign policy, which was applauded by ultranationalists and deplored by moderates, seemed designed to move Brazil toward neutral and communist nations and away from its traditional ties with the United States. He opposed inter-American attempts to censure Fidel Castro's communist regime in Cuba and promoted relations with the Soviet Union and its European satellites. On August 25, 1961, after less than seven months in office, Quadros resigned unexpectedly, alleging that “terrible forces” had worked against him. Congress promptly installed Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, as temporary president, because Vice President Goulart, the constitutional successor, was then en route home from a state visit to China.

      Brazil stood at the brink of civil war. Many military commanders and conservatives regarded Goulart as too radical to be entrusted with the nation's highest office, although the great majority of civilian political leaders upheld his constitutional right to the presidency. The war minister, Odílio Denys, emerged as the chief spokesman of the anti-Goulart forces and demanded that Congress declare the office of vice president vacant and hold new elections. Congress refused. In southern Brazil the commanders of powerful army and air force units defied orders from the capital and sided with Goulart, who arrived in Porto Alegre (in Rio Grande do Sul state) insisting that he was already president. Faced with the prospect of armed conflict, Congress and the anti-Goulart group in the military compromised: they agreed that Goulart could take office, but only as a figurehead. On September 2, 1961, Brazil adopted a parliamentary system of government and transferred most presidential powers to the newly created post of prime minister. The legislature made provisions for a national plebiscite on the parliamentary experiment, and Goulart was confirmed as president.

      The legislative elections of October 1962 did not greatly alter the balance of political power; in essence, the results indicated that the electorate was either divided or ambivalent regarding the administration's reform proposals. Goulart seized the opportunity to lead the opponents of parliamentarianism in demanding a quick return to presidential rule. Brazil held a plebiscite on January 6, 1963, and, by a margin of more than five to one, the national electorate gave Goulart full presidential powers. Goulart, however, was subsequently unable to garner enough legislative votes to pass his proposals, and the government's new plans for economic and social development did nothing to restrict inflation, which reached alarming proportions. The currency dropped to one-tenth its original value, the cost of living tripled, and the growth of the gross national product, which had been rising by 6 to 7 percent yearly, was brought to a complete halt.

Military intervention and dictatorship
      As the situation grew more desperate, the administration and its critics further repudiated one another. Goulart identified himself increasingly with the ultranationalistic left and surrounded himself with left-wing advisers, whereas military officers began to sympathize more openly with the moderate and conservative opposition. Goulart sought to neutralize the armed forces by frequently reshuffling the command structure and by developing a personal following among noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel. Many military officers and opposition political leaders, convinced that Goulart was planning a leftist dictatorship, began counterplotting in 1963 in different parts of the country. Governor José de Magalhães Pinto of Minas Gerais state and Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, chief of staff of the army, emerged as the chief coordinators of the conspiracy.

      Goulart requested congressional authorization for a state of siege, which would have enhanced his powers, and when Congress refused he appealed directly to the people for support. At a mass rally in Rio de Janeiro in March 1964, he instituted a controversial agrarian reform program and nationalized various privately owned oil refineries. Later that month his administration refused to suppress a strike by naval enlisted men; the opposition deplored that inaction, because it considered military authority and discipline to be the last check on Goulart's alleged ambitions. On March 31, 1964, Magalhães Pinto proclaimed a rebellion against the government by the civil leaders and military forces in Minas Gerais; he was joined by key politicians and by most of the armed forces. On April 2 Goulart fled into exile, and Congress declared his office vacant; Ranieri Mazzilli was again designated interim president.

      With the fall of Goulart, power effectively passed to the leaders of the rebellion, who instituted sweeping political changes. The commanders set out to restore economic and financial order, eliminate what they perceived as communist infiltration, and purge corrupt and subversive elements; however, they also desired to retain a modified form of representative government. On April 9, 1964, they combined these goals in the First Institutional Act, which greatly amended the 1946 constitution. The executive was granted temporary authority to remove elected officials from office, dismiss civil servants, and revoke for 10 years the political rights of those found guilty of subversion or misuse of public funds. Congress then followed the lead of the senior military commanders in awarding the presidency to Castelo Branco on April 11.

      During the following six months, the regime arrested thousands of people and abrogated the political rights of hundreds more, including union and government officials and the former presidents Goulart, Quadros, and Kubitschek. Congress retained the power to debate and amend—but not reject—proposals submitted to it by the executive.

The rule of Castelo Branco
      The military regarded Castelo Branco's term as a transitional period during which the quasi-military administration would enact sweeping political and economic reforms before it again entrusted the nation to a popularly elected government. Castelo Branco and his allies agreed on economic and social goals, but they disagreed on the means to attain their ends. The president wished to achieve reform through legislation while permitting various political activities; however, civilian and military extremists wanted to dissolve Congress and suspend all political parties until the military regime could consolidate its power.

      The quarrel produced a crisis in October 1965, when opposition candidates in the key states of Minas Gerais and Guanabara won gubernatorial elections by substantial majorities. The extremists interpreted the results as a great setback for the government, and they demanded that Castelo Branco annul the two elections. When he refused, they plotted a coup, but Marshal Artur da Costa e Silva, the war minister, intervened and persuaded the dissident leaders to keep the peace in return for Castelo Branco's promise to embrace the military's extremist reforms.

      On October 27, Castelo Branco signed the Second Institutional Act, which suspended all existing political parties, restored the president's emergency powers for the remainder of his term, and set October 3, 1966, as the date for new presidential elections. The regime then created an artificial, two-party system composed of the government-sponsored National Renewal Alliance (Aliança Renovadora Nacional; ARENA) and an opposition party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (Brazilian Democratic Movement, Party of the) (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; MDB). However, the MDB refused to nominate a candidate for the presidential election, which was run by the ARENA-dominated Congress, and Costa e Silva, the administration's candidate, won the uncontested race.

      A government-appointed commission subsequently drafted a new constitution, and Castelo Branco in December called an extraordinary session of Congress to approve the document, which was promulgated in January 1967. It incorporated much of the military's program and confirmed the expanded powers of the executive and the central government, but it also allowed the president and vice president to be elected from a single ticket, reduced the presidential term from five to four years, permitted military courts to judge civilians charged with violating national security laws, granted the president authority to issue emergency decrees without consulting Congress, and denied Congress the right to delay any legislation requested by the executive.

      The Castelo Branco administration employed emergency powers to contain inflation and revive the flagging economy. It limited and regulated sources of credit, restructured the tax system and collection procedures, and imposed wage and salary controls. The government also invested heavily in hydroelectric power and the transportation infrastructure. The administration achieved many of its goals, such as reestablishing Brazil's international credit rating, reducing inflation, and helping to increase the gross national product. Every major sector of the economy was expanding when Castelo Branco left office, although unemployment remained a problem.

Rollie E. Poppino E. Bradford Burns Ronald Milton Schneider

Administrations of Costa e Silva, Médici, and Geisel
      Costa e Silva promised to humanize the military government, but he did not depart markedly from the course set by his predecessor. His administration rejected petitions for a general amnesty, resisted proposals to amend the new constitution in order to restore direct elections, quashed attempts to form a second opposition party, and suppressed student disturbances. However, the government faced little serious political opposition, in part because its economic achievements mollified the populace.

      The political situation deteriorated rapidly late in 1968. Costa e Silva, facing a resurgence of public and congressional criticism, seized emergency powers. The Fifth Institutional Act, issued on December 13, suspended all legislative bodies indefinitely, authorized the executive to rule by decree, and provided the legal basis for a new purge of political critics.

      In August 1969 Costa e Silva suffered a stroke, and the government was run by the ministers of the army, navy, and air force until October, when General Emílio Garrastazú Médici was selected as the new president. The government again held federal, state, and municipal elections in November 1970; Médici's ARENA party was the clear winner in most contests. Still, antigovernment demonstrations continued, and some insurgent groups gained attention by kidnapping foreign diplomats in Brazil.

      In 1971 Médici presented the First National Development Plan, which helped to increase the rate of economic growth and to develop the Northeast and Amazonia, especially by means of road construction and redistribution of land. Brazilians, distracted by their newfound economic prosperity, seemed willing to tolerate political oppression and evidence of human rights violations. An electoral college was created in 1973, and in January 1974 it elected the ARENA party's General Ernesto Geisel (Geisel, Ernesto) as president.

      The 10th anniversary of the military coup was celebrated by lifting the prohibition on political activities of 106 leaders of the former regime, among them Kubitschek, Quadros, and Goulart. The Fifth Institutional Act, however, remained in force. The MDB demonstrated unexpected strength in the congressional elections of November 1974, gaining several seats in the Senate, and in the 1976 municipal elections the party pulled almost even with ARENA.

      In April 1977 President Geisel dismissed Congress when it failed to pass judicial reforms that he had requested. He then used the emergency powers of the Fifth Institutional Act to institute those reforms and other electoral and constitutional changes, which included provisions for the indirect election of state governors and one-third of the federal senators and the increase of the presidential term to six years. The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies was to be based on the total population of the states instead of on the number of registered voters, and constitutional amendment could be effected by an absolute majority of Congress rather than the two-thirds vote of two successive sessions formerly required.

Transition to democracy
      In October 1978 Geisel promoted a constitutional amendment that repealed the Fifth Institutional Act. The following month, his handpicked successor, General João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo (Figueiredo, João Baptista de Oliveira), won the indirect election for president. Before leaving office, Geisel repealed all remaining emergency legislation, including the presidential decree (of 1969) that banished persons accused of political crimes. In 1979 Congress enacted an amnesty program that restored political rights to all who had lost them since 1961. In addition, a reinvigorated freedom of expression sparked lively political debate. In 1982 direct elections for state governors were held for the first time since 1965, and opposition parties won most of the larger states.

      Brazilians also witnessed changes owing to a slow and profound economic transformation that made Brazil one of the major industrial nations of the world by the early 1980s, boasting the world's 10th largest gross national product. At the same time, fully seven-tenths of the population was urban. The transportation infrastructure had expanded immensely, and road networks in particular reached out to previously isolated corners of the vast nation. New pressure groups, such as organized labour, played increasingly influential roles, and the social structure was more widely diverse and complex.

      Still, Brazil followed well-delineated patterns in the 1980s. The few governed the many and enjoyed most of the benefits of society. The large estates grew in size and number as Brazil's agricultural frontier moved ever westward and through the Amazon. The export sector still dominated and shaped the economy. Poverty characterized the lives of the overwhelming majority of Brazilians. Indeed, Brazil did not escape the economic crises shaking Latin America in the 1980s. Its foreign debt ranked as the largest in the Third World. The nation emerged from the period of military dictatorship with a triple-figure inflation. Nor had the military governments resolved the problems of illiteracy, malnutrition, and high infant mortality that plagued the majority of the people.

The return of civilian government
      In another indirect election in January 1985, the broadened electoral college repudiated the military by selecting the candidates of the Democratic Alliance coalition—Tancredo de Almeida Neves for president and José Sarney for vice president—over the ARENA candidates. Neves died before he could assume office in mid-March, and Sarney was inaugurated as Brazil's first civilian president since 1964. The period of military dictatorship ended, and Sarney presided over the inauguration of the “new republic” as a constituent assembly prepared a new constitution. Sarney had to confront enormous problems—debt, inflation, recession, unemployment, poverty, and injustice—which, in a larger sense, also challenged the nascent democracy.

      After Sarney took office, rapid economic expansion took place as agricultural production rose and new economic and political policies were unveiled. The government's progressive steps included legalizing all political parties, planning for direct presidential elections, and promising to distribute land to millions of landless workers and peasants by the year 2000. Sarney's approval rating ran high as his government imposed the Cruzado Plan, an anti-inflationary program that included wage and price freezes and further fueled the economy. By the end of 1986, however, the government allowed price increases to slow the overheated economy. The rate of inflation immediately began to rise, precipitating massive protests against the government. The crisis took place just after a new, pro-government congress was elected (November 1986) and endowed with the task of producing a new constitution.

      The constituent assembly began its deliberations in February 1987 as the failed Cruzado Plan ended. A year and a half later, on October 5, 1988, Brazil's eighth constitution was promulgated. The document provided for a number of new freedoms, giving public workers (except military personnel) the right to strike and abolishing government censorship of art and literature. It also lowered the voting age to 16, designated presidential terms of five years, provided for a presidential election in November 1989, and prohibited the president from enacting laws by decree.

Brazil since 1990
      Brazil's old-regime elites and military continued to inhibit reform of the political system in the early 1990s, while the country's voters became disaffected and cynical, and the political parties remained superficial, depending on personality cults rather than platforms that addressed specific problems. In the final round of the 1989 elections, Fernando Collor de Mello of the small National Reconstruction Party faced Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio), known by his nickname Lula, of the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores; PT), which presented an uncommonly well-articulated platform and a clearly socialist ideology. Collor nevertheless gained the support of most of the parties of the Sarney government and campaigned for economic growth, modernization, and eliminating government corruption and inefficiency. Although roughly one-fifth of the votes cast were abstentions or were nullified, Collor was declared the clear winner, and he took office in March 1990.

      Collor's government failed to improve the economy and was consumed by a corruption scandal in mid-1992. Millions of dollars from influence peddling had flowed into the president's secret bank accounts. On September 29 the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to suspend and impeach Collor, and on December 29, minutes after the Senate opened the impeachment trial, he resigned. Vice President Itamar Franco assumed the presidency, marking the first time that the republic resolved a major political crisis without military intervention or arbitration. Investigations subsequently gained momentum and revealed further corruption at the state and federal level, including influence peddling, electoral fraud, and irregular banking procedures.

      Franco had taken office with the support of both civil and military leaders, but he represented a political party whose ideology was markedly different from that of Collor and thus failed to inspire great confidence in the Brazilian people. Industrial production and the incomes of the overwhelming majority of Brazilians continued to decline, while the annual inflation rate accelerated drastically to nearly 2,700 percent; meanwhile, the country paid massive amounts of interest to service its foreign debt. Some proposed reorganizing Brazil's political system as a way to emerge from the crisis, but a special plebiscite in April 1993 decisively rejected either a parliamentary or monarchical system; however, the following year Brazil adopted six constitutional amendments, including one that reduced the presidential term from five to four years in anticipation of permitting reelections (a question that was left to future legislative action).

      Franco appointed as finance minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Cardoso, Fernando Henrique), who put forth the Real Plan, a financial program partly inspired by a successful Argentine plan. The program stopped the government from periodically raising prices (a practice known as indexing inflation), introduced a new currency (the real) and an exchange rate that was partially linked to that of the U.S. dollar, and called for curbs on government spending. The Real Plan succeeded without severely limiting economic growth, and Cardoso's resulting popularity encouraged him to run for president; many regarded him as a dynamic, modernizing leader in the mold of Kubitschek or Vargas who would guide the country through shifts in the global economy while simultaneously resolving domestic crises. Cardoso won the election by a wide margin over Lula, the perennial leftist candidate. Policies enacted during his first term (1995–99) permitted strong economic growth while lowering the annual inflation rate even more dramatically—from nearly 1,000 percent in 1994 to less than 20 percent within a year and nearly zero by 1998. The political parties backing Cardoso's policies won a majority of the 1996 municipal elections.

      Cardoso pushed through a law in 1997 that permitted presidents and governors to be reelected. His Brazilian Social Democratic Party formed a coalition with the Liberal Front Party, the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, the Progressive Renewal Party, and several smaller entities to enact major fiscal and administrative reforms, notably the decision to privatize such government-owned enterprises as the Rio Doce Valley Company. Brazil's economy slowed as a result of financial crises in Asia and Russia in 1998, but Cardoso retained his popularity, won reelection to the presidency (again over Lula), and saw his coalition retain a decisive congressional majority.

      The government subsequently attained support from the International Monetary Fund, carried out additional fiscal and administrative reforms, and devalued Brazil's currency by allowing its exchange rate to float rather than continue its near parity with the U.S. dollar. Inflation remained under control, in spite of fears to the contrary, and the military seemed unlikely to intervene in civil affairs in the near future. Cardoso appointed a civilian-led minister of defense, whose duties replaced those of the separate military service ministers. The governing coalition fragmented, however, as parties and politicians maneuvered for advantage in the October 2000 municipal elections. Still, a record harvest and robust economic growth allowed Cardoso to move forward with his programs.

E. Bradford Burns Ronald Milton Schneider
      Cardoso constitutionally was barred from standing for reelection in 2002. Lula (Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio) emerged once again as the leading opposition candidate against government-backed José Serra of Cardoso's Brazilian Social Democratic Party. On October 27 Lula easily defeated Serra, garnering 61 percent of the vote, and on January 1, 2003, Cardoso oversaw the first transition from a democratically elected president to a democratically elected successor in Brazil in more than 40 years. Lula's win swung the country's political agenda to the left as he became the country's first president from a labour-oriented party. He moderated the rhetoric of the leftist platform he had presented in past elections, and soon after taking office he instituted austerity measures aimed at keeping inflation in check. Under his leadership, Brazil issued bonds in its own currency, instead of the dollar, for the first time. Employment and real wages rose. Major priorities of his administration included reforming social security, pension, and tax policy, combatting hunger and poverty, and enhancing educational opportunities, particularly for poor children. Lula's presidency, however, was plagued by scandals, which included party members soliciting bribes for public works projects and the use of undeclared loans to repay campaign debt. Many Workers' Party officials were forced to resign.

      In 2006 Lula won a second term as president in a runoff election against Geraldo Alckmin of the centrist Brazilian Social Democratic Party. Though Lula's party was still scarred by scandal, the Brazilian economy continued to grow under his administration. He enacted reforms to increase public investment and control spending. Agricultural and mining operations persistently expanded, and foreign investors and major trading partners showed renewed interest in the country. However, many problems persisted. Brazil remains embroiled in domestic and international controversies regarding threats to the Amazon rainforest and to forest-dwelling Indian groups such as the Yanomami. Moreover, landless groups continue to clamour for agrarian reform, while the country's cities are ill-prepared to serve the needs of their growing populations, and, in spite of increased regional growth, Brazil's economic opportunities and population remain heavily concentrated in the Southeast and South.

E. Bradford Burns Ronald Milton Schneider Ed.

Additional Reading

General works
Broad overviews of geography, history, and culture are available in Ronald M. Schneider, Brazil: Culture and Politics in a New Industrial Powerhouse (1996); Marshall C. Eakin, Brazil: The Once and Future Country (1997); Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti (eds.), The Brazil Reader (1999); Robert M. Levine, Brazilian Legacies (1997); Joseph A. Page, The Brazilians (1995); Charles Wagley, An Introduction to Brazil, rev. ed. (1971); José Honório Rodrigues, The Brazilians: Their Character and Aspirations (1967; originally published in Portuguese, 1963); Roberto da Matta, Carnivals, Rogues, and Heroes: An Interpretation of the Brazilian Dilemma (1991; originally published in Portuguese, 1979); and Rex A. Hudson (ed.), Brazil: A Country Study, 5th ed. (1998). Further bibliographic information may be found in Solena V. Bryant (compiler), Brazil, ed. by Sheila R. Herstein (1985).Maps, detailed statistics, and summary articles are provided in Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Anuário estatístico do Brasil (annual; also published in an abridged English version, Statistical Yearbook of Brazil). Comprehensive atlases include Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia, Brasil: carta internacional do mundo ao milionésimo (1972), which supplies map coverage at the subregional level; and Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Atlas nacional do Brasil, 2nd ed. (1992). Portuguese-language encyclopedias with special emphases on Brazil include Encyclopaedia Britannica do Brasil Publicaçiões Ltda., Enciclopédia mirador internacional, 20 vol. (1993); and Editorial Enciclopédia, Grande enciclopédia portuguesa e brasileira, 40 vol. (1940–45), which is dated but still useful. Special coverage of Brazil, including articles on each of the states, is included in Livro do ano (annual), published by Encyclopaedia Britannica do Brasil Publicaçiões Ltda.; and in Almanaque Abril: Brasil (annual).

Land and people
Basic geographic information can be found in Preston E. James, C.W. Minkel, and Eileen W. James, “Portuguese South America,” in Latin America, 5th ed. (1986), pp. 463–533; John Dickenson (compiler), Brazil, rev. ed. (1997), an economic geography of Brazilian industry; and Marvin Harris, Town and Country in Brazil (1956, reprinted 1971), an account of population settlement. Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Departamento de Geografia, Geografia do Brasil, 5 vol. (1977), provides dated but comprehensive geographic treatment. Background on Brazilian agriculture is provided in G. Edward Schuh, The Agricultural Development of Brazil (1970); and Allen W. Johnson, Sharecroppers of the Sertão: Economics and Dependence on a Brazilian Plantation (1971).The problems of northeastern Brazil are explored in Manuel Correia de Andrade, The Land and People of Northeast Brazil (1980; originally published in Portuguese, 1963), a comprehensive geography; Kempton E. Webb, The Changing Face of Northeast Brazil (1974); and Josué de Castro, Death in the Northeast (1966, reissued 1969), on the impact of drought on the inhabitants of the northeastern interior. The ecology and development of the Amazon region are discussed in Alex Shoumatoff, The Rivers Amazon, rev. ed. (1986); John Hemming (ed.), Change in the Amazon Basin, 2 vol. (1985); Roger D. Stone, Dreams of Amazonia (1985, reissued 1993); and Ronald A. Foresta, Amazon Conservation in the Age of Development: The Limits of Providence (1991). Warren Dean, With Broadax and Firebrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (1995, reprinted 1997), discerningly analyzes an ecological disaster of an earlier time.Ethnographic studies on Brazil's native peoples include Julian H. Steward (ed.), Handbook of South American Indians, 7 vol. (1946–59, reissued 1963), an indispensable reference work; John Hemming, Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, rev. ed. (1995), a masterful study of the European-Indian encounter and its tragic effects on the Indians, and Amazon Frontier: The Defeat of the Brazilian Indians (1987; reissued 1995); Betty J. Meggers, Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise, rev. ed. (1996), a classic study of the lifestyle of native peoples in the Amazon; and Alcida Rita Ramos, Indigenism: Ethnic Politics in Brazil (1998). African peoples and slavery are analyzed in Manuel Raimundo Querino, The African Contribution to Brazilian Civilization, trans. from Portuguese (1978); Joaquim Nabuco, Abolitionism: The Brazilian Antislavery Struggle (1977; originally published in Portuguese, 1883), the most important Brazilian document favouring manumission; and Florestan Fernandes, The Negro in Brazilian Society (1969; originally published in Portuguese, 1964), a historical study. Contemporary race relations are discussed in Thomas E. Skidmore, Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (1974, reissued 1993); and Pierre-Michel Fontaine (ed.), Race, Class, and Power in Brazil (1985), which includes thoughtful and far-ranging essays, many of them strongly revisionist. The arguments in these works are generally supported and amplified by Howard Winant, Racial Conditions: Politics, Theory, Comparisons (1994); France Winddance Twine, Racism in a Racial Democracy: The Maintenance of White Supremacy in Brazil (1998); Michael Hanchard (ed.), Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil (1999); and Anthony W. Marx, Making Race and Nation (1998). More recent, non-African minorities are examined in Jeffrey Lesser, Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (1999). Peasants are discussed in Shepard Forman, The Brazilian Peasantry (1975), a series of explorations of the lifestyles of rural peoples, and The Raft Fishermen: Tradition & Change in the Brazilian Peasant Economy (1970), a study of continuity and innovation in this group.

Economy, government, and social conditions
Brazil's economic history is chronicled in Werner Baer, The Brazilian Economy: Growth and Development, 4th ed. (1995), an overview; Marcelo Abreu and Dorte Verner, Long-Term Brazilian Economic Growth: 1930–94 (1997); Joe Foweraker, The Struggle for Land: A Political Economy of the Pioneer Frontier in Brazil from 1930 to the Present Day (1981); Marta Cehelsky, Land Reform in Brazil: The Management of Social Change (1979), on a basic and continuing problem in Brazil; Georges-André Fiechter, Brazil Since 1964—Modernisation Under a Military Regime: A Study of the Interactions of Politics and Economics in a Contemporary Military Régime (1975; originally published in French, 1972); and Celso Furtado, The Economic Growth of Brazil: A Survey from Colonial to Modern Times (1963, reprinted 1984; originally published in Portuguese, 1959).Problems of development and industrialization are discussed in William G. Tyler, The Brazilian Industrial Economy (1981); and Janet D. Henshall and R.P. Momsen, A Geography of Brazilian Development (1974, reissued 1976), a regional statistical survey of Brazil's economic evolution.Studies of urbanization include June E. Hahner, Poverty and Politics: The Urban Poor in Brazil, 1870–1920 (1986), a unique account of the urban masses during a period of accelerating immigration and urbanization; T. Lynn Smith, Brazilian Society (1974), a general discussion of the population as it shifted from rural to urban society; and Charles Wagley, Amazon Town: A Study of Man in the Tropics (1953, reissued 1976), a detailed study of life in a typical small Amazonian town.The history of education is described in Fay Haussman and Jerry Haar, Education in Brazil (1978). An introduction to science and medicine in Brazil is found in Nancy Stepan, Beginnings of Brazilian Science: Oswaldo Cruz, Medical Research and Policy, 1890–1920 (1976, reissued 1981).

Cultural life
Gilberto Freyre, New World in the Tropics: The Culture of Modern Brazil (1959, reprinted 1980), explains how the Brazilians view their society. Fernando de Azevedo, Brazilian Culture (1950, reissued 1971; originally published in Portuguese, 1943), contains a rich and detailed study of nearly every aspect of Brazilian culture. The literature of Brazil is explored in Afrânio Coutinho, An Introduction to Literature in Brazil (1969; originally published in Portuguese, 1959), an appraisal of the country's literature from the late colonial period to the mid-20th century; and Samuel Putnam, Marvelous Journey: A Survey of Four Centuries of Brazilian Writing (1948, reissued 1971), a standard text. David T. Haberly, Three Sad Races: Racial Identity and National Consciousness in Brazilian Literature (1983), provides the most sophisticated analysis of the link between literature and society. Art forms are the subject of Randal Johnson, Cinema Novo x 5: Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Film (1984), a study of five major filmmakers; Walmir Ayala, O Brasil por Seus Artistas: Brazil Through Its Artists (1981), with emphasis on people and landscapes in art, particularly in the 1960–80 period; Selden Rodman, Genius in the Backlands: Popular Artists of Brazil (1977), a brief but intriguing introduction to folk painters and their significance; and Leopoldo Castedo, The Baroque Prevalence in Brazilian Art (1964), a profusely illustrated essay. A brief but informative survey of dance is Katia Canton, “Brazil,” in Selma Jeanne Cohen (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Dance, vol. 1 (1998), pp. 525–537. Brazilian music is surveyed within the broader cultural context in Dale A. Olsen and Daniel E. Sheehy (eds.), The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 2 (1998), section 2, “Countries and Peoples of South America and Their Music,” pp. 300–355.The syncretism of Portuguese-Afro-Indian religious traditions is introduced in Roger Bastide, The African Religions of Brazil: Toward a Sociology of the Interpenetration of Civilizations (1978; originally published in French, 1960), the classic text; and Diana DeG. Brown, Umbanda: Religion and Politics in Urban Brazil (1986; reissued 1994). The political role of the Roman Catholic church is detailed in Scott Mainwaring, The Catholic Church and Politics in Brazil, 1916–1985 (1986); and Thomas C. Bruneau, The Political Transformation of the Brazilian Catholic Church (1974), and a companion volume, The Church in Brazil: The Politics of Religion (1982).

General works
Sweeping views of the Brazilian past and comprehensive historical interpretations include E. Bradford Burns, A History of Brazil, 3rd ed. (1993); Robert M. Levine, The History of Brazil (1999); Thomas E. Skidmore, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change (1999); and Boris Fausto, A Concise History of Brazil (1999; originally published in Portuguese, 1993). E. Bradford Burns (ed.), Perspectives on Brazilian History (1967), is a collection of translated essays by major Brazilian historians. Further bibliographic information can be found in Francis A. Dutra, A Guide to the History of Brazil, 1500–1822: The Literature in English (1980); and Robert M. Levine, Brazil, 1822–1930: An Annotated Bibliography for Social Historians (1983), and Brazil Since 1930: An Annotated Bibliography for Social Historians (1980).

Colonial and imperial Brazil
Brazil's colonial past is detailed in Bailey W. Diffie, A History of Colonial Brazil, 1500–1792 (1987), on the origins and growth of colonial Brazil; Leslie Bethell (ed.), Colonial Brazil (1987), seven interpretive essays; Gilberto Freyre, The Masters and the Slaves (Casa-Grande & Senzala): A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization, 2nd ed. rev. (1956, reissued 1986; originally published in Portuguese, 1933), a classic study of life under slavery in the plantation house; Stuart B. Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550–1835 (1985), an analysis of an important factor in the development of Brazil's social institutions; Kenneth R. Maxwell, Conflicts and Conspiracies: Brazil and Portugal, 1750–1808 (1973), a significant interpretive study of the background to Brazilian independence; and Caio Prado Junior, The Colonial Background of Modern Brazil (1967; originally published in Portuguese, 1942), a discussion of the predominant institutions implanted during the long colonial past and their impact on Brazil on the eve of independence.The imperial period is the subject of Gilberto Freyre, The Mansions and the Shanties (Sobrados e mucambos): The Making of Modern Brazil (1963, reissued 1986; originally published in Portuguese, 1936); Roderick J. Barman, Brazil: The Forging of a Nation, 1798–1852 (1988), and Citizen Emperor: Pedro II and the Making of Brazil, 1825–91 (1999), thoughtful interpretations of the emergence of the nation-state; Emilia Viotti da Costa, The Brazilian Empire: Myths & Histories, rev. ed. (2000; originally published in Portuguese, 1977), a review of the 19th century; and C.H. Haring, Empire in Brazil: A New World Experiment with Monarchy (1958, reissued 1968), an introduction to the period.

Brazil since 1889
An overview of the late 19th and early 20th centuries is provided by Gilberto Freyre, Order and Progress: Brazil from Monarchy to Republic, ed. and trans. by Rod W. Horton (1970, reissued 1986; originally published in Portuguese, 2 vol., 1959). Other topics within this period are covered in Stanley J. Stein, Vassouras, a Brazilian Coffee County, 1850–1900 (1957, reprinted 1985), on the plantation economy; Richard Graham, Britain and the Onset of Modernization in Brazil 1850–1914 (1968, reissued 1972), a study of the British influence on modernization; Warren Dean, The Industrialization of São Paulo, 1880–1945 (1969), which links industrialization and coffee exports, and his Brazil and the Struggle for Rubber: A Study in Environmental History (1987); and Mauricio A. Font, Coffee, Contention, and Change: In the Politics of Modern Brazil (1990). Robert M. Levine, Father of the Poor?: Vargas and His Era (1998), is the most insightful work on the Vargas years.Peter Flynn, Brazil, a Political Analysis (1978), gives a detailed overview of political conditions from the 1930s. Ronald M. Schneider, Order and Progress: A Political History of Brazil (1991), details the history of the military, particularly during 1945–85. Other works covering the same periods include Thomas E. Skidmore, Politics in Brazil, 1930–1964: An Experiment in Democracy (1967, reissued 1986), a detailed political study, and The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964–85 (1988), covering the period of transition from military dictatorships to democracy. Works that explain more recent events include Wendy Hunter, Eroding Military Influence in Brazil: Politicians Against Soldiers (1997); Biorn Maybury-Lewis, The Politics of the Possible: The Brazilian Rural Workers' Trade Union Movement, 1964–1985 (1994); Ted G. Goertzel, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1999); Peter R. Kingstone, Crafting Coalitions for Reform: Business References, Political Institutions, and Neoliberal Reform in Brazil (1999); and Peter R. Kingstone and Timothy J. Power (eds.), Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions, and Processes (2000).Ronald Milton Schneider

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