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Country profile for Brazil

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

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Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

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Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

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Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Brasilia
  • Major Languages: Portuguese
  • Currency: Real
  • Timezone: GMT -2:00 to -4:00

Country Map

Map of Brazil

In recent years there have been increasing outbreaks of civil unrest across Brazil, particularly in state capitals such as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Recife and Belo Horizonte. In 2018 several major demonstrations were organised due to the country’s deep economic recession, which had led to President Michel Temer introducing controversial reforms to labour legislation and the pensions system to curb public spending and unsustainable levels of debt. Large anti-government rallies have also been held nationwide since the Car Wash investigations were launched in 2015 and which exposed a widespread corruption scheme linked to the state-owned oil company Petrobras and the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht. The investigation is still ongoing and has already implicated senior businessmen and high-level government officials from all political parties.

Temer took office after impeachment proceedings were opened against former President Dilma Rousseff, from the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT). Rousseff was accused of manipulating federal budgets ahead of the 2014 elections, which she narrowly won against social-democrat Aecio Neves. In a Senate vote, she was removed from office and replaced by Temer, who was the vice-president. Temer’s administration was quickly engulfed in another controversy after a two-year investigation unveiled a series of irregularities in Brazil’s agriculture ministry. The operation, dubbed Weak Flesh, targeted the suspected fraudulent certification of inferior quality meat and poultry. Temer was accused of paying millions in bribes to meat-industry executives, which eventually led him to be indicted for corruption, although the process was blocked after Temer survived a vote in Congress.

Brazilian politics faced another eventful year in 2018, including the imprisonment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was sentenced to more than 12 years for corruption. His conviction came just as he was set to launch his presidential bid. However, due to Brazil’s clean slate law, politicians charged with corruption and other crimes are barred from running from office. Lula’s PT nominated Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of Sao Paulo. He was defeated by far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in a presidential run-off held in October. Bolsonaro ran as the candidate of the conservative Social Liberal Party (PSL) and is known as a highly controversial politician due to his extreme views on public security and corruption. He is one of the main advocates for relaxing gun control in Brazil as a method for tackling high-levels of criminality in major Brazilian cities. He has also stated on multiple occasions that the right solution to curb corruption would be a military intervention nationwide. These views have been reinforced by his VP, Rt General Antonio Mourao, who has been highly criticised for previous remarks praising some military commanders active during the period of military rule.

Brazil has also been destabilised by the various criminal groups operating throughout the country. Since 2010 the Police Pacification Units (UPP) have been carrying out operations in Rio’s favelas to clear drug gangs and reduce inter-gang violence. Although the UPP have helped to significantly reduce violence in the city the homicide rate remains high. Tourists are also sporadically targeted in gang-related crimes. In December 2016, an Italian tourist was shot dead when driving into the Morro dos Prazeres in Santa Teresa, where months later two Argentinian and two Spanish tourists were also shot after mistakenly driving into the community on their way to the Christ the Redeemer. In February 2018, the federal government ordered a military intervention in Rio until the end of the year. Joint military operations have significantly intensified across the city. Gang-related violence is also high in São Paulo, where the First Capital Command (PCC) group have been responsible for an escalation in violence since early 2012. In October 2014, a British man, who was working in Brazil as a translator, was killed during an armed robbery at a bar in Interlagos. There are also daily reports of armed robberies in the affluent residential sections of Jardins, Morumbi, Campo Belo and Moema.

Due to disputes inside major prisons in Brazil, violence within detention facilities tends to spread to some urban areas, especially in major cities across the country's north-east. Arson attacks, roadblocks and day-light shootings sporadically occur in those cities in the aftermath of prison riots. Most of those involved in the incidents are members of prison-based gangs, such as the PCC and the Rio-based Red Commando. In December 2019, more than a dozen people were killed amid a wave of violence in the city of Belem, located in the north-eastern state of Para. Violence often lasts for several days, leading to the deployment of special police units and federal agencies. Although most incidents affect specific areas, visitors should remain vigilant due to the risk of stray bullets and other collateral hazards.

Street crime continues to present the most significant threat to foreign nationals, with muggings and armed robberies common throughout the country. Petty criminals often operate around ATMs, public transport hubs, areas popular with tourists and urban hiking trails. Criminals are likely to be armed and possibly also under the influence of drugs. In the event of a confrontation, complicity is highly recommended. Express kidnappings, known locally as 'sequestro relampago' do occur in Brazil and the risk is highest in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Recife, Brasilia and Salvador; however, it is important to note that most victims are domestic nationals. Kidnappings have also taken place in the tri-border region close to the borders with Paraguay and Argentina, especially in the western areas of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul states. The risk significantly increases along the north-western border with Colombia and Venezuela where criminal, militant and paramilitary groups widely operate. Due to the current Venezuelan political crisis, travels to the border area in Roraima, should be exercised with caution.

Brazil can be affected by landslides and flash flooding during the rainy season, which normally runs between November and March in the south of the country, and from April until July in the north. In January 2011, more than 900 people were killed by flooding and mudslides during heavy rains in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state. Areas most vulnerable to weather phenomenon are those located near unstable hills and major rivers. However, due to high levels of pollution in some cities, downpours outside the rainy season may trigger flash floods due to deficient water draining systems.

Brazil is among a number of countries worldwide which have been badly hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Brazil currently has the second highest total number of cases worldwide, after the US, and has become the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Latin America. The latest case figures can be viewed here.


News articles

By INSI

Brazilian deaths highlights need for safety training

The brutal murders of Brazilian journalists Djalma Santos de Conceição and Evany José Metzker, which came at a time when INSI was in Rio de Janeiro to conduct safety training, have once again shown the dire situation for media workers in the South American country.

By CPJ

Radio journalist gunned down in Brazil

Brazilian authorities should immediately investigate the murder of radio journalist Ivanildo Viana, identify the motive, and bring the killers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

By INSI

Brazilian journalists robbed

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) is shocked to hear of the July 17 armed robbery of two Brazilian journalists, investigative reporter Eduardo Faustini and cameraman Luiz Cláudio Azevedo of TV Globo, and urges the police to bring their attackers to justice. 

By INSI

IN BRIEF: Brazil as at 13/06/14

Fake World Cup sites promising prizes and tickets are cropping up daily as fraudsters attempt to intercept user's details or even deploy malware.

View all articles for Brazil

Alerts for Brazil

Sao Paulo governor tests positive for coronavirus

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria has confirmed that he has tested positive for coronavirus. He said that he is asymptomatic and is currently self-isolating. Governor Doria has clashed with President Jair Bolsonaro over federal policies to address the spread of the virus. Sao Paulo is responsible for 25,000 coronavirus deaths in Brazil - the state is the most populous in the country. Reports show that at least 11 state governors have already tested positive for coronavirus.

Frozen poultry shipped to China claimed to contain coronavirus traces

Chinese officials in the city of Shenzhen said that coronavirus traces have been identified in a frozen poultry shipment from Brazil. Bloomberg reported that the shipment came from a plant in Xaxim, located in the southern state of Santa Catarina. Reports indicate that the sample was collected from the surface of the meat. In mid-July, China suspended the import of prawns from three Ecuadorian companies after its packaging contained traces of coronavirus.

Three shot after mistakenly driving into high-risk community in Rio

Three people have been shot after they mistakenly drove into a community in Sao Goncalo, Rio. G1 reported that the victims were heading to visit some family members when they drove into the Joquei community by mistake. Two of the victims were already discharged from the hospital, while the third is in a critical condition. Such incidents are common in Rio, where people unfamiliar with high-risk areas drive into communities often controlled by criminal groups. People driving in Rio should be extremely careful.

Economy ministry aides step down amid wave of resignations

Several aides linked to the ministry of the economy have stepped down amid a wave of resignations also affecting other ministries. Salim Matta and Paulo Uebel announced their resignation just days after two other aides left the treasury and the international affairs ministry. President Jair Bolsonaro has said that the resignations are normal and dismissed allegations of a political crisis. In total, five aides have already left the economy ministry since July. Brazil is expected to face a deep economic downturn amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Central Bank forecasts that the Brazilian economy may contract by more than 5-6 percent by the end of the year.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 100,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 100,000 as the country continues to struggle to curb the spread of the virus. Brazil continues to report a high daily increase in both deaths and cases of coronavirus. The latest available data shows that more than 520 people died of coronavirus in less than 24 hours. In total, the country has already hit three million cases. Although Sao Paulo has reported the most cases and deaths, the states in north-eastern Brazil are of the biggest concern. A high incidence of deaths is currently being reported in the states of Ceara, Bahia and Para.

First Lady linked to embezzlement scheme

A former aide to President Jair Bolsonaro's son has been accused of depositing 21 cheques in the bank accounts of First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro. Fabricio Queiroz, a former police officer and aide to Flavio Bolsonaro when he was a senator in Rio, is accused of making payments between 2011 and 2018. Media reports suggest that the amounts totalled 72k reais ($14k). In 2018, President Bolsonaro claimed that deposits to Michelle's account were part of a debt repayment. In June, Queiroz was arrested in Sao Paulo after being accused of moving unusual sums of money. He was at a residence owned by Frederick Wasseff, a lawyer that had worked for the Bolsonaro clan.

Former minister arrested for fraud in the health sector

A former minister has been arrested after he was accused of fraud within the health sector. Alexandre Baldy served as the Minister for Cities during the administration of Michel Temer. He was detained in Sao Paulo for a case dating back to 2013, when he was a secretary in the state of Goias. EFE reported that he is accused of using his influence to secure lucrative contracts both in Goias and in Rio. Baldy is currently serving as the transport secretary for Sao Paulo's Governor Joao Doria. According to the Federal Police (PF), an equivalent to $17k was seized at his home in Brasilia.

Judge Sergio Moro accused of political bias in Car Wash probe

Lawyers for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have called on the Supreme Court to investigate former Judge Sergio Moro, accusing him of being biased while in charge of the Car Wash probe. The request was made as part of an appeal to remove the plea bargain deal for former finance minister Antonio Palloci from evidence. In a two-to-one vote, Supreme Court ministers voted in favour of sidelining this piece of evidence. Justices Ricardo Lewandowski and Gilmar Mendes accused Moro of being biased. Moro is accused of deliberately releasing a plea bargain deal made with Palocci just days before the 2018 general elections when President Jair Bolsonaro was elected. Lula was banned from running in the elections due to his conviction.

Supreme Court orders global ban on several social media accounts

The Supreme Court has ordered Facebook and Twitter to impose a global ban on several social media accounts accused of sharing fake news and disinformation. Earlier this year, the same court ordered dozens of accounts to be shut down in Brazil as part of a fake news investigation. However, the same accounts could be accessed online through international servers. Although Twitter has complied with the court decision, Facebook has decided to appeal it. The court rule has led to controversy in Brazil, with some claiming that it could bring dangerous precedents for freedom of speech.

Clandestine testing facilities shut down in Rio

Health authorities in Rio have shut down several clandestine coronavirus testing facilities. G1 reported that three tents used to test people in their vehicles were shut in Botafogo and Barra da Tijuca. A health surveillance official said that a number of tents have been operating in Rio without a license. Brazil is the coronavirus epicentre in Latin America. So far, the country has reported 2.8m cases and 96,000 deaths.

Prominent indigenous leader dies of coronavirus

A prominent indigenous leader of the Alto Xingu region has died after testing positive for coronavirus. Aritana Yawalapiti had been in intensive care since late-July at a hospital in Goias. He was 71 and the leader of the first indigenous territory to be formally recognised in Brazil. Aritana's death highlights the coronavirus threat to indigenous people in Brazil. Several tribes are at risk of contracting the virus due to contact with illegal miners and wildlife traffickers.

PF seizes large amount of cash in operation targeting postal service

The Federal Police (PF) has seized a large amount of cash during an anti-corruption operation targeting the country's postal service, Correios. As part of the second phase of an investigation first launched in 2019, police officers raided several addresses in Sao Paulo and Rio. In the southern Rio neighbourhood of Barra da Tijuca, more than 3.5m reais (650k) was seized. The operation started after claims that packages and other services were given fraudulent receipts.

President Bolsonaro's chief-of-staff tests positive for coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro's chief of staff has tested positive for coronavirus. General Walter Souza Bragga Netto has become the latest high-level member of President Bolsonaro's cabinet to contract the virus. An official statement said that he is currently doing well and is self-isolating. President Bolsonaro himself has recently recovered from the virus. In total, seven cabinet ministers and his wife, Michelle, have already tested positive for coronavirus. Brazil is the coronavirus epicentre in Latin America, with more than 2.7 million cases and 95,000 deaths confirmed so far.

Several killed in vehicle pile-up near Curitiba, Parana

At least eight people have been killed and dozens more have been injured in a multiple-vehicle collision in Parana, southern Brazil. G1 reported that the accident happened on the BR-277 in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, near the state capital Curitiba. According to the police, the crash involved more than 20 vehicles. Initial reports indicate that the crash was caused due to low visibility after a small fire broke out in nearby terrains. Authorities also said that foggy conditions were reported at the time of the crash.

Dozens of criminals raid banks in Botucatu, Sao Paulo

Dozens of criminals have targeted several banks with explosives in the town of Botucatu, Sao Paulo. State authorities confirmed that dozens of heavily armed criminals raided the city overnight on Thursday, leading to violent clashes with the police. A police station and several vehicles were also set on fire. Most of the criminals managed to escape, while one of the suspects was shot dead. Criminal groups dedicated to bank robberies in Brazil often employ the use of explosives to blow up ATMs and high-security safes. During heists, criminals usually create a perimeter around their getaway route. Such incidents are most common in small cities due to a poor police presence.

First Lady tests positive for coronavirus

Brazil's First Lady Michelle Firmo Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus just as President Jair Bolsonaro claimed to have already recovered from the disease. The government said in an official communique that Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive and is currently self-isolating. Several cabinet ministers have also tested positive for coronavirus. The latest was Science Minister Marcos Pontes. In total, Brazil has already reported more than 2.5m cases and over 90,000 deaths.

Brazil reopens for international air travel after four months

Brazil has reopened travel to foreign nationals after more than four months. A government decree states that people heading to Brazil will be allowed entry once they present valid health insurance for the duration of their stay. International air travel to Brazil was suspended at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil still reports one of the highest numbers of infections and deaths in the world. People heading to Brazil should bear in mind that although they are allowed into the country, the return to their country of residence may be subject to restrictions. Most countries in the EU and the US have already imposed restrictions on travel from Brazil.

US ambassador warns Brazil over Huawei's 5G network

The US ambassador in Brasilia has said that Brazil may face consequences if it goes ahead with deals to install the country's 5G network using technologies from the Chinese-based Huawei. In an interview with O Globo, Todd Chapman said: “Each country is responsible for its decisions. The consequences we are seeing in the world are that firms involved in intellectual property are scared to make investments in countries where intellectual property is not protected.” The US has been pressuring its allies to ditch plans to build its 5G networks using Huawei equipment. Earlier this month, the UK government has ordered companies to remove Huawei from their 5G network by 2025.

Drastic increase in wildfires reported in the Pantanal

Wildfires in the environmentally-rich Pantanal region in south-western Brazil have drastically increased when compared with previous years. Data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows that the area affected by wildfires in Pantanal has more than doubled when compared with the first half of 2019. Between January and June, more than 2,500 fires were reported in the region. A state of environmental emergency was declared in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul due to risk of wildfires.

Sao Paulo's former Governor Geraldo Alckmin charged

State prosecutors in Sao Paulo have charged former Governor Geraldo Alckmin with a number of corruption crimes. Alckmin, who twice ran for president, is a member of the centrist Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He was charged with corruption, electoral crimes and money laundering. Alckmin has been charged as part of a case that is related to the 'Car Wash' investigations. He is a veteran politician in Brazil. He served as the governor of Sao Paulo for four terms.

National Force deployed to curb organised crime in Amazonas

The federal government has authorised the deployment of the National Force (FN) in the northern state of Amazonas. From early-August, FN soldiers will be deployed to the state to curb organised crime, drug-trafficking and environmental crimes. G1 reported that security efforts will be concentrated in high-risk areas along the Negro and Solimoes rivers. The deployment comes as part of the Arpao Operation and is focused around the town of Coari. The 30-day deployment could be extended. Amazonas has previously received assistance from the FN due to high-levels of criminality in the state capital, Manaus.

Coronavirus cases in Brazil reach two million

Coronavirus cases in Brazil have surpassed two million as a significant increase in cases are reported in Sao Paulo and Rio. Data from the health ministry confirmed that more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Brazil has also reached 80,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest in the world. President Jair Bolsonaro is currently recovering after contracting the virus,  as are several of his cabinet ministers. President Bolsonaro has largely downplayed the coronavirus threat and has been promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an anti-malarial medicine that has no proven effect on the coronavirus.

Sao Paulo's former Governor Alckmin indicted for corruption

Sao Paulo's former governor Geraldo Alckmin has been indicted for corruption. The Federal Police (PF) has accused Alckmin of corruption and money laundering during his electoral campaigns. The case is related to the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht. Although, to some degree, connected to the 'Car Wash' investigations, Alckmin's case is being handled by state agencies. The treasurer of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) has been implicated in the case. Earlier this month, former Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra was also involved in another case of corruption. Alckmin ran for president as a candidate for the PSDB in 2018. He came in fourth place.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 75,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 75,000 as the number of cases approaches two million. Latest data from the health ministry shows that more than 1,200 people died of coronavirus on Wednesday and nearly 40,000 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours. Sao Paulo and Rio are the states with the highest number of cases. However, the highest incident of deaths is reported in states in the north and north-eastern Brazil, including Ceara, Para a and Pernambuco.

Researcher linked to INPE deforestation monitoring sacked

A senior researcher associated with the National Space Investigation Institute (INPE) has been sacked. Lubia Vinhas was leading the Observacao da Terra branch of the INPE, which monitors the rates of deforestation in Brazil. Vinhas told Globo that she understood that her dismissal was part of a restructuring plan in the INPE and it is not related to her deforestation monitoring work. She is being transferred to another branch of the INPE. Vinhas was dismissed as Brazil reports record-high levels of deforestation in the Amazon. June 2020 has reported the highest levels since 2015.

Evangelical pastor nominated as new education minister

President Jair Bolsonaro has nominated an evangelical pastor as the country's education minister. Milton Ribeiro was a deputy dean at the Sao Paulo-based Mackenzie University. President Bolsonaro had been struggling to find a replacement for Abarahm Weintraub, who resigned last month after taking a job at the World Bank. In less than a month, Brazil has had three education ministers. Last week, another candidate rejected the nomination. Ribeiro's nomination has been praised by a number of religious groups that frequently accused the education system of indoctrination. Ribeiro was already a member of the cabinet at the presidency's Public Ethics Commission.

Brazil reports surge in yellow fever and measles

Brazil has reported a surge in measles cases while the country struggles to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Data from the health ministry shows that nearly 5,000 measles cases were confirmed in Brazil, a massive increase of 3,000 percent when compared with 2019. Most cases have been reported in Para, Sao Paulo, Rio and Santa Catarina. Recent data also shows an increase in yellow fever cases, which has recently spread to some southern states. The surge in both diseases is believed to be linked to low-rates of immunization despite vaccines being available in the public health system. Some countries have reported localised outbreaks of some diseases as national health services are mostly focused on the coronavirus threat.

Thousands evacuated as intense rainfall hits southern Brazil

More than 3,000 people have been evacuated after intense rainfall battered southern Brazil. For several days, the states of Santa Catarina (SC) and Rio Grande do Sul (RS) have been facing adverse weather conditions. Widespread flooding and landslides were also reported in some areas. One of the most affected areas is the town of Sao Sebastiao do Cai, where a local river burst its banks. Power outages have affected hundreds of thousands of people in the region. According to the National Met Institute (INMET) weather alerts remain in place in coastal areas in SC and RS.

President Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus. President Bolsonaro confirmed that he went to hospital for tests after displaying symptoms compatible with the virus. He told TV Brasil that he started to fell ill, weak and had a fever. He claimed that doctors have administered him hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin. President Bolsonaro had three previous tests which all came back negative. During the interview, he insisted that if he had been taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a precaution he could have avoided the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, President Bolsonaro has backed the use of HCQ - the US FDA ceased its use in coronavirus patients due to its negative side effects.

Woman found dead near beach trail in Sao Sebastiao, Sao Paulo

A 21-year-old woman has been found dead after she was reported missing in Sao Paulo. Julia Rosenberg had not been seen after she left her home in Sao Sebastiao. Her body was found buried on a trail between the beaches of Pauba and Maresias. According to the police, Julia is believed to have been the target of a robbery. Initial reports show that she was strangulated to death. Julia lived in Sao Paulo and was spending quarantine time with her family in Sao Sebastiao.

Prosecutors pressure environment minister to resign

Prosecutors have called for the resignation of Environment Minister Ricardo Salles for introducing controversial policies which are claimed to have contributed to deforestation. Among the claims are that Salles approved mining operations in protected areas and approved policies contrary to preservation. Salles said that the decision of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) interferes with public policies. He was also criticised for saying in a cabinet meeting that the government should take the opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic to pass legislation to scrap some environmental regulations. Since taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro has loosened some restrictions on environmental conservation and protection of the Amazon rainforest. In June, wildfires in the Amazon were the worst in more than a decade.

President Bolsonaro signs bill on mandatory use of face masks

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed legislation which will enforce the use mandatory of face masks. Based on legislation passed by both houses of Congress, people in Brazil will now be required to wear face masks on public transport, commercial airplanes, and prisons. Despite signing the bill into law, President Bolsonaro vetoed 17 points of the legislation, which required the use of masks in religious ceremonies, shops, industrial sites, and education facilities. President Bolsonaro was recently hit by judicial proceedings which forced him to wear face masks in Brasilia - the case has already been dismissed. Brazil has reported 1.6m coronavirus cases and 65,000 deaths.

Four-year-old killed in shooting in southern Rio

A four-year-old girl has died after sustaining gunshot wounds during a birthday party in southern Rio. G1 reported that the victim succumbed to her wounds days after being taken to the hospital in Duque de Caxias. The incident happened earlier this week in the town of Tres Rios when two men on a motorcycle opened fire on the guests. Several others were also injured in the incident. It is still unclear what the motive behind the attack is. Such incidents are often related to criminal retaliation.

Wildfires in the Amazon reach record-high numbers

Wildfires in the Amazon have reached record-high numbers after more than 2,000 fires broke out in the region in June. According to the National Space Investigation Institute (INPE), the number of fires in the rainforest increased by nearly 20 percent when compared with the same period in 2019. This is the highest rate since 2007. Wildfires in the Amazon occur more frequently during the dry season in May and June. NGOs say that the increasing number of wildfires in the Amazon have been exacerbated by deforestation and illegal activities, including logging and mining.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil hit 60,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have reached 60,000 as an increasing number of coronavirus-related deaths continue to be reported nationwide. According to the health ministry, more than 1,000 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. In total, Brazil has also reported nearly 1.5m coronavirus cases. Rio and Sao Paulo continue to be the coronavirus epicentre in the country, with the former reaching 10,000 deaths earlier this week. However, a high incidence of cases and deaths have also been reported in northern and north-eastern states.

Several killed as powerful cyclone hit southern Brazil

At least 10 people have died after a powerful cyclone hit southern Brazil. For several days, inclement weather has been affecting the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Power outages have been reported across major cities, while strong winds have knocked trees down and caused widespread destruction. Powerful winds have also affected coastal areas in Sao Paulo. People in the region are recommended to exercise extreme caution and to follow the advise of the local authorities. The weather phenomenon has also brought hazardous sea conditions.

Amazonas governor targeted in PF corruption raids

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) have raided several addresses linked to the governor of the northern state of Amazonas for his alleged involvement in corruption. Governor Wilson Lima has been accused of fraud over the purchase of equipment to treat coronavirus patients. Amazonas has reported one of the highest incidences of coronavirus in Brazil. Prosecutors claim that several state officials are linked to a corruption network that has taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis. Several state governors have already been accused of corruption in the purchase of overpriced medical equipment. Amazonas has so far reported more than 70,000 coronavirus cases, including nearly 3,000 deaths.

Education minister steps down over fake CV scandal

Education Minister Carlos Alberto Decotelli has announced his resignation just before being officially sworn into office. He was set to replace Abraham Weintraub, who resigned to take a job with the World Bank. Decotelli was engulfed in a scandal after presenting fake academic credentials on his CV, where he claimed to have studied in a number of institutions both in Brazil and abroad. Decotelli was also accused of plagiarising his Master's degree dissertation at the prestigious FGV. Four education ministers have now been replaced under the Bolsonaro administration in just under a year.

State of emergency declared in the Federal District

A state of emergency has been declared in the Federal District (DF) due to a surge in coronavirus cases. DF Governor Ibaneis Rocha ordered the measure after more than 45,000 coronavirus cases and 550 deaths were confirmed in the region. Rocha had already declared a state of emergency in DF, but the new decree extends it to other sectors. With the state of emergency, the government is allowed to get access to federal grants. DF houses the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.

Illegal miners kill two indigenous men in Roraima

Members of a local indigenous community in the northern state of Roraima were shot dead by alleged gold prospectors. According to the Condisi-Y group, two members of the Yanomami ethnic community were shot dead in the remote Serra Parima area. Illegal miners have expanded operations in protected areas across Brazil, often clashing with local indigenous communities. In addition to violence, criminals are also accused of spreading diseases to tribes. The incident happened nearly two weeks ago, but it was only confirmed last week.

President Bolsonaro nominates new education minister

President Jair Bolsonaro has nominated Carlos Alberto Decotelli as the country's new education minister. Decotelli is replacing Abarahm Weintraub, who accepted a job to represent Brazil at the World Bank. Weintraub has taken the job despite being the target of investigations by the Supreme Federal Court. Decotelli previously served as the head of the National Education Development Fund (FNDE) and was a professor in the naval military academy in Rio. He had previously worked with President Bolsonaro when he won the elections in 2018.

Senate approves new sanitation bill

Brazil's Senate has approved a new sanitation bill that will pave the way for privatisation in the sector. Lawmakers claim that the new legislation, which still has to be signed into law by President Jair Bolsonaro, is required to provide access to clean water and to improve sewage treatment in Brazil. According to government data, up to 16 percent of the Brazilian population does not have access to clean water. Critics to the bill claim that through privatisation, marginalised communities may be ignored in future projects. The law intends to expand sanitation services to the entire country by 2033. It is estimated that the project could cost up to 700bn reais ($131bn).

STF nominates new chief justice

The Supreme Federal Court (STF) has unanimously selected Luiz Fux to replace Dias Toffoli as chief justice. Toffoli's two-year term is set to end in mid-September. The leadership of the Brazilian STF rotates amongst its 11 members. Fux was already the vice-president of the STF. He was nominated as justice by former President Dilma Rousseff.

Several bodies found in clandestine grave in Sao Paulo

At least five bodies have been recovered in a suspected clandestine cemetery in Sao Paulo. Police officers found the bodies in a remote area in the Parque Savoy, located on the eastern side of the city. Authorities believe that the victims were killed by members of the infamous First Capital Commando (PCC). According to the police, the area was used for torture. Allegations of violence have emerged in recent years over the so-called 'crime court' where PCC rebel members are killed. PCC is one of the most violent gangs in Brazil. It is mainly engaged in drug-trafficking and other crimes.

Investigations opened against subsidiary of state-owned Eletrobras

Prosecutors have launched an investigation into alleged fraud committed in a subsidiary of the state-owned Centrais Electricas Brasileiras SA (Eletrobras). More than two dozen arrest and search warrants have been issued in Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia as part of the 'Car Wash' probe. According to reports, incidents of fraud worth an equivalent of $38m were identified in Eletronuclear. Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office, his government has announced plans to privatise Eletrobras.

State of emergency declared due to locust swarm in Brazil

A state of emergency has been declared as a swarm of locusts is moving towards the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Agriculture Minister Tereza Dias signed the declaration on Thursday and it will last for at least one year. The state of emergency is declared ahead of the impact of the locust plague on agricultural lands in southern Brazil. According to reports, the locusts are already affecting a large area in central Argentina and Paraguay as it moves towards Brazil. Although the locusts themselves may not pose health risks to people, the implementation of countermeasures - such as the intense use of insecticides could lead to harm.

Coronavirus clinical trials on humans underway in Brazil

Clinical trials on humans for a potential vaccine developed by the University of Oxford have started in Brazil. According to the Lemann Foundation, which is sponsoring the project, more than 3,000 health workers in Sao Paulo and Rio are taking part in the trials. The University of Oxford developed the coronavirus vaccine with support of the UK pharma giant AstraZeneca. The trials are launched as coronavirus cases in Brazil have already surpassed one million.

Federal judge orders President Bolsonaro to wear face masks

A federal judge has ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to wear face masks while in public. In reports released on Tuesday, Federal Judge Renato Borelli has said that the president could face daily fines of up to 2k reais ($390) if he fails to comply with the order. Reports also suggest that federal employees are also required to adhere to the ruling. The court order comes after President Bolsonaro was spotted at several rallies where he was not wearing a mask. The use of face masks in the Federal District (DF) - where Brasilia is located - has been compulsory since late-April.

Police raid residence amid investigation into far-right groups

Police have raided a residence linked to far-right organisations. Police told Folha de Sao Paulo that the raid was part of a probe into three factions known as the '300 do Brasil', 'Patriotas' and 'QG Rural'. They are being investigated for militia-related crimes and weapons charges. The raid happened in Arniqueira in the Federal District. The groups claim to support President Jair Bolsonaro and have taken part in demonstrations in Brasilia against the Supreme Federal Court.

Rio's health secretary resigns

Rio's Health Secretary Fernando Ferry has announced his resignation less than a month after taking the post. Ferry said in a statement that he apologises for not managing to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. After Sao Paulo, Rio has reported most coronavirus deaths and cases in Brazil. In recent days, several officials in Rio were the target of a corruption investigation linked to fraudulent contracts. There is also a political crisis implicating Governor Wilson Witzel. Ferro is the second health secretary in Rio to leave office amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Entry restrictions to foreign national extended until early-July

Entry restrictions for foreign nationals in Brazil have been extended for another 15 days. Brazil has become the coronavirus epicentre in Latin America with more than 50,000 deaths and more than one million cases. The government has announced that the measure will not be applied to Brazilian nationals, foreign nationals with legal residency in the country or to passengers in transit.

Education minister to step down

Education Minister Abraham Weintraub has announced his resignation just over a year after taking office. The government confirmed on Friday that Weintraub has been nominated to represent Brazil on a board of directors at the US-headquartered World Bank. It is still unknown who will replace him in the education ministry in October. Weintraub is considered to be one of the closest allies to President Bolsonaro. Recently, he has been engulfed in controversy after featuring in a leaked audio recording in which he called for the detention of all justices of the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Earlier this week, the STF voted in favour of continuing investigations into Weintraub amid the 'fake news' inquiry.

Former aide to President Bolsonaro's son detained in Sao Paulo

A former aide to President Bolsonaro's son has been arrested as part of a corruption investigation. Fabricio Queiroz was arrested in the rural area of Atibaia, Sao Paulo, after being accused of moving unusual sums of money between 2016 and 2017. At the time, he was closely associated with Flavio Bolsonaro, who is currently a senator. Queiroz was detained at a residence owned by Frederick Wasseff, a prominent lawyer that had worked for the Bolsonaro family in previous cases. G1 reported that another home in Rio's Bento Ribeiro area that is owned by the president was also raided. The investigations come amid a political standoff between President Bolsonaro and Rio's Governor Wilson Witzel, who is facing impeachment procedures in the state legislature.

Prominent indigenous leader dies of coronavirus

A prominent indigenous leader has died after testing positive for the coronavirus. Paulinho Paiakan was the leader of the Caiapo Bep'kororoti people. Folha reported that he died at a hospital in Redencao, Para. Paiakan held an influential role during the 1980s after the end of the military dictatorship. He was mainly engaged in the protection and revindication of indigenous lands. However, his reputation was damaged when he was accused of rape several years later. Indigenous people have been especially vulnerable to coronavirus. According to the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association (APIB), nearly 300 indigenous people died of coronavirus.

Brazil reports highest daily increase in coronavirus cases

Brazil has reported another record daily rise in coronavirus cases as some major cities and states prepare to relax restrictions. According to the health ministry, the country has confirmed nearly 35,000 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Reports published on Tuesday also showed that some 1,300 deaths were also reported during the same period. Brazil has so far confirmed more than 45,000 coronavirus-related death, while the number of cases nears one million. The government has claimed that the spread of the coronavirus in the country is currently under control. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that Brazil, Peru and Chile have the highest rate of cases and deaths in Latin America.

Police raid residences of pro-government protest organisers

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) have raided offices and residences of several people accused of organising protests in support of President Jair Bolsonaro. Demonstrations have taken place in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio in support of the president, during which they have called for military intervention and for the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to be scrapped. Several raids have taken place targeting far-right groups that are promoting the protests.

Protests break out near STF building in Brasilia

A number of protests have been reported in Brasilia as pro-government demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Authorities are currently investigating a protester who launched fireworks at the STF building over the weekend. In order to prevent civil unrest, Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha issued a decree that ordered the STF building and Congress to be cordoned off. Protests have also been reported in Sao Paulo and Rio.

National Treasury secretary announces plan to resign

Brazil's National Treasury Secretary Mansueto Almeida has announced that he intends to resign. According to reports, Almeida was already planning to leave his post for a position in the private sector but remained in office following a request from Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. Almeida's resignation comes as the Brazilian economy is facing a serious crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak. Reports suggest that he was also engaged in a political dispute with another government official linked to the treasury. The Secretary of the National Treasury (STN) is a branch of the economy ministry. It is tasked with monitoring federal government spending.

Brazil confirms 30,000 coronavirus cases in a single day

More than 30,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in 24 hours in Brazil. According to the health ministry, the country reported 30,412 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. During the same period, more than 1,200 coronavirus-related deaths were also confirmed nationwide. In total, Brazil has reported almost 40,000 coronavirus deaths, with more than 770,000 cases already confirmed. Coronavirus data in Brazil has been under scrutiny after the federal government ordered some data to remain unpublished. The decision was later overturned by the Supreme Federal Court (TSF). Sao Paulo, Rio, Ceara, Para and Amazonas are among the most affected states in Brazil.

President Bolsonaro extends military deployment to the Amazon

President Jair Bolsonaro has extended the deployment of the military to patrol areas in the Amazon rainforest. Earlier this year, the federal government ordered the armed forces to address deforestation and protect key areas in this vast region. Thousands of soldiers were initially deployed ahead of the wildfire season. According to reports, Brazil experienced one of its worst-ever years of deforestation in 2019. Illegal logging, wildfire trafficking and illegal mining are also among the main deforestation drivers in the region.

Police raid governor's palace in Para over coronavirus corruption

Police have raided the governor's palace in the northern state of Para in relation to a probe on medical spending during the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil's Federal Police carried out raids as part of a corruption probe into Governor Helder Barbalho, who is accused of fraud over the purchase of hundreds of faulty ventilators. Investigators believe that the ventilators were bought at inflated prices. In total, more than 20 raids were launched across six states. According to reports, larges sums of cash were recovered at the residence of Para's health deputy minister. During the coronavirus pandemic, several local and state officials have already been targeted in corruption investigations. Last month, Rio's Governor Wilson Witzel was also accused of corruption.

Rio's Governor Witzel faces impeachment proceedings

State lawmakers in Rio have voted unanimously to open impeachment proceedings against Governor Wilson Witzel. Witzel is accused of corruption in the purchase of overpriced ventilators and medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic. Witzel has denied any wrongdoing. A special state parliamentary commission will now investigate the allegations. In the event that two-thirds of the house votes to charge Witzel, he could be suspended. In total, Witzel faces 14 impeachment requests. In recent months, Witzel has been engaged in a dispute with his former ally, President Jair Bolsonaro, over a case involving the nomination of the Federal Police chief in Rio.

Businesses to reopen despite record-high coronavirus death increase

Non-essential shops in Sao Paulo are set to reopen as the local government lays out plans to restart the city's economy. Sao Paulo is Brazil's largest city and the country's main financial hub. Decisions to relax coronavirus measures in Sao Paulo came despite a record number of coronavirus deaths being confirmed in recent days. Some restrictions are still being applied, while social distancing rules are also being enforced in some areas. Millions of Brazilians have faced a dilemma over whether to return to work or remain at home to shield from the virus. Sao Paulo is the coronavirus epicentre in Brazil. The state has reported 150,000 cases so far, including nearly 10,000 deaths.

Supreme Court orders government to resume release of coronavirus data

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) has ruled that the government should resume the release of coronavirus data. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Moraes has given until Wednesday for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro to release data that was scrapped from previous reports. The ruling came after a request from four left-wing parties in Congress. President Bolsonaro has previously ordered the ministry of health to only publish daily coronavirus figures, while the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths would not be released. Brazil has confirmed some 700,000 coronavirus cases, including more than 37,000 deaths.

Government to change publication criteria of coronavirus data

President Jair Bolsonaro has ordered changes to the criteria of the publication of coronavirus data. He announced on Saturday that the ministry of health will no longer publish coronavirus cases; deaths that are under investigation; or the overall number of cases and deaths - only deaths in the last 24 hours will be published. Daily reports will also be delayed until the end of the day instead of being published by 17:00 local time. Bolsonaro claims that the move will help identify inconsistencies in coronavirus reporting, particularly data from state governments. The decision comes as Brazil reported a record-high increase in coronavirus deaths last week. Brazil has reported nearly 700,00 coronavirus cases so far, including more than 36,000 deaths.

Local health secretary shot in Osasco, Sao Paulo

A local health secretary for the city of Osasco has been targeted in a shooting. According to the state public security secretary, the police are investigating whether the incident is linked to the government's response to the coronavirus. Fernando Machado Oliveira was not injured in the shooting, which happened on Thursday evening on Martin Luther King Avenue. His bullet-proof vehicle was hit. Osasco is located in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, one of the epicentres of the coronavirus in Brazil. The city has so far reported nearly 4,000 coronavirus cases and more than 300 deaths.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 34,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 34,000 after nearly 1,500 new fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours. According to the health ministry, Brazil reported 1,473 virus-related deaths on Thursday. Brazil now has the third highest death toll in the world after the US and the UK., but has a far lower death rate per 100,000 population. Brazil currently has the second highest total number of cases reported, with almost  616,000 confirmed cases as of Friday 05 June. Rio and Sao Paulo continue to be the epicentres of the outbreak in Brazil, but there is a significant incidence of deaths in Ceara, Para and Amazonas.

Reports show drastic increase in coronavirus deaths amongst indigenous people

Reports have suggested that coronavirus deaths amongst indigenous people in Brazil skyrocketed in May. A report from the Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), a group that represents hundreds of tribes, claimed that 182 indigenous people have died of coronavirus in May. This is a nearly five-fold increase when compared with the previous month. Official government figures show that 59 have died - both sets of data use different stats. Indigenous communities in Brazil are already extremely vulnerable to other communicable diseases.

Lula da Silva calls for President Bolsonaro to be impeached

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that President Jair Bolsonaro should be impeached. In an interview granted to CNN on the Brazilian political situation and the government response to the coronavirus crisis, Lula claimed that Bolsonaro had already committed a number of crimes of irresponsibility and that Brazil faces a deep political crisis. Lula is still an influential left-wing politician of the Workers' Party (PT). He was previously sentenced to almost nine years in prison for corruption. He was recently released from prison after serving parts of his sentence. 

Brazil reports highest daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths

Brazil has reported its highest daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began. According to the health ministry, 1,262 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Brazil in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 31,199. Brazil has so far confirmed more than 555,000 coronavirus cases. Official data shows that the highest incidence of deaths is being reported in the northern and northeastern cities, including Belem, Fortaleza, Recife and Manaus. The rate of deaths is also relatively high in Rio. More than 2,000 people in Rio and Sao Paulo are set to take part in a UK-developed vaccine trial from the University of Oxford.

Dozens detained in operation against illegal logging in Amazonas

Dozens of people with alleged links to illegal logging have been arrested as part of a major police operation near Manaus, Amazonas. A major criminal group engaged in the production of furniture and the transport of lumber illegally harvested in protected areas were detained in the town of Manacapuru. Industrial equipment and lorries were seized during the raid part of the 'Operation Flora Amazonica', led by the Police Department Against Organised Crime (DRCO). According to the police, the group was responsible for downing more than 9,000 trees over the last 10 months. Deforestation in Brazil is a serious issue and in 2019 reached an all-time high. Illegal loggers are also often linked to violence and territorial disputes in remote areas in northern Brazil. Most recently, concerns were raised over loggers spreading coronavirus across indigenous communities.

Brazil's coronavirus death toll hits 29,000

Brazil's coronavirus death toll has hit 29,000 after 480 deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. With the increasing number of deaths, Brazil's overall coronavirus death toll becomes the fourth highest in the world after the US, UK and Italy. Some states have started to layout plans to lift the economic shutdown. Despite the high number of deaths, the rate of fatalities in Brazil is still lower than a number of countries in Europe and other Latin American countries, such as Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Latin America has recently become the world's coronavirus epicentre.

Former Rio governor targeted in money laundering probe

Police have carried out search warrants in the residence of former Rio Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, who is accused of money laundering. Pezao is being investigated alongside several other businessmen accused of being illegitimately granted public contracts to install public lighting in a major project in Rio. Pezao has been the target of the Car Wash investigations and was recently released from prison last December. The latest operation comes as part of the 'La Casa de Papel' investigations, which targeted the supply network of paper to public offices in his administration.

Justice minister requests suspension of testimony in fake news inquiry

Justice Minister Andre Mendonca has asked the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to immediately suspend the testimony of Abraham Weintraub, the Brazilian education minister. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Moraes had summoned Weintraud to testify in the fake news inquiry. Several politicians and businessmen linked to President Jair Bolsonaro were targeted in police raids earlier this week as part of the investigations. Weintraub featured in audio from a cabinet meeting, which is part of another probe assessing whether or not President Bolsonaro interfered in the Federal Police.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil hit 25,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 25,000 after more than 1,000 new deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. According to the health ministry, in total, Brazil has reported 25,697 deaths and nearly 415,000 coronavirus cases. Cities located in northern Brazil have the highest incidence in the number of deaths, while in the overall number of coronavirus-related fatalities, Sao Paulo tops the list. After the US, Brazil comes in second with the highest number of cases reported worldwide. When compared with some countries in Europe, Brazil's death rate by 100,000 people is relatively low.

Federal Police raid several houses over fake news probe

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has raided several residences as part of investigations into the spread of fake news. Raids were carried out across six cities in Brazil after a Supreme Court ruling. Among those targeted include the former Senator Roberto Jefferson, a member of the state government in Sao Paulo Douglas Garcia, and the businessman Luciano Hang. All of them are reported to be close allies of President Jair Bolsonaro. In total, 29 warrants were issued as part of the investigations led by Supreme Court Minister Alexandre de Moraes.

Health surveillance secretary steps down

Brazil's health surveillance secretary, Wanderson de Oliveira, has announced his resignation. The announcement comes as the country tackles a political crisis which has hit the health ministry at a time when the country is struggling to address the coronavirus pandemic. Wanderson de Oliveira stepped down on Monday, weeks after requesting his resignation back in mid-April. Oliveira had been assisting the interim ministry of health, Eduardo Pozuello, after two health ministers resigned. Brazil has become the epicentre of the coronavirus in Latin America. So far, nearly 400,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country, including more than 24,000 deaths.

Police search Rio governor's house amid corruption probe

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has conducted searches in the residence of Rio Governor Wilson Witzel, who is being investigated for corruption. A number of raids were executed across Rio after the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) approved investigations into allegations that the governor diverted funds from the construction of temporary hospitals to treat coronavirus patients. His wife, Helena, is also being investigated. Witzel denied any wrongdoing and said that the investigations are part of a political manoeuvre of President Jair Bolsonaro. Political tensions between them are on the rise. Witzel had previously accused the president of directly interfering in the PF operations in Rio.

Globo and Folha to cease presidential media coverage

The news outlets Globo and Folha de Sao Paulo have announced that they are suspending the coverage of the presidential daily briefings to guarantee the safety of their staff. Both companies have claimed that their journalists have been facing increasing hostility, threats and abuse from supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro and that security during the press meetings has not been enforced. Globo and Folha have long been engaged in grievances with President Bolsonaro, who accuses both media conglomerates of promoting fake news and disinformation.

US impose restrictions on travels from Brazil

The US government has announced that travel restrictions will be imposed on travellers who have been to Brazil. WH Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnery said: "Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country". The restrictions will be imposed from 28 May and will be applied to foreign nationals that have been to the country within the last 14 days before travel. Brazil has become a coronavirus epicentre in the Americas, recording more than 376,000 cases, including nearly 24,000 deaths.

Supreme Court justice requests probe into President Bolsonaro's phone records

Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello has called on prosecutors to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro's personal phone. The investigation is part of a wider probe against the president over his alleged pressure on the Federal Police (PF), which led to the resignation of his former justice minister Sergio Moro. Moro claimed that the president said that he wanted to change the leadership of the PF offices in Rio during a cabinet meeting. The meeting was reportedly recorded.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 20,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have reached 20,000 after more than 1,000 new deaths were confirmed within the last 24 hours. Latest reports from the health ministry showed that Brazil has recorded the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic. On Thursday, the country had confirmed 1,188 deaths, while the number of those infected has already reached 300,000. Sao Paulo and Rio remain the epicentres of the virus, but concerns have also been raised about its spread in northern and north-eastern Brazil, especially in Ceara, Pernambuco, Amazonas and Para.

PF makes massive cannabis bust in Mato Grosso do Sul

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has made a massive marijuana bust in the south-western state of Mato Grosso do Sul. PF has claimed that this is the largest ever drug bust to have been made in the country. The drugs were found hidden in a lorry transporting corn near the town of Tacuru. The lorry had departed from the bordering city of Ponta Pora. Brazil is a major marijuana market in Latin America. Ponta Pora is located just opposite the Paraguayan town of Pedro Juan Caballero.

Teenager dies during police raid in Sao Goncalo, Rio

A 14-year-old has died after being shot at his home in Sao Goncalo in Rio's metropolitan area. Joao Pedro was playing with family members when the police raided his house. A joint police operation was launched in the Complexo do Salgueiro community to arrest two suspects. El Pais reported that Joao Pedro's body disappeared for several hours before reappearing at the coroner's office. The police said that investigations into Joao Pedro's death have been launched. At least 20 teenagers were killed across Rio in 2020 and more than half of them died during police operations.

Culture minister steps down

Culture Minister Regina Duarte has stepped down from her post just two months after taking office. According to reports, Duarte will now be assigned to lead another government body under the tutelage of the culture ministry. President Jair Bolsonaro said that she is moving back to Sao Paulo due to family reasons. Duarte is the latest minister to quit the Bolsonaro administration. Most recently, the government has replaced two health ministers and the justice minister.

Government to clear use of HCQ to treat coronavirus patients

President Jair Bolsonaro has said that his interim health minister is set to sign a protocol that will pave the way for the wide use of the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat coronavirus patients. He said on Tuesday that Eduardo Pazuello, who currently leads the health ministry, will issue the guidelines. The use of HCQ has been heavily contested in studies as not enough tests have been carried out to assess its efficiency against the coronavirus. US President Donald Trump has praised the use of the medicine and even claimed to be consuming it himself. In Brazil, former health minister Nelson Teich resigned over reluctance on the use of the medicine. HCQ is an antimalarial drug commonly used in countries where the mosquito-borne disease is widespread.

Health ministry confirms record daily rise in coronavirus deaths

The health ministry has confirmed that 1,179 new coronavirus deaths were confirmed in Brazil in less than 24 hours. According to the latest official report published on Tuesday, the current death toll in Brazil has neared 18,000, while the total number of cases surpassed 271,000. This is the first time that Brazil records more than 1,000 deaths in a single day. Deaths in Sao Paulo and Rio have also hit record numbers. Brazil's health system is facing extreme pressure due to the increasing number of patients occupying intensive care beds, especially in Sao Paulo, Rio and Ceara.

Several killed in joint police operation in Rio

A dozen people have been killed during a police operation in western Rio. A joint police raid to the Complexo do Alemao has led to violent clashes between the police and the suspects. Initially, five people were killed, while an independent commission will investigate seven other deaths. G1 reported that the police raided the community to seize weapons and drugs, and also carry out arrest warrants. Police operations in Rio often lead to shootings that may collaterally affect civilians.

Three indigenous people tested positive for coronavirus in Rondonia

A local indigenous association has confirmed that three indigenous people have tested positive for coronavirus in Rondonia. According to the Condisi, the regional body for indigenous health, the patients contracted the virus after travelling to the city of Porto Velho. Those are the first coronavirus cases affecting indigenous people in the state. Rights groups in Brazil have raised concerns over the coronavirus infection amongst indigenous communities in the country, especially those high-risk areas that suffer from excessive mining, wildlife trafficking and illegal logging.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 16,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 16,000 as the number of cases continues to face a steady increase. According to the ministry of health, Brazil has so far confirmed more than 240,000 coronavirus cases, becoming the country with the world's fourth-highest number of overall cases. Sao Paulo and Rio have reported the highest number of deaths, but a high incidence of cases and deaths are also being reported in the northern and north-eastern states, especially Amazonas, Ceara, Pernambuco, Para and Maranhao. Despite the federal government largely downplaying the coronavirus threat, some cities and states are still enforcing stringent lockdown measures.

Health minister resigns less than a month after nomination

Health Minister Nelson Teich has announced his resignation less than a month after being nominated for the post. Teich replaced Luiz Mandetta, who was removed from the post due to political clashes with President Jair Bolsonaro. BBC Brasil reported that Teich is stepping down after differences between the government's approach on the use of the medicine chloroquine to treat coronavirus patients. Reports also indicate that the president overruled him on the decision in allowing the reopening of some businesses, such as hairdressers and health clubs. Brazil has so far confirmed more than 207,000 coronavirus cases, including 14,000 deaths.

Coronavirus cases in Brazil reach 200,000

Coronavirus cases in Brazil have reached 200,000 after around 14,000 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours. According to the health ministry, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Brazil is nearly 14,000. Despite the steady increase in coronavirus deaths and cases, the federal government of President Jair Bolsonaro has been promoting the reopening of the economy. Such pressure has been mainly directed at the state of Sao Paulo, the country's financial hub. Some cities and states have launched measures of their own to curb the spread of the virus. They may include sanitary corridors, lockdowns and curfews, while restrictions may vary across the country.

Foreign minister suspends delivery of domestic news to diplomatic posts

Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo has reportedly issued an order to suspend the delivery of domestic news reports from the Brazilian media to the country's diplomatic representations worldwide. Unnamed sources told Reuters that the current office in charge of monitoring domestic affairs and wiring them to Brazilian diplomatic posts across the world will now only use sources from international news outlets. In recent months, President Jair Bolsonaro and some of his ministers have frequently accused Brazilian news outlets of spreading fake news and disinformation. 

Brazil records its highest daily increase in coronavirus deaths

Brazil has recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths. According to the health ministry, 881 coronavirus deaths were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total coronavirus death toll to 12,400. On the same day, the number of cases increased by more than 9,000, reaching nearly 178,000. Brazil is the coronavirus epicentre in Latin America. Neighbouring countries have already enhanced border control due to the increasing number of cases in Brazil. Some Brazilian cities are currently on lockdown, while restrictions are being imposed at both local and state level.

President Bolsonaro implicated in cabinet meeting video

A controversial video implicating President Jair Bolsonaro has emerged as he is being investigated for meddling in the Federal Police (PF). According to media reports, in the video, President Bolsonaro allegedly pressured for changes in the PF leadership in Rio to protect his family. He denied any wrongdoing and acknowledged that the video exists. Reports suggest that the footage was recorded with his consent. He said that the video should have been destroyed at the time. The footage relates to a cabinet meeting in late-April and re-emerged as part of the testimony of former Justice Minister Sergio Moro. DW reported that the content of the video is confidential, but the Brazilian General Attorney's Office (PGR) has already analysed it as part of the investigations.

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil hit 11,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have reached 11,000 as the number of cases continues to increase nationwide. According to the health ministry, as of Sunday, 11,123 deaths have been confirmed in Brazil. Since early-April, the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in Brazil have suffered a steady increase. Sao Paulo and Rio are the epicentres of the outbreak in Brazil, but a high number of cases have also been reported in Amazonas, Para, Maranhao, Ceara, Pernambuco and Bahia.

President Bolsonaro orders military deployment to the Amazon

President Jair Bolsonaro has authorised the deployment of the military to tackle wildfires and deforestation in the Amazon. Members of the armed forces will be deployed for 30 days from Monday, 11 May, while their mission may be extended for another 60 days. According to reports, deforestation in Brazil during the first semester of 2020 has experienced a significant increase when compared with the previous year. Since taking office, President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for his failure to protect environmental areas in Brazil.

President Bolsonaro's spokesman tests positive for coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro's spokesman has tested positive for coronavirus. General Otavio Rego Barros is currently self-isolating after the results of the tests were released on Tuesday. In total, more than 20 people in the Bolsonaro administration have tested positive for coronavirus. President Bolsonaro himself has claimed that he had tested negative for the virus, but some members of the opposition and the media have requested the public release of the results. President Bolsonaro has largely downplayed the coronavirus threat in Brazil, which is feared to become an epicentre of the virus in Latin America. So far, 127,000 cases have been confirmed, including more than 8,500 deaths.

Sergio Moro testifies before PF in Bolsonaro's interference probe

Former Justice Minister Sergio Moro has testified before the Federal Police (PF) on a probe against President Jair Bolsonaro, who is accused of interference in the PF rankings. Moro claimed that he was pressured to replace the head of PF, Mauricio Valeixo, and the chief of the PF superintendency in Rio. Usually, the regional chiefs of the PF are nominated by the PF General Director. Moro left office after he refused to replace Valeixo - Valeixo has already been replaced after Moro's dismissal. Rio is the state where President Bolsonaro and his sons previously held public office.

Brazil records its highest daily increase in coronavirus deaths

Brazil has recorded its biggest increase in coronavirus deaths so far after the ministry of health confirmed that more than 600 people died in the last 24 hours. Brazil has reached nearly 8,000 deaths and has surpassed 114,000 cases. Sao Paulo has reported nearly 30 percent of all cases nationwide. The number of cases could be much higher. Health Surveillance Secretary Wanderson Oliveira said that nearly 100,000 tests have not been registered. Besides Sao Paulo and Rio, critical areas in Brazil include the northern state of Amazonas and the north-eastern states of Ceara and Pernambuco. Although the federal government has largely downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, state and local governments have launched stringent mitigation measures.

Quarantine measures in Ceara to be extended until 20 May

Quarantine measures in the north-eastern state of Ceara have been extended until at least 20 May. Governor Camilo Santana announced the extension of coronavirus restrictions in the state and the compulsory use of face masks in public places. After Sao Paulo and Rio, Ceara is the Brazilian state that has reported the most cases. In total, 17 states and the Federal District have extended social distancing guidelines this month to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Brazil has already confirmed 109,000 cases of coronavirus, including more than 7,300 deaths. At least 45,000 people have already recovered. State and local governments are launching different measures to curb the spread of the virus. Most cases have been confirmed in south-eastern and north-eastern Brazil.

President Bolsonaro nominates new PF chief

President Jair Bolsonaro has appointed the new head of the Federal Police (PF) after his first nomination was blocked by a Supreme Court justice. President Bolsonaro had initially named Alexandre Ramagem, the head of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), to lead the country's top law enforcement agency. His new choice is Rolando Alexandre de Souza, who had previously worked with Ramagem. The nomination of the new head of the PF has generated political shockwaves in Brazil after former Justice Minister Sergio Moro accused President Bolsonaro of interfering into PF affairs. The allegations are currently being investigated at the Supreme Court.

Coronavirus cases in Brazil hit 100,000

Coronavirus cases in Brazil have surpassed 100,000 as the country faces severe challenges to tackle the threat. According to the health ministry, 101,000 cases have already been confirmed nationwide, including more than 4,500 deaths. Some organizations claim that numbers are possibly much higher due to a lack of testing in some regions. Health Minister Nelson Teich has recently travelled to the northern city of Manaus, where the city and state health systems are feared to be on the verge of collapse. Private and public health institutions in Brazil are also operating almost at their full capacity. President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticised for his approach to the pandemic. Despite some restrictions being imposed on local and state levels, federal authorities push for the reopening of the Brazilian economy, which is forecast to contract by at least five percent.

Prison guards taken hostage during riot in Manaus, Amazonas

Several prison guards have been taken hostage during a riot at a penitentiary in Manaus, Amazonas. No fatalities were reported despite several inmates and guards being injured during the protest. The incident happened at the Puraquequara Prison in eastern Manaus on Saturday morning. Prisoners reportedly started a riot to demand better health conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Similar incidents were also reported in other states across the country. Institutions in Manaus have been facing increasing pressure over the coronavirus pandemic. So far, Amazonas state has confirmed more than 6,600 coronavirus cases, including over 500 deaths.

Teenager gunned down during armed raid near Recife, Pernambuco

A 15-year-old boy has been shot dead after gunmen raided a shop in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. G1 reported that the incident happened on Thursday afternoon in the town of Jaboatao dos Guararapes, located in the Recife metropolitan area. The victim was identified as Tuca Almeira. At least 15 shots were fired during the raid. According to the police, the incident may be connected to retaliation against a convicted man who was just released from prison. In recent months, Pernambuco has reported an increase in homicides despite coronavirus measures being enforced.

President Bolsonaro withdraws nomination for PF chief

President Jair Bolsonaro has withdrawn the nomination of Alexandre Ramagem to lead the Brazilian Federal Police (PF). Earlier this week, the Supreme Court has blocked Ramagem's nomination after claims that Ramagem was too close to the Bolsonaro clan and could influence the impartiality of the PF. The ruling can still be appealed. It is still unclear who could be the new candidate to replace Mauricio Valeixo, who was removed from the post last month. Media reports suggest that President Bolsonaro could nominate someone to fill the role in an acting capacity.

Four towns in Maranhao put on lockdown due to coronavirus

Four towns in the north-eastern state of Maranhao have been put on lockdown due to coronavirus concerns. Movement restrictions have been imposed across the entire island of Sao Luis. Among the areas included are Sao Luis, Sao Jose de Ribamar, Faco do Lumiar and Raposa.  All non-essential businesses will be shut, while pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open. According to data, Maranhao has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Brazil. Maranhao's State Health Secretary revealed that in Sao Luis, over 2,400 cases have been confirmed.

Supreme Court blocks nomination of new PF chief

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes has blocked the appointment of Alexandre Ramagem as the new head of the Federal Police (PF). Moraes granted an injunction to the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) over claims that Ramagem's appointment would interfere in PF affairs due to his close relationship with President Jair Bolsonaro. Ramagem was nominated to lead the PF to replace Mauricio Valeixo. The issue also led to a major political crisis over the resignation of Justice Minister Sergio Moro. Ramagem was the director of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN).

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil reach 5,000

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have reached 5,000 as the number of cases continues to increase nationwide. Latest reports show that more than 71,000 cases were already confirmed in the country. Health Minister Nelson Teich said that the situation should be addressed in high-risk areas such as Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife and Manaus. President Jair Bolsonaro has been at the centre of controversy due to his current approach to the coronavirus crisis. Brazilian politics have been heavily divided over new approaches to reopen the economy or introduce stricter measures to address the virus. Some groups fear that the number of cases in Brazil could be much higher.

Andre Mendonca confirmed as new justice minister

President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed the nomination of Andre Mendoca as the country's new justice minister. After much speculation that Jorge de Oliveira, the current secretary-general for the presidency, would replace Sergio Moro, President Bolsonaro confirmed Mendoca's appointment on Tuesday. Mendoca held the post as head of the Union's General-Advocacy. Meanwhile, the current head of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) Alexandre Ramagem was confirmed as the head of the Federal Police (PF). Ramagem replaces Mauricio Valeixo who was removed from his post last week, triggering a deep political crisis which forced the resignation of Moro.

President Bolsonaro investigated for meddling into Federal Police

Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello has granted authorisation for investigations into the alleged interference of President Jair Bolsonaro in the Federal Police (PF). The PF has been given up to 60 days to investigate those allegations. President Bolsonaro has been accused of meddling with the PF after ordering the replacement of the PF chief nominated by the former justice minister Sergio Moro. Moro resigned last week after the incident. President Bolsonaro denied any wrongdoing. The probe comes as both of his sons are also being accused of leading a major fake news network.

Jorge Oliveira set to replace Moro as justice minister

Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Francisco is expected to become the new Brazilian justice minister. Oliveira is set to replace Sergio Moro, who resigned last week after a political row with President Jair Bolsonaro. Moro left office after President Bolsonaro replaced the chief of the federal police. Oliveira was previously the Secretary-General for the Presidency. Reports indicate that he is long acquainted to the Bolsonaro clan for being childhood friends with the president's sons.

Justice Minister Moro resigns in major blow to Bolsonaro cabinet

Justice Minister Sergio Moro has announced his resignation after much speculation that he would quit the cabinet led by President Jair Bolsonaro. Moro is leaving office after a political spat related to the dismissal of the head of the Brazilian Federal Police Mauricio Valeixo. Moro becomes the second minister to leave office in recent weeks while Brazil faces the coronavirus crisis. After news of his resignation, the BOVESPA stock exchange contracted by more than eight percent. Moro is highly popular in some Brazilian circles for his involvement in the 'Car Wash' investigations, which led to the conviction of former President Lula da Silva and dozens of officials and businessmen.

Coronavirus cases in Brazil surpass 50,000

Coronavirus cases in Brazil have surpassed 50,000 as some state governments continue to enforce strict social distancing measures. According to the health ministry, more than 3,300 deaths have been confirmed in the country. Official data shows that in the last 24 hours, nearly 400 deaths were confirmed nationwide. Despite the highest incidence of cases being in small towns in north-eastern and northern Brazil, the highest number of overall cases are confirmed in Rio and Sao Paulo. Coronavirus measures have led to some political grievances involving governments in the national, state and local levels. Most issues relate to the severe economic downturn after the crisis.

Political tensions emerge after dismissal of federal police chief

Political tensions in the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro have emerged after reports that Justice Minister Sergio Moro was set to resign. Moro had reportedly said that he would step down as minister if President Bolsonaro replaced the chief of the Federal Police (PF) Mauricio Valeixo. It is still unclear what the reasons behind Valeixo's dismissal are. Valeixo was nominated for the post by Moro as the PF is under the command of the justice minister. He previously worked in the 'Car Wash' taskforce when Moro was the federal judge on the case. Allegations that Moro had handed over his resignation have not been officially confirmed despite speculation from major media outlets. Moro enjoys of high-levels of popularity in Brazil for his involvement in the 'Car Wash' investigations.

Use of face masks become compulsory in Rio

Rio's government has introduced legislation that requires people to wear face masks when in public spaces. From Thursday, 23 April, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella has ordered the compulsory use of masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Other cities in the Rio metropolitan area will also impose the same measures. Rio is one of the worst-hit areas in Brazil. According to reports, more than 4,200 cases have been reported across the state, including 500 deaths. Governor Wilson Witzel has recently announced the extension of social distancing rule until at least the end of April.

President Bolsonaro joins anti-lockdown protesters in Brasilia

President Jair Bolsonaro has joined protesters demanding the end of the economic shutdown in Brazil. Demonstrators gathered around military barracks in Brasilia to pressure state and local governments to lift restrictive measures, especially in the south-eastern states of Rio and Sao Paulo. President Bolsonaro has been engaged in political grievances with state governors over coronavirus measures. His health minister has already been sacked due to policy differences. Brazil has already confirmed more than 38,000 coronavirus cases, including 2,400 deaths.

Health minister expected to be replaced amid coronavirus political row

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta has said that he may leave President Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet on Friday. He said during a conference on Wednesday that changes within the ministry of health are likely within the next few days. Mandetta has been engaged in a row with President Bolsonaro over the handling of the coronavirus crisis in Brazil. He said that the will ensure a smooth transition for his successor. Among those that could replace him include Nelson Teich, who had arrived in Brasilia to hold a meeting with President Bolsonaro. Brazil has already reported nearly 2,000 coronavirus deaths, with more than 28,000 cases confirmed by the ministry of health.

Health surveillance secretary resigns

Brazil's ministry of health has confirmed that the secretary for health surveillance, Wanderson de Oliveira, has resigned. As internal disputes within the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro emerge, Oliveira announced his resignation on Wednesday. Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta has also been at odds with President Bolsonaro. Sources told Reuters that Mandetta is likely to be sacked within the next few days. Mandetta and cabinet members have widely disagreed on the government's coronavirus approach, which mainly focuses on the economy. However, Mandetta has been praised by many due to his social distancing and lockdown recommendations. Brazil has so far confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases, including over 1,500 deaths.

Most wanted PCC leader arrested in Mozambique

One of the most wanted criminals in Brazil has been detained in Mozambique. Reuters reported that Gilberto Aparecido dos Santos, alias 'Fuminho', was arrested as part of a joint operation involving the Brazilian Federal Police (PF), the Mozambican police and the US DEA. He was arrested on Monday in Maputo. Fuminho has been on the large for more than 20 years and is one of the leaders of the First Capital Commando (PCC). His arrest in Africa highlights the expansion of the PCC global drug-trafficking network. Brazilian authorities are set to request his extradition.

IBAMA chief sacked for allowing TV crew in anti-mining raid

The head of the Brazilian Environmental Insitute (IBAMA) has been sacked for allowing a TV crew to document raids on illegal mining in the Amazon. Sources told Reuters that Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has sacked IBAMA's Olivaldi Azevedo for authorising the media report. Several other people close to Azevedo are also expected to step down. IBAMA is under the tutelage of the environment ministry, which has been under scrutiny due to increasing levels of deforestation in the Amazon. Reports indicate that Azevedo and Salles have been engaged in a row for a while. According to IBAMA, illegal activities in the Amazon significantly increased amid the coronavirus.

Rio governor orders extension of coronavirus measures until 30 April

Rio Governor Wilson Witzel has ordered the extension of the coronavirus restrictions imposed statewide until at least 30 April. During a press conference he said that the measure comes due to the increasing number of cases of the virus being reported in the state, where more than 3,000 cases were already confirmed and there have been almost 200 deaths. Schools and universities will remain closed while sporting and entertainment events will be suspended. In neighbouring Sao Paulo state, quarantine measures have also been extended until 22 April. Restrictions are also imposed on other states.

Coronavirus deaths surpass 1,000

Brazil's health ministry has confirmed that coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed 1,000. According to the latest reports, more than 1,300 people died in the country, while over 23,000 cases have already been confirmed nationwide. Movement restrictions are being imposed at state and local levels despite some disagreements involving the federal government. Most concerns of infection in Brazil regard low-income families and the indigenous communities. Brazil became the first country in the southern hemisphere to reach 1,000 coronavirus deaths.

STF bans federal government from overturning coronavirus state laws

The minister of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) has ruled that the federal government may not overturn coronavirus policies introduced both on local and state levels. Alexandre de Moraes announced the decision on Wednesday after a request from the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB). Since the coronavirus pandemic reached Brazil, grievances emerged between the federal and state governments. While President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely accused of downplaying the coronavirus threat due to economic concerns, state governments are launching unilateral approaches to curb the spread of the virus. Those policies may vary by jurisdiction. Brazil has so far confirmed more than 16,000 coronavirus cases, including more than 800 deaths.

Minister's remarks trigger fresh diplomatic spat with China

The Chinese government has requested immediate clarification after a controversial social media post made by the Brazilian Education Minister Abraham Weintraub. On Twitter, Weintraub accused China of using the coronavirus as a tool to improve its geopolitical strategy. He was accused of racism after he deliberately changed the letters 'R' for 'L' in the statement. This is the latest diplomatic spat involving a Brazilian official and the Chinese government. President Jair Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo, has publicly accused China of covering up the coronavirus outbreak.

Sao Paulo governor extends quarantine measures until 22 April

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria has extended a statewide quarantine until at least 22 April. The new extension will start on Wednesday and comes after more than 275 people were killed in Sao Paulo after contracting coronavirus. He urged local governments to heavily enforce the measures, especially through ordering law enforcement to disrupt gatherings. Non-essential businesses will remain closed. Some state governments are launching independent measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Although some federal agencies have widely chosen to downplay the threat, a number of towns have already ordered businesses to remain open due to economic concerns.

More than 12,000 coronavirus confirmed across Brazil

Brazil's health ministry has confirmed that more than 12,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country. Latest reports published on Tuesday morning show that 566 deaths have also been confirmed, most of them in the south-eastern states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The coronavirus in Brazil has led to tensions within the cabinet of President Jair Bolsonaro. Despite some initial speculation that Health Minister Henrique Mandetta would be sacked due to policy differences with President Bolsonaro, the government confirmed that Mandetta will remain in office.

Health ministry reviews data on first coronavirus death in Brazil

Brazil's health ministry has ratified data on the first coronavirus death reported in the country. According to investigations led by the ministry's health surveillance office, the first case was confirmed in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais on 23 January. Until now, official data suggested that the first coronavirus case in Brazil was on 26 February in neighbouring Sao Paulo, while the first death was confirmed on 17 March. With the report, it has been concluded that the coronavirus arrived in Brazil in late-January. According to the health ministry, so far more than 8,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in Brazil, including over 300 deaths.

Ceara records massive increase in homicides amid coronavirus quarantine

A massive increase in violent crime has been reported in the north-eastern state of Ceara. According to official data, in the second half of the month of March, 125 violent deaths were reported across the state. This is a 98 percent increase when compared with the previous year. Spiralling levels of violence have been reported in Ceara since January when police officers launched a strike. Those incidents occurred despite strict quarantine rules being enforced. However, authorities believe that levels of homicide are not directly linked to quarantine rules.

Indigenous man found dead near Arame, Maranhao

An indigenous man has been found dead in a remote village in the north-eastern state of Maranhao. Zezico Guajajara was a supporter of the so-called Guardians of the Forest, a group known for defending conservation areas from illegal logging and mining. Initial reports suggest that Zezico was shot dead in a remote rural area in the town of Arame. Maranhao Governor Flavio Dino condemned the incident and said that investigations will be launched. Zezico is the fifth indigenous person to be killed in Brazil in the last six months. Indigenous communities in north-eastern and northern Brazil are often targeted by groups engaged in illegal logging, mining and smuggling.

First indigenous coronavirus case confirmed in the Amazon

Health authorities have announced the first confirmed coronavirus case in an indigenous person in the Amazon. According to the Indigenous Health Service (Sesai), the case concerns a 20-year-old woman part of the Kokam tribe, based in the remote bordering town of Santo Antonio do Ica. Other cases were also confirmed in the same area. Reports indicate that the patient was working as a doctor and may have contracted the virus from another doctor, who had just returned from southern Brazil. Major concerns have been raised over the vulnerability of indigenous communities to coronavirus.

Government expands coronavirus travel ban to all foreign nationals

Brazil's government has expanded the entry ban of foreign nationals into its territory as part of measures to address the spread of the coronavirus. In a decree involving several ministries, foreign nationals from all countries will be denied entry in Brazil for the next 30 days. Some exceptions are applied to diplomats and residents. Brazil has confirmed more than 3,400 coronavirus cases, including 92 deaths. The measure is implemented despite President Jair Bolsonaro downplaying the coronavirus threat, which had already led to friction with local and state governments. 

State governors condemn president's stance on coronavirus threat

State governors across Brazil have condemned President Jair Bolsonaro's stance on the coronavirus. During an address to the nation, President Bolsonaro accused local and state authorities of being too strict on their measures to address the spread of the disease. He said that the measures taken on a state level would deeply harm the economy. Several governors nationwide have rebelled against the federal government and continue to launch drastic measures curb the sprrad of the coronavirus in Brazil. Over 2,400 cases have been so far confirmed, including 57 deaths.

President Bolsonaro urges normality in controversial address to the nation

President Jair Bolsonaro has urged people to return to normality as he considered the coronavirus measures implemented on both local and regional levels too drastic on the economy. In an address to the nation, President Bolsonaro initially criticised the media for creating panic - he later praised reporters for changing their stance. He argued that the situation in Brazil is different from that of Italy, which has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases outside of China. The Senate's leadership has already condemned President Bolsonaro's remarks. So far, Brazil's health ministry has confirmed at least 46 coronavirus deaths and more than 2,200 cases.

Local militias enforce curfew in low-income communities in Rio

Reports have emerged that local militias and drug-trafficking groups in Rio have imposed curfews on several communities they control. Local media reported that several areas in Rocinha, Rio das Pedras and the Cidade de Deus have been ordered to shut under orders of local criminal groups. Curfews were reportedly imposed from 20:00 to all of those living in those communities. Social media messages show that among the groups that ordered curfews is the infamous Red Commando (CV), one of the most powerful in Brazil. Social groups have already raised concerns over the coronavirus spread in major low-income communities in Rio, where people are unable to self-isolate. In total, the city has confirmed more than 230 coronavirus cases, including four deaths.

Foreign nationals from certain countries to be denied entry in Brazil

Brazil's government has announced that foreign nationals from certain countries will be denied entry into the country for the next 30 days. The measure will mainly impact people from China, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. Nationals from any country of the European Economic Area (EEA) will also be denied entry. Agents of the Federal Police (PF) will be tasked with denying entry to some people based on the passengers' travel history. Brazil has already closed its borders with eight countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly 2,000 coronavirus cases have already been confirmed in Brazil, including 34 deaths, all of them in Rio and Sao Paulo.

Six new coronavirus deaths confirmed in Sao Paulo

At least six people have died as coronavirus cases continue to increase in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo. The state is the most densely populated in Brazil. Governor Joao Doria is expected to introduce a 15-day quarantine from Tuesday, 24 March. According to the state health secretary, 15 deaths were confirmed in Sao Paulo since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. In total, Brazil's health ministry has confirmed more than 1,000 cases nationwide. Cases were confirmed across all 25 states and the federal district. Local governments in Brazil are already introducing some measures to curb the spread of the disease. They include the closure of nonessential businesses and ban on large gatherings. Some travel restrictions have also been imposed in some states.

Brazil shuts all land borders to curb coronavirus spread

Brazil's government has introduced a 15-day border closure with eight countries as part of measures to curb the coronavirus spread. The borders with Venezuela have been already ordered to close due to a previous diplomatic spat. All land border crossings with Brazil, with the exception of Uruguay, will remain closed until the end of the month. The government has said that the measure may be extended under the advice of the National Health Agency (Anvisa). All foreign nationals may face restrictions when heading to Brazil. So far, Brazil has reported 647 coronavirus cases.

Two coronavirus-related deaths confirmed in Rio

Rio's health authorities have confirmed two deaths related to the coronavirus in the state. One of the cases concerns a 69-year-old man in the city of Niteroi. Reports suggest that he suffered from hypertension and diabetes. He contracted the virus after coming into contact with another patient that had recently arrived from abroad. The second case is related to a 63-year-old maid, whose boss contracted the virus in Italy. She also suffered from diabetes and hypertension. Rio has already confirmed 65 cases of the coronavirus. In total, seven coronavirus deaths have been confirmed in Brazil.

President Bolsonaro requests state of emergency declaration

President Jair Bolsonaro is expected to declare a state of emergency amid the coronavirus global pandemic. President Bolsonaro has already called on Congress to allow the measure to be implemented to allow federal agencies to increase their spending budget to assist the most affected areas. As part of the emergency, the federal government will not be requested to meet the annual deficit limit. Brazil's health ministry has confirmed 291 coronavirus cases in Brazil, while one death was already confirmed in Sao Paulo. The measure is expected to last until the end of the year.

Two killed during robbery attempt in southern Sao Paulo

At least two people have been killed in a robbery attempt in Sao Paulo. G1 reported that the incident happened on Wednesday morning in the southern neighbourhood of Moema. Reports indicate that the manager of a butchers shop was shot dead after he failed to open the safe. Police officers arrived at the scene and engaged in a shootout with the suspects.

Man in Sao Paulo becomes first coronavirus fatality in Brazil

A 62-year-old man has become the first coronavirus fatality in Brazil. The health ministry has said that the patient was at a hospital in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo. According to reports, the patient had a history of diabetes and hypertension. No further details have been provided. The news comes after reports that the country's foreign trade Minister Marcos Troyjo tested positive for the disease after a visit to the US. Brazil has already announced the injection of $30bn into the economy to recover from the coronavirus impact and pledged to hire more doctors to address the increasing number of cases. The country has already confirmed more than 300 cases.

Prison breaks reported across several facilities in Sao Paulo

Prison breaks have been reported in at least four detention facilities across Sao Paulo after the government introduced contingency measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Incidents were reported in the town of Mongagua, near Santos, and in the towns of Tremembe, Porto Feliz and Mirandopolis. A court has banned visits and other benefits as part of the measures. Brazil's prison system was already under extreme pressure due to overcrowding and hampering levels of violence. According to the ministry of health, 200 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Brazil.

President Bolsonaro tests negative for the coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly tested negative for the coronavirus. Despite initial reports suggesting that the first test on Bolsonaro was positive, his son, Eduardo, has dismissed the claims. News on Bolsonaro's potential coronavirus infection came after one of his close aides, Fabio Wajngarten tested positive for the virus after travelling to the US. Wajngarten has accompanied the presidential team in Washington DC, where Bolsonaro met his US counterpart, Donald Trump. More than 70 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Brazil.

Surfer injured in shark attack in Fernando de Noronha

A 28-year-old surfer has been injured in a shark attack off the island of Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco. G1 reported that the woman was surfing at the Praia do Bode when she was attacked. The victim was accompanied by several other surfers that assisted her until the emergency services arrived. She is not believed to be in critical condition. Although shark attacks are rarely reported in Fernando de Noronha, they sporadically occur in north-eastern Brazil.

Scores killed as Sao Paulo's landslide death toll continues to increase

At least 42 people have been killed as the death toll of last week's landslide in Sao Paulo continues to increase. According to the emergency services, at least 36 people are still missing. The incident happened in the coastal town of Guaruja, where heavy rainfall battered the area around the port of Santos. Areas in the Barreira do Joao Guarda and the Morro do Macaco were the worst affected. The military has been deployed over the weekend to assist in search efforts, which are being mainly concentrated around Guaruja and the town of Sao Vicente. Brazil's Civil Defense authority has confirmed that more than 500 people were displaced in the region. The landslides mostly happened in low-income neighbourhoods, where housing structures are relatively poor.

Major pro-government demonstration to take place on 15 March

A major pro-government protest is scheduled to take place on 15 March. Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro are expected to take to the streets across major cities and state capitals to show their backing for the current administration. Tensions are expected to be high as counterprotests are also expected to take place. The main opposition, the Workers' Party (PT), is also set to call a nationwide demonstration three days later. Protests are mainly against the Congress and the Supreme Federal Court (STF) - President Bolsonaro has denied allegations that he is endorsing a political attack on both institutions. Protests may turn violent and public transport and road travel may face significant disruption over those days. People are advised to avoid large gatherings.

Kidnapping suspect shot dead in Bahia

A man suspected of kidnapping and bank robbery has been shot dead by police in Bahia. The suspect failed to stop when confronted by police between Ruy Barbosa and Macajuba on Thursday. He was found with R$14,000 in cash, weapons and ammunition.

Eighth case of coronavirus confirmed in Brazil

Brazil has confirmed its eighth case of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country. The Health Ministry said six cases have been confirmed in Sao Paulo state, while Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo both have one case each. A ninth case of the virus is being investigated in the Distrito Federal.

Brazil recalls diplomatic staff from Venezuela

Brazil has recalled five diplomats and 11 members of consular staff from Venezuela. The move to downgrade relations comes amid increasing tension between Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and Venezuela's left-wing leader Nicolas Maduro. Brasilia recognises Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the acting president.

Torrential rain kills 10 in Sao Paulo

Torrential rains have killed at least 10 people in south-eastern Brazil. Officials said the deaths occurred in Guaruja, Santos and Sao Vincente of Sao Paulo state. Around 5,000 people have been forced out of their homes. Further strong rain is forecast throughout the rest of Tuesday.

Four killed in car crash in Santa Catarina

Four people have been killed in a car crash in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. According to the police, the crash happened on Tuesday evening near the town of Sao Jose do Cerrito. Reports confirmed that the victims' vehicle crashed into a jeep coming in the opposite direction on the BR-262 federal highway. Accidents tend to be more frequent during long holidays in Brazil. In February, during the carnival celebrations, major federal and state roads face a significant influx of vehicles. So far this year, the police have confirmed that nine people were killed in road accidents across Santa Catarina.

Dozens stabbed with needles during carnival celebrations in Pernambuco

Dozens of cases of people getting stabbed with needles have been reported during the carnival celebrations in Recife and Olinda. Both cities are two of the main destinations for revellers in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. According to police reports, no infections have been identified so far. In total, in just over two weeks, 69 people were attacked in four cities. Similar incidents have been reported last year, reaching up to 300 cases across the state. Brazil's health ministry said that the risk of infection is significantly low. It advises people to seek medical attention after washing the wound with water and soap.

Man diagnosed with the coronavirus after returning from Italy

A 61-year-old man has been diagnosed with the coronavirus in Sao Paulo. According to the health ministry, the patient had just returned from a trip to Italy. Initial investigations carried out at the Albert Einstein Hospital confirmed the case, but the health ministry has ordered a second examination. The hospital said in a statement that the patient is currently held in isolation. This is the first case of the coronavirus to be confirmed in Brazil and Latin America.

Visitors may be subject to additional checks due to coronavirus concerns

Brazil's health ministry has announced enhanced screening measures for tourists arriving from some European countries where cases of coronavirus were reported. Reports indicate that travellers arriving in Brazil from Italy, France and Germany may be subject to additional testing if they present symptoms of fever and coughing. Health Surveillance Secretary Wanderson Oliveira said that other countries will also be added to the list. They include Australia, Phillippines, Malaysia, Iran and the UAE. Other countries already on the list are Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Cambodja. No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Brazil, although the health ministry has said that four suspected cases are under investigation in Rio and Sao Paulo.

Police officers continue to strike as homicide rate rises in Ceara

An ongoing strike involving police officers in the north-eastern state of Ceara has led to a massive surge in the number of homicides across the state. According to official reports, more than 120 murders have been confirmed statewide since the strike started last week. More than 200 police officers have been suspended as tensions remain high. Federal forces have already been deployed in critical areas, while the military also patrols the streets. The strike started after the state government announced plans to change the salaries of the police and the emergency services.

Surge in homicides reported in Ceara amid police officers' strike

A surge in homicides has been reported in the north-eastern state of Ceara as the emergency services continue to strike. According to the state public security secretary, at least 29 murders were reported in the state in less than 24 hours - between Wednesday and Thursday. Police officers and firefighters are protesting against salary reforms expected to be introduced to emergency staff. Several police stations have been occupied as protests are expected to continue. President Jair Bolsonaro has already ordered the deployment of the National Guard and the Armed Forces to the state. Extreme caution is advised on travels to the state capital, Fortaleza, and other cities in Ceara. Since the strikes started, protests have turned violent on multiple occasions.

Senator shot after tensions escalate in Sobral, Ceara

A senator for the north-eastern state of Ceara has been shot after tensions escalated during a protest on Wednesday. Cid Gomes attempted to break a blockade erected by police officers that occupied a police precinct in the town of Sobral. Gomes was shot while driving a digger. He was taken to the hospital where he is currently in a stable condition. Tensions remain high in Fortaleza and other cities across the state as police officers protest against salary adjustments to the emergency services. Earlier this week, several police stations were raided and vandalised as part of the ongoing wave of civil unrest in Ceara. Reports indicate that Gomes is currently enjoying a leave of absence as he prepares for the 2020 municipal elections in the state.

Several police stations targeted in Fortaleza, Ceara

Several police stations in the north-eastern state of Ceara were raided overnight on Wednesday. G1 reported that at least four police stations were targeted in the state capital Fortaleza and several others in smaller cities across Ceara. It is still unclear if the incidents were carried out by criminals as the incidents happened just after the state assembly passed legislation on salary adjustments to law enforcement agents and the emergency services. Police officers have been launching a number of protests in Ceara to demand better working conditions.

Workers of state-owned oil giant Petrobras continue nationwide strike

Workers of the state-owned oil company Petrobras continue to strike against recent layoffs at a factory in southern Brazil. Demonstrators gathered on Tuesday outside the company's HQ in Rio to protest against some of Petrobras's recent policies. The main focus of the current strike, which has already lasted for more than two weeks, is to guarantee the rights of workers of the Fafen company, which ran a fertilised plant in the town of Araucaria, Parana state. In total, more than 1,000 workers were sacked back in January. Tensions between Petrobras and its workers have intensified in recent months due to government plans to privatise the company. The strike is currently involving 21,000 workers across 13 states.

Two held hostage during carjacking attempt in Maringa, Parana

Two people have been held hostage during a suspected carjacking attempt in the southern state of Parana. RPC reported that the victims were targeted in their vehicle in the Jardim Aclimacao neighbourhood in Maringa. Reports indicate that the victims were forced into the back of the vehicle and ordered to hand over all of their belongings. An 18-year-old girl was taken until the vehicle crashed and the suspects fled the scene. Brazilian media is widely reporting that among the victims is the niece of Brazil's Public Security Secretary Sergio Moro.

Scores injured as two trains collide at metro station in Recife, Pernambuco

At least 30 people have been injured after two trains crashed in Recife, Pernambuco. According to the train operator CBTU, the crash happened on Tuesday morning at the Ipiranga Station. Both trains operate on the metro system in Recife. The crash happened when one of the trains crashed into another stopped at a platform. G1 reported that the Linha Centro (red and orange lines) have been temporarily suspended on Tuesday morning. They are the main links between Recife and the neighbouring towns of Jaboatao dos Guararapes and Camaragibe. It is still unclear what caused the accident.

Several injured in shooting at street party in southern Sao Paulo

At least five people have been injured after a shooting broke out during a Carnival street party in southern Sao Paulo. Globo reported that the incident broke out when an off duty police officer reacted to a robbery attempt at the Berrini Avenue in Brooklin. Reports indicate a group of robbers attempted to target revellers during large-scale plunder, locally known as 'arrastao'. Two people were arrested. Similar incidents are common in large gatherings during the pre-Carnival season. People attending those events should remain vigilant and not carry valuables or large amounts of cash due to risks of pickpocketing.

Armed criminals spread fear across Vitoria, Espirito Santo

Armed criminals have spread fear across the southern area of Vitoria, Espirito Santo, after several shootings were reported on Friday morning. G1 reported that armed assailants forced shops to close and attacked several vehicles parked on the streets. Reports indicate that two buses were vandalised and another set on fire. Espirito Santo Governor Renato Casagrande claimed that the attacks are in retaliation to police operations across Vitoria. In recent weeks, police raids have intensified in the Morro da Penha neighbourhood due to intense clashes involving rival criminal groups engaged in drug-trafficking.

Emergency services find body of missing two-year-old in Juatuba, Minas Gerais

Emergency services have recovered the body of a two-year-old boy reported missing earlier this week in Juatuba, Minas Gerais. According to reports, locals have found the body of Eduardo de Oliveira on a lake. Local media reported that he went missing at his home while being looked after by his teenager sisters. It is still unclear if the victim was killed or if he accidentally drowned. Juatuba is located in a rural area west of Belo Horizonte.

Security forces deployed to restore order in Pacaraima, Roraima

Violent demonstrations have been reported for several days following the alleged rape of a teenager in the northern state of Roraima. Last week demonstrations broke out in the bordering town of Pacaraima after a man identified as a Venezuelan migrant was accused of raping an indigenous girl. Roadblocks and violent clashes were reported until the police and the military were deployed to the region. EFE reported that the situation has already been contained. Pacaraima is located on the border with Venezuela. It is the main border crossing of migrants heading to Brazil. Due to the high influx of migrants in recent years, tensions in the region have increased due to incidents of xenophobia and grievances between locals and migrants.

National Force to assist environmental agency in countering illegal logging in Para

Justice Minister Sergio Moro has granted authorisation to the National Force (FN) to support anti-logging operations in north-eastern Brazil. Reports suggest that members of the FN will be deployed to assist the Brazilian Environment Institute (IBAMA) in Para. Violent incidents have been reported in the state, where illegal loggers and traffickers clash with local communities. In recent years, Brazil has faced a surge in deforestation in the Amazon. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of not doing enough to address the issue and has been recently criticised for his environmental policies. Indigenous communities are also widely affected. Last year, Moro allowed the FN deployment to an indigenous reserve in the north-eastern state of Maranhao.

Several killed as heavy rainfall batters Sao Paulo

At least five people have been killed as heavy downpours battered the state of Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Local media reported that a driver died after floodwaters dragged his vehicle into a crater which opened on a state highway near Botucatu. In the same city, two women were found dead inside a flooded vehicle. Extensive damage has been reported across the state, with severe travel disruption impacting state and local roads. Flooding has affected most neighbourhoods in Sao Paulo, while towns located in the city's metropolitan area were also heavily impacted. Weather alerts remain in place across Brazil's south-east. For further information, travellers are advised to follow updates and recommendations from the National Met Institute (INMET).

Former police officer with alleged militia links killed in Bahia

A former police officer linked to a militia group has been killed during a police operation in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. Adriano da Nobrega is claimed to lead a major criminal network based in western Rio. A special military police unit raided a local farm in the town of Esplanada, where a violent shooting broke out. Reports indicate that Nobrega was hidden in the region after being the target of an arrest warrant back in 2018. The farm belongs to a local lawmaker of the Social Liberal Party (PSL). Nobrega is accused of involvement in the killing of former Rio congresswoman Marielle Franco and in another corruption case linked to Flavio Bolsonaro, President Jair Bolsonaro's son. Nobrega's lawyer claimed that the last operation was an assassination plot.

Heavy rainfall causes disruption across Sao Paulo

Heavy rainfall has caused severe travel disruption across Sao Paulo. Widespread flooding has been reported across the city, blocking traffic in more than 50 areas. According to reports, some metro lines are also facing disruption, while flights to and from airports in Sao Paulo remain unaffected. Sao Paulo is known for having severe drainage problems, with downpours often leading to heavy flooding. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts in Sao Paulo, Rio and parts of Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais. Special attention should be exercised in areas near rivers and mountains.

President Bolsonaro signs decree to allow military patrols around prison in Brasilia

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree to allow the armed forces to patrol areas around the Federal Penitentiary of Brasilia. The measure is set to be implemented until at least early-May. The government argues that the measure is necessary to increase security in some areas where members of criminal groups are segregated. Gazeta do Povo reported that among the prisoners is alias 'Marcola' the leader of the infamous Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC). In recent months, both the justice and defence ministries have launched cooperative measures to address violence in prisons across Brazil.

Government introduces enhanced measures over coronavirus fears

The Brazilian government has introduced enhanced measures to address the coronavirus threat in the country. Although officials initially downplayed the impact of the coronavirus in Brazil and said that no repatriation flights would take place, the government has sent two air force aircraft to the disease's epicentre in Wuhan, China. In total, around 30 Brazilian nationals are set to be taken back to the country. President Jair Bolsonaro has already signed a decree that will request returnees to be quarantined. According to the Brazilian health ministry, no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Brazil.

Teenager killed in carjacking attempt in Sao Goncalo, Rio

A 17-year-old has been shot dead during a carjacking attempt in Sao Goncalo, Rio's metropolitan area. G1 reported that the victim died after reacting to the attack, which happened in the Gradim neighbourhood on Thursday afternoon. According to reports, two suspects attempted to rob the car. Shots were fired just after the victim failed to stop the vehicle. Carjackings in Rio sporadically occur. In some occasions, criminals erect roadblocks or create fake police checkpoints to target their victims. Extreme caution is advised when driving in Rio. If targeted, people are advised not to react as robbers are often armed.

Customs seize hundreds of kilos of cocaine in Rio

Brazil's customs have seized more than 300 kilos of cocaine hidden at a shipment of granite in Rio. EFE reported that Brazil's Receita Federal seized the drugs after it was shipped from the north-eastern port of Suape, Pernambuco state. Reports indicate that the drugs were expected to be sent to Spain. Rio and Santos are considered two of the main drug transhipment points from South America to Europe. According to Brazilian authorities, more than 57 tonnes of cocaine were seized in the country in 2019.

Lithuanian tourist killed in suspected burglary near Paraty, Rio

A Lithuanian tourist has been killed after gunmen raided their rental accommodation in the resort city of Paraty, Rio. G1 reported that Adam Zindul was killed during a burglary attempt on Wednesday evening. Reports indicate that his wife was raped during the attack. According to the police, the victims were spending their holidays at the Praia do Sono area. Local media reported that his wife was Brazilian and had just recently got married. Praia do Sono is a remote resort area several kilometres from Paraty. It sits on the Costa Verde. Access to the beach is almost exclusively made by boat from an affluent gated community known as the Condominio das Laranjeiras. The area is famous with campers and hikers. It also hosts some lodges and holiday houses.

Former missionary nominated departmental head at indigenous agency

A former evangelical missionary has been nominated to head a department dedicated to isolated indigenous communities in Brazil. Ricardo Lopes Dias will work for a department under the tutelage of the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI). Dias is also an anthropologist. His nomination sparked criticism after allegations that President Jair Bolsonaro intends to forcefully promote Christianity to indigenous tribes. Dias is the second nomination to head the department in less than six months. Rights groups have accused the government of not doing enough to guarantee the rights of indigenous people in Brazil. In January, the environment ministry announced plans to grant mining permissions at indigenous reserves and other protected areas in the country.

Large crowds expected to attend Carnival celebrations across Brazil

Most cities in Brazil prepare for their Carnival celebrations throughout the month of February. Major events and bank holidays mainly take place later in the month. However, in the weeks before the official events, smaller street parties and celebrations may take place in Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador and Recife. Other state capitals and large cities also host their own events, which attract large crowds. People should expect travel disruption in some areas. Traffic restrictions may be imposed in some central neighbourhoods, while heavy traffic may affect major state and federal highways towards the coast. During this period, people should remain vigilant when near large gatherings. Pickpocketing, bag-snatching and drink-spiking are common during this festive period.

Five killed in case involving contaminated craft beer in Belo Horizonte

The death toll in the ongoing investigation into contaminated craft beer has reached five. According to the police, a 75-year-old man has died after being taken to the hospital. Joao Borges became the latest victim of the case involving a contaminated batch of the Cerveja Belorizontina by Backer. The beer is locally brewed in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Cases started to be reported back in December when mysterious illnesses affected several people. The police confirmed that diethylene glycol was found in two samples of the beer, but Backer denied the use of the chemical on its fabrication process. Further investigations led by the ministry of agriculture confirmed that the substance was found on a Backer's fermentation tank. Backer was already ordered to recall the beer, while the authorities have urged people not to drink Cerveja Belorizontina. Symptoms associated with the illness include kidney failure, nausea, vomit and stomach pain.

President Bolsonaro sacks deputy chief of staff for using military aircraft

President Jair Bolsonaro has sacked his deputy chief of staff for using a military aircraft to travel to India. Jose Vicente Santini was dismissed from his post on Wednesday. President Bolsonaro considered Santini's flight as immoral. Despite being sacked from this current position, he was later nominated as a special aide in the same department. However, due to social outcry, the current chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, was forced to dismiss Santini for a second time. Reports indicate that Santini remained part of the government due to his personal relationship with Bolsonaro's sons, Eduardo and Flavio. In the second round of dismissals, the recently nominated deputy secretary Fernando Moura was also sacked after authorising the relocation of Santini.

Dozens detained in joint anti-militia operation in western Rio

A joint police operation has led to the arrest of more than 30 suspected members of a local militia western Rio. Officials have issued arrest warrants to more than 40 people accused of alleged involvement in paramilitary groups based in the city. G1 reported that the second phase of the operation dubbed 'Untouchables' was prompted after testimonies of Ronnie Lessa, a former police officer accused of killing congresswoman Marielle Franco. Militia groups widely operate in western Rio and the city's metropolitan area. They are mainly engaged in extortion, bribery, illegal real estate deals and loan sharking.

Health ministry investigates three suspected coronavirus cases

The health ministry has said that three suspected cases of coronavirus are being investigated in Brazil. BBC Brasil reported that the first case to be investigated was a 22-year-old student who had recently returned from the disease's epicentre in Wuhan, China. Two other suspected cases later emerged in the southern cities of Curitiba and Porto Alegre. Brazilian authorities are currently monitoring people in Brazil that have recently returned from mainland China. The federal government has also increased the travel advice for China, advising people to avoid travelling to the country unless extremely necessary.

Heavy rainfall causes further casualties in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

At least two people have been killed after intense rainfall battered Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Although weather conditions were expected to improve in the region, inclement weather hit the western parts of the city on Tuesday. G1 reported that a man died after a landslide in the town of Nova Lima. Flooding was also reported in some areas, while extensive damage affected dozens of houses in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte. For several days, the heavy downpour has been hitting several areas in Minas Gerais. At least 50 people have already been killed. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to most states in central, southern and south-eastern Brazil. Special attention should be paid to cities in northern Minas Gerais.

Man deliberately drives vehicle into crowd after altercation in Sao Paulo

At least two people have been killed when a vehicle ploughed into a group of people at a bar in north-western Sao Paulo. G1 reported that at least a dozen people were injured in the incident that happened in the town of Nova Independencia. Reports indicate that the driver engaged in a fight with a group of people before taking the vehicle and deliberately driving into a crowd. The suspect was charged with homicide and drink-driving offences.

Scores killed as heavy rainfall persists in Minas Gerais

At least 45 people have been killed as intense rainfall continues to batter Minas Gerais. According to recent reports, more than 100 municipalities are under a state of emergency as inclement weather persists in the region. Reports from the Brazilian Civil Defense authority show that most casualties were reported in the state capital, Belo Horizonte. A number of deaths were also confirmed in the state's south-eastern region. At least 20 people are still missing, while there is still a risk of flooding and landslides. According to the National Met Institute (INMET), weather conditions are expected to improve.

Flooding and landslides kill 14 in Minas Gerais

At least 14 people have been killed by flooding and landslides in Minas Gerais state. Two of the deaths were reported in the state capital, Belo Horizonte, on Saturday, while fatalities have also been recorded in Ibirite and Betim. The State Coordination of Civil Defense said more than 2,500 people have been displaced by flooding following days of heavy rain.

Several missing as heavy rainfall batters Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

At least four people have been reported missing after heavy rainfall battered Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Brazil's National Met Institute (Inmet) has said that the amount of rain that fell in the city on Friday morning is more than double the amount expected for the entire month of January. Widespread flooding and landslides were reported in some rural areas, while at least five local rivers burst their banks. Traffic disruption has been reported across major roads. Flights operating from the Tancredo Neves-Confins Airport in Belo Horizonte may be affected. Inmet has issued a red weather alert to the entire area around Belo Horizonte. Inclement weather is expected to continue to impact the area until at least Saturday afternoon.

Several injured in shooting in central Rio

At least three people have been injured after a shooting broke out in central Rio. G1 reported that the incident happened in the Centro neighbourhood on Friday afternoon. According to the police, the incident happened when an off-duty officer intervened in a bank robbery in the Largo da Carioca area. Reports indicate that one of the suspects was shot alongside two civilians. Bank robberies sporadically occur in Brazil. Criminals often follow their victims and wait until they leave the bank to attack them. People are advised not to withdraw large amounts of cash and always be aware of their surroundings.

Police killings reach record-high numbers in 2019

Reports published by the state government in Rio have shown that 2019 recorded the highest number of police killings since 1998. According to officials, 1,810 people were shot by the police throughout the year. Despite claims that crime was significantly reduced in Rio, violence still continues to be reported across the city's low-income communities. Governor Wilson Witzel has been accused of promoting a hardline approach regarding police operations. Despite record-breaking numbers of police killings, 2019, in contrast, recorded the lowest rate of homicides in almost three decades.

Intense rainfall triggers state of emergency in Espirito Santo

Brazil's federal government has announced a state of emergency in four towns affected by heavy rainfall in Espirito Santo. A request from the state government to declare the measure in the towns of Iconha, Alfredo Chaves, Vargem Alta and Rio Novo do Sul was approved on Wednesday. Intense rainfall battered the southern regions of Espirito Santo last week, causing extensive damage and leading to at least seven deaths. According to the state civil defence authority, nearly 3,000 people have been left homeless. The military has been deployed to some areas to assist in recovery efforts. The National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to the entire state. Minas Gerais, southern Bahia and Goias are also on alert.

Prosecutors file murder charges amid investigations on Brumadinho dam disaster

Prosecutors have charged 16 people linked to the mining giant Vale and the German-based TUV SUD for the Brumadinho disaster in 2019. Besides both companies facing environmental charges, all individuals face charges of murder. At least 250 people died when the Corrego do Feijao dam collapsed, destroying nearby communities and causing extensive environmental damage. Reuters reported that former Vale CEO, Fabio Schvartsmann, is among those charged. In July, a state court in Minas Gerais ruled that Vale should pay for reparation costs to the victims. The ruling came months before a congressional report alleged that Schvartsmann received an anonymous email warning of the potential failure of the dam weeks before the disaster. 

US journalist charged over links to hacking scandal

Brazil's Federal Public Ministry (MPF) has charged US journalist Glenn Greenwald of involvement in a high-profile hacking scandal reported last year. Greenwald is accused of supporting and instigating a group of hackers to leak mobile messages from several Brazilian politicians. Six other people are also being charged in the case known as Operation Spoofing. Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes had previously barred any investigation against Greenwald on grounds of freedom of the press. Greenwald is the founder of the online-based The Intercept, which published all the leaked messages through a series of online articles. Investigations were launched after the content of an online chat between Justice Minister Sergio Moro and prosecutors was leaked. It dates back to when Moro was a federal judge and in charge of the 'Car Wash' investigations.

Several killed as heavy rainfall batters Espirito Santo

At least six people have been killed as heavy rainfall continues to affect the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo. According to reports, the fatalities were reported in the towns of Iconha and Alfredo Chaves. Severe damage has also been reported in some roads and rural areas across the state. Dozens of communities have been completely isolated after landslides blocked major roads. Power cuts were also reported in some areas. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to most parts of the state. Additionally, most states in central and northern Brazil may also face heavy rain.

Scores escape prison in Rio Branco, Acre

At least 26 inmates have escaped in a mass prison break in the north-western state of Acre. Police reports have confirmed that the incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning at the Francisco d'Oliveira Conte Prison Complex in Rio Branco. According to local officials, most of those that escaped were members of a local group associated with the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC). The incident happened after a violent weekend in Rio Branco, where at least six people were assassinated. Official reports show that since the start of the year, nearly 30 people died across Acre. Prison breaks in detention facilities in northern Brazil usually lead to the spread of violence in some urban areas. Authorities are also investigating if the incident was coordinated with a previous prison break in Paraguay, where more than 75 PCC members escaped from a penitentiary in the town of Pedro Juan Caballero.

Border security beefed up after massive prison break in Paraguay

Security measures along the Paraguayan border have been reinforced after a mass prison break in the Paraguayan town of Pedro Juan Caballero. According to reports, most of those that escaped the prison were members of the Brazilian-based First Capital Commando (PCC). Reports indicate that at least 75 inmates fled the detention facility on Sunday. PCC members were segregated at a special wing of the prison. Authorities are currently investigating the potential involvement of prison guards in the incident. All prison officials have been either arrested or sacked. Pedro Juan Caballero is located opposite the border of the Brazilian town of Ponta Pora. Border security in the region is rarely enforced. Although police checkpoints have been introduced, border crossings are still open. PCC and other criminal groups widely operate in the region. They are mainly involved in the trafficking of drugs and firearms.

Plans to increase public transport fares trigger protests in Sao Paulo

Protests against fare hikes in Sao Paulo have turned violent after demonstrators clashed with riot police. Protesters marched along Sao Paulo's Paulista Avenue on Thursday as part of a fresh wave of demonstrations against the government's proposals to increase the current fares by just over two percent. Although the increase may not seem significant, violent protests had previously broken out due to slight adjustments on bus fares in Sao Paulo. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), several journalists and reporters were prevented from entering some areas of the state capital. The CPJ reported that a number of journalists were targeted despite being properly identified.

Culture minister to be sacked over controversial speech

Brazil's Culture Minister Roberto Alvim is expected to be sacked after a controversial video laying out plans to promote Brazilian art. In a video shared on an official ministry's social media page, Alvim announces the government's plans to invest up to 20m reais in the National Arts Prize. Criticism emerged when Alvim appeared to have indirectly quoted an adaptation of a speech previously made by  Adolf Hitler's Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

Several injured in bus crash near Sao Paulo

At least a dozen people have been injured after a bus crashed on a major highway near Sao Paulo. G1 reported that the vehicle was travelling from Curitiba to Sao Paulo when it crashed on the Regis Bittencourt Highway on Thursday morning. The accident occurred near Sao Lourenco da Serra. Most passengers suffered non-serious injuries. Bus accidents are common in Brazil, especially on overnight routes. Most of them occur due to reckless driving. 

Dozens of neighbourhoods across Rio face suspect tap water issue

Dozens of neighbourhoods across Rio are currently facing disruption to their tap water supply, affecting millions of people. Due to widespread rumours that the local water company would cut supply to some neighbourhoods, people have rushed to the supermarkets to purchase bottled water to stock. Reports have indicated that tap water is currently coming out with a distinct smell and colour in homes across Rio. Although the local water provider Cedae has dismissed allegations that the water is unsafe for consumption, further tests will be carried out. Due to frequent issues with the water supply system and lack of maintenance on public water networks, the consumption of tap water in Brazil is not recommended.

Several beaches in southern Rio fail water quality test

Rio's State Environmental Institute (Inea) has said that several beaches in southern Rio are currently not suitable for bathing. In a report published on Wednesday, Inea has said that due to strong rainfall reported earlier this week, water from local rivers and drainage canals have affected water quality in some beaches. Among those that failed water quality tests include the famous beaches of Leme, Urca, Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo and Flamengo. The situation is likely to persist until at least Thursday. Inea has further advised people to avoid bathing in the ocean waters after episodes of intense rainfall.

Brazil receives US support to join OECD

Brazil's membership to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has received the support of the US. A spokesperson for the US State Department told AP that the US wants "Brazil to become the next country to begin the accession process". Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said on social media: “The American announcement of a priority for Brazil to join the OECD once more shows we are building a solid partnership with the US". Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office last year, he has promoted a closer relationship with US President Donald Trump. However, some Brazilian policies which benefit the US have not been reciprocated by the Trump administration.

Ministry identifies several states at risk of dengue fever outbreak

Brazil's ministry of health has confirmed that at least 11 states could face dengue fever outbreaks in 2020. A ministry's spokesman told G1 that dengue fever is a seasonal disease and that the areas at risk of potential outbreaks could suddenly change. The areas that were identified include the south-eastern states of Rio and Espirito Santo. According to health authorities, Brazil's entire north-eastern region could face a disease outbreak. Official data shows that in 2019 more than 1.5m cases of dengue fever were confirmed, including nearly 800 deaths. Most states affected were located in south-eastern Brazil, they include Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Goias. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea and a rash. Individuals are advised to take preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Hundreds to be fired after Petrobras subsidiary fails to secure investment

More than 400 people are set to lose their jobs after a fertiliser producer linked to the state-owned oil company Petrobras failed to secure investment. Reports show that the Araucaria Nitrogenados (Ansa) has been recording losses for several years. Ansa was part of a multi-million dollar deal between Petrobras and the mining-giant Vale. In June 2019, the Supreme Federal Court gave approved an appeal filed by Petrobras to proceed with the sale of the company without congressional approval. Petrobras is currently facing a restructuring process after bad results recorded in the aftermath of the Car Wash scandal. Since 2014, high-level company officials have been implicated in major corruption scandals.

Clashes break out during Carnival celebration in Rio

Clashes have broken out after the police clashed with revellers at a Carnival celebration in Rio. Thousands of people gathered in the city's Copacabana Beach ahead of the countdown for the Carnival. Police claimed that municipal officers targeted a group of partygoers after being targeted with glass bottles. Such incidents are common during the weeks that precede the Carnival holidays, where millions head to Rio and other major cities to celebrate. During this period, caution is highly advised, especially when near large gatherings. Due to the excessive consumption of alcohol, tensions tend to escalate when police attempt to disperse the crowds. People attending to street parties, also known as 'blocos', should remain vigilant over the incidence of petty crime.

Environment minister announces plans to allow mining in indigenous lands

Environment Minister Bento Albuquerque has announced that the government is planning to move forward with mineral exploration in indigenous land. Albuquerque told Bloomberg that hundreds of indigenous communities have already agreed on the plan. He claimed that the communities would be financially compensated when operations started. Brazil has been criticised internationally for a number of controversial environmental policies, especially regarding the Amazon rainforest. Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019, he had announced plans to allow mining in some protected reserves. Additional to environmental concerns, indigenous communities in northern Brazil are often engaged in clashes with illegal miners that operate in the region.

Police find toxic substance in local craft beer in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

Police have confirmed that a toxic substance has been found in two sample stocks of a local craft beer in Minas Gerais. As part of investigations on several mysterious illnesses reported since late-December in the state capital, Belo Horizonte, the police report confirmed that diethylene glycol was found in two samples of the Cerveja Belorizontina, brewed by the local company Backer. A 55-year-old man has died after spending nearly a week in intensive care. Most of the symptoms were linked to kidney failure and neurological complications. According to the company, over 66,000 bottles of beer were recalled.

Judge orders Netflix to take controversial Christmas special off air

A judge has ordered the online streaming company Netflix to remove a Christmas special that generated heavy criticism from religious conservative groups. The satirist show depicting Christ as a gay man was released on Christmas' Eve. Since then, offices of its production company was the target of an arson attack, while some groups have called for a boycott against Netflix and the Porta dos Fundos film studio. Rio's State Judge Benedicto Abicair claimed that the decision to withdraw the show "is beneficial not only to the Christian community but to Brazilian society which is mostly Christian.” The decision was highly criticised by several civil rights groups, while some claim that the ruling is unconstitutional and violates the country's freedom of speech legislation. A day after the ruling, the Brazilian Supreme Court overturned it.

Elderly man killed by stray bullet in Sao Goncalo, Rio

A 78-year-old man has been killed after being hit by a stray bullet in Sao Goncalo, Rio. G1 reported that the victim was hit in the backyard of his house in the Morro do Salgueiro community. The incident happened on Sunday, but reports have only emerged on Wednesday. The incident comes after at least three other casualties involving stray bullets were reported in less than a month in Sao Goncalo, which is located in Rio's metropolitan area. Deaths caused by stray bullets are sporadically reported in Rio. Incidents tend to occur during clashes between criminals and police operations in low-income areas.

Police kill two after raid near Goiania, Goias

Two people have been killed during a police raid near Goiania, Goias. G1 reported the incident happened on Monday in the town of Trindade. According to a special unit of the military police, the suspects opened fire after entering a residence. Family members of the victims have accused the police of executing both brothers. They refuted police reports that a shooting took place. The state public security secretary is currently investigating the incident. Police operations in Brazil are often the target of scrutiny over accusations of excessive force and summary executions. Such incidents often lead to protests.

Police identify suspect in arson attack against firm production company in Rio

Police have identified one of the suspects behind an arson attack against the offices of a film production company in Rio. A businessman named Eduardo Cerquise was accused of involvement in the attack against the Porta dos Fundos offices, which launched a Christmas special programme on Netflix. The controversial episode depicting Christ and his disciples was the target of major criticism across Brazil, especially from religious groups and conservative associations. It is believed that five people took part in the attack, which happened on Christmas Eve. Initially, a self-proclaimed group known as the People's Nationalist Insurgency Commando for the Integralist Brazilian Family claimed responsibility for the attack.

Adverse weather triggers flooding in Sao Paulo and Rio

Weather alerts remain in place across Rio and Sao Paulo after intense rainfall triggered widespread flooding and landslides. Reports indicate that more than 20 incidents were confirmed in Sao Paulo, while authorities in Rio are on alert. Road traffic in major cities could be severely disrupted along with public transport operations. Some flights could also be impacted. Adverse weather conditions is forecast to persist over the weekend. Flooding and landslides are common during the summer months in Brazil. Risk areas mainly include neighbourhoods located near rivers and mountain areas.

Three killed after drowning in a river in Guape, Minas Gerais

Three people have drowned after drowning in a river in Guape, southern Minas Gerais. G1 reported that the accident happened on Wednesday when three members of the same family were caught by strong currents in a river at the Paredao National Park. The victims were bathing when a meteorological phenomenon hit an area near a popular waterfall. According to reports, the incident happened when water levels suddenly rose. Such accidents tend to occur during the summer months in Brazil when the number of visitors to national parks is higher. Extreme caution is advised when bathing in local rivers as most of them are unsupervised and lack proper safety signage. Even when weather conditions are favourable, those incidents may suddenly occur.

Justice minister extends National Force mandate in five cities

Justice Minister Sergio Moro has extended the mandate of the National Force in five cities. As part of an anti-crime package, soldiers will continue to de deployed in the towns of Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Ananindeua, Cariacica, Goiania and Paulista for another six months. The deployment of the National Force in those cities was initially ordered back in August to assist both regional and local law enforcement agencies to address violent crime.

Prosecutors target staff linked to President Bolsonaro's son

Rio state prosecutors have raided properties belonging to former staff of Senator Flavio Bolsonaro. In total, 24 raids were conducted as part of investigations into Fabricio Queiroz, a former employee of Flavio when he was a member of the state legislature. Back in May, a court in Rio ordered a review into Flavio's bank and fiscal records. He is accused of making lucrative real estate dealings by funnelling illicit payments through his staff bank accounts. The same investigation was halted earlier this year. Flavio is President Jair Bolsonaro's son. He was elected as a senator amid a surge of support for his father. The case has tainted the image of the Bolsonaro clan, which was elected on the premises of fighting widespread corruption in Brazil.

Four app-based drivers found dead in Salvador, Bahia

Four drivers working for app-based transport services have been found dead in Salvador, Bahia. Local media reported that the victims were found in the Santo Inacio neighbourhood on Monday. Reports indicate that the victims were reported missing after criminals lured them into a high-risk area of the city. Authorities are still investigating the incidents, while a local drug-trafficker has been detained for his suspected involvement. A fifth victim alerted the police of the incidents after managing to escape captivity. Drivers for app-based services are sporadically targeted in major cities across Brazil. They are often the target of car-jacking, kidnapping and armed robbery. Syndicates have already called on major companies to step up security measures to protect drivers.

Rio mayor suspends all payments due to budgetary crisis

Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella has announced that he is halting all payments as the city faces a budgetary crisis. Year-end salaries - locally known as the thirteenth salary - for municipal workers and payments to suppliers have been suspended after the city's accounts were frozen. The financial crisis has intensified after a court ordered the local government to pay long-delayed wages to health professionals and doctors running social clinics in the city. Rio has been facing an economic crisis for several years now, forcing the city to request federal aid to pay civil servants who have gone months without pay.

Federal Police reaches plea bargain deal with former Rio governor

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) have reached a plea bargain deal with former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral. In addition to the PF, members of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) and the state prosecutor's office are also involved in the deal. Cabral was detained three years ago for links to a massive corruption scheme. He is accused of amassing millions of dollars in bribes from public contractors. He has already been sentenced to more than 260 years in prison. Cabral is among several other high-level politicians in Rio to be implicated in the 'Car Wash' investigations.

Police investigate murder of local businessman in Joinville, Santa Catarina

Police are currently investigating the murder of a local businessman in Joinville, Santa Catarina. Michael Cardoso was taking his five-year-old daughter to school when he was targeted in the Espinheiros neighbourhood, located in the eastern region of the city. According to preliminary reports, the victim was shot several times at close-range. The victim's daughter was in the back seat of the vehicle and was not injured during the incident.

Several killed amid wave of violence across Belem, Para

Nearly a dozen people have been killed over the weekend in a wave of violence across Belem, Para. Reports showed that incidents happened across several neighbourhoods in Belem and the neighbouring town of Ananindeua. This is the latest wave of violent incidents to be reported in the state capital. Despite the violence, the State Security Secretary (SSP) claimed that the number of homicides across Para has suffered a significant decrease when compared with the same period last year. Earlier this year, Para made the headlines after 58 inmates were killed in a prison riot in the town of Altamira.

Supreme Court orders release of former Rio Governor Pezao

Brazil's Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) has ordered the release of former Rio Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao. Members of the STJ ruled on Tuesday that Pezao should be released from prison and ordered him to wear an electronic tag. He was detained back in late-2018 after being charged with corruption amid the 'Car Wash' investigations. He is accused of involvement in a major corruption scheme that also implicated former Governor Sergio Cabral, who has already been sentenced in more than a dozen judicial procedures.

National Force to be deployed to indigenous reserve in Maranhao

Justice Minister Sergio Moro has signed a decree that will order the deployment of the National Force to an indigenous reserve in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. The decree comes after a violent incident in the region led to the death of two indigenous men. Reuters reported that the security force will be deployed to the Cana Brava reserve until early-March. Indigenous groups often suffer from violence by illegal loggers and miners in the Amazon region.

Authorities investigate dealings between Lula da Silva's son and telecom giants

The authorities are currently investigating deals involving former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's son and several telecom giants in Brazil. Investigations are being conducted over irregular payments from several telecom companies to Fabio Luis Lula da Silva. Dozens of warrants have already been issued over the case in Sao Paulo, Rio and Curitiba. The case is linked to the infamous 'Car Wash' probe and follow a previous phase in which Lula da Silva himself was implicated. According to prosecutors, up to $32m were paid by telecoms to a group partially owned by Fabio.

Indigenous men killed in armed attack in Maranhao

Two indigenous men have been killed during a suspect armed attack in a remote area in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. Reports suggest that the victims were targeted in the town of Jenipapo dos Vieiras when a vehicle approached them along the BR-226 federal highway. According to indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara, both men were returning from a community meeting in El Betel. The incident comes just weeks after another Guajajara ethnic man was murdered. Indigenous communities in northern Brazil are often targeted in retaliatory attacks led by illegal miners and loggers.

Comedian shot dead in Rio

A local comedian and three others have been shot dead during a police operation in a community in Rio de Janeiro. Diego Buiu, also known as "Bunitinho", died during an exchange of fire between police and local criminals in Morro do Dende on Thursday morning. State Governor Wilson Witzel said there will be an investigation. Bunitinho was known for his social media posts and his support for local football team Flamengo.

Nine killed in stampede at Sao Paulo party

At least nine people have been killed and seven others injured in a stampede at a party in Sao Paulo. The incident occurred when police stormed a funk party in pursuit of a group of criminals in Paraisopolis. A police spokesman said the criminals used the partygoers as a shield, although local residents said officers used batons against young people during the raid. Sao Paulo PM spokesman Emerson Massera said the incident would be investigated. The incident also sparked protests from local residents, who blamed police for causing the deaths.

US set to restore tariffs on steel from Brazil and Argentina

US President Donald Trump said he will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina. He said the weak currencies in the two countries made it hard for US food exports to compete with domestic goods. "Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers," Mr Trump said. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro and Argentina's production minister Dante Sica said they would seek talks with the US.

Police clash with football supporters in Rio de Janeiro

Riot police have fired tear gas at football supporters following clashes in Rio de Janeiro. Thousands of people gathered in the city on Sunday to celebrate Flamengo's 2-1 victory against Argentinian side River Plate in the final of the Copa Libertadores, which was held in Lima, Peru. Fighting erupted during the victory parade, with rioters throwing rocks and bottles at police. Local media reported that the violence began when fans tried to break through a security cordon.

Lula da Silva supports PT plans to launch own local candidates in 2020 vote

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that he is supportive to members of the Workers' Party (PT) to launch their own bid ahead of the 2020 local elections. Lula made the remarks ahead of the party's annual congress in Sao Paulo. He claimed that the PT is the only political force capable of countering the growing influence of right-wing politics in Brazil. PT has a close relationship with other left-wing parties in Brazil, including the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB). Lula's claims contradict previous calls of support to leftist candidates in some cities, including Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Rio. Despite his remarks, Lula said that the party is still open to working alongside its traditional political allies. Lula was released from prison after serving parts of a 12-year prison sentence. He is currently awaiting trial on several other judicial cases.

President Bolsonaro hosts event to officially launch his own political party

President Jair Bolsonaro has officially launched his own political party after breaking away from the conservative Social Liberal Party (PSL). The creation of the Alliance for Brazil (APB) was announced earlier this month amid increasing tensions regarding the leadership of the PSL. President Bolsonaro will be the APB leader, while one of his sons, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, will be the party's vice-president. The relationship between the Bolsonaro clan and the PSL has been turbulent since he took office in January. It recently escalated due to disputes in the control of a multi-millionaire party fund. President Bolsonaro said that the party will have its values based on family, god and homeland. Although the creation of the APB was officially announced at an event in Brasilia, the party to become official still needs to secure enough signatures to be presented to the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE).

Police investigate corruption network within state court in Bahia

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) is leading an investigation into corruption within the state court in the north-eastern state of Bahia. Among those implicated in the case is the president of the state court of justice, Gesivaldo Britto, who alongside five other magistrates was suspended for three months. They are accused of receiving illegal payments regarding judicial proceedings linked to judicial disputes over terrains in western Bahia, which is home to the state's booming agricultural industry. G1 reported that dozens of arrest warrants were also issued across the state.

Man dies after intense rainfall triggers landslide in Espirito Santo

A man has died after a landslide hit several homes in the rural area of Santa Leopoldina, Espirito Santo. G1 reported that dozens of people were evacuated after a landslide hit the Holanda neighbourhood. Emergency services rushed to the scene to rescue several people trapped when widespread flooding hit the region. Weather alerts have been issued to several towns across the state, while major roads have been blocked. The Brazilian National Met Institute (INMET) also issued alerts to the states of Rio, Parana and Santa Catarina. Adverse weather is forecast to persist until at least Saturday.

Increasing tensions reported outside Venezuelan Embassy in Brasilia

Increasing tensions are being reported outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Brasilia. The Venezuelan Embassy in the UK has shared on social media reports that a large number of people have entered the building in the Brazilian capital. Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister has said: "Irregular groups invaded areas of our embassy in Brasilia. The Brazilian Government must give all guarantees and respect to international agreements, if this aggression is maintained, it will be a serious precedent!" Brazilian media has widely reported that several people close to opposition leader Juan Guaido have taken over the building. The incident happens as leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are meeting in the capital.

Five-year-old killed by stray bullet in western Rio

A five-year-old girl has died after being hit by a stray bullet in a low-income neighbourhood in western Rio. G1 reported that Ketellen Oliveira Gomes was shot while on her way to school in Realengo. According to preliminary reports, gunmen in a vehicle opened fire, collaterally hitting the victim. Authorities are still investigating the incident. Media reports also suggest that another unnamed man died at the scene. Shootings in some areas of northern and western Rio often lead to collateral casualties. It is estimated that, so far in 2019, at least nine children have died in Rio as a result of armed incidents.

President Bolsonaro to launch his own political party

President Jair Bolsonaro has quit the Social Liberal Party (PSL) amid increasing tensions involving the party's leadership. After long-standing grievances between Bolsonaro and PSL President Luciano Bivar, President Bolsonaro has said that he is leaving the party to form his Alliance for Brazil (APB). Tensions escalated after President Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, became the new PSL leader in the lower-house of Congress. Reports indicate that the creation of the APB will be officially completed in February and that until then, President Bolsonaro will be without a party. At least 30 PSL members are expected to join the APB. One of the main disputes includes control of a multi-million party fund, which will be granted to the PSL. With the creation of the APB, the 513-seat parliament will become even more fragmented, making it more difficult for the president to pass key legislation.

Several killed during police operation in northern Rio

At least four suspect criminals have been killed during a police operation in northern Rio. O Dia reported that operation took place on Thursday in the Morro do Borel community in Tijuca. According to the police, the operation led to the seizure of drugs and weapons. Other raids were also conducted in the Cidade de Deus, Ladeira dos Tabajaras and the Complexo do Roseiral. Since Governor Wilson Witsel took office, police operations have intensified in Rio. These usually target groups engaged in drug-trafficking; however, civilian casualties are common in the cross-fire between the police and criminals.

STF justices pass ruling that could release former President Lula da Silva

Justices in the Supreme Federal Court (STF) have passed a ruling that could lead to the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. With six votes in favour and five against, the ruling was passed after being postponed back in late-October. It dictates that all those convicted through an appeals court should be released until all of their appeal options are exhausted. The ruling could benefit more than 5,000 people detained in the same situation as the former president. Lula is currently imprisoned at the Federal Police HQ in Parana, southern Brazil. He's serving an eight-year prison sentence for a case involving a seaside apartment complex in Sao Paulo. Lula could be released within the next few days after his defence lawyers submit a request to the judge in charge of the case, Carolina Lebbos. A number of protests both in favour and against Lula are expected across major cities in Brazil. Travellers are advised extreme caution when near large gatherings, especially in the southern city of Curitiba, where demonstrations could escalate without any warning.

MERCOSUR ministers sign deal to allow cross-border police pursuits

Justice ministers from members of the southern trade bloc MERCOSUR have signed an agreement that would allow police officers to cross the border during a pursuit. Brazil's Justice Minister Sergio Moro has met with his counterparts in the southern town of Foz do Iguacu to sign the deal. The agreement will be implemented in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia. Initially, police officers will be allowed to pursue criminals up to one kilometre after crossing the border. Police operations in Brazil are often compromised after criminals cross unsupervised border crossings.

Government revokes decree limiting cane plantations in Brazil

A decree limiting the expansion of cane plantations in some environmentally-rich areas in Brazil has been revoked. The government claims that the measure will lead to further investment and modernization in the sector. They also claimed that the law limiting expansion was obsolete as other pieces of legislation guaranteed that plantations would not interfere with the Brazilian ecosystem. In 2009, Brazil limited the number of cane plantations to ensure that environmental areas at risk were protected. Some of them include the Pantanal and Amazon regions. The law was signed as Brazil pushed for mass exports of the cane-based ethanol.

Suspect militia leader shot dead inside dental clinic Rio

A man identified as the leader of a local militia group has been shot dead at a dental clinic in western Rio. According to local media, Alexsander Monteiro was shot more than 20 times while attending an appointment int the Vargem Pequena neighbourhood. Monteiro is known for leading a powerful militia which widely operates in the Campo Grande neighbourhood, also in western Rio. Police are currently investigating if the incident is linked to a territorial dispute involving a rival criminal faction. Militia groups are known to operate in western Rio and several towns in the city's metropolitan area.

Congressional report concludes that Vale officials were warned before Brumadinho dam disaster

A 625-page congressional report has revealed that the former CEO of the Brazilian mining giant Vale was warned over the collapsing risk of the Brumadinho dam in Minas Gerais. The report alleges that Fabio Schvartsmann received an anonymous email warning of the potential failure of the dam weeks before the disaster. At least 250 people have been killed when a tailings dam in Brumadinho collapsed in January. The report was prepared by congressman Rogerio Correa. Similar to a previous senate report, it recommends homicide indictments against high-level Vale officials. In the company's defence, a Vale spokesperson has claimed that the email was analysed and concluded that the warnings were made without evidence. It added that the warning “was understood as a reference to the limit of regulatory capacity of the dams, which was already being addressed by the company".

Indigenous land defender killed during ambush in Maranhao

An indigenous land defender has been shot dead during a suspect armed ambush in the Arariboia indigenous reserve in Maranhao. Paulo Paulino Guajajara was part of the Guardians of the Forest, a group created back in 2012 to protect indigenous territory from farmers and loggers. According to reports, he was killed during an ambush while hunting in Arariboia. A group of illegal loggers is believed to be behind the attack. Justice Minister Sergio Moro said that no efforts will be spared during the investigation. A prominent indigenous leader in Brazil, Sonia Guajajara - a member of the same indigenous group of Paulo - condemned the incident, which happened while she was meeting European leaders to raise awareness over indigenous violence in Brazil.

Reinforcement sent to tackle major wildfire in environmentally-rich Pantanal region

Reinforcements have been sent to the environmentally-rich Pantanal region in south-western Brazil as a major wildfire continues to spread. According to reports, more than 50,000 hectares of land were already consumed in the past five days. State authorities in Mato Grosso do Sul have prepared a major operation to extinguish the blaze. In a statement, state authorities said that the most affected areas are in Miranda, Aquidauana and Corumba. Wildfires in Pantanal started back in August during the region's dry season. However, despite some progress being made, they have intensified in recent days.

Greek-flagged vessel investigated for links to massive oil spill

A Greek-flagged vessel is currently being investigated for links to an oil spill which has been affecting dozens of beaches in north-eastern Brazil. For nearly two months, some beaches along most states in the country's north-eastern coast have been closed following reports of thick crude oil in the area. Reuters reported that the Brazilian Federal Police is currently investigating a vessel thought to be responsible. Reports suggest that the oil spill happened nearly 700km off the Brazilian coast in late-July. Authorities claim that the vessel collected the oil in Venezuela before stopping in South Africa and Singapore.

Scores killed during police raid in Manaus, Amazonas

At least 17 suspected criminals have been killed during a police drug raid in Manaus, Amazonas. Folha reported that a special unit of the military police intercepted the suspects while they were heading to take over drug-trafficking territory from a rival criminal group in a southern neighbourhood of the city. Police officials told local media that more than 50 armed criminals were inside a lorry when they were approached. The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning. No police officers were killed nor injured during the raid. Manaus is the capital of Amazonas state. Levels of crime in the region are relatively high due to the presence of factions linked to the Rio-based Red Commando (CV) and the Northern Family (FDN).

Court could investigate President Bolsonaro amid councilwoman's murder case

President Jair Bolsonaro could be investigated by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) after he was mentioned in the investigations linked to the death of Rio's councilwoman Marielle Franco. Reports indicate that the doorman of President Bolsonaro's residence in Rio has told the authorities that the main suspect in the killing of Franco and her driver met with Bolsonaro before the crime was committed. The allegations emerged after the name of Ronnie Lessa reportedly appeared in the building's visitors log. The doorman also alleged that another suspect, Elcio Queiroz, also entered the building. It is still unclear if President Bolsonaro was at home or if the suspects met with him. President Bolsonaro said that he is in contact with Justice Minister Sergio Moro to order the Federal Police to collect a new testimony from the doorman. Both Lessa and Queiroz were detained in March, a year after the murders.

Five-year-old stabbed to death outside college near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

A five-year-old girl has been stabbed to death outside a public school near Belo Horizonte, Mina Gerais. G1 reported that the victim was targeted near a college in the town of Betim, located in Belo Horizonte's metropolitan area. The victim was attacked while accompanied by her nanny. According to the police, a 25-year-old man was also detained. Authorities are currently investigating if the man was under the influence of drugs during the attack.

Supreme Court postpones ruling that could release Lula da Silva

Supreme Court justices have postponed a ruling that could lead to the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Members of the Supreme Court are expected to vote to overturn a rule that sends convicts to prison immediately after they lose their first court appeal. Justices are expected to decide that in event of a conviction, a suspect would be out of prison until all of their appeal options are exhausted. The hearing has been suspended until 06 November. Besides Lula da Silva, dozens of politicians and businessmen accused of corruption could be freed from jail while they await their appeals.

Soldiers deployed to assist oil cleaning up efforts in north-eastern Brazil

More than 5,000 soldiers have been deployed to assist cleaning up efforts on more than 200 beaches across north-eastern Brazil. For several weeks, beaches across the region have been affected by a mysterious oil spill, which is still being investigated by the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA). According to reports, over 900 tonnes of material has already been removed along more than 2,000 kilometres of coast. It is still unclear what the origins of the oil spill are. People have been advised not to touch the material due to potential health hazards. Latest reports from IBAMA have shown that the oil spill has already affected beaches between San Luis in Maranhao and Salvador, Bahia. The most affected areas are in Alagoas, Pernambuco and Sergipe.

Senators approve controversial pension reforms

Senators have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the controversial pension reforms, which has been one of the flagship campaign promises of President Jair Bolsonaro. With 60 votes in favour and 19 against, the main part of the bill was approved on Tuesday evening after months of debate. Senators are expected to approve two special amendments to the bill, which would become law after passing the vote. As the bill is considered a constitutional reform, President Jair Bolsonaro is not required to sign it into law. Among the main changes, the reforms will establish a minimum retirement age. The government claims that the new legislation will significantly contribute to lowering the country's public deficit while saving up to $195bn within the next decade. Similar to previous votes on pension reforms, protests are expected to break out across major cities. Although mostly peaceful, some of them may turn violent.

Police raid engineering company's office in fresh Car Wash probe phase

Offices of the Italian-Argentinian company Techint have been raided in a fresh phase of the notorious Car Wash investigation. Reuters reported that the company is accused of paying substantial bribes to secure engineering contracts with the state-owned oil company Petrobras. According to reports, Techint subsidiaries based in Brazil have colluded with high-level Petrobras officials to make payments reaching up to 60m reais ($14.8m). The contracts included projects in Rio and in the north-eastern state of Bahia. Brazilian authorities have also said that they are working with officials in Switzerland and Italy as part of the investigation. The case has been made public just a day after Swiss prosecutors filed the first charges linked to the Car Wash investigation.

Senate committee approves text of the pension reform bill

The Senate Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee (CCJ) has approved the text of the controversial pension reform bill, which will now face its final vote in the upper chamber of Congress. If the bill passes the vote in the Senate - expected to be held later on Tuesday - it will be sent for promulgation. Pension reform plans started in the previous administration and were promptly adopted by the government of President Bolsonaro. Despite proving highly unpopular, the new law intends to reduce the country's deficit by saving up to $195bn in the next 10 years. For several months, the pension reforms have led to large-scale protests in Brazil. Visitors should be aware that if the vote is approved, protests may break out across major cities.

President Bolsonaro's son becomes new PSL leader in the lower house

Federal Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro has become the new leader of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) in the lower house of Congress. Eduardo, the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, became the new PSL leader in the Chamber of Deputies after securing enough support from party lawmakers. Shortly after his appointment, he dismissed a dozen PSL VPs linked to PSL President Luciano Bivar. Eduardo's nomination comes amid an ongoing dispute between lawmakers linked to President Bolsonaro and those loyal to Bivar. Part of the row is over control of a multi-million party fund, which will be granted to the PSL- the second-largest party in the chamber - in 2020. The PSL dispute has escalated in recent days after alleged threats, accusations and audio leaks implicated several party members. The PSL became tied to President Bolsonaro in the 2018 general election.

Petrobras announces new adjustment to LPG prices

Brazil's state-owned company Petrobras has announced a new adjustment in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to both domestic and industrial use. In a statement, the company said that LPG cylinders destined for both domestic and industrial markets will suffer an increase of up to five percent. This is the first increase in LPG prices since early-August. Although it is still unclear what impact the new price adjustment may bring to the domestic market, LPG prices are often influenced by changes to logistics costs, state tax, distribution and retail commissions.

Swiss prosecutors file first charges linked to Car Wash probe

Swiss prosecutors have filed the first charges as part of the Brazilian Car Wash investigation. Although more than 60 cases were previously investigated, this was the first time that Swiss prosecutors in Bern filed charges on the case involving Brazil's state-owned Petrobras and the construction conglomerate Odebrecht. The case involves an unnamed man who holds both Brazilian and Swiss nationality. Reuters reported that the suspect is already facing judicial proceedings in Brazil and Portugal. Prosecutors submitted the charges to the Federal Criminal Court in order to speed up the process. Reports indicate that as part of the Car Wash investigations, Swiss prosecutors have already seized more than $627m.

Suspects gunned down after violent heist at Campinas's Viracopos airport

At least three suspects have been gunned down after a violent heist at the cargo terminal of the Viracopos Airport (VCP) in Campinas. G1 reported that at least 20 heavily armed criminals entered the terminal to steal a cash-in-transit vehicle. Violent clashes broke out when the suspects attempted to flee the scene on two other vehicles. During the escape, criminals set three vehicles ablaze along the SP-75 highway. Besides stealing the armoured vehicle, a bin lorry was also used on the escape. One of the suspects fled into a house and held a mother and her 10-month-old son hostage. The suspect was later shot dead by a police sniper. Earlier this year, a similar incident was reported in Sao Paulo's international airport in Guarulhos, where $40m in gold was stolen.

State of emergency declared in Bahia after mysterious oil spill reaches Salvador

State authorities have declared a state of emergency in the north-eastern state of Bahia after several beaches were affected by a mysterious oil spill. Dozens of beaches in Bahia have been affected since the spillage was first identified earlier this month. Most recently, small portions of oil have been spotted across some beaches in the state capital, Salvador. In total, according to the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA), more than 150 beaches across the Brazilian north-eastern coast have been affected. People have been advised not to touch the material due to potential health hazards.

Casualties reported as residential building collapses in Fortaleza, Ceara

At least one person has been killed after a residential building collapsed in Fortaleza, Ceara. El Pais Brasil reported that the incident happened in the upscale neighbourhood of Dionisio Torres on Tuesday morning. Emergency services rushed to the scene, where five people were initially rescued. It is estimated that more than a dozen people could still be buried under the rubble. Authorities are still investigating the causes of the collapse. A large area around the neighbourhood has been cordoned off as rescue efforts were still ongoing as of Tuesday afternoon. People are advised to avoid the area.

Police open corruption probe against leader of right-wing PSL

Police have launched a corruption investigation on the leader of the right-wing Social Liberal Party (PSL). Luciano Bivar and several others are accused of campaign finance fraud. According to the Federal Police (PF), the investigation regards a potential PSL involvement in concealing electoral funds in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. The investigation was launched amid a deep political crisis within the PSL leadership, which has already ordered the expulsion of President Jair Bolsonaro. The president and some of his allies are expected to form a new breakaway political party. Bivar and traditional PSL members also accused President Bolsonaro of trying to dominate the party in order to control a multi-million public grant.

Former President Collor investigated for corruption over real estate dealings

Former President Fernando Collor de Mello has been the main target of a corruption investigation linked to corruption and money laundering. Collor is accused of making illegal real estate deals worth more than six million reais ($1.5m). Several of his properties in Curitiba and in his hometown, Maceio, were raided by the federal police. He denied any wrongdoing. Collor currently serves as a senator for the centre-left Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS). He was impeached in 1992 after he was implicated in a major corruption scandal.

Massive oil spill affecting north-eastern Brazil reaches Salvador, Bahia

Authorities in the north-eastern state of Bahia have confirmed that a massive oil spillage that is currently affecting dozens of beaches across the region has arrived in Salvador. According to reports, the beach of Piata was the first to be affected. In total, dozens of beaches in several towns across nine states in north-eastern Brazil have already been affected. Although it is still unclear what the origins of the spillage are, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has blamed Venezuela. He claimed that the spillage could be originated from a Venezuelan-flagged vessel travelling off the Brazilian coast - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denied the allegations. People have been advised not to touch the material due to potential health hazards. For further information, the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA) has released an up-to-date list of beaches and areas affected by the oil spillage.

Former Rio governor slapped with additional 33 years in prison for corruption

Former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral has been sentenced to an additional 33 years in a fresh corruption probe. Judge Marcelo Bretas has argued that Cabral and two other financial operators received up to $3m from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Cabral was charged with tax evasion and money laundering. Cabral has already faced a dozen judicial procedures, where he was sentenced to nearly 270 years in total.

Brazil fails to secure US support for OECD membership

Brazil's bid to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has failed to garner the support of the US. Bloomberg reported that the US sent a letter to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria which only endorsed Argentina and Romania. The US stance on Brazil's OECD membership has shifted from previous positive remarks made by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and US President Donald Trump himself. Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, part of the country's foreign policy has been revamping diplomatic and trade relations with the US.

Government expects approval of pension reforms bill by late-October

Senator Major Olimpio, the government's leader in the Senate, has said that key legislation on the controversial pension reforms will be approved until late-October. Olimpio told Reuters that a first part of the bill is expected to be approved by 22 October, but a second more contentious one will have its discussion delayed until next year. Since taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for pensions reforms in order to reduce the country's massive deficit. However, state governments are currently blocking the bill over disagreements on the distribution of proceedings of a multi-billion-dollar oil concession. The debate comes amid strained relations between President Bolsonaro and the leadership of his Social Liberal Party (PSL). Pension reforms in Brazil have generated a wave of demonstrations across the country. Although most of them are peaceful, some have turned extremely violent.

President Bolsonaro expected to leave the PSL

President Jair Bolsonaro is expected to withdraw his membership from the Social Liberal Party (PSL) amid a leadership dispute. Federal Deputy Fernando Bivar is expected to leave the party's leadership after two decades. He said that President Bolsonaro is already suspended from the party after he made controversial remarks against him and the PSL. A video made public on Tuesday showed President Bolsonaro criticising Bivar and the PSL, telling people to forget about both of them. The comments generated heavy criticism from the regional PSL leadership, which already had a strained relationship with the Bolsonaro clan. President Bolsonaro and some of his allies are expected to form a new breakaway political party. Besides leadership claims, Bivar and traditional PSL members have accused President Bolsonaro of trying to dominate the party in order to control a multi-million public grant.

Authorities investigate massive oil spill in north-eastern Brazil

Brazilian authorities are currently investigating a massive oil spill feared to have had a significant impact on wildlife in north-eastern Brazil. The Brazilian Environment Institute (IBAMA) has said that a series of operations have already been launched since the oil spill was first detected in early-September. According to a statement, crude oil has been affecting several beaches and environmentally protected areas in Rio Grande do Norte. A document released on Wednesday shows that beaches in Maranhao, Ceara, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Piaui have also been affected. Although the overall impact of the oil spill remains unclear, people have been advised not to touch the material due to potential health hazards. Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras has claimed that the product is not produced in Brazil. The country has been under scrutiny over recent environmental policies introduced since President Jair Bolsonaro took office. Most recently, international condemnation was drawn over wildfires in the Amazon rain forest.

Police recover body of missing student in Bariri, Sao Paulo

Police officers have found the body of a 19-year-old university student who was reported missing in Bariri, Sao Paulo. Veja reported that Mariana Mazza was last seen after she stopped her vehicle to change a flat tyre. She had just left the gym on Tuesday morning. Mariana was helped by a man, who was the main suspect behind her disappearance. The suspect was detained days later for questioning. Mariana's body was found in a cane plantation in Bariri.

Senate approves nomination of Augusto Aras as new AG

Senate has approved the nomination of Augusto Aras as the country's new attorney general. Aras, who has been a member of the Brazilian Public Ministry for nearly 30 years, has said that he will ensure that his office operates independently. In a hearing before the Senate's Constitution and Justice Committee, Aras said that he will push for a number of reforms on the notorious 'Car Wash' investigations, which already led to the arrest of several high-level politicians, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Aras was nominated for the post by President Jair Bolsonaro, who refused to accept recommendations from the Republic Prosecutors National Association (ANPR). Aras replaces Raquel Dodge, whose term ended earlier this month.

Three women shot dead in Duque de Caxias, Rio

Three women of the same family have been killed after a suspect raided their home in Duque de Caxias, Rio. Local media reported that an armed suspect entered the victims' house in the Centenario neighbourhood and opened fire. Among the victims is a 20-year-old and two teenagers. Police are still investigating what the circumstances behind the incident are and if the crime is related to a personal dispute involving a man known by one of the victims. Feminicide and episodes of domestic violence have suffered a significant hike in Brazil. Last year, more than 1,200 women were killed in the country.

Dozens of arson attacks reported amid wave of violence in Ceara

A wave of violence has been reported in the north-eastern state of Ceara. Since Friday, dozens of arson attacks have been reported across the state. Targets include public transportation vehicles, cargo lorries and local businesses. Although most incidents have been reported in the state capital, Fortaleza, attacks have also happened in some rural towns. Public transport vehicles are currently being escorted by the police after several buses were set on fire. Ceara has experienced a similar situation earlier this year when the National Guard had to be deployed. In February, around 500 people were arrested after criminality spread across Fortaleza and 180 towns. Although no official statement has been issued over the potential motives behind the recent incidents, violence in north-eastern Brazil usually occurs in retaliation to police operations against influential prison-based groups.

Eight-year-old killed by stray bullet in northern Rio

An eight-year-old girl has been collaterally killed during a shooting in the Complexo do Alemao, northern Rio. Agatha Felix was with her grandmother inside a van when police officers opened fire at suspects riding a motorcycle. Agatha was shot in the back and taken to the hospital, where she succumbed to her wounds. In an official statement, the police said that investigations will be launched. In the aftermath of Agatha's death, hardline policies of Governor Wilson Witsel have been put under scrutiny as a number of civilians have died in the cross-fire between the police and criminals. It is estimated that, so far in 2019, at least eight children have died in Rio as a result of armed incidents - according to the Fogo Cruzado monitoring platform, 16 children were shot in total.

Several indicted for crimes linked to Brumadinho dam disaster

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has indicted more than a dozen people for crimes related to the Brumadinho dam disaster, in which more than 250 people have been killed. G1 reported that six members of the German-based TUV SUD consultancy and seven staff of the mining giant Vale SA are among those implicated. Media reports suggest that they are being accused of falsifying documents and criminal misrepresentation. Vale SA has been already ordered to pay reparations and damage to those affected by the disaster, which happened last January. Vale SA had previously claimed that inspections of the mine had been conducted twice over six months before the disaster. It confirms that the Brazilian division of TUV SUD Brasil was responsible for them.

Police search offices of the government leader in the Senate

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has searched the congressional offices of Senator Fernando Bezerra, the government leader in the upper house of Congress. Bezerra is accused of receiving 5.5m reais ($1.3m) in bribes from a construction company as part of a project. He denied any wrongdoing. His son, a state deputy for the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, is also being accused of accepting bribes. Bezerra said: "I took the initiative of offering to resign from the position of government leader so that the government can, in the coming days, evaluate whether it's the right moment to proceed with a new choice or not." President Jair Bolsonaro and his chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, are set to make a decision on whether to replace him. This is the latest high-level government official to be implicated in a political scandal. The case taints the image of the Bolsonaro administration that was elected on a pledge of tackling corruption.

Police investigate death of former Odebrecht executive in Rio

Police are investigating the death of a former executive linked to the construction giant conglomerate Odebrecht. Henrique Valladares was found dead at his home in the affluent Leblon neighbourhood, southern Rio. Valladares had previously reached a plea bargain deal with prosecutors after he revealed millionaire payments to former Minas Gerais Governor Aecio Neves, a senator and several ministers of both the Rouseff and Lula administrations. Police initially declared the cause of his death as undetermined. Odebrecht-linked corruption has already implicated several high-level politicians in Latin America.

Departing AG accuses five of obstructing justice in Marielle Franco case

Attorney General Raquel Dodge has accused five people of obstruction of justice in the investigations on the killing of Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco. Just before leaving office, Dodge has said that two police officers, two court officials and a lawyer attempted to meddle in the process to mislead investigators. Dodge has accused a former aide to the Rio Audit Court (TCE), Domingos Brazao, of masterminding the attack. She also recommended that Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) returns the investigation to the federal police in order to avoid political meddling. Dodge is being replaced by Augusto Aras, who was appointed for the post by President Jair Bolsonaro. Franco was killed alongside her driver back in March 2018. 

Several killed during police operation in northern Rio

At least five people have been killed during a police operation to tackle drug-trafficking in the restive Complexo do Alemao community in northern Rio. O Dia reported that the joint police operation was also launched to dismantle a deactivated Police Pacification Unit in the neighbourhood. A police officer was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the chest. Police claimed that dozens of explosives and a high-calibre rifle were seized during the operation. The incident happened just a day after four people were killed during shooting with the police in the Jacarezinho community in northern Rio.

Couple and six-year-old child killed in armed attack in Ponta Grossa, Parana

A couple and their six-year-old child have been killed after heavily armed criminals sprayed their vehicle with bullets in Ponta Grossa, Parana. Reports showed that emergency services rushed to the city's Chapada neighbourhood after a violent shooting broke out. Three other children have been collaterally shot during the incident. According to the police, the case may be linked to retaliation as one of the victims, Robson Ferreira, was previously known for his involvement in drug-trafficking. Ferreira had recently left prison and was on parole. No arrests have been made as further investigations are still ongoing.

Major wildfire reignites in tourist area near Santarem, Para

A major wildfire that broke out on Saturday remains active in a popular tourist destination in Para, north-eastern Brazil. According to reports, the fire reignited over the weekend after being temporarily brought under control. G1 reported that the fire is mostly centred between the towns of Alter do Chao and Ponta das Pedras in Santarem. The area is known for several riverside beaches and multiple tourist attractions. Governor Helder Barbalho has requested federal assistance to tackle the wildfires that spread through an isolated area along the Tapajos River. Authorities are currently monitoring the situation as strong winds may bring the blaze closer to beach residences and hotels. Caution is advised when travelling between Alter do Chao and Santarem.

Several killed in hospital fire in northern Rio

At least 11 people have been killed after a massive fire broke out at a hospital in northern Rio. Brazilian media reported that emergency services rushed to the scene on Thursday evening after a fire was reported at the Badim Hospital in Tijuca. Firefighters worked overnight to rescue those inside the burning building and control the blaze. As of Friday morning, at least 10 bodies were removed from it. According to the hospital, over 100 patients were at the hospital at the time. It added that the fire may have been caused by a short circuit from a power generator placed at one of the hospital's wards. The hospital is located near the Maracana Stadium. Roads in the area have been shut as the emergency services continue to attend the scene on Friday morning.

Postal workers launch strike over pay dispute

Postal workers in Brazil have launched an indefinite strike over a long-standing pay dispute. Workers of the Correios have launched a strike across most states in Brazil, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Maranhao. Deliveries and some essential services may suffer disruption in several major cities. Workers are also pressuring government plans to privatise the company, which was included in federal privatisation plans published last month. President Jair Bolsonaro has for long-planned to privatise the debt-ridden company, which has reported significant loses in recent years. Correios said that they are currently working on contingency measures to avoid disruption on the operation on their branches and the delivery of letters and parcels.

Son of former minister detained in fresh 'Car Wash' corruption probe

Brazil's Federal Police have detained the son of the former energy minister in another phase of the infamous 'Car Wash' investigations. Marcio Lobao, the son of Edison Lobao, was detained on Tuesday for allegedly receiving, along with his father, over 50m reais ($12m) in bribes from the construction giant Odebrecht and Grupo Estre company. Marcio is accused of laundering money through overselling artwork. The case is linked to dozens of fraudulent contracts involving the Belo Monte dam in the north-eastern state of Para. Edison served during both Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff administrations.

Indigenous agency worker gunned down in Tabatinga, Amazonas

A worker associated with the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI) has been killed in the isolated border town of Tabatinga, Amazonas. According to the Indigenists Associated (INA), Santos was gunned down in front of his family on Sunday. He was targeted while riding a motorcycle. Santos was known for monitoring preservation activities in the Vale do Javari Reserve, located near the tri-border area with Colombia and Peru. On previous occasions, local indigenous leaders have suffered attacks from illegal hunters loggers and miners based in the region. It is still unclear if Santos was targeted for working with the FUNAI. Folha de Sao Paulo reported that Santos mainly worked in a FUNAI base near Atalaia do Norte, which was attacked back in July. Indigenous communities in northern Brazil are often targeted in violent attacks usually led by criminals engaged in clandestine mining and logging.

Heavily armed criminals blow up bank in Iracemapolis, Sao Paulo

Heavily armed criminals targeted several businesses in the town of Iracemapolis, Sao Paulo. G1 reported that the raid happened in the early hours of Friday morning when gunmen in several vehicles targeted a bank with explosives, which completely destroyed the building. A shop was later targeted while several people were made hostage. Police believe that the criminals attempted to steal ATMs. No casualties have been reported. Similar incidents have previously occurred in small towns across Brazil. Criminals tend to target banks and businesses in isolated rural areas due to lack of police presence.

Federal appeals judge denies access to leaked online messages

A federal appeals judge has rejected an access request made by the lawyers of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to leaked messages between prosecutors of the Car Wash investigations. In a decision announced on Tuesday, Judge Joao Neto said that the messages were illegally obtained and, by allowing its access, it would create a dangerous judicial precedent. The request was made as part of an appeal linked to the Itibaia farm case. Messages exchanged through an online app were leaked back in June. The content became public through a series of articles published by the online-based The Intercept Brasil. Among those involved was the Car Wash's special prosecutor, Deltan Dellagnol, and Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who a federal judge at the time. Last month, a Supreme Court minister has barred any investigations against US-based journalist Glenn Greenwald and his The Intercept Brasil.

Former Rio governor detained for links to corruption network

Former Rio Governor Anthony Garotinho has been detained for links to a massive corruption network. Garotinho and his wife Rosinha Matheus - Rosinha is also a former governor in Rio - were arrested in southern Rio on Tuesday morning. They are accused alongside three others of brokering overpriced public contracts between the Campos Mayor's Office and the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. According to the public ministry, the scheme is linked to an unfinished social housing project. It is estimated that they have diverted up to 50m reais ($12m). This is the fourth time that Garotinho has been detained in Rio.

Several killed in road crash in Soledade, Rio Grande do Sul

Six people have been killed in a road accident in Soledade, Rio Grande do Sul. Local media reported that the victims were members of the same family. The accident happened in the early hours of Friday morning along the BR-386 federal highway. Among the victims is a six-year-old boy. Preliminary reports suggest that the head-on collision happened when one of the vehicles invaded the opposite lane. Soledade is situation several kilometres south of Passo Fundo. Road accidents in Brazil are common and often lead to multiple casualties. Most crashes occur due to reckless driving and poor road conditions.

Chinese national killed in robbery attempt in Rio

A Chinese national has been killed during a presumed robbery attempt in southern Rio. G1 reported that the victim, identified as Chen Cangyan, died after sustaining a stab wound. He and another man were attacked in the early hours of Thursday morning in Ipanema. A suspect has been detained. According to the police, the victims were attacked by drug users. GloboNews claim that they had arrived in Brazil to work for an engineering company. Robberies in Rio sporadically occur in tourist areas despite police presence. People should comply with criminals' requests as they are often armed.

President Bolsonaro bans fire for land clearance to tackle Amazon wildfires

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree that will ban fire for land clearance for 60 days. As part of fresh measures to tackle the increasing number of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, President Bolsonaro's decree comes ahead of a trilateral summit with Colombia and Peru to address the issue. More than 40,000 soldiers have been deployed to the region to assist in firefighting efforts, while international help from regional partners was already accepted. President Bolsonaro has been previously criticised for refusing to accept a 22-million-dollar assistance from members of the G7. Diplomatic tensions with France have escalated after a number of controversial remarks were traded between President Bolsonaro and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. Data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) confirmed a 278-percent hike in deforestation in the Amazon during July.

President Bolsonaro signs decree to allow military to tackle Amazon wildfires

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree that will allow the armed forces to assist in firefighting efforts in the Amazon rainforest. Amazonas has become the latest state in Brazil to request federal aid to tackle wildfires. Acre, Mato Grosso, Para, Tocantins, Roraima and Rondonia had also requested assistance. Amazon wildfires have generated intense international criticism of the Bolsonaro administration. President Bolsonaro has been recently condemned for not accepting a 22-million-dollar grant from members of the G7. Additionally, he has been engaged in a diplomatic row the French President Emmanuel Macron after he threatened to halt the EU-Mercosul agreement if no efforts to address wildfires are made. President Bolsonaro has claimed that the international community aims to meddle in Brazilian domestic affairs, while he denied that a crisis in the region is currently taking place.

Clandestine grave discovered in Queimados, Rio

At least three people have been found dead in a clandestine grave found in the town of Queimados, Rio's Metropolitan Area. Extra reported that a police operation in the Parque Sarandi neighbourhood discovered the bodies, which were presumably buried by a militia group based in the region. Clandestine graves have been found across Brazil in territories usually controlled by militia and organised crime groups. Most incidents are reported in Rio and Sao Paulo. Victims are often believed to be members of rival groups or dissident gang members. In Rio, militia groups are known to mainly operate in cities on its metropolitan area.

Presidency minister announce plans to privatise several state-owned companies

Brazil's presidency minister, Onyx Lorenzoni, has announced government plans to privatise several state-owned companies. In a press conference, Lorenzoni said that among the companies are the Brazilian postal service Correios, the coin mint, phone company Telebras and the energy giant Eletrobras. Several other companies in charge of operating ports, tech services and logistics will also be included in the plans. Since taking office in January, President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for the privatisation of several Brazilian companies in order to fuel foreign investment. Lorenzoni said that the oil company Petrobras is not included for now in privatisation plans. He has not disclosed a deadline to complete the process nor the value of the firms.

Health ministry recommends MMR vaccination for babies amid measles outbreak

Brazil's health ministry has recommended that babies as young as six months get the so-called 'dose zero' of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. In a press release, the government has said that children aged between six and 11 months should take their first MMR vaccine as several states in Brazil are facing measles outbreaks. Usually, children are vaccinated when they are aged 12 and 15 months, which will still need to be taken. The measure is claimed to be preventative to avoid the spread of the disease. It comes after a surge in cases affecting babies was reported in the country. Although more than 10 states in Brazil suffered outbreaks, most concerns regard a massive hike in measles cases in Sao Paulo, where 1,680 cases were reported in less than 90 days. Measles is a highly contagious disease and preventable by the MMR vaccination. Symptoms include high fever, coughing and red eyes.

Former presidential candidate sentenced for 2012 electoral fraud

Former presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has been sentenced for more than four years in prison over electoral fraud. A state court in Sao Paulo has convicted Haddad for irregularities to his 2012 mayoral campaign in Sao Paulo. The court said that Haddad failed to disclose expense reports on contracts brokered with printing companies. Haddad told Folha de Sao Paulo that he will appeal the court ruling. Besides Haddad, the treasurer of the Workers' Party (PT), Joao Vaccari Neto, was also sentenced for corruption. Haddad was also the runner-up of the latest presidential election in which right-wing Jair Bolsonaro was elected. Haddad became the PT candidate after former President Lula da Silva was barred from running due to a corruption sentence.

Police respond to hostage situation on Rio-Niteroi bridge

Police are currently responding to a hostage situation on the Rio-Niteroi bridge. According to official sources, the incident is unfolding on the Rio-bound lane of the bridge. Several people are believed to have been held hostage after a gunman stormed the bus. It is still unclear what the motivation behind the incident is. As of Tuesday morning, traffic along the bridge has been suspended as the emergency services and special operations police units negotiate the hostages' release. People have been advised to avoid the area. Alternative passenger routes from Rio to Niteroi include ferry boats from central Rio's XV Square. Due to potential roadblocks and diversions, traffic to and from Rio's Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) may be heavily conditioned.

Major military exercise kicks off in Rio

Armies from several Latin American countries, the UK, Portugal and the US are currently in Rio to take part in the UNITAS LX military exercise. In order to enhance military cooperation towards regional maritime and humanitarian challenges, more than 3,100 soldiers from 13 countries are taking part in the exercise. The USS Carter Hall set sail from the US earlier this month to participate in the exercise. The UNITAS exercise is scheduled to last until 30 August.

Teenage mother dies after shooting in western Rio

A 17-year-old mother has been killed after being collaterally shot during a police operation in western Rio. O Dia reported that Margareth Teixeira was in the 48 community in Bangu neighbourhood when a shooting broke out on Tuesday evening. Teixeira was carrying her son, who suffered a gunshot wound. Police confirmed that an operation happened in the community to address disputes between rival criminal groups. Civilians and residents from low-income neighbourhoods in Rio are often collaterally shot during police incursions and clashes between rival gangs. Such incidents often lead to civil unrest.

Police recover bodies in clandestine grave in Belford Roxo, Rio

At least eight bodies have been recovered from a clandestine grave in Belford Roxo, Rio's Metropolitan area. G1 reported that joint police operations led to the discovery of the bodies in the Nova Aurora neighbourhood. Reports suggest that a local militia group operates in the area. Last week, the leader of the local militia was detained. Militia groups control large terrains in western Rio and the city's metropolitan area. They are often linked to the extortion and disputes with drug-traffickers. Clandestine graves are sporadically found in Rio in areas widely controlled by militias and powerful drug-trafficking groups.

State of emergency declared due to wildfires in Amazonas

A state of emergency has been declared in the northern state of Amazonas due to a significant increase in wildfires. Amazonas's Vice-Governor Carlos Filho has signed the decree that will last for six months. According to state government data, nearly 1,700 wildfires were reported in Amazonas in the first semester of 2019 - most of them in July. With the state of emergency, authorities will step up efforts to control and monitor high-risk areas. Although most cases were reported in the town of Apui and southern Amazonas, reports indicate that wildfires are gradually being reported closer to Manaus. Major concerns in the state capital regard air-quality that may affect those suffering from respiratory conditions. The emergency declaration comes after the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) confirmed a 278-percent hike in deforestation in the Amazon during July. The report was criticised by President Jair Bolsonaro, who replaced INPE's head. INPE is in charge of monitoring deforestation and to assist other environmental agencies with data.

Flights to Rio's SDU to be diverted due to scheduled runway maintenance

Hundreds of daily flights to Rio's Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) will be diverted to Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) due to scheduled maintenance on SDU's main runway. GOL, LATAM and Azul are among the airlines that may be affected. According to GOL, the runway will be closed between 24 August to 21 September. SDU is situated closer to Rio's city centre and mainly serves domestic flights in Brazil, while GIG is the main international airport. Potential changes to flight schedules are possible. International flights already scheduled to and from GIG may not be affected. Passengers have been advised to contact their respective airlines for further flight status updates. Airports status and flights updates are also provided by airport operator INFRAERO.

Several killed in nightclub shooting in Mostardas, Rio Grande do Sul

At least five people have been killed after armed criminals opened fire at a nightclub in Rio Grande do Sul. Local media reported that the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning at a club near the town of Solidao, Mostardas. Police are currently investigating a potential involvement of drug-trafficking or links to a retaliation. Although Rio Grande do Sul reports lower homicide rates compared with other north-eastern states, homicides in the state have suffered a significant increase in recent years, especially in the capital Porto Alegre.

Student killed by stray bullet in northern Rio

An 18-year-old student has been killed after being hit by a stray bullet in northern Rio. Gabriel Alves was walking towards a bus stop near the Morro do Borel community in Tijuca when he was shot in the chest. Police are still investigating what the circumstances behind the incident are. Local residents staged a protest which escalated when police officers arrived at the scene. Reports suggest that the incident happened during clashes between the police and criminals. So far in 2019, local organisations estimate that stray bullets have led to the deaths of more than 30 people in Rio. Incidents mainly occur in low-income neighbourhoods in northern and western Rio, where police operations and clashes between rival criminal groups are frequent.

Supreme Court minister bars investigation against US journalist over leaks

Supreme Court Minister Gilmar Mendes has barred any investigations against US-based journalist Glenn Greenwald and his The Intercept Brasil. Both have been widely reporting on leaked online messages exchanged between Justice Minister Sergio Moro and prosecutors as part of the Car Wash investigations. Moro at the time was a federal judge. Among claims, Moro is accused of colluding with prosecutors to ensure the conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Minister Mendes based the ruling on Article 5(14) of the Brazilian constitution, which reads: "access to information is assured to everyone, protecting the confidentiality of sources when necessary for professional activity". The request was made by the centre-left Rede Sustentabilidade party. President Jair Bolsonaro and Moro heavily criticised the leaks and accused them of being acquired through criminal means.

Pension reforms bill passes second lower house vote

The lower house of Congress has approved the controversial pension reforms bill in their second round of voting. With 370 votes in favour and 124 against, the constitutional amendment will now head to the Senate, where two more votes will be held. The pension reforms were previously approved in the lower house back in July. President Jair Bolsonaro is the main backer of the bill, which aims to save up to a trillion reais ($256bn) within the next 10 years. It's claimed the bill will help relieve the country's massive public deficit. Like during previous votes, protests against the bill may break out across Brazil.

Scores detained in major police operation across several states

More than 20 people have been arrested as part of a major police operation against the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC). Federal Police have served 30 arrest warrants against members of a PCC faction known to be a major financer to the group. Search warrants were executed in Parana, Rio, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo states. Hundreds of bank accounts believed to be linked to the PCC were blocked. PCC is a notorious criminal group that widely operate across Brazil and the country's border areas with Argentina and Paraguay. It is one of the main rivals of the Rio-based Red Commando.

Military official nominated to lead institute in charge of deforestation data

Science Minister Marcos Pontes has nominated an Air Force official as the new director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Darcton Policarpo Damiao is replacing Ricardo Galvao, who resigned last week due to personal grievances with President Jair Bolsonaro. INPE is in charge of monitoring deforestation in Brazil and to assist other environmental organisations with data. Tensions broke out last month when President Bolsonaro criticised Galvao for defending deforestation data, which shows that over 1,000 sq km of rain forest was destroyed in 15 days in July. Since taking office, President Bolsonaro has launched controversial environmental policies, including closing some forest reserves and the merging of the ministry of environment and agriculture. In January, the head of the Brazilian Institute of Environment (IBAMA) resigned over budgetary issues.

Police detain fugitive money-exchanger linked to Car Wash probe

Police have arrested a notorious money-exchanger who was implicated in the Car Wash investigations. Dario Messer was detained at a friend's apartment in the affluent Jardins neighbourhood in Sao Paulo. According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Messer handled over $1.6bn between 2011 and 2017. He is known as a major dollar dealer and for leading a massive money exchange network that ran through 52 countries. Messer closely worked with high-level politicians and celebrities in Latin America. Among them is former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral and a relative of Paraguay's former President Horacio Cartes. Messer's involvement in the Car Wash investigation was discovered after two of his associates were detained in Uruguay back in 2017. In May 2018, an arrest warrant was issued against him after a major operation, also part of the Car Wash probe, led to the detention of 40 money-dealers.

Inmates linked to deadly prison riot die while being transferred to Belem, Para

Four inmates linked to a deadly prison riot in the north-eastern state of Para have died while being transferred to Belem. More than 30 inmates were being transferred from the Altamira Rehabilitation Centre in response to a riot where at least 58 prisoners died. Investigations on the circumstances behind their death are still ongoing. Earlier this week, a violent prison riot broke out over clashes involving two rival criminal groups in Altamira. The police believe that most victims were members of the Rio-based Red Commando (CV) and a local group linked to the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC).

Postal workers to launch indefinite strike action over pay dispute

Postal workers of the state-owned Correios are set to launch an indefinite strike from Wednesday evening. The National Postal Workers Federation (Fentect) announced the strike after negotiations failed. Workers are striking over a long-standing salary dispute and changes to their health insurance. Postal operations in major cities may be affected, leading to severe delays on parcels and letters delivery and the suspension of some other essential services. President Jair Bolsonaro has reiterated that he aims to privatise the debt-ridden company, which has reported significant loses in recent years.

Scores killed in violent prison riot in Para

At least 57 inmates have been killed during a violent prison riot in Para, northern Brazil. Reports revealed that a violent prison riot involving rival criminal groups broke out on Monday morning at the Altamira Regional Rehabilitation Centre, located in a remote area in central Para. Authorities believe that clashes involved members of the Rio-based Red Commando (CV) and a faction linked to the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC). Para's Penitentiary System (Susipe) said that at least a dozen prisoners were decapitated and several died after mattresses and cells were set ablaze. Violent prison riots often occur in northern Brazil and are often deadly. Although incidents are concentrated inside prisons, violence may spread to the streets.

Authorities investigate armed raid to indigenous reserve in Amapa

Brazilian authorities are currently investigating reports of an armed raid on a remote indigenous reserve in Amapa, northern Brazil. In a statement released on Sunday, the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI) said that the attack happened on Saturday. It said that "due to the area's isolated location, security agencies should monitor the situation to assess the veracity of the facts". Police officers and special operations units were deployed to the town of Yvytoto, where presumed gold miners forced dozens of locals to flee to a neighbouring town. The incident happens after the death of a 68-year-old local indigenous leader, who was found dead near a river on Wednesday. Indigenous communities in northern Brazil are often targeted in violent attacks usually led by miners and loggers. Political tensions over the issue have increased as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to allow mining in some protected areas.

Heavily armed criminals steal massive gold haul from Sao Paulo Airport

A massive gold haul has been stolen after criminals raided a cargo terminal at Sao Paulo International Airport (GRU). Folha de Sao Paulo reported that criminals impersonating federal police officers and driving cloned police vehicles entered a secure area in GRU's cargo terminal. According to the police, over 720 kg of gold was stolen. At least eight heavily armed criminals took part in the attack, which lasted for several minutes. Police confirmed that the gold was being transported by a cash-in-transit company and was intended to be sent to the US and Switzerland. Authorities said that a company employee was forced to give confidential information to criminals after his family was held hostage on the day before the heist. G1 reported that this is the fourth cargo heist in four years to occur at an airport in Sao Paulo.

Former President Lula cleared of two charges linked to Odebrecht case

A federal judge has cleared former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of two charges linked to a case involving the company Odebrecht. In a court ruling issued on Wednesday, Judge Vallisney de Souza cleared the former president of the crimes of racketeering and money laundering. The case concerns the alleged payment of more than 20m reais ($5.3m) in contracts for Odebrecht operations in Angola. Marcelo Odebrecht, the company's former CEO, was also cleared of the racketeering charges. In the same case, Lula still faces three charges related to money laundering, influence peddling and corruption.

Several detained for allegedly hacking justice minister's mobile

At least four suspects have been arrested for links to the alleged hacking of the mobile of Justice Minister Sergio Moro. G1 reported that, as part of the operation, the Federal Police (PF) raided several residences in central Sao Paulo. Investigations were launched after the content of an online chat between Moro and prosecutors was leaked last month. The chat dates back to when Moro was a federal judge and in charge of the 'Car Wash' investigations, which led to the conviction and arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. In early-June, online-based news outlet The Intercept released a series of articles after a massive leak of judicial documents, photos, video footage and audio recordings linked to the 'Car Wash' investigations were provided by an anonymous source. Moro claimed that his device was hacked and that the alleged hacker gained access to his data for several hours.

Several killed in weather-related events in Pernambuco

At least five people have been killed after intense rainfall battered Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. G1 reported that landslides and widespread flooding were reported across the state when adverse weather conditions hit the region overnight on Tuesday. Incidents were reported in Olinda and Recife. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to most areas along the coast of Pernambuco and neighbouring Paraiba state. The alert is expected to stay active until at least Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, in southern Brazil, weather alerts were also issued due to the possibility of heavy downpour across all cities in Rio Grande do Sul. For further information, travellers have been advised to follow weather updates from INMET.

Measles outbreak reported in Paraty, Rio

Health authorities in Rio confirmed a measles outbreak after several cases were confirmed in the resort town of Paraty. EBC reported that at least a dozen cases of measles have been confirmed in the city so far this year. Reports from the health ministry said that the outbreak is currently being addressed and that the last case was confirmed in mid-May. Reports also confirmed another case in Rio involving a woman that returned from a cruise in Santos. Paraty borders Sao Paulo, where most cases of measles have been confirmed in 2019 - more than 480 cases have been reported in the state. Measles is a highly contagious disease and preventable by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. Symptoms may include high fever, coughing and red eyes.

Weapons and drugs seized during joint operation in eastern Rio

Dozens of high-calibre weapons and at least five tonnes of drugs were seized during a joint police operation in eastern Rio. Police officers raided parts of the Complexo da Mare community, where at least 23 assault rifles and 75 grenades were recovered. Most of the drugs seized were cannabis. Reports suggest that five people were arrested, including a senior member of a local criminal group based in the Parque da Uniao neighbourhood. Since taking office in January, Governor Wilson Witzel has stepped up efforts to address cargo theft and drug-trafficking in Rio. On multiple occasions, he has been accused of giving a 'carte blanche' to the police to violently raid communities across Rio. Last year, Rio was under a military intervention order.

President Bolsonaro considering his son for ambassador post in the US

President Jair Bolsonaro is considering nominating his son, Federal Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, as the new Brazilian ambassador to the US. President Bolsonaro told journalists that there is a possibility to move forward with his nomination to fill the vacant ambassador's seat in Washington DC. He claimed that Eduardo is a friend of US President Donald Trump's son and daughter. Eduardo would replace Ernesto Araujo, who was transferred back from DC last March. The Washington DC post is usually handed to veteran Brazilian diplomats due to the country's strategic cooperation with Brazil. However, since taking office, President Bolsonaro has pushed for close diplomatic relations with the US, while Eduardo has had an active role in his father's foreign policy approach. Critics say that Eduardo is not qualified and accused the president of nepotism. Eduardo has just turned 35, the minimum age to be eligible for the post.

State of emergency declared over dam collapse in Bahia

A state of emergency has been declared in the north-eastern town of Pedro Alexandre, Bahia, after a dam collapsed on Thursday afternoon. Residents in the neighbouring town of Coronel Joao Sa have been ordered to evacuate their homes due to potential flooding. Initial reports suggest that the collapse happened due to heavy rainfall that has been affecting the region for several days. High-risk areas include villages located in the lower grounds along the Peixe River. Parts of the BR-253 federal highway are currently blocked due to flooding. No casualties have been so far reported. Pedro Alexandre is located near the state border between Bahia and Sergipe, more than 400 km north of Salvador.

Pension reforms bill passes first lower house vote

Brazil's lower house of Congress has approved the first vote on the controversial pension reforms bill. In a lengthy procedure filled with obstruction from opposition parties, the bill has passed with 379 votes in favour and 131 against - the bill needed at least 308 votes to pass. As the pension reforms are considered a constitutional amendment proposal (PEC), it demands a second round to be held. If the bill passes the upcoming lower-house vote, which is scheduled to take place over the next few days, it will head to Senate for another two rounds of votes. Pension reforms in Brazil are being championed by President Jair Bolsonaro to address the country's struggling economy. Among the main changes is the establishment of a retirement minimum age.

Pension reforms bill to face first round of votes in the lower house

Lawmakers in the lower house of Congress are set to vote on the controversial pension reforms bill today. EBC reported that 505 deputies attended the session which started during the morning. In order to be approved, the so-called PEC 6/19 has to be approved by three-fifths of the highly fragmented lower house, which is equivalent to 308 votes - the Brazilian lower-house has a total of 513 seats. The bill has to be approved in two rounds before heading for approval in the Senate. The pension reforms in Brazil are considered crucial to President Jair Bolsonaro and his economic policies. It aims to save nearly one trillion reais ($263bn) over the next 10 years. The vote was initially scheduled for yesterday, but it was postponed due to a lengthy debate. The bill is highly controversial and major opposition parties are resisting it. Protests were reported in major cities nationwide following previous votes on the bill.

Mining-giant Vale gets first conviction over Brumandinho disaster

A state court in Minas Gerais has ordered mining-giant Vale to pay for reparations and damage to those affected in the Brumadinho dam disaster. Judge Elton Nogueira argued that besides financial losses and nearly 300 deaths, the dam collapse also affected the environment and the local economy. It is still unknown the value of the fine. This is the first conviction against Vale since the Corrego do Feijao dam collapsed in January. Judges have already frozen up to 11 billion reais ($2,9b) in from Vale accounts.

Italian mobster detained during police operation in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo

An Italian mobster has been detained during a police operation in Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Nicola Assisi was arrested alongside his 36-year-old son at a seaside high-end apartment in Praia Grande. Assisi is accused of drug-trafficking and is included in the most wanted list in Italy. He is linked to the infamous Calabrian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, which is widely engaged in cocaine trafficking in Europe. He is expected to be extradited to Italy. Assisi is from the same group of Rocco Morabito, who recently escaped from prison in Uruguay. This is the third case in recent weeks to involve Italian mobsters based in Latin America. Last week, a man linked to the Sicilian mob was detained in Bolivia.

Justice minister granted leave of absence amid Car Wash leaks scandal

Justice Minister Sergio Moro has been granted a leave of absence days after facing a senate hearing. In a presidential decree, it was announced that Moro is taking a four-day leave in mid-July to deal with "personal issues". Moro was summoned to testify before the senate Constitutional Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) committee after news outlet The Intercept Brasil leaked a series of online chats between Moro and prosecutors. During the hearing, he denied any wrongdoing and said that the conversations were illegally obtained. Journalist Glenn Greenwald, the head of The Intercept, was also questioned by the CCJ. Before becoming minister, Moro was a federal judge. He was responsible for the conviction of former President Lula da Silva amid the Car Wash investigations. Critics are accusing Moro of colluding with prosecutors to push for the conviction of high-level politicians implicated in corruption scandals.

Several bodies recovered in clandestine grave in Itaborai, Rio

At least a dozen bodies have been recovered from a clandestine grave in Itaborai, Rio's metropolitan area. Local media reported that a joint operation led to the discovery of 14 bodies and other human remains in an isolated terrain in the Visconde neighbourhood. According to the public ministry, the bodies were mostly drug users and criminals. The findings come just days after a major police operation led to the detention of 43 militiamen. The group is accused of murdering more than 100 people and for operating in the region since mid-2018. They were mostly engaged in extortion and drug-trafficking around the city. Clandestine graves are sporadically found in Rio and Sao Paulo in areas widely controlled by militias and powerful drug-trafficking groups.

Former Rio governor says to have paid bribes to host 2016 Olympics

Former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral said in court that he paid up to $2m in bribes to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In a court hearing on Thursday, Cabral told Judge Marcelo Bretas that the amount was paid to the former head of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF), Lamine Diack. The scheme also involved the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Arthur Nuzman, who was charged in late-2017 for the same motives. He said that Lula da Silva, the president at the time, was not aware. Diack was also implicated in past investigations, while he is also being probed by French authorities over alleged money laundering and corruption. Cabral is currently jailed after being sentenced for numerous crimes, which sentence may reach more than 200 years.

Scores detained in major anti-militia operation in Itaborai, Rio

At least 40 people have been detained in a major anti-militia operation in Itaborai, Rio. Operation Salvator targeted an infamous militia group based in the metropolitan area of Rio. According to the police, the group was responsible for targeting rival gangs based in the region. The group is also believed to have extorted a contractor in charge of building a refinery for the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Petrobras has denied any reports that the local company Comperj was the target of extortion. Authorities said that the militia group may be linked to a jailed criminal known as Orlando de Curicica, who is being investigated for the death of Rio congresswoman Marielle Franco back in March 2018. Militia groups widely operate in the metropolitan area of Rio. They are often comprised of retired and former police officers usually engaged in extortion and drug-trafficking.

Agriculture minister confirms return of contaminated chicken from the UK

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina has confirmed that nearly one-and-half-thousand tonnes of contaminated chicken have been rejected by the UK. In a media report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, it shows that the shipments were made between April 2017 and November 2018. Reports suggest that the chicken was infected with salmonella, which can be harmful and potentially life-threatening when consumed by humans. Cristina claimed that the quantity sent back is minimal compared with the total amount of chicken exported from Brazil - the country is one of the world's largest exporters of frozen chicken. The contaminated chicken was sent back to Brazil and reportedly sold in the Brazilian market after further inspection. A report published in 2018 by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture shows that Brazil reported an 18 percent contamination rate in poultry - the Brazilian legal limit is 20 percent.

Thousands march in support of President Bolsonaro

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across Brazil in support of President Jair Bolsonaro and Justice Minister Sergio Moro. Major cities and state capitals witnessed demonstrations of support for the ruling administration after Moro was accused of mishandling the Car Wash investigations when he was a federal judge. He is responsible for the corruption conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Since a leaked online chat was made public, Lula da Silva's lawyers have called for the immediate release of the former president. The leaks have significantly impacted the Car Wash investigations, which already implicated the state-owned oil company Petrobras and several engineering companies.

Several killed in drive-by shooting in Belford Roxo, Rio

At least four people have been killed and more than a dozen injured after criminals opened fire at a bar in Belford Roxo, Rio. Local media reported that a group of people were inside the bar when armed men inside a vehicle approached and opened fire on Saturday evening. Authorities are investigating if the incident is gang-related. Similar to other towns located across Rio's metropolitan area, clashes involving criminal groups and militias frequently occur.

Most wanted criminal killed during police operation in Rio

One of the most wanted criminals in Rio has been killed during a police operation. Fernando de Freitas, alias 'Fernandinho Guarabu', was the leader of a powerful criminal syndicate based in the Morro do Dende community in the Ilha do Governador, northern Rio. He was wanted for more than 15 years. Authorities say that he controlled drug-trafficking in the region as well as a massive network of spotters. He is claimed to have paid millions in bribes to police officers. Operations in the area are still ongoing and civil unrest has also been reported in the community. Besides Guarabu, five other suspects were killed. Previously the killing of drug lords in Rio has led to intense territorial disputes involving rival criminal factions. Last year, the military was deployed in southern Rio after violence erupted in the Rocinha community. Ilha do Governador is the location of the Galeao International Airport (GIG).

Police recover safe deposit box filled with Venezuelan currency in Rio

Police have recovered a safe deposit box filled with discontinued Venezuelan currency in northern Rio. At least two people have been detained during a joint police operation. Local media reported that thousands of discontinued Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte bills were recovered from a safe deposit box with inscriptions of the Central Bank of Iraq. The seizure happened in the port area of Caju. Preliminary reports indicate that the cash was expected to be shipped to the US. Authorities believe that the bills would be used to make counterfeit US dollar. Venezuelan currency has previously been found in large quantities across Latin America. In 2017, just before the monetary reforms in Venezuela, police seized 25 tonnes of bolivares in Paraguay.

Several injured in violent bank heist in Uberaba, Minas Gerais

At least four people have been injured in a violent bank heist in Uberaba, Minas Gerais. G1 reported that heavily armed criminals attacked a Banco do Brasil branch early on Thursday morning. According to the police, at least 25 criminals took part in the attack. Among the casualties in a woman who was shot in the head. The incident came just after three blasts were reported on Wednesday evening near banks in Uberlandia. Heavily armed criminal groups often target small cities in Brazil due to poor police presence. Incidents usually occur at night and involve explosives and high-calibre weapons.

Brazilian Air Force official detained over cocaine bust in Spain

A Brazilian Air Force official has been arrested after being caught with 39kgs of cocaine in a stopover at Seville Airport, Spain. Reports suggest that the unnamed member of the Brazilian armed forces was part of the entourage of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who is travelling to Japan to attend the G20 Summit. President Bolsonaro was not on the plane. A police spokeswoman told AFP that the drugs were found in 37 packages inside his bag. In a statement released on social media, President Bolsonaro has said that he is aware of the incident and said that the ministry of defence is currently cooperating with Spanish authorities.

Supreme Court reject appeal to release Lula da Silva from prison

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) have rejected a recent appeal to release former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison. In a vote held on Tuesday, justices narrowly rejected a motion proposed by Supreme Court Minister Gilmar Mendes. The request included releasing the former president until the court hearing of Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who was recently implicated in a massive private communication leak. Moro was a federal judge at the time and is responsible for the imprisonment of Lula. He is accused of colluding with prosecutors to prevent Lula from running for office in 2018. The appeal was postponed, while the date of Moro's hearing is still to be decided. Lula's lawyers have questioned the impartiality of Moro as part of the Car Wash investigations.

Supreme Court minister suspends decree on indigenous lands demarcation

Supreme Federal Court (STF) Minister Roberto Barroso has suspended a presidential decree linked to the demarcation of indigenous land. Three opposition parties submitted an appeal against a previous decree that sought to transfer the demarcation of indigenous land from the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI) to the agriculture ministry. Barroso claimed that the suspension comes after the same decree was previously rejected in Congress. Just after taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro pushed to merge both environment and agriculture ministries. President Bolsonaro also moved FUNAI - previously linked to the justice ministry - to the ministry of women, family and human rights. The move has generated an internal dispute between both ministries.

Second journalist killed in less than a month in Marica, Rio

A 31-year-old journalist has been found dead in the town of Marica, located in the metropolitan area of Rio. Romario Barros worked for a web-based news outlet and often reported on local crime issues. Reports show that Barros was shot three times on Tuesday. Barros is the second journalist killed in Marica in less than a month. In late-May, another journalist working for a local daily newspaper was murdered. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the incidents: "The killing of two journalists in less than a month in Marica is outrageous, and is certain to have a chilling effect on other local reporters if authorities do not take appropriate action". It is still unclear if the incidents were motivated by their work as journalists. Like other areas in Rio's metropolitan area, militia groups also operate in Marica. A CPJ report shows that journalists in the countryside are more affected by violence than those based in major urban areas.

Several missing in boat capsize near remote village in Amazonas

At least six people have been reported missing after a boat capsized in Amazonas, northern Brazil. G1 reported that 97 passengers were on board a ferry that was heading to the town of Carauari, located nearly 800km west of the state capital, Amazonas. The military was deployed to assist in the investigations of the accident, which occurred on the Jurua River. Carauari is a remote riverside village located in the deep Amazon rain forest. Access to the region is mostly through ferry boats that navigate the Jurua River. Accidents involving ferryboats and other smaller vessels are frequent. Although the weather is a key factor, poor maintenance and recklessness are often behind the causes.

Senate reject presidential decree to relax gun control in Brazil

Senate has voted against a presidential decree that would relax gun control in Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro signed the decree in May. Its initial format allows journalists, lorry drivers, politicians, traffic wardens and ranchers to carry firearms. The move generated heavy criticism from rights organisations across the country as the recently-elected government aims to make significant modifications to gun control law introduced in 2003 during the Lula administration. President Bolsonaro's Social Liberal Party (PSL) currently hasn't secured enough support in both houses of Congress. His decree is now set to be voted in the lower house. Loosening the possession and selling of firearms to civilians was one of the main items in Bolsonaro's presidential campaign.

Congressman claims to have received death threats over 'Car Wash' leaks

Brazilian congressman David Miranda has claimed that he and his family were threatened over a massive leak related to the 'Car Wash' investigations. Miranda is the husband of US journalist Gleen Greenwald, whose news outlet, The Intercept, leaked a series of private conversations compromising the impartiality of the investigations. Miranda said that he has already submitted the emails to the police. Miranda replaced congressman Jean Willys, who resigned from his post due to safety concerns - Willys is an open advocate of the LGBT cause in Brazil. The Car Wash leaks directly implicated Justice Minister Sergio Moro and high-level federal prosecutors, who were responsible for jailing left-wing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Construction giant Odebrecht files for biggest debt protection deal in Brazilian history

Brazil's giant construction conglomerate Odebrecht has filed for bankruptcy protection in one of the biggest debt protection deals in the country's history. The embattled company aims to renegotiate a massive 20-billion-dollar debt with creditors, which include three public Brazilian banks. The move came as Odebrecht sold or released interest in several companies linked to the energy sector, including Braskem and Atvos. Odebrecht has previously admitted to having paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to acquire public contracts across Brazil and abroad. Several governments and powerful business people have been implicated after a plea bargain deal with the company's former chairman, Marcelo Odebrecht, uncover an extensive bribery network.

Visa exemption for nationals of the US, Australia, Japan and Canada

Tourist visa exemption to citizens of the US, Australia, Canada and Japan are in effect from Monday, 17 June. President Jair Bolsonaro signed back in March a presidential decree that would scrap visas for nationals of those four countries, who previously needed to apply for e-visas before heading to Brazil. From 17 June, tourists of those countries will be allowed to stay up to 90 days in Brazil without a visa. The move comes as President Bolsonaro seeks to strengthen diplomatic relations with the US, Australia, Canada and Japan, while also boosting tourism. His decision was criticised for not being reciprocal.

Police recover severed bodies inside vehicle in northern Rio

Police have recovered four severed bodies inside a vehicle in northern Rio. Local media reported that the victims were found during a police patrol in the Penha neighbourhood. A 32-year-old suspect was detained when he attempted to escape from the scene. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are. Reports suggest that two of the victims were reported missing over the weekend after returning from a party. Such incidents are rarely reported in Brazil. However, similar cases were previously reported involving disputes between powerful criminal groups based in Rio and Sao Paulo.

Thousands march nationwide to protest pension reforms

Public transport and road travel has been impacted on Friday amid widespread protests across Brazil. Demonstrators erected barricades across major cities and most of the state capitals to protest government plans to implement pension system reforms. State and federal highways were also blocked. A congressional commission presented the first reading of the pension reforms, where a number of amendments were recommended to an initial proposal submitted by President Jair Bolsonaro back in February. President Bolsonaro is inheriting the challenges of his predecessor, Michel Temer, who failed to pass the reforms, which are essential if the country is to avoid becoming engulfed in a deeper economic crisis.

Security measures beefed up ahead of Copa America football tournament

Security measures in major transport hubs and sports venues are set to be reinforced during the Copa America football tournament. Millions of visitors are expected to attend the event, which will host one of the most important sports tournament in Latin America. Matches will take place in stadia in Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. A high-influx of passengers are expected in major airports and bus stations, especially in host cities. New regulations have been also introduced on access to venues, while some items are restricted, including food, liquids and drones. The event will kick off on Saturday and is scheduled to end on 07 July. Further information can be found in the event's code of conduct guidelines and the spectator guide.

Head of indigenous agency sacked amid reservation lands dispute

The head of the Indigenous National Foundation (FUNAI) has been sacked amid alleged pressure from the ministry of agriculture. Franklinberg de Freitas was removed from his post amid a dispute over opening reservation lands to commercial practices. Freitas said that the ministry's land affairs secretary, Luiz Garcia, is behind his dismissal. FUNAI is currently overseen by the ministry of women, family and human rights. Just after taking office in January, President Jair Bolsonaro signed a bill that would transfer indigenous affairs to the ministry of agriculture. In recent years, there have been disputes involving the agricultural sector and its potential expansion to untouched areas of the Brazilian rainforest.

Supreme Court to review Lula da Silva's appeal after leaked documents

Brazil's Supreme Court is set to review an appeal of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after a massive leak implicated a top federal judge and several prosecutors. Lula is among the main politicians convicted in the Car Wash investigations, which already led to the imprisonment of high-level politicians and business leaders across Latin America. He is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence and still has to face six other trials. Leaked private conversations between prosecutors and Judge Sergio Moro - now the country's justice minister - have put in cause the legitimacy and integrity of the case. The leaked documents, which government officials claimed to have been hacked, are expected to generate shockwaves across the Brazilian political spectrum.

Authorities make massive cocaine bust in Santos, Sao Paulo

Brazilian authorities announced that nearly 500kg of cocaine have been seized in the Port of Santos, Sao Paulo. According to customs officers, the shipment was heading to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. G1 reported that the drugs were disguised among a shipment of microsilica, which is used in the production of concrete. Reports suggest that since the start of the year, more than 11 tonnes of drugs were seized in Santos. 

Several killed in vehicle pile-up in Sao Paulo

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 50 others injured in a massive vehicle pile-up in Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. According to the police, the accident happened on Sunday evening along a mountainous stretch along the SP-123 state highway near Campos do Jordao. Several vehicles and a bus were involved in the crash. Road accidents are common in Brazil and often lead to a high number of casualties. Overnight bus services are common, especially when covering long distances. Accidents involving buses and other public transports are usually caused due to reckless driving, poor road conditions or fatigue.

Chatting between Car Wash prosecutors and judges leaked

Chatting between prosecutors and judges of the infamous Car Wash investigations have been leaked. Online-based news outlet The Intercept has released a series of articles after a massive leak of judicial documents, photos, video footage and audio recordings were provided from an anonymous source. Car Wash investigators claim that this information was illegally hacked from their mobile phones. Among those implicated include Deltan Dallagnol, a prosecutor in charge of a Car Wash task force, and former federal judge Sergio Moro - now the current justice minister. In a statement, Justice Minister Moro condemned the alleged hacking and slammed the news source for failing to contact him before publicly releasing the documents. The Car Wash investigations led to the imprisonment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and multiple high-level politicians and business people worldwide.

Former President Lula charged in fresh Odebrecht case

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been indicted in another corruption case linked to the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. A federal judge in Brazil has accepted charges that Lula da Silva and two of his former ministers, Paulo Bernardo and Antonio Palocci, received millionaire bribes in exchange of political favours. Odebrecht's former head, Marcelo Odebrecht, is also being charged. The bribes were allegedly paid to government officials to unlock grants of the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) in Angola to benefit the Odebrecht. Lula da Silva is being targeted in seven other cases of corruption. He is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence in southern Brazil.

Homemade bomb explodes inside town hall in Taubate, Sao Paulo

At least two people have been injured after a suspect homemade explosive device went off at a town hall in Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Emergency services were deployed to the main government building the town of Taubate after a powerful explosion was reported on Wednesday morning. It is still unclear who is behind the incident and its motivations.

Woman killed during robbery attempt in northern Rio

A woman has been killed during a robbery attempt on a bus in northern Rio. G1 reported that the victim was shot in the chest during a crossfire between police officers and criminals. The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning along the Intendente Magalhaes highway in Campinho neighbourhood.

Beef exports to China suspended due to BSE case in Mato Grosso

The Brazilian agriculture ministry has ordered the temporary suspension of beef exports to China after a case of mad cow disease was reported in central Brazil. According to official sources, the case was reported in the state of Mato Grosso. The government said that the infected animal has been already slaughtered, while some other animal-based products were preventatively confiscated. It confirmed that this is an isolated case and that exports have been temporarily suspended according to safety procedures laid out in a bilateral agreement with China. In a statement, the ministry of agriculture said that the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has not revoked the country's sanitary certificates and has already closed the case. China is Brazil's main commercial partner in meat exports. In 2018, beef exports reached nearly $1.5bn.

Intense rainfall triggers power cuts across Curitiba, Parana

A heavy downpour has caused power outages and damages across Curitiba, Parana. Energy provider Copel has said that more than 40,000 houses were affected when intense rainfall battered the city in the early hours of Thursday morning. Dozens of neighbourhoods also faced water shortages. Alongside Curitiba, several towns in the city's metropolitan area were also affected. Weather alerts have been issued to most areas in southern Brazil, including northern regions in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and southern Parana. Rainfall may also affect parts of central and south-eastern Brazil. For further information, visitors should monitor updates from the National Met Institute (INMET).

Man who stabbed Bolsonaro is declared mentally ill

A federal judge has decided that the man who stabbed President Jair Bolsonaro during his campaign last September is suffering from mental health issues and cannot stand trial for his actions. Adelio Bispo de Oliveira is a left-wing supporter who was vocally critical of his victim, but said that he heard voices and was "acting on God's orders". President Bolsonaro suffered a life-threatening wound to his abdomen in the attack resulting in surgery with treatment only completed in January this year.

Students and teachers to demonstrate nationwide on 30 May

Students, teachers and professors are expected to strike on 30 May across the nation to protest about large cuts to the education budget. President Jair Bolsonaro has announced 30 percent cuts in what critics say is a politically motivated move. Previous rallies earlier this month caused travel disruptions and individuals are advised to avoid affected areas where possible, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Four killed in Rio shooting incident

On 27 May, four people were killed and another injured in a confrontation between drug traffickers and military police in the Turano area of Rio.  Police arrested one suspect, and also seized firearms, weapons and narcotics.

Forty-nine dead in Minas Gerais Dengue fever outbreak

Governer Romeu Zema declared a public health emergency after officials in Minas Gerais state reported 289,500 cases of Dengue fever, including 49 deaths, with a further 97 fatalities under investigation. The authorities are implementing public health measures such as fumigation campaigns in an attempt to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea and a rash. Individuals in the area are advised to take preventive measures to avoid bites, such as wearing clothing to cover the skin, using insect repellent and sleeping in enclosed or screened areas, as well as eliminating any areas of standing water that may act as a breeding ground.

Scores of prisoners killed in further Manaus prison fights

At least 47 inmates were killed by strangulation in fights at three prisons across Manaus, Amazonas. The incidents took place at Provisional Detention Center for Men 1 (CDPM1), Antonio Trindade Criminal Institute (Ipat) and Prison Unit of Puraquequara (UPP) in Manaus. The incidents come one day after 15 inmates were killed at the Anisio Jobim Prison Complex (Compaj). The local state government said that they were strengthening security at all state prisons. Justice and Security Minister Sergio Moro has recently approved a 90-day federal intervention in prisons across Amazonas.

Fifteen killed in Manaus prison brawl

On 26 May, a brawl between prisoners broke out at the Anisio Jobim Prison Complex in Manaus, Amazonas, leaving at least 15 dead.  According to preliminary reports, the fight started between different factions within the facility, and those killed were either strangled or stabbed with improvised weapons. Amazonas has previously reported violent prison riots, where dozens of inmates were killed. Most incidents are linked to clashes involving rival criminal factions engaged in drug-trafficking and organised crime.

Over 500 killed by Rio police this year

The authorities have reported that 558 people have been killed by police officers in Rio in the first four months of the year. The total is the highest since records began more than two decades ago.

Supreme Court vote for homophobia and transphobia to be criminalised

A majority in the Supreme Court has voted to make homophobia and transphobia a crime equivalent to racism. At least 141 LGBT people have been killed this year in Brazil, although same-sex marriage was legalised in 2013 and LGBT couples have also been given the right to adopt. The Catholic Church and far-right President Jair Bolsonaro are critical of gay rights, but the law was passed by six of the 11 judges. Any offences are to be punished under the country's racism law until specific legislation can be passed through Congress.

Four killed in Minas Gerais shooting incident

At least four people were shot dead and the perpetrator injured by stabbing at an evangelical church in Paracatu, Minas Gerais. The suspect has been identified as a 39-year-old man. According to preliminary reports, the incident was caused by domestic issues between the suspect and one of the victims.

Scores killed in shooting at a bar in Belem, Para

Nearly a dozen people have been killed after gunmen sprayed a bar with bullets in Belem, Para. Globo reported that the incident happened on Sunday afternoon in the Guama neighbourhood. According to the police, at least seven assailants approached the bar and opened fire indiscriminately. Guama is one of the neighbourhoods in Para that received security reinforcement from the National Force. In March, over 200 soldiers were deployed across Belem to tackle hampering levels of violence, mostly attributed to retaliatory attacks involving rival criminal factions.

Mining company Vale warns over imminent collapse risk at another mine in Minas Gerais

Brazil's mining giant Vale has told the Public Ministry in Minas Gerais (MP-MG) that a dam at the Gongo Soco Mine in Barao dos Cocais is at a high risk of imminent collapse. In documents published on Thursday, Vale told prosecutors that a northern section of a waste dam may collapse as early as Sunday. A large area around the mine was evacuated in late-March after the level of risk was increased to the highest grade. MP-MG has ordered Vale to make the necessary arrangements to inform the population about the potential risks surrounding a potential collapse of the dam. Vale has been in the spotlight since the Brumadinho disaster. In late-January, more than 200 people were killed when the Corrego do Feijao mine collapsed.

Court orders review of bank and fiscal records of President Bolsonaro's son

A court in Rio has ordered the revision of bank accounts of President Jair Bolsonaro's son, Flavio Bolsonario. Senator Flavio's bank and fiscal records are currently being reviewed after prosecutors accused him of making lucrative real estate dealings while serving as deputy in Rio between 2010 and 2017. He is accused of money laundering and corruption. Dozens of politicians linked to Flavio are also under investigation, including some former aides that already served during his father's administration. The probe was launched back in February, but his bank records were just released. Flavio is accused of funnelling illicit payments through his staff bank accounts. Flavio denied any wrongdoing and said that the allegations are politically motivated.

Major coastal avenue in southern Rio shut due to landslides

A landslide has blocked a major coastal avenue in southern Rio. A large stretch of the Niemeyer Avenue has been blocked after intense rainfall triggered landslides that blocked parts of the road and an adjacent cycle path. The Niemeyer Avenue is the main route from Leblon to the eastern neighbourhoods of Sao Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. Alternative routes include the expressway Lagoa-Barra, which reports indicate to be extremely congested. A house has been swept away by the mud flows, but no immediate casualties were reported. The same area was affected by landslides last month. Weather alerts have been issued to parts of southern and western Rio as intense rainfall is forecast to persist. Travellers are advised to follow recommendations from the National Met Institute (INMET).

Thousands protest budget cuts to federal universities

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the country to protest against budget cuts to federal universities in Brazil. Mass protests have been reported in major cities and state capitals, including Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio. Although protests were mostly peaceful, tensions broke out in central Rio when protesters reportedly set a bus ablaze. President Jair Bolsonaro has recently announced cuts to funds for some university courses and research grants. A large portion of the cuts mainly impacts expenses related to services and maintenance of university buildings. It roughly represents a nearly 3.5 percent cut to the overall budget. The Bolsonaro administration is currently under pressure to make significant budget cuts in order to pass long-needed pension reforms. 

Student-led demonstrations called over budget cuts to federal universities

A nationwide demonstration is set to take place on Wednesday to protest budget cuts to federal universities. Brazil's National Students Union (UNE) and several associations are backing the protests, which are expected to occur in major cities across Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro has recently announced cuts to some courses in federal universities and research grants amid austerity measures. Protests against pension reforms may also occur simultaneously. Points of assembling may include the Republic's Museum in Brasilia, the Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo and Candelaria neighbourhood in Rio. Protests are scheduled to kick off during the morning.

President Bolsonaro considering to nominate Sergio Moro to Supreme Court

President Jair Bolsonaro said that he is considering nominating Sergio Moro to the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Moro, a prominent anti-corruption judge responsible for convicting former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is currently the country's justice minister. His nomination for Bolsonaro's cabinet generated strong concerns over his impartiality after Lula da Silva was barred from running for office - Lula was the main opposition to President Bolsonaro in the last elections. President Bolsonaro said that his nomination to the STJ would come after a place becomes vacant, which are expected to be in late-November 2020, when Justice Marco Aurelio Mello retires. As a minister, Moro has championed a number of anti-corruption packages that are currently stalled in Congress.

Venezuelan government to reopen border with Brazil

Venezuela's Economy VP Tareck El Aissami has announced the reopening of the Brazilian border. Since February, the border with Brazil has been shut due to escalating diplomatic tensions between both countries. Relations between both countries were severed after the Brazilian government allowed US-backed aid to be delivered cross border into Venezuela. In a TV speech, El Aissami said: “We want to convert it into a peaceful border region. We have received assurances that our sovereignty will be respected and that there will not be interference in matters that should be dealt with by Venezuelans.” The main border crossing between Venezuela and Brazil is through the remote town of the Santa Elena de Uairen in Bolivar and the Brazilian town of Pacaraima in Roraima. Northern Brazil has received thousands of migrants since the political and economic crisis broke out several months ago.

Former President Temer rearrested amid Car Wash probe

Former President Michel Temer has been sent to prison amid the Car Wash investigations. Temer turned himself in after a new arrest warrant was issued against him. Prosecutors accuse Temer of facilitating the commissioning of engineering contracts in Rio. He alleged received up to $300k in bribes to grant contracts to the engineering company Engevix. He was initially detained back in March but was released days later. Temer's close associate, Col Joao Lima Filho, also turned himself in. Temer is currently detained at the Federal Police HQ in western Sao Paulo. In total, Temer is being targeted in nine different investigations linked to corruption. Temer was the VP of former President Dilma Rousseff. He took office after she was impeached in 2016.

Avianca Brasil confirms cancellation of 203 domestic flights

On 9 May, Avianca Brasil confirmed the ongoing cancellation of 203 domestic flights due to economic issues.  The flight routes have been non-operational since 7 May, and the airline said that passengers should expect the situation to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.  The airline filed for bankruptcy in December last year and has downscaled its' operations ever since.  It had hoped to auction off some of its' airport takeoff and landing rights, but an appeals court found in favour of Swissport AG which runs Brazilian airports, and suspended the sale, adding to the pressure on the country's fourth biggest airline.  

Bolsonaro announces armed forces budget to be blocked

President Jair Bolsonaro has announced that US$1.4 billion of the discretionary budget for the armed forces is to be blocked.  The amount represents 44 percent of the non-compulsory amount allocated to the Navy, Army and Air Force.  The Ministry of Defence said that the temporary move would not impact on daily activities or ongoing operations, and was necessary to "work on the recovery of the economy and the rebalancing of the budget".  Last week, the Ministry of Education also announced a cut to their discretionary budget.  

Students and teachers to strike nationwide on 15 May

A nationwide strike by students and teachers is expected on Wednesday 15 May to protest about 30 percent cuts to the education budget imposed by the Jair Bolsonaro government.  A heightened security presence is likely in affected areas together with transport disruptions.  Clashes between protestors and the authorities are possible.  

President Bolsonaro signs decree that allows imports of weapons

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a new bill to further relax the country's gun legislation. In a decree signed on Tuesday, the law will mainly impact hunters, collectors and farmers. Among the changes, they will include the increase to the allowance on the purchase of cartridges, which currently sits at 50 per year. The new allowance will allow civilians to purchase up to 5,000 cartridges per year - 1,000 cartridges for assault rifles and higher-calibre weapons. Further, the decree also opens Brazil to the import of foreign weapons. Since his presidential campaign, President Bolsonaro has been pushing for the relaxation of gun control in Brazil. Last January, he signed another bill that would extend licensing periods from five to 10 years.

Several killed in multiple police operations across northern Rio

At least a dozen people have been killed during a number of police operations carried out over the weekend in northern Rio. G1 reported that eight people were killed in the Mare community, while four others in the Morro do Borel. In southern Rio, a 27-year-old man was killed by a stray bullet in the Rocinha community. According to the police, the incident happened during an operation in the area. Although the military intervention in Rio has expired, police operations are still common across the city. According to the Public Security Institute (ISP), the first months of 2019 are the deadliest to be reported in the last 20 years. Recently-elected Rio Governor Wilson Witsel has been one of the main backers of enhanced police operations to tackle drug-trafficking and organised crime in Rio.

Hundreds protest budget cuts to federal universities in Brazil

Hundreds of students took to the streets in Rio to protest recent budget cuts to federal universities. Demonstrators gathered outside a military school in Rio, where President Jair Bolsonaro was attending a ceremony. Last week, the education ministry announced a massive 30-percent cut to the budget of federal universities. Social science academics across the world condemned the move and signed a manifesto against the recent cuts. President Bolsonaro has long planned to cut budgets for courses in the social sciences, claiming that the country needs more students focused on courses linked to engineering and medical fields.

Some airports to introduce stricter carry-on luggage policies

Four airports in Brazil have introduced changes to their carry-on luggage policies. Passengers flying from the airports of Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Recife and Belem will be requested to meet the airlines' pre-required carry-on luggage dimensions. The measure has already been implemented in major airports across state capitals in Brazil. Stricter policies on carry-on luggage have been introduced in the country after airlines started charging for hold luggage from mid-2017. If a passenger does not meet the airlines' carry-on luggage specifications, bags may be sent to the aircraft's hold. Some airlines may charge additional fees for the service. Travellers are advised to contact their respective airlines for further information.

Former President Temer indicted in fresh corruption probe

Former President Michel Temer has been indicted for receiving bribes over a decree to amend port concessions policies. A judge in the Federal District has charged the former president with corruption and money laundering. Besides Temer, one of his closest aides, Joao Baptista Lima Filho, is also being implicated. Temer is accused of signing a decree back in 2017 to benefit the port company Rodrimar. This is the fifth judicial case in which the former president is involved. Among them are included two corruption and money laundering cases part of the Car Wash investigations. Temer became president after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

Several injured as criminals target fuel pipeline in Duque de Caxias, Rio

At least five people have been injured after criminals attempted to steal fuel from an oil pipeline in Duque de Caxias, Rio's metropolitan area. G1 reported that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning. Among the wounded is a nine-year-old boy who was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Emergency services and civil defence officials headed to the scene to check for potential hazards after a minor leak was reported. The area around the Parque Capivari neighbourhood, located relatively far from urban areas, has been cordoned off. The pipeline is operated by a subsidiary of the state-owned Petrobras. In recent months, some criminal groups engaged in fuel theft have emerged in Rio and Sao Paulo. Last December, a massive oil spill hit Rio's Guanabara Bay when criminals attempted to breach a major pipeline.

Face recognition technology to be used to boost security at Copa America

Brazilian authorities will use face recognition technology during the upcoming Copa America, scheduled to kick-off in late-June. Organisers said that the new measure will be used to reinforce security measures in major stadiums across Brazil. They include venues in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Rio. This is the first major international sports event in Brazil to use the feature. Copa America is a regional football tournament equivalent to the Euro. Facil recognition in Brazil is still a controversial subject. Earlier this year, Rio Governor Wilson Witzel said that he would expand the use of facial recognition technology in stadiums and airports after it was successfully tested during the Carnival.

Court rules sentence reduction to former President Lula da Silva

The Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) has ruled the reduction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's sentence. Judges unanimously voted on Tuesday to reduce the 12-year sentence the former president is currently serving to nine years. The tribunal maintained both of Lula da Silva's convictions of corruption and money laundering linked to a sea-side apartment in eastern Sao Paulo, which was allegedly granted as a bribe by the construction giant OAS. Lula da Silva's lawyers said that they will appeal the ruling as they continue to campaign for his exoneration. Lula da Silva is still being trialled in another six cases of corruption. The reduction of his sentence may grant him some benefits, including the potential to be transferred to house arrest.

Indigenous communities to stage annual protest in Brasilia

Thousands are set to arrive in Brasilia on Tuesday ahead of an annual indigenous protest. More than 5,000 demonstrators from several indigenous tribes across Brazil will gather just outside government buildings to push for the recognition of their rights and respect for their lands. Protesters are expected to camp outside the Esplanada dos Ministerios until at least Friday. Ahead of the protests, President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree that would allow a potential deployment of the Brazilian National Guard to curb protests. Travellers in Brasilia should anticipate road closures around government buildings and enhanced police presence. In previous years, tensions escalated between the police and protesters. Since taking office in January, President Bolsonaro has launched controversial policies towards indigenous affairs.

MMA fighter killed after alleged altercation with ride-sharing driver in Belem, Para

A 28-year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter has been killed after an alleged altercation with a ride-sharing driver in Belem, Para. Reports suggest that Rodrigo 'Monstro' de Lima was in a vehicle with three other passengers when he argued with the driver. Local media reported that after leaving the vehicle, the driver ran over them. Police are still searching for the suspect. Monstro was returning from a local tournament.

Court to decide fate of jailed former President Lula da Silva

The Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) will decide if jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains in prison. In a court session scheduled for Tuesday, the STJ will determine if the former president remains imprisoned at the Federal Police HQ in Curitiba. Other options include the reduction of his 12-year sentence - while also allowing him to be sent to house arrest - and his absolution from his alleged crimes. Lula was sentenced last April to more than 12 years in prison for receiving bribes from the construction company OAS. The STJ is where court procedures are analysed to ensure that they are executed in accordance with the constitution. Like previous court appeals, Lula supporters and members of the Workers' Party (PT) are expected to stage demonstrations, especially in Brasilia, Sao Bernardo do Campo, Curitiba and across north-eastern Brazil.

Massive increase in chikungunya cases reported in Rio

Health authorities in Rio have recorded a significant hike in chikungunya cases across the city. Since January, the cases have increased from nearly 2,000 to over 13,000 cases in April. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease common in South America. Main symptoms may include high fever and joint pain. Currently, there is no vaccination available against chikungunya. Travellers to the region should take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. The current incidence of mosquito-borne diseases is mainly attributed to intense rainfall reported in recent months across Rio.

Brazil officially announces withdrawal from south american union bloc

The government has formally announced the country's withdrawal from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). The decision came as the organisation faces a deep political crisis since it has failed to nominate a new secretary general since 2017. The presidency has announced Brazil's withdrawal after Bolivia handed over the temporary presidency to Brazil. Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Argentina have also announced their withdrawal. The UNASUR was created by late Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Since a shift to right-leaning politics across South America, the group has lost some of its initial influence. Currently, Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname and Bolivia are the only members. Former members already announced future plans to establish the Forum for Progress in South America (Prosur) as its replacement.

Dozens of Avianca Brasil flights cancelled

Dozens of Avianca Brasil flights have been cancelled until Wednesday as the airline faces a deep economic crisis. More than 150 scheduled flights are cancelled until Wednesday, while further cancellations and changes are expected throughout the week. Most flights affected are domestic services to and from Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) and Rio's Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG). Avianca Brasil passengers have been advised to directly contact the airline for further information. Airport operators stated that Avianca Brasil flights to some airports will only resume once the company pay its overdue fees.

Rio lawmakers approve bill to grant gun licenses to state legislators

Lawmakers in Rio have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a bill that seeks to grant state legislators licenses to carry fire weapons. The bill was sponsored by the head of the house's justice committee, Marcio Pacheco. The bill aims at allowing state deputies, some agencies and members of the legislative police to carry fire weapons when undertaking their functions. Rio Governor Wilson Witzel still has to approve the bill. In previous occasions, he had reiterated his position on the liberalisation of firearms possession. Opposition legislators said that they will appeal the results of the vote in court. Brazil's gun debate reignited after the election of President Jair Bolsonaro, who is a strong advocate of pro-gun reforms in the country. Just after taking office, his government passed a bill to relax gun control in Brazil.

Several killed as buildings collapse in western Rio

At least 11 people have been killed and several others were injured when two small buildings collapsed in western Rio. G1 reported that the collapse happened in the Muzema neighbourhood. Reports suggest that the area was cordoned off for inspection when the incident happened. Emergency services have been deployed to the area to search for at least a dozen people. The incident comes as Rio continues to recover from heavy rainfall that battered the city and its metropolitan area earlier this week. At least 10 people were so far killed after downpour triggered flooding and landslides across Rio, where a state of emergency is still active. Buildings collapse in some low-income areas in Brazil is common, mainly in the rainy season. Most incidents occur due to poorly built structures in unlicensed lands, often near unstable terrain.

Avianca Brasil operations in Sao Paulo may face disruption

Avianca Brasil operations at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) may be affected as the airline is currently going through a severe crisis. GRU has released a statement that Avianca Brasil flights will only be allowed to operate once they pay their overdue fees. Avianca Brasil operates dozens of daily domestic flights from GRU. Earlier this month, the company announced that flights to Miami, New York and Santiago were discontinued due to network restructuring plans. Travellers with flights booked with Avianca Brasil are advised to directly contact the airline or the airport for further flight status updates.

Comedian slapped with prison sentence for video targeting politician

A court in Brazil has sentenced a comedian for six months in prison for making a video insulting a congresswoman. Danilo Gentili, a famous conservative-leaning comedian, was sentenced in a trial related to a video that he published on social media back in 2017. In the video, he targeted the Workers' Party (PT) Congresswoman Maria do Rosario. In the four-minute video, he tears up a congressional request ordering him to remove a foul-mounted tweet against do Rosario. Do Rosario is a political veteran from the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. She has been previously engaged in rows with right-wing politicians, including President Jair Bolsonaro. Gentili has not yet been detained as his lawyers appealed the ruling. Although some of his fellow comedians condemned the video he published, they raised concerns over freedom of speech in Brazil for both journalists and comedians alike.

Several killed as heavy rainfall causes widespread damage in southern Rio

At least 10 people have been killed after heavy rainfall battered southern Rio on Monday evening. A man has been found dead in the Gavea neighbourhood and two women were killed in Leme. Widespread damage has been reported as flood waters destroyed cars, buses and roads. A state of emergency was declared. One of the most affected areas were around Rio's Botanical Gardens and the Tijuca neighbourhood. Metro and train services were heavily affected, while some flights at Rio's Santos Dumont and Tom Jobim airports were cancelled. Travel disruption is still being reported and may persist in the next few days. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued the highest weather alert to the city and state of Rio. For further information, travellers are advised to follow updates from INMET and Rio's Emergency Operations Centre.

Soldiers detained for killing civilian at military checkpoint in Rio

Ten soldiers have been arrested for involvement in a shooting which killed a 51-year-old civilian in western Rio. In a statement, the military has confirmed that out of 12 soldiers questioned, 10 of them were suspended and detained while investigations are ongoing. A military patrol unit is accused of spraying a vehicle with bullets in Guadalupe. According to the police, at least 80 shots were fired, killing Evaldo Rosa and wounding two of his relatives. Reports suggest that Rosa was heading with his family to a party when he was targeted on Sunday afternoon. Rosa was identified as a local musician and part-time security guard. The arrests come after the military released two conflicting reports on the incident. Rio has recently faced the end of its military mandate. However, soldiers are still assisting the police in public security duties across Rio.

Education Minister Velez sacked amid ideological row

Brazil's Education Minister Ricardo Velez has been removed from office. President Jair Bolsonaro has announced that Velez is stepping down on Monday and will be replaced by Abraham Weintraub, the presidency's deputy chief-of-staff. Velez has been the education minister since January when President Bolsonaro was sworn into office. He has been behind a number of controversial policies, including plans to revisit how the 1964 coup is portrayed in school textbooks. Velez has also been caught in the middle of ideological grievances between members of the military and ministry aides linked to the right-wing ideologue Olavo de Carvalho. At least a dozen officials within the ministry of education have already been replaced. Velez resigns several weeks after Gustavo Bebianno was sacked as the president's secretary-general.

Man killed as soldiers spray vehicle with bullets in western Rio

A 51-year-old man has been killed when soldiers sprayed his vehicle with bullets in western Rio. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon in Guadalupe neighbourhood. Conflicting reports suggest that Evaldo Rosa failed to stop at a military checkpoint when reportedly travelling with four members of his family - among them were two minors. Locals and relatives claim that the military targeted the wrong vehicle. An initial statement from the military said that soldiers were reacting to an armed attack. In another statement, the military confirmed that investigations have been launched. The shooting broke out hours after another unrelated incident was reported in Guadalupe. Although the federal intervention in Rio has ended, the military still supports the city's police force in some neighbourhoods.

Thousands protest as Lula da Silva completes one year in prison

Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Federal Police HQ in Curitiba as former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva completes one year in prison. Organisers claim that more than 10,000 people took part in the protest, while the police confirm that the number was close to 3,000. The march was called by the opposition Workers' Party (PT). Hundreds of people across several other cities have also staged demonstrations against and in favour of Lula da Silva. The former president was sentenced to serve more than 12 years in prison for corruption. He was implicated in the infamous 'Car Wash' investigations.

Ferryboat crashes into bridge near Acaca, Para

A large section of a bridge in northern Brazil has collapsed after being struck by a ferryboat. According to state authorities, the vessel hit part of the 860-metre-long bridge over the Moju River, near the town of Acaca. The bridge is on the PA-483 state highway and it is one of the main routes to the port in Belem, the state capital. The emergency services are still searching for possible victims, while investigations into the causes of the crash are ongoing. Para Governor Helder Barbalho has declared a state of emergency in the area. He said that it is estimated that repair efforts may take up to a year to be completed.

School textbooks to redefine 1964 coup

Education Minister Ricardo Velez has said that school textbooks are to be revised so that children are taught a "wider version of history". He said that the toppling of President Goulart in 1964 was "an institutional shift, not a coup" and the military rule that followed was "a democratic regime by force which was necessary at the time".  The announcement coincides with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's declaration that the coup's anniversary would be celebrated.  While there was no bloodshed on the night of 31 March 1964, 21 years of military rule followed, marked by brutal repression and heavy censorship.  More than 400 people disappeared and thousands were detained and tortured before democracy was restored in 1985.  Opponents of Mr Velez' proposed changes to school books say that any revision to didactic material should be based on wide academic research, and not opinions.  

Police kill 11 in Guararema bank robberies

On 4 April, eleven members of a gang were killed by police as they attempted to rob two banks simultaneously in Gaurarema, around 60 km east of Sao Paulo.  According to preliminary reports, around 25 individuals were involved in the attempts to blow up two ATM machines, arriving in five armoured cards with high-calibre rifles, body armour and explosives.  Police confronted the assailants, and a chase ensued throughout the city, including at one point, a home invasion with residents being held hostage until freed by the authorities.  No police were injured in the incident, which took place at around 02:50 local time.  Far right President Jair Bolsonaro has publicly called for Brazil's police force to carry out more killings of suspected criminals, and praised the operation. 

Criminals target cash-in-transit vehicle at university in Campina Grande, Paraiba

A shooting broke out when heavily armed criminals targeted a cash-in-transit vehicle at a university in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil. The incident was reported on Monday morning in the campus of the State University of Paraiba (UEPB) in Campina Grande. A student and a security guard were shot, while a number of people were taken to hospital after a stampede. According to UEPB, armed criminals on two vehicles approached the university to target the vehicle that was replenishing an ATM at the university's academic integration centre. No arrests were initially made. A number of criminal groups dedicated to attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles operate in Brazil. According to Brazil's Private Security Worker's National Confederation (Contrasp), over 100 attacks against cash-in-transit vehicles were reported in the country in 2018.

Criminals explode ATMs at hotel near presidential palace in Brasilia

Three ATMs have been blown up when criminals raided an underground car park of a hotel in Brasilia. The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday morning at the Golden Tulip hotel, located less than one kilometre from the Alvorada Palace, the official presidential residence. No casualties were reported besides two employees who were slightly injured. Major Claudio Peres told Correio Braziliense that the assailants posed as hotel guests to get access to the area. Criminals often use explosives to target ATMs in Brazil. However, most incidents are reported in small rural areas where police presence is almost nonexistent.

Tropical Storm IBA to bring adverse weather to south-eastern Brazil

A powerful tropical storm is forecast to move towards the country's south-east. In the next few days, Tropical Storm IBA-19 is forecast to bring hazardous weather conditions to Rio and Espirito Santo states. Strong winds, high waves and heavy rainfall are expected to hit the region. Tropical Storm IBA is the first tropical cyclone to be named in the South Atlantic in nearly 10 years. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has said on Tuesday that the storm, sustaining winds of up to 65kph, is currently located 400km off the Campos dos Goytacases coast in northern Rio. INMET forecast the storm to continue to move southwards the Atlantic. Adverse weather is expected to mainly affect coastal areas in Rio and Espirito Santo, where flooding and power outages are possible. Travellers are advised to follow updates and reports from INMET.

Massive increase in dengue fever cases reported in Sao Paulo

Brazil's health ministry has reported a significant increase in mosquito-borne diseases in the country. In the first three months of 2019, an increase of more than 260 per cent in dengue fever cases were recorded compared with the same period last year. Zika and Chikungunya cases have also suffered a significant increase. Dengue fever cases have suffered a massive increase of more than 2,000 percent in Sao Paulo, where so far this year 31 people died of the disease - half of the deaths reported in the whole country. Mosquito-borne diseases are common in Brazil, especially during the summer months. Dengue fever symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting and joint pain. Visitors are advised to take the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten. Currently, there is no vaccination available against dengue fever, zika or chikungunya.

Appeals court rules release of former President Temer

An appeals court in Rio has approved the release of former President Michel Temer, who was arrested last week for corruption. Appeals Court Judge Antonio Athie has argued that keeping the former president under arrest violates constitutional guarantees. Besides Temer, former Minister Moreira Franco and six others were also released. Temer has been granted a habeas corpus writ while further investigations continue. Judge Marcelo Bretas was responsible for Temer's arrest in Sao Paulo. Brazil's public ministry accuses the former president of leading a criminal organisation responsible for diverting up to 1.8bn reais ($466m). In total, Temer is being targeted in nine different investigations linked to corruption.

President Bolsonaro sanctions events to celebrate 1964 coup

President Jair Bolsonaro has sanctioned official events to celebrate the beginning of Brazil's infamous dictatorship period. Brazil has faced more than two decades of dictatorial rule after President Joao Goulart was removed from office in 1964. Far-right President Bolsonaro has long-refused to acknowledge that the removal of President Goulart was a coup. He has on multiple occasions praised senior members of the dictatorship period and their actions. A government spokesman, Otavio Rego Barros, said that no official event is scheduled in Brasilia and that commemorations will exclusively take place in military bases across the country. The practice was officially banned back in 2012 when President Dilma Rousseff took office.

Lawmaker shot dead in Japeri, Rio

A Brazilian lawmaker has been killed during a shooting in Rio. Reports suggest that Wendel Coelho was shot once on the chest when presumed criminals riding motorcycles targeted his vehicle. Five other people were inside the vehicle when the incident happened on Sunday morning in the town of Japeri, Rio's metropolitan area. Authorities are still investigating what the circumstances behind the shooting are. Coelho was recently elected to a seat in the local parliament in Japeri. A number of politicians and former lawmakers were targeted last year across Rio's metropolitan area, which includes Seropedica, Nova Iguacu, Mesquita, Queimados, Duque de Caxias, Belford Roxo and Mage. The incident happened days after the one-year anniversary of the death of Marielle Franco, who was shot alongside her driver in Rio.

Mining giant raises risk level of waste dam in Minas Gerais

A dam is the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais is at risk of collapsing, according to investigations from independent auditors. A mining waste dam in the town of Barao de Cocais has had its risk level increased to the highest grade. The mine is operated by the mining-giant Vale. Hundreds of people from several communities were already evacuated from the area in early-February, just weeks after hundreds were killed when a similar waste dam collapsed in Brumadinho. Since the disaster, where 212 people are so far confirmed dead, Vale has stepped up efforts to monitor structural flaws in several mines across the state.

Former President Temer arrested amid Car Wash probe

Brazil's former President Michel Temer has been arrested amid the notorious Car Wash investigations. Temer was detained on Thursday morning in the city of Sao Paulo. His arrest warrant was carried out by a Rio-based task force linked to the Car Wash probe. An arrest warrant was also issued to former mining Minister Moreira Franco. Temer is being detained after a businessman linked to the engineering company Engevix submitted a plea bargain. Jose Sobrinho told the Federal Police that Temer received around a million reais ($262k) in bribes to grant the company a public contract. In total, Temer is being targeted in nine different investigations linked to corruption. Temer was the VP of former President Dilma Rousseff. He took office after she was impeached in 2016.

Brazil may lose measles-free certificate after suspected outbreak in Para

Brazil's health ministry has said that the country is expected to have its measles-free certificate revoked by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). The announcement came after a number of measles cases were reported in the north-eastern state of Para. In the latest epidemiological update released in early-March, PAHO has reported that since mid-January, 60 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in the country. Since early-2018, Amazonas state has reported the majority of cases - from 10,300 cases, around 9,800 were in Amazonas. However, PAHO has confirmed that most cases are imported from Venezuela. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Symptoms may include high fever, coughing and red eyes. It is recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to Brazil.

Two killed after contracting dengue fever in Londrina, Parana

Two people have died after contracting dengue fever in Parana, southern Brazil. In a health bulletin released on Tuesday, state authorities confirmed that both victims lived in the city of Londrina. They confirmed that the disease was contracted in the city, which is already on alert due to the high incident of dengue fever. More than 1,100 cases of dengue fever have already been reported in Parana since the beginning of 2019. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Brazil. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle and joint pain. Currently, there is no vaccination available against dengue fever.

Convoy transporting nuclear material caught in shootout near Angra dos Reis, Rio

A convoy transporting nuclear material has been caught in a shooting near Angra dos Reis, Rio. Police officers engaged in a shootout when passing through the Frade community on Tuesday afternoon. According to Brazil's nuclear agency, Eletronuclear, the cargo was safely delivered after the incident. Eletronuclear said in a statement that the cargo contained uranium fuel in its natural state and that it posed no radiation harm in the event of exposure. The material was being transported from the town of Resende. It also claimed that the convoy was not directly targeted, but caught in a crossfire. Last August, the Mayor of Angra dos Reis declared a state of emergency in the city amid a wave of criminality. Criminals would often block parts of the BR-101 federal highway, which is the main route to nuclear plants based in the region.

Rio state to take over running of Maracana stadium

Rio de Janeiro state has announced that it will take over the running of the Maracanã stadium after cancelling the existing contract with a private consortium due to "signs of mismanagement and corruption".  The consortium said it was "surprised" by the decision, and denied any wrongdoing.  Former Governor Sergio Cabral was sentenced to 12 years in prison last year, charged with manipulating bids and over-inflating contract costs for the stadium.  The facility, which is known as the home of Brazilian football, underwent a lengthy and expensive refurbishment ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, after which it sat empty for months.  

Heavily armed criminals raid regional airport in Blumenau, Santa Catarina

A 22-year-old woman has been killed during a violent heist at a regional airport in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Quero-Quero Airport in Blumenau, where heavily armed criminals targeted three cash-in-transit vehicles. The victim was in a nearby building when she was hit by a stray bullet. Two guards were also injured. The airport is mainly used by private aircraft.

Adverse weather forecast to hit northern Rio

Adverse weather conditions are causing severe disruption across northern Rio. Widespread flooding has been reported in several neighbourhoods, triggering traffic congestion and disruption to public transports. Flight delays and cancellations in the city's Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) is also possible. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather warnings to most states in the country's south-east. Intense rainfall may also affect cities located in Rio's metropolitan area over the weekend. Meanwhile, the death toll of the recent floods in Sao Paulo has risen to 14. Rio's rainy season usually runs during the summer months, between December and March.

Supreme Court rules that illegal campaign funding cases be handled by electoral courts

Brazil's Supreme Court has ruled that crimes linked to illegal political campaign funding should be handled by electoral courts. In a narrow 6-5 vote, justices ordered such cases to be directed to electoral courts instead of federal courts. Critics claim that the move may directly hinder efforts of the infamous Car Wash investigations, which already convicted a number of high-level politicians, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Justice Minister Sergio Moro, the former head of Car Wash, criticised the decision and said that electoral courts are not as prepared as federal ones. Supporters of the bill claim that the new legislation is compatible with the constitution.

Criminals bomb bank in Sao Luis, Maranhao

Criminals have carried out a bomb attack on a bank branch in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. G1 reported that the incident happened on the early hours of Thursday morning in the state capital Sao Luis. Criminals targeted at least four ATMs at a bank in the Anil neighbourhood. Police reports suggest that this is the third bank robbery reported in Sao Luis this year. Explosives are often used in coordinated attacks in isolated towns and neighbourhoods in Brazil. Police stations are often targeted while assailants assemble roadblocks to avoid capture. Incidents mostly occur in rural areas, where police presence is significantly reduced.

Health authorities confirm two dengue deaths in Minas Gerais

Health authorities in Minas Gerais have confirmed that two people have died after contracting dengue fever in 2019. In the latest health bulletin, the Health State Secretary (SES) said that the deaths were reported in the cities of Betim and Uberlandia. Additionally, more than 44,000 cases were reported so far this year, a drastic increase compared with the same period in 2018. Authorities are still investigating 18 deaths that may be linked to dengue fever. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Latin America. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle and joint pain.

Several students killed in a school shooting in Suzano, Sao Paulo

At least five students have been killed in a school shooting in Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Local media reported that two hooded assailants raided the Raul Brasil State School in Suzano and opened fire on students. According to the police, five students were killed alongside a member of school staff. Preliminary reports suggest that both assailants killed themselves after the incident. The police confirmed that an incident had happened near the school, but it is till unclear if they are connected. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria has said that his office is following the investigations. Suzano is located in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo.

Masssive weapons cache seized amid Marielle Franco's murder probe

More than 100 assault rifles have been recovered amid the investigations on the death of Rio lawmaker Marielle Franco. Police officers recovered 117 disassembled M-16 rifles at a house belonging to an acquaintance to Ronnie Lessa, a former police officer arrested for links to Franco's assassination. It has been claimed that this is the largest ever weapons seizure in Rio. Lessa was arrested alongside another police officer on Monday. Both men are accused of orchestrating and executing the murder of Franco and her driver, Alexandre Gomes, nearly a year ago. Concerns have been raised over the influence of militia groups based in northern Rio, which are often engaged in territorial disputes, extortion and drug-trafficking. Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Franco's death, protests and marches are expected in Rio on Thursday.

Suspects detained for links to councilwoman's murder in Rio

Two suspects have been detained as investigations into the death of Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco unfold. Members of a special police unit detained Ronnie Lessa, a former police commander, in Rio. He is accused of opening fire at Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes. He was arrested alongside another police officer, who was reportedly driving the vehicle. Franco's aide, Fernanda Chaves, has recently granted her first interview since the incident occurred nearly a year ago. She said Franco was a critic of militias in Rio but her policies were largely focused on women's rights. Preliminary investigations suggested that among the motivations behind Franco's death were rezoning plans in northern Rio.

Several killed as heavy rainfall hits Sao Paulo

At least a dozen people have been killed as heavy rainfall battered the city of Sao Paulo over the weekend. Widespread flooding triggered severe travel disruption, blocking major roads across the city's metropolitan area. Public transports were also heavily affected. Landslides and fallen trees were also reported, while hundreds of people were forced to evacuate after floodwaters destroyed several homes. Travellers are advised to be cautious and to not cross flooded roads. Weather conditions are forecast to improve. Flooding in Sao Paulo is common, especially during the summer months.

Criminals blow up cash-in-transit vehicle in Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo

Criminals have blown up a cash-in-transit vehicle during an armed raid in Sao Paulo. According to the police, two million reais ($517k) were taken in the robbery. The attack happened on Saturday evening near the town of Sao Carlos. Reports suggest that at least 10 heavily armed criminals took part in the raid. A 38-year-old lorry driver was held hostage after assailants robbed his vehicle and used it to block the road. A number of criminal groups dedicated to attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles operate in Brazil. According to Brazil's Private Security Worker's National Confederation (Contrasp), at least 116 attacks against cash-in-transit vehicles were reported in the country during 2018.

Several bodies recovered in clandestine grave in southern Sao Paulo

Six bodies have been recovered in a suspected clandestine grave in southern Sao Paulo. Local media reported that the victims were discovered in the Vera Cruz neighbourhood on Sunday. Reports suggest that one of the victims was reported missing several days ago. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are. In recent months, some clandestine graves have been recovered in Sao Paulo. Such incidents are often linked to the infamous First Capital Commando (PCC), a powerful criminal organisation based in Sao Paulo. Last December, a dozen bodies were recovered in a forest area in the town of Embu das Artes.

Heavy rainfall triggers widespread flooding across Sao Paulo

Widespread flooding has caused severe disruption across Sao Paulo after heavy rainfall hit the city overnight on Sunday. G1 reported on Monday morning that road traffic and public transports are being significantly impacted. Local metro and trams services are facing severe disruption. Some metro stations are completely flooded, while several public transport services are suspended. Although no cancellations or severe delays were reported in the city's Congonhas and Guarulhos airports, flights may face some disruption throughout the day. Power outages are also possible. Flooding in Sao Paulo is common, especially during the summer months. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to Sao Paulo and Rio as heavy rainfall is forecast to persist over the next few days.

Health authorities confirm yellow fever death in Morretes, Parana

State health authorities have confirmed that a 64-year-old man has died after contracting yellow fever. The victim was a resident in the town of Morretes, located in the southern state of Parana. He died in a hospital in the state capital, Curitiba, several days after being diagnosed with the disease. Dozens of yellow fever cases were recently reported in the region since the beginning of 2019. This is the first yellow fever death in Parana in 2019. Morretes is a tourist destination in south-eastern Parana. It is mainly famous for its rail tours from Curitiba. Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in South America. Symptoms may include high fever, headache, muscle and joints pain and loss of appetite. The most effective way to avoid contracting the disease is through vaccination at least 10 days before travelling.

Criminals blow up bank in series of raid in Rio Grande do Norte

A bank has been blown up after heavily armed criminals raided a village in the outskirts of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. G1 reported that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning in the town of Sao Jose do Mipibu. Reports show that criminals set several vehicles ablaze and erected roadblocks during the raid. The suspected robbery happened hours after another bank and a post office were targeted in the rural town of Marcelino Vieira. Criminals often employ explosives to get access to post offices and banks in small rural communities in Brazil. Incidents usually occur at night and rarely lead to civilian casualties.

Avianca flight suffers minor runway excursion at Rio de Janeiro Airport

On 4 March, an Avianca Brasil flight temporarily left the runway after landing in heavy rain at Rio de Janeiro/Galeao Airport.  The aircraft was able to correct its' path, and return to the stand without assistance from emergency services.  Reports suggest that the wheel of the aircraft, which landed at around 17:30 local time, had invaded the grass at the side of the runway.  No injuries were reported.

Head of Vale Mining steps down

The head of Vale Mining has stepped down after the collapse of a dam that killed 186 people a month ago.  Fabio Schvartsman and several other executives asked to be removed after prosecutors had called for their dismissal, and Eduardo Bartolomeo has been appointed as the new head of the company.  An internal report allegedly said that the company knew the dam was at risk before it collapsed, but Mr Schvartsman defended his handling of the disaster as "absolutely appropriate".  The cause of the collapse is not known, but experts believe that it could have been liquefaction, where a solid material such as sand loses strength and behaves more like a liquid.   Vale is the world's biggest producer of iron ore.

Armed gangs encroach on protected land

Armed men have entered protected indigenous lands in a remote corner of the Amazon, part of a surge of threats and illegal incursions that have accompanied the rise to power of Jair Bolsonaro.  According to preliminary reports, the gangs have been inspired to hack a pathway through the jungle canopy because of Mr Bolsonaro's vow to open up more native territory to commercial development.  Brazil is home to around 850,000 indigenous people with their reservations accounting for about 13 percent of the country's territory.  Mr Bolsonaro is against what he calls "excessive federal protection" and has compared the inhabitants to animals in a zoo, saying they would be better off assimilating and enjoying the profits which would come from farming, logging and mining.  

Public health emergency declared amid border tensions in Roraima

A state of emergency to public health in Roraima has been declared after tensions escalated along the Venezuelan border. Roraima is located in northern Brazil and it is the main border crossing between both countries. Governor Antonio Denarium said that the measure comes after dozens of migrants were rushed to a hospital in the state capital, Boa Vista, when they were injured in violent border clashes. Denarium said that the move will allow extra funding to public health in the state to assist the future influx of Venezuelan migrants through the northern town of Pacaraima. Roraima currently hosts a humanitarian aid distribution facility. The border with Venezuela is currently closed and it is expected to re-opened within days. Public health in Roraima was already under pressure due to the daily arrival of hundreds of migrants.

Widespread flooding reported due to adverse weather in Fortaleza, Ceara

Widespread flooding has been reported over the weekend after intense rainfall hit Fortaleza, Ceara. Major avenues across the city were flooded as intense rain is forecast to continue over the next few days. The most affected areas are those located near the Coco Rio, which burst its banks. The National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to most states in northern, central and southern Brazil. Strong winds are forecast to impact those regions, where power outages and falling trees are possible. Flights and road travel may face disruption. For further updates, travellers are advised to follow INMET alerts.

Ride-sharing driver shot dead in Gravatai, Rio Grande do Sul

A ride-sharing driver has been shot dead in Gravatai, Rio Grande do Sul. Local media reported that Caroline Rodrigues was shot on the head during a presumed car-jacking attempt. Authorities are still investigating the incident. According to the police, her vehicle was later found burnt in a rural area near Gravatai. At least five ride-sharing drivers have been killed in Rio Grande do Sul in 2019. Most incidents occurred in the outskirts of the state capital, Porto Alegre. Although Rio Grande do Sul reports lower homicide rates compared with other north-eastern states, homicides in the state have suffered a significant increase in recent years.

Several incidents reported ahead of Carnival celebrations in Brazil

Several incidents have been reported across Sao Paulo as the city prepares to host the Carnival celebrations. A street brawl broke out in the Largo da Batata area on Sunday evening as the so-called 'blocos' take to the streets across the city. Large scale-plunders and clashes with the police were also reported. In 2019, Brazil's Carnival will kick off on Thursday and last until next Tuesday, 05 March. Several street parties known as 'blocos' are scheduled to occur in major Brazilian cities, especially in Rio, Sao Paulo and Salvador. Blocos usually drive large crowds to traditional neighbourhoods. Travellers are advised caution as they may be targeted by petty criminals. Street brawls may occur late at night and clashes with the police are common. Road travel is expected to face disruption as millions of people head from the city to coastal regions. Due to the high-influx of passengers, travellers are advised to allow extra time when heading to airports and bus terminals. Disruptions are expected to last for several days before and after the Carnival holidays.

Argentinian tourist stabbed to death during robbery in Salvador, Bahia

An Argentinian tourist has been killed after being stabbed during a robbery in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. Local media reported that the victim, identified as 65-year-old Daniel Barizone, was targeted on Tuesday evening. He was stabbed while walking along a boulevard in Itapua neighbourhood, Salvador. Barizone succumbed to his wounds after being taken the hospital. Argentina Consulate in Salvador confirmed the incident and said that another Argentinian tourist was injured in a previous incident in the same area two weeks before. Itapua is a famous tourist neighbourhood in eastern Salvador.

Venezuelan border closed amid humanitarian aid row

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of the Brazilian border ahead of the so-called humanitarian aid deadline. The Brazilian government has recently announced the establishment of an aid distribution facility in the northern state of Roraima, which is the main land-border crossing of Venezuelan migrants. Aid distribution stations are currently established in the state capital, Boa Vista, and the border town of Pacaraima. President Maduro has said that the border will be shut until further notice. The move came just after Venezuela cut communications with the neighbouring ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) and is reportedly considering closing the entire border with Colombia. Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has set 23 February as a deadline to President Maduro accept US-backed aid.

President Bolsonaro submits to Congress proposal on pension system reforms

President Jair Bolsonaro has submitted a long-awaited proposal to introduce reforms of the country's embattled pension system. In a bid to fuel growth and tackle Brazil's hampering deficit, the government claims that the new measures would save the country up to one trillion reais ($300bn) in 10 years. Among the changes are included the establishment of minimum retirement ages for women and men - 62 and 65 years respectively. Although being able to secure a majority in Congress, to introduce the pension system overhaul President Bolsonaro needs constitutional reforms, which have to be approved by at least two-thirds of the lower house. His Social Liberal Party (PSL) fails to have a significant presence in both houses, relying on the negotiation with coalition partners and the opposition to pass legislation. President Bolsonaro is inheriting the challenges of his predecessor, Michel Temer, who failed to pass the reforms essential to avoid the country becoming engulfed in a deeper crisis.

Dozens of measles cases reported in Santarem, Para

Health authorities are on alert after dozens of measles cases were confirmed across Para, northern Brazil. According to state officials, most cases were reported in the city of Santarem - in 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Santarem a measles-free city. A vaccination campaign has been launched in some rural areas as most people that contracted the disease were not vaccinated. Thousands of measles cases were reported in recent months across northern Brazil, mainly in Amazonas and Roraima - the latter attributed to the wave of Venezuelan migrants who haven't been vaccinated on the Pacaraima border crossing. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Symptoms may include high fever, coughing and red eyes. It is recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the region.

Several quarantined over suspect rubella outbreak on a cruise ship in Santa Catarina

At least 16 people on a cruise ship have been quarantined over a suspected rubella outbreak. G1 reported that the health authorities in Balneario Camburiu, Santa Catarina, launched a mass vaccination campaign to contain the possible outbreak. More than 1,400 passengers and crew members were examined and preventatively vaccinated. The vessel was heading from Santos to Balneario Camburiu. Reports suggest that some passengers complained to the medical staff during a previous trip of the MSC Seaview in early-February - the vessel was later checked and cleared in Santos to proceed south to Santa Catarina. Rubella is a highly contagious disease, which symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache and cough. Travellers to Brazil are advised to be up-to-date with their measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination.

State authorities to launch task-force to tackle homicides in Espirito Santo

A joint task-force will be launched across the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo to address increasing homicides rates. Recent reports suggest that nearly 5,000 homicides were reported in the state in the last three years. Most incidents are reported in 10 cities. mainly located in the metropolitan area of the state capital, Vitoria. Police reinforcement will be sent to high-risk areas across Vitoria's metropolitan area and five other cities across the state. In total, around 140 neighbourhoods will be included in the programme. According to authorities, most homicides in Espirito Santo are linked to disputes between rival criminal groups.

Several minors killed as landslides hit residential area in Maua, Sao Paulo

Four minors have been killed after a dozen landslides were reported across the town of Maua, Sao Paulo's metropolitan area. G1 reported that two children died after a landslide completely destroyed a residence in the Jaira neighbourhood. Two other victims were killed in a nearby house that was also affected by another landslide. Widespread flooding and landslides were reported in several areas over the weekend. Intense rain is common during the summer months and flooding is common, especially in eastern Sao Paulo. Landslides usually affect poorly constructed houses in low-income neighbourhoods.

President Bolsonaro's minister to be sacked amid internal political spat

President Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet may face its first casualty amid an internal political spat involving his secretary-general, Gustavo Bebianno. As Bolsonaro recovers from surgery and attempts to push for controversial pension reforms, Bebianno may become the first minister to be sacked from the three-month-old administration. Bebianno, the former head of the ruling Social Liberal Party (PSL),  is accused of illegally diverting up to 400,000 reais ($107k) to support a candidate in last year's general elections. Tensions escalate when Bolsonaro's son, Carlos Bolsonaro, called Bebianno a liar; and VP General Hamilton Mourao called them to solve family matters privately. Bolsonaro's administration has been often tainted with inflammatory remarks from both his sons. Bebianno is expected to be sacked on Monday.

Hundreds protest death of black man in western Rio

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Rio to protest the death of a 19-year-old black man. Demonstrators gathered in the affluent Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood on Saturday, days after Pedro Gonzaga succumbed to his wounds. Gonzaga was reportedly involved in a spat with a security guard of a local supermarket in the Barra da Tijuca. The guard was taken in custody but was released a day after the incident. Protesters and activists said that the protest is part of a movement to condemn the death of black men and women in Rio, which according to available data, accounts to the majority of homicide cases in the city. 

Hundreds evacuated due to collapse risk of another dam in Minas Gerais

Nearly 200 people have been ordered to evacuate due to the collapse risk of another dam in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. EBC reported that Brazil's civil protection authority preventatively ordered the evacuation of residents from the Macaco neighbourhood in Nova Lima. The order came after the mining-giant Vale warned of the risk of collapse of a dam at the Mar Azul mine. Vale confirmed that the dam is currently inactive, but still stores mining dumps. Nova Lima is located in the outskirts of the state capital, Belo Horizonte. This is the second evacuation order issued in recent weeks after the deadly dam collapse in Brumadinho, where at least 160 people were killed. Vale and the government are currently reviewing safety protocols to undertake repair works on dozens of dams and mines across Minas Gerais.

Ride-sharing driver found dead after car-jacking in Rio Grande do Sul

A 21-year-old ride-sharing driver has been killed during a suspect car-jacking attempt near Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Local media reported that Matheus Machado was found dead on the early hours of Friday morning in a neighbourhood in Alvorada. Police said that investigations are still ongoing. Machado worked for two app-based taxi services in Porto Alegre. At least four drivers working for ride-sharing companies were already killed across Rio Grande do Sul in 2019. Reports show that homicides in the state suffered a significant increase in recent years, while Alvorada has been considered one of the most violent cities in Brazil.

Woman held hostage during car-jacking in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo

A 24-year-old woman has been briefly held hostage during a presumed car-jacking attempt in Espirito Santo, south-eastern Brazil. Taina Castro told local media that she was leaving a restaurant when her vehicle was intercepted by two armed criminals in the town of Vila Velha. Reports show that Castro was released moments later. Police body-came footage shows that the assailant was arrested after a high-speed pursuit.

Protests break out after 11-year-old girl is shot dead in northern Rio

Protests broke out in northern Rio after an 11-year-old girl was killed in a shooting. Several streets across the Triagem neighbourhood were blocked after protesters set barricades on fire. Jenifer Gomes was shot on the back in the Bairro Carioca area. She was rushed to a local hospital and succumbed to her wounds moments later. Locals accuse the police of engaging in a shootout, while the police claim that no operation was underway when Jenifer was shot. Civilians are often caught in the cross-fire between criminals and the police. Police operations in Rio often lead to protests as locals accuse officers of using excessive force.

Adverse weather forecast to hit southern Brazil

The National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to most states across southern and central Brazil. Adverse weather is forecast to hit all states in southern Brazil, including Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. while alerts remain in place to some areas in Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais. Coastal areas across Brazil's south-east in Sao Paulo and Rio are also on alert. Last week, at least six people were killed when landslides affected Rio. Some airports may face delays and cancellations, while road travel usually faces severe disruption due to landslides and flooding. Travellers are advised to follow INMET updates.

Eight Vale employees arrested amid dam collapse investigation

Eight employees of the mining-giant Vale have been arrested amid the investigations of the dam collapse in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais. State prosecutors have ordered the arrest for 30 days of two senior executives and six other staff responsible for dam security. At least 160 people have been confirmed dead, while over 150 others are still missing after a dam in the Corrego do Feijao mine collapsed in late-January. Vale's CEO, Fabio Schvartsman has said that the company denies any criminal responsibility for the incident, despite some documents suggesting that Vale was aware of some pre-existing security risks. 

Several bodies recovered across Rio's metropolitan area

At least nine people have been found dead in two locations across Rio's metropolitan area. According to the police, five bodies were found in the rural area of Nova Iguacu, while four others were later recovered in the town of Queimados. The police are still investigating what the circumstances behind the deaths are, but they believe that all of the victims were executed. Further investigations were also launched to assess if the incident is linked to a current territorial dispute involving rival drug-trafficking factions.

PCC members transferred to federal prisons over alleged break out plan

Brazil's public ministry (MP) has ordered the transfer of more than 20 criminals linked to the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC) to federal prisons. Among them is alias 'Marcola', the infamous leader of the PCC. Marcola and several of his associates are being transferred from a maximum security facility in President Venceslau to separate federal prisons in Rondonia, Rio Grande do Norte and Brasilia. President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a presidential order to allow the armed forces to patrol those federal facilities until late-February. MP's move came after investigations suggest that Marcola and the PCC were planning a massive prison break. PCC is one of the most dangerous criminal groups in Latin America. The group is often involved in deadly disputes with rival groups to secure drug-trafficking territory across Brazil.

Hundreds of tonnes of chicken recalled over potential salmonella contamination

Brazil's food-giant BRF has announced the recall of more than 460 tonnes of fresh chicken due to potential salmonella. The company has said that around 165 tonnes of chicken of its Pedigao brand destined to the domestic market are being recalled due to the potential salmonella enteritidis contamination. Meanwhile, nearly 300 tonnes to international markets, including Asia, Africa and the Middle East, are also being recalled. According to the company, the cases were reported on products produced in late-2018 at a BRF plant in Mato Grosso dos Sul. BRF confirmed that all meat cuts to be recalled were already removed from the shelves. Salmonella is a bacterial infection caused by the consumption of contaminated food. Symptoms may include diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pain.

Government extend deployment of federal troops in Roraima

The deployment of federal troops in the northern state of Roraima is set to be extended an additional 60 days. According to the government, the measure comes amid an ongoing public security crisis in the state, which suffered a federal intervention last year. Major concerns are linked to the management of the state's prison system, pressure on public services and the increasing levels of criminality. Further, federal troops are also deployed due to the high-influx of Venezuelan migrants crossing through the border town of Pacaraima. Earlier this week, the Brazilian government allowed a request from Venezuela's opposition to set an aid distribution facility in the state capital of Boa Vista and in the town of Pacaraima. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 75,000 Venezuelan migrants are in Brazil.

Supreme Court suspend judicial cases against President Bolsonaro

Supreme Federal Court (STF) Judge Luiz Fux has ordered two judicial cases against President Jair Bolsonaro to be suspended. Fux, the minister of the STF, has claimed that President Bolsonaro benefits from political immunity while he is holding office. Bolsonaro is being accused of inciting rape after remarks made against a female politician during an interview back in 2014. The case started to be investigated in 2016 and will be suspended until he leaves office. President Bolsonaro has been long known for making inflammatory remarks - especially against women and the LGBT - before and during his presidential campaign. 

Monkey diagnosed with yellow fever in Sao Paulo zoo

A vaccination campaign has been launched in Sao Paulo after a monkey at the Sao Paulo Zoo was diagnosed with yellow fever. Hundreds of health professionals will head to more than 13,000 houses in a 300-metre radius around the city's zoo and botanical gardens to vaccinate people against yellow fever. Areas of most concern are those neighbourhoods located around the venues. They include Cursino, Sacoma and Jabaquara. Health officials urged people to make sure they are up-to-date with their yellow fever vaccination before heading to the zoo and botanical garden. Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in South America. Symptoms may include high fever, headache, muscle and joints pain and loss of appetite. The most effective way to avoid contracting the disease is through vaccination at least 10 days before travelling.

Health authorities investigate dengue fever outbreak in Minas Gerais

Health authorities are investigating a potential dengue fever outbreak in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. According to reports, nearly 18,000 suspected cases of dengue fever were reported in the state since the start of the year. Investigations were also launched over the death of four people who were believed to have contracted the disease. State authorities said that the town of Arcos is the area of most concern. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Latin America. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle and joint pain. Meanwhile, recent reports revealed an increase in cases of Zika and Chikungunya. Authorities claim that the high incidence of mosquito-borne diseases in Minas Gerais comes due to warm temperatures and intense rainfall.

Three-year-old girl shot by stray bullet in Vitoria, Espirito Santo

A three-year-old girl has been severely injured after being hit by a stray bullet in Vitoria, Espirito Santo. Local media reported that shooting broke out on Monday afternoon when a masked suspect opened fire on a man in the Santo Antonio neighbourhood. According to the police, one of the suspects died. The girl was stood on a balcony when a stray bullet hit her in the stomach. Authorities believe that the shooting was caused due to a territorial dispute involving two low-profile gangs engaged in drug-trafficking.

TV anchor killed in helicopter crash in western Sao Paulo

At least two people have been killed in a helicopter crash in Sao Paulo. Reports revealed that the aircraft hit a lorry on a major highway in a western neighbourhood of the state capital. Among the casualties are the aircraft's pilot and journalist Ricardo Boechat. According to Folha, the accident involved a chartered aircraft that was heading from the town of Campinas to the southern neighbourhood of Morumbi. Boechat was a well-known journalist in Brazil. He was the anchor of two daily news programmes in the Band TV station and wrote weekly opinion columns in prominent newspapers and magazines.

Heavily armed criminals blow up three banks in south-eastern Sao Paulo

Heavily armed criminals have targeted three banks and a police station in south-eastern Sao Paulo. Reports showed that criminals targeted three banks with explosives and opened fire on a police station in the town of Sao Bento do Sapucai, near the state border with Minas Gerais. No casualties were reported, but the blasts caused extensive damage to the banks. An intense shooting was reported in the early hours of Monday morning. Banks in small Brazilian cities are often targeted with criminals who usually use explosives to gain access to ATMs. They mainly occur overnight in rural towns where there is a very limited police presence.

Several killed as bus plunges off ravine in north-western Rio

At least four people have been killed and more than 30 others have been injured after a bus drove off a ravine in north-western Rio. State police revealed that the accident happened on Sunday afternoon along the RJ-220 state highway near the town of Natividade. Local media reported that the bus was travelling from Campos dos Goytacases to Governador Valadares. Preliminary reports suggest that the bus crashed into another vehicle coming in the opposite direction, while the causes of the crash are still unclear. Road accidents in Brazil are common and mainly caused due to poor road conditions and reckless driving.

National Guard deployment in Ceara given 30-day extension

The National Guard will remain in the north-eastern state of Ceara for a further 30 days. Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro has said that the extension is intended to support the state government. More than 400 National Guard soldiers were deployed after a wave of violence engulfed the state for nearly a month. Around 500 people were arrested after criminality spread across the state capital, Fortaleza, and 180 towns.

Several killed during police operation in central Rio

At least a dozen people have been killed during a police operation in central Rio. According to the police, the operation happened on Friday morning in the Fallet-Fogueteiro community in Santa Teresa. Reports suggest that the operation was launched to tackle drug-trafficking in the region. Several high-calibre weapons were seized during the raid, while the operation is likely to continue as dozens of criminals fled to nearby communities. Authorities claim that since Wednesday intense shootings are reported in the area as two rival criminal factions are currently fighting to control the Morro da Coroa and Fallet communities.

President Bolsonaro remains in hospital after medical procedure

President Jair Bolsonaro remains in hospital after showing potential symptoms of pneumonia. President Bolsonaro is currently in a semi-intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. Last week, he went through surgery to remove his colostomy bag. According to a medical bulletin released on Thursday, President Bolsonaro is experiencing an isolated case of fever and other symptoms potentially linked to pneumonia. President Bolsonaro passed through a number of medical procedures after being stabbed in the stomach during a political rally in Minas Gerais last year.

Several killed in fire at football training ground in western Rio

At least 10 people have been killed when a fire broke out at a football training ground in western Rio. Reports revealed that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning at the Ninho do Urubu training ground, which belongs to the first division team Flamengo. The facilities are located in the Vargem Grande neighbourhood. Authorities said that the fire erupted in lodges that housed youth team players. Investigations are still ongoing on what the potential causes of the fire are.

Hundreds evacuated due to dam collapse risk in central Minas Gerais

Hundreds of people have been evacuated after emergency protocols were activated near a dam in central Minas Gerais. Civil Defence authorities and the National Mining Agency (ANM) have ordered the evacuation of 500 people from several communities in Barao de Cocais, near Belo Horizonte. The town is located near the Gongo Soco Mine, where local authorities identified a potential risk of collapse of its southern dam. The mine is operated by the Brazilian mining company Vale, which was also responsible for operating the mine in Brumadinho. Vale said in a statement that it is launching contingency measures and that a renewed assessment will be made on Sunday. Barao de Cocais Mayor said that those evacuated were taken to a local sports facility. Nearly two weeks ago, over 150 people were killed after a dam collapse in Brumadinho.

Sections of major highway in northern Brazil blocked after bridge collapse in Rondonia

Sections from a major federal highway in northern Brazil has been blocked after a bridge collapsed in Rondonia. G1 reported that heavy rainfall on Thursday forced the collapse of a bridge along the BR-364 near the town of Jaru. The BR-364 is the main road that links the states of Rondonia, Acre, Amazonas and Mato Grosso. According to the Brazilian Federal Highway Police (PRF), there are some secondary routes, but they are also being affected by flooding. Authorities are currently at the scene to assess the damages, while no casualties were so far reported. Northern Brazil usually faces its rainy season between December and February.

Former President Lula sentenced to additional 12 years in prison

Federal Judge Gabriel Hardt has sentenced former President Lula da Silva in a fresh corruption probe. A court in Brazil has sentenced Lula da Silva to an additional 12 years and 11 months in prison for benefiting from renovation works carried out by the company OAS. Lula da Silva, who is currently serving another 12-year prison sentence, denied the allegations and said that the Atibaia farm does not belong to him. His lawyers said that they will appeal the rule. In total, Lula da Silva has been convicted to more than 25 years in prison for corruption. Judge Hardt has taken over the Car Wash investigations after Judge Sergio Moro was nominated to lead the ministry of justice. Despite being arrested since April, he still holds strong support from his Workers' Party (PT). Some protests are expected to occur across Brazil in the next few days.

Several killed as heavy rainfall hit southern Rio

At least five people have been killed after intense rainfall hit southern Rio. Local media reported that adverse weather conditions affected the region overnight on Wednesday, triggering widespread flooding and landslides across the region. G1 reported that a woman died after a bus travelling along the Niemeyer Avenue - a coastal route between Leblon and Sao Conrado - was hit in a landslide. Emergency services headed to the scene as clearing up efforts are expected to last for several days. Niemeyer Avenue is expected to remain closed until at least Friday. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET), weather alerts are in place to the southern areas of Minas Gerais state. Flash flooding and landslides are common during the summer months.

Health alerts issued in areas around collapsed dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais

State health authorities in Minas Gerais have urged people to be vigilant over potential water contamination in Brumadinho. People have been advised to stay away from the shores of the Paraopeba River as some sources of fresh water may have been affected. Authorities confirmed that several cases of diarrhoea were reported in the region. Authorities are also urging caution to avoid the contraction of leptospirosis - although no cases were so far reported. Concerns have been raised especially during the rainy season, which is expected to last until March. People in the area have been advised not to eat fish from the Paraopeba River and not consume food that was in contact with the mud. Most common symptoms reported include vomit, diarrhoea, itching and dizziness. In late-January, a dam holding mining dumps collapsed in the town.

Supreme Court order release of those arrested in dam collapse case

Brazil's Supreme Court has ordered the release of five people detained in the dam collapse case in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais. Two staff members of the mining-giant Vale and three contractors were freed from prison after they were interrogated. Meanwhile, authorities confirmed that the death toll of the Brumadinho disaster has reached 134, while search efforts continue to locate nearly 200 others that are still missing. Vale, one of the world's largest producers of iron ore, was in charge of operating the Mina do Corrego do Feijao, where one of its dams collapsed back in late-January.

Justice minister launches anti-crime package to tackle corruption and organised crime

Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro has announced an anti-crime bill to tackle corruption and organised crime in Brazil. Moro, the former judge in charge of the infamous 'Car Wash' investigations, has said that the bill seeks to introduce reforms to some articles of the Brazilian penal code and the criminalisation of political corruption, especially irregularities during political campaigns. He also seeks to uphold convictions handed on first appeal courts. The so-called anti-crime package received support from some state governors. However, critics claim that the bill may increase cases of police brutality in Brazil as it seeks to expand the concept of legitimate defence to police officers. Brazil recorded over 60,000 homicides in 2018. The bill still has to pass in Congress, where a large number of politicians are investigated for corruption.

Davi Alcolumbre elected as new Senate speaker

Davi Alcolumbre has been elected the new Senate speaker after a turbulent vote held last Sunday. In the first electoral procedure held to elect the leader of the Congress' upper house, alleged fraud occurred after 82 votes were cast instead of 81, the official number of senators. A second procedure was put in place, where former Senate speaker and political veteran Renan Calheiros stepped down from the race. Brazilian media reported that Alcolumbre is a close ally to President Jair Bolsonaro's chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, and Senator Flavio Bolsonaro. He is also being investigated by the Supreme Federal Court (STJ) for alleged irregularities to his senatorial bid in 2014. Despite increasing support in the lower house, the ruling Social Liberal Party (PSL) still holds little influence in the Senate - the PSL only elected four senators.

Girl shot in the back after criminals open fire at vehicle in Itaborai, Rio

An 11-year-old girl has been shot after criminals opened fire on her parent's vehicle in the metropolitan area of Rio. G1 reported that the victim's father mistakenly drove up a road which leads to the Rato Malhado community in Itaborai. The incident happened on Sunday evening. Similar incidents have been previously reported in Rio, when drivers follow satnav directions which cut through communities controlled by criminal groups. Driving in Rio can be dangerous and difficult to navigate. Travellers should familiarise themselves with Rio's road networks as some road signs are ambiguous and may lead drivers into dangerous communities.

Supreme Court overturns decision to block probe against President Bolsonaro's son

Brazil's Supreme Court has overturned a decision to suspend a corruption investigation involving Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro. Flavio is accused of making suspect cash payments to his drivers, Fabricio Queiroz, while he was a federal deputy in Rio. Justice Marco Aurelio Mello claims that Flavio is not allowed to benefit from political immunity as the alleged crimes happened before he took office as a federal deputy in Rio. It is alleged that Flavio paid up to $300k to Queiroz, who denied any wrongdoing.

Residents urged to stay away from river due to water contamination in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais

Local residents from communities located around the collapsed dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, have been urged to refrain from consuming water from sources close to the Paraopeba River. Mine dumps, or tailings, are currently being dragged downstream the river after a major refuse dam collapsed at the Corrego do Feijao mine. State and federal authorities have said that waters from the Paraopeba River are contaminated and may pose a risk to people and animals. People have been advised to maintain a distance of at least 100 metres from the river. The Paraopeba runs for nearly 540 km through 35 municipalities in central Minas Gerais. At least 99 people have been killed and more than 200 others are still missing.

Several beaches closed after sewage pipe burst in Arraial do Cabo, Rio

State authorities are investigating the potential contamination of several beaches in Arraial do Cabo, Rio. Last week, heavy rainfall caused a major drainage pipe to burst in the Prainha beach, leading to the spilling of potentially contaminated sewage. Arraial do Cabo Mayor's Office has stated that some beaches currently aren't suitable for bathing after tidal changes spread contaminated water to nearby coastal areas. They include the Prainha, Praia dos Anjos, Praia do Forno and Lagos de Monte Alto. Local authorities said that coordinated clean up efforts are currently underway, while it is still uncertain when beaches will be reopened. Some other beaches are still open as they were not affected. Arraial do Cabo is a popular beach resort located in central Rio state known for its pristine and crystal-clear blue waters.

Several arrested amid dam collapse investigation in Minas Gerais

Prosecutors in Minas Gerais confirmed that five people have been arrested amid the investigations of the dam collapse in Brumadinho. Reuters reported that two of those arrested are the managers of the Corrego do Feijao mine, which was administered by the mining giant Vale. Some arrests were also made in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo. They are accused of falsifying documents, manslaughter and environmental crimes. Nearly 300 people are still missing and over 60 others were confirmed dead after a dam collapsed last Friday. The Brazilian government has already frozen billions of dollars from the company.

Hopes fade for hundreds of dam collapse victims

At least 58 people have been confirmed dead and more than 300 others remain missing following the collapse of the dam in Brumadinho. Rescue workers have been searching for survivors since the dam gave way on Friday, releasing a river of mud which buried workers and local areas. A warning has been issued over an imminent mining dam rupture at the same Corrego do Feijao complex due to dangerously high water levels.  The government has frozen $1.6bn from the account of the Vale mining company, which also operated the dam which collapsed near Mariana in 2015, killing 19 people.

Emergency services respond to dam collapse near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

Emergency services are responding to reports of a dam collapse near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. G1 reported that the incident happened in the town of Brumadinho in the Corrego do Feijao region. The dam is run by the mining company Vale. It is still unknown if there are any casualties. People have been advised to stay away from the area, especially in areas around the Paraopeba River. Back in 2015, more than 17 people were killed when another dam collapsed near the town of Mariana, also located in Minas Gerais. This has been considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history.

Openly gay federal deputy flee the country over death threats

An openly gay federal deputy has said that he fled the country after reportedly receiving death threats. Jean Wyllys is a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) in Rio and was recently elected for a third term in office. In an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo, Wyllys said that after careful consideration he chose not to be sworn in and to flee the country. Wyllys has been known for engaging in heated rows with President Jair Bolsonaro and his sons. He said that he considered leaving the country after advice from former Uruguayan President Pepe Mujica and after the death of Rio congresswoman Marielle Franco. Several LGBT groups in Brazil have raised concerns since the election of President Bolsonaro. They fear that his previous homophobic comments may contribute towards fueling hatred against LGBT communities in Brazil.

Several militiamen arrested in western Rio

Five members of a militia based in western Rio have been detained during a lengthy investigation led by the state public ministry. Prosecutors claim that two militia groups in the Muzema and Rio das Pedras neighbourhood used neighbours' associations for extortion, rezoning of lands and interception of stolen cargo. Among the arrested is a high-ranking member of the military police. Authorities are investigating if both militias are linked to the death of lawmaker Marielle Franco, who was killed last year. Marielle was actively engaged in a local awareness campaign to inform the population of potential land appropriation in western Rio.

Two killed as flash flooding hits river in Itatiaia, Sao Paulo

Two people have been killed after flash flooding hit a local river in the Itatiaia National Park, Sao Paulo. According to reports, the victims were dragged through the Campo Belo River when heavy rainfall suddenly hit the river's stream bed. Drownings in the area are relatively common due to the increasing risks of flash flooding due to the rainy season during the summer months. The area is known for several waterfalls and it is popular with tourists. Travellers are advised to be vigilant, especially due to the lack of hazard signs and lifeguards along popular bathing sites. Visitors are recommended to check the park's visitors guide.

Several killed in armed attack in Sao Goncalo, Rio

At least nine people have been killed after armed criminals opened fire at a crowd in the metropolitan area of Rio. According to the police, the victims were gathered at a street food trailer in Sao Goncalo when they were targeted in the early hours of Monday morning. Another shooting happened moments later in the neighbouring town of Itaborai. It is unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are. Preliminary reports suggest that most of the victims had previous drug-trafficking convictions. Militia groups widely operate in the metropolitan area of Rio. They are often engaged in disputes with local drug-trafficking groups.

State prosecutors suspend corruption probe implicating President Bolsonaro's son

A probe investigating a corruption scandal involving the son of President Jair Bolsonaro has been suspended. State prosecutors in Rio have tabled investigations into alleged payments made to Fabricio Queiroz, the driver of senator-elect Flavio Bolsonaro. It is claimed that Queiroz received more than $300k while he worked as a driver of Flavio when he was a state legislator in Rio. President Bolsonaro denied any wrongdoing, while Flavio said that the investigations are politically motivated. Queiroz acknowledged receiving the money, but claimed that the funds originated from a side-business he used to run.

Thousands affected as heavy rainfall hit southern Brazil

Thousands of people were displaced after heavy rainfall affected dozens of communities in southern Brazil. Several rivers have burst their banks and caused widespread flooding. The government said that it is considering to declare a state of emergency in some areas to allocate federal funds to assist local governments. Intense rainfall was also reported in the north-eastern state of Bahia and the central-western state of Minas Gerais. Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts to Rio Grando Sul, Santa Catarina and most parts of southern and eastern Parana. Adverse weather may persist over the weekend.

President Bolsonaro signs decree to relax gun control

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed on Tuesday a presidential decree to relax gun regulations in Brazil. The new decree seeks to extend the periods of licensing for those who legally own firearms - the period will be increased from five to 10 years. It will also scrap the need to acquire authorisation from federal authorities. The possession of firearms in Brazil is allowed in certain cases, but in general gun control in the country is very strict. Loosening the possession and selling of firearms to civilians was one of the main items in Bolsonaro's presidential campaign. Last year, more than 60,000 people were killed in Brazil.

General Barros nominated as presidential spokesman

President Jair Bolsonaro has nominated General Otavio Barros as the presidential spokesman. General Barros said that he is still active in the military and will not go to the reserves. Several military figures are currently holding influential roles in the Bolsonaro administration, including his vice-president, General Hamilton Mourao - different from Barros, Mourao is a reservist. Barros worked closely with the former head of the armed forces, General Eduardo Villas-Boas, who was recently assigned to the Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI).

Renewed series of attacks reported across Fortaleza, Ceara

A car dealership and a power transmission tower have been targeted in a series of bomb attacks in Ceara, north-eastern Brazil. Local media reported that the incidents happened on Saturday around the metropolitan area of Fortaleza. At least 20 vehicles were damaged after criminals threw explosives at a car leadership, while a transmission tower off a federal highway was downed. Despite the deployment of federal forces and police reinforcement, violence continues to hit the state for nearly two weeks. Nearly 200 incidents were reported across the state and more than 300 people were arrested. 

Opposition congresswoman targeted in armed attack in northern Rio

An opposition congresswoman has been targeted in a suspected armed attack in northern Rio. Martha Rocha is a member of the state assembly in Rio and the former head of the Civil Police in the state. UOL reported that Rocha and her driver were targeted when driving in the Penha neighbourhood on Sunday morning. Her 88-year-old mother was also inside the vehicle. Authorities are still investigating the potential motives behind the attack. Rocha has previously received death threats from militia groups based in northern Rio. This is the second armed attack against politicians reported in 2019. Last week, the Mayor of Duque de Caxias was also targeted. Both incidents happened as the police continue to investigate the death of congresswoman Marielle Franco, who was gunned down alongside her driver last March.

Thousands protest bus fare hikes in Sao Paulo

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Sao Paulo to protest a hike in bus fares. Demonstrators marched along the Avenida Paulista after Mayor Bruno Covas announced an increase in public transport prices in Brazil's largest city. Protests were called by the Free Fare Movement (MPL), which claimed up to 20,000 people took part in the protest, while the police estimate the number was much lower. For years, the MPL has been behind protests against rising prices in public transportation in Sao Paulo and across Brazil. Its influence started in 2013, when protests against fare hikes brought Brazil to a standstill.

Top prosecutor requests 80-year sentence for former minister

Brazil's Attorney General Raquel Dodge has called on the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to hand down a sentence of up to 80 years for former Minister Geddel Vieira Lima. According to the Attorney General's Office, Lima is being charged with eight counts of money laundering. He has been detained since 2017 after the federal police seized more than 50 million reais ($13.5m) from his house in north-eastern Brazil. He was minister for nearly six months during the administration of President Michel Temer. It is alleged that the money was paid by the Brazilian firm Odebrecht to politicians in Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB).

Heavy rainfall triggers widespread flooding in Sao Paulo

Heavy rainfall has caused widespread flooding across Sao Paulo. Major streets and expressways were completely blocked when a downpour hit Brazil's biggest city. The most affected areas were in the city's central and eastern regions. Local media reported that damages occurred in the neighbourhoods of Penha, Vila Matilde, Tatuape and Cangaiba. Dozens of trees were knocked down and several areas near rivers were put on alert. Rainfall is forecast to continue in the next few days and may also affect towns in the city's metropolitan area. Flooding in Sao Paulo is common, especially during the summer months. 

Brazilian states request federal aid amid wave of violence in Ceara

Two Brazilian states have requested federal assistance over fears that the wave of violence in Ceara may spread across the region. The governor of the northern state of Para, Helder Barbalho, requested the deployment of more than 500 National Guard officers to curb criminality in the state. A similar request was also made by the governor of the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo. State governments fear that the current violence in Ceara may spread to other cities and prisons. Since Wednesday, more than 160 attacks have been reported across Fortaleza, its metropolitan area and rural towns across northern and southern Ceara.

Wave of violence in Ceara spreads to small rural towns

An ongoing wave of crimes in the north-eastern state of Ceara has spread to the metropolitan area of Fortaleza. Reports revealed that more than 150 criminal acts were reported since violence broke out in the state last Wednesday. For nearly a week, several buses, vehicles, police stations, infrastructure and banks were targeted. Initially concentrated mostly around Fortaleza, violence has spread to small rural towns in southern and northern Ceara. Hundreds of National Guard troops were deployed to the state. Prosecutors believe that the wave of attacks comes over the nomination of a new director of the state's prison system. 

Head of environmental agency resigns after President Bolsonaro's budget remarks

The head of the Brazilian Institute of Environment (IBAMA) has resigned after being criticised by President Jair Bolsonaro. Suely Araujo considered baseless the allegations that the environmental agency misused public funds to lease several patrol vehicles. She was also targeted by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles. Environmental groups raised several concerns of environmental policies of the new administration. Last week, the president announced that the ministry of agriculture would take over reforestation efforts. The move followed plans of a potential merger between the environmental and the agriculture ministries.

Ongoing violence wave spreads across Fortaleza, Ceara

An ongoing wave of violence in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza has spread over the weekend. Several buses, vehicles and public buildings across the city were targeted on Sunday despite the deployment of the federal National Guard. Over 90 attacks were reported since Wednesday. Despite levels of violence, no civilian casualties have been so far reported. From Monday, buses will have armed officers on board, while some of them will be escorted by police patrol vehicles. The police are still assessing the motivations behind the attacks. At least 110 people have already been arrested.

Dozens of tourists held at gunpoint in southern Rio

Dozens of tourists have been targeted in a robbery attempt in southern Rio. Several domestic and foreign tourists were hiking a popular trail between the Parque Lage and the Christ the Redeemer when they were targeted by three armed criminals. Reports suggest that the victims were held for nearly two hours before they were released unharmed. All their belongings, including mobile phones, cameras, money and wallets, were stolen. Hiking tracks towards the Christ the Redeemer monument are often covered by dense forest. Criminals often hide in the vegetation to target tourists.

Rio governor clears police to 'shoot-to-kill' armed criminals

Rio Governor Wilson Witzel has said during an interview that he is authorising law enforcement to "shoot-to-kill" criminals armed with high-calibre weapons. Governor Witzel was sworn into office on Tuesday and vowed to launch a hard-line approach against drug-trafficking groups in Rio. He takes office as the military intervention of public security in Rio expired. Police in the city have long been accused by rights groups of extra-judicial killings when raiding low-income communities. 

Heavy rainfall trigger weather alerts across southern Brazil

Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued several alerts as heavy rainfall and strong winds are forecast to hit southern Brazil. Weather alerts were issued to the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, where flooding, power outages and falling trees are possible. Similar conditions are also expected to most areas in south-eastern Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Travellers are advised to follow recommendations from the INMET.

President Bolsonaro to consider opening of US military base in Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro has said in an interview that he is willing to consider the opening of a US military base in Brazil. He said that: "Depending on what happens in the world, who knows if we would not need to discuss that question in the future." Bolsonaro has previously announced his plans to strengthen ties with the US. During his inauguration, he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss further US-Brazilian relations.

Authorities request federal support as violence wave spreads in Fortaleza, Ceara

State authorities have called for the support of the National Force amid a current wave of violence across Fortaleza, Ceara. Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro has said that he is considering sending troops to assist local authorities. Recently, nearly a dozen buses were set ablaze, while several structures were targeted in bomb attacks. No casualties have been reported so far. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the attacks are. Reports suggest that at least 11 suspects were arrested. Buses are currently being escorted by the police in and out terminals.

Several killed in road crash near Seabra, Bahia

At least six people have been killed and several others have been injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. According to the police, the accident happened on Thursday morning along the BR-242 highway near Seabra. The town is located in the region of the Chapada Diamantina, a popular tourist destination during the summer months. Preliminary reports suggest that the crash happened after a lorry lost control and hit a mini-bus. Road accidents in Brazil are common. They are mainly caused due to reckless driving and poorly maintained vehicles.

Pregnant woman killed during robbery attempt in Rio

A pregnant woman and her partner have been shot dead during a robbery attempt in Duque de Caxias, Rio's Metropolitan area. The victims were targeted in the Vila Sarapui neighbourhood and shot after reacting to the robbery. The woman was heavily pregnant and was forced to prematurely deliver the baby after being shot on the head. She died just after giving birth. The baby, which was in serious condition, succumbed to his wounds days later. Robberies in Rio sporadically occur. People are advised not to react to robbery or car-jacking attempts as criminals are often armed.

Several explosions reported amid crime wave in Fortaleza, Ceara

Several explosions have been reported across Ceara in a wave of criminality reported overnight on Wednesday. At least three buses were set ablaze across the metropolitan area of Fortaleza. G1 reported that a bypass close to the BR-020 highway had parts of its structure damaged. It is still unclear if the attacks are connected. Fortaleza reports one of the highest criminality rates in the country. Most incidents are usually gang-related or retaliation against police operations. The use of explosives are common in criminal acts - especially against ATMs - but casualties seldom occur.

Finance minister announces plans to introduce pension reforms

Finance Minister Paulo Guedes has announced plans to introduce a massive overhaul of the country's pension system. Guedes said that a draft executive order is set to be delivered to President Jair Bolsonaro, who is expected to approve it in the next few days. Pension system reforms will be one of the main challenges of Bolsonaro, who will face the challenge to reduce the country's deficit. Pension reforms generated a wave of protests during the previous administration of Michel Temer. To go forward, the new law will need to be approved in Congress, which is currently heavily fragmented. The announcement came as the government also released plans to increase the country's minimum wage to 998 reais ($260).

Ministry of agriculture to take charge of indigenous affairs

President Jair Bolsonaro has signed an executive order that will assign the ministry of agriculture to deal with indigenous affairs. Among the new responsibilities, the ministry will be in charge of the demarcation of indigenous lands in the country. The ministry of agriculture will also take over the Brazilian Forest Service, which is currently in charge of reforestation efforts. The move comes as President Bolsonaro seeks to enhance economic activities in indigenous lands and further promote the integration of indigenous tribes. In recent years, there have been disputes involving the agricultural sector and its potential expansion to untouched areas of the Brazilian rainforest. President Bolsonaro took office on Tuesday.

Jair Bolsonaro set to take office

Jair Bolsonaro is set to take office as Brazil's new president. Bolsonaro, 63, defeated the PT's Fernando Haddad in the vote in October. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to attend the inauguration ceremony in Brasilia along with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Military intervention in Rio to come to an end

The military intervention in Rio is set to come to an end on Monday. After nearly 10 months, public security duties in Rio were handed over to federal authorities. During this period, large-scale military operations were launched across the city, while soldiers patrolled the streets alongside military police officers. The intervention ends after the federal and state government refused to renew the mandate, claiming that the move was a success. Others claim that not much changed during this period. The intervention kicked off after intense clashes involving rival criminal factions broke out earlier this year in southern Rio. Public security will be the major challenge of Governor-elect Wilson Witzel, who will take office in January.

Road and air travel to face extreme disruption ahead of Christmas holidays

Road and air travel across Brazil is expected to reach its peak ahead of the Christmas holidays as millions are set to travel to coastal cities and state capitals. Intercity bus stations and airports are expected to be extremely busy between the end of December and early-January. New Year celebrations are also scheduled in some major cities, including Rio, where millions are expected to gather on Copacabana Beach and other tourist hotspots. Travellers are advised caution and to remain vigilant when near large crowds, especially at street parties. Pickpockets and petty criminals often operate in those areas.

Emergency landing triggers flight disruption in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

An emergency landing has triggered flight disruption at the Belo Horizonte International Airport (CNF) in Minas Gerais. CNF has informed that the runway was closed for nearly seven hours during the morning and operations are slowly returning to normal. The LATAM flight from Sao Paulo to London was forced to make an emergency landing at the airport on the early hours of Thursday. Reports suggest that aircraft suffered an electrical fault, but LATAM has not yet confirmed this. At least 130 flights were affected. For further information, CNF advised passengers to contact their respective airlines.

City secretary assassinated in Osasco, Sao Paulo

The transport secretary of Osasco, Osvaldo Silva, has been shot dead in a shooting in the outskirts of Sao Paulo. Local media reported that Silva was in a vehicle with a couple when they were targeted in the early hours of Thursday. Police said that preliminary investigations suggest that Silva was deliberately targeted. At least 11 shots were fired at his vehicle. Silva was a former city congressman and a former police officer.

Shooting breaks out at mall in northern Rio

At least four people have been injured after shooting erupted during a robbery attempt in northern Rio. Armed criminals targeted a cash-in-transit vehicle while agents were replenishing ATMs at the Guadalupe Shopping Centre. Attacks targeting cash-in-transit vehicles and ATMs are common in Rio. Groups that specialise in bank robberies are often heavily armed and usually operate in areas with poor police presence.

Outgoing President Temer charged with corruption and money laundering

Outgoing President Michel Temer has been charged with corruption and money laundering linked to a bribery scheme involving port concessions. Attorney General Raquel Dodge has said on Wednesday that President Temer and five others planned to benefit several companies, such as Rodrimar, which operates Brazil's biggest port in Santos, Sao Paulo. It is estimated that more than $8m in bribes were paid to companies belonging to President Temer's acquaintances. President Temer has previously been charged with corruption, but investigations were filed after the lower house of Congress refused to remove his political immunity - he is set to lose this right in January when he hands over the government to far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Supreme Court blocks injunction to release Lula da Silva from prison

Supreme Court Minister Marco Aurelio Mello has requested the release of all prisoners condemned through an appeals court and are still waiting for further appeal options in higher courts. Minister Mello argues that the imprisonment before all appeal options are explored is unconstitutional. Just after the request was submitted on Wednesday, Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli overturned the injunction after a request from Attorney General Raquel Dodge. Toffoli claimed that Mello's request would severely compromise public order. If approved, the measure could benefit nearly 170,000 people; including some of those sentenced on the 'Car Wash' investigations, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former house speaker Eduardo Cunha and former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral. President-elect Jair Bolsonaro praised Toffoli's decision.

Scores of police officers arrested for links to corruption in Sao Paulo

More than 50 police officers in Sao Paulo have been arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes from the infamous First Capital Commando (PCC). Long-standing investigations were led by the military police's internal affairs and the public ministry, which targeted the 22nd police battalion in southern Sao Paulo. More than 600 police officers were deployed to take part in the operation, which also took place in Rio and Minas Gerais. Officers are accused of receiving bribes to allow drug-trafficking in the Ubirajara neighbourhood. They will be charged with corruption, military crimes and drug-trafficking. The PCC is one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil. Despite being based in Sao Paulo, the group is also known to operate nationwide - also from inside prisons - and in the tri-border area with Paraguay and Argentina.

Former police officer arrested for links to congresswoman's murder plot

A former police officer has been detained for suspected links to the murder of Rio's congresswoman Marielle Franco, who was killed alongside her driver back in March. Local media reported that Renato Santos was at the scene when the attack happened in the central Estacio neighbourhood. He is accused of being a member of a militia group led by Orlando Curicica, who is accused of masterminding the attack. Authorities are also investigating the involvement of local congressman Marcelo Siciliano. Last week, the state government said that one of the investigations links the attack to disputes in rezoning plans in western Rio.

Indigenous leader calls EU to introduce sanctions ahead of Bolsonaro's inauguration

An indigenous leader has called on the EU to introduce trade sanctions on Brazil ahead of the inauguration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Sonia Guajajara, the leader of the APBI, which represents hundreds of indigenous groups, raised concerns over future policies that may threaten indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest. Guajajara said that: "We are afraid of a new genocide against the indigenous population and we are not going to wait for it to happen. We will resist. We will defend our territories, and our lives.” She raises concerns over negotiations between the Mercosur and the EU, which may fuel illegal exploration activities in untouched areas. However, the EU already emphasize that the future deal will be based on sustainability. Loggers and illegal miners often threaten indigenous groups and environmentalists across Brazil.

Hundreds of houses affected as massive fire breaks out in Manaus, Amazonas

More than 600 houses were affected when a massive fire broke out in southern Manaus, Amazonas. G1 reported that the fire started at 20:30 local time on Monday in the low-income neighbourhood of Educandos. No fatalities were reported, but at least four people were injured and an unknown number of families was left homeless. Manaus Mayor has declared a state of emergency as firefighters continue battling the blaze, which is reportedly under control. Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire broke out after a pressure cooker exploded. Most of the structures affected were makeshift homes along the Negro River.

Paraguay extradite three Brazilian criminals after prison break in Asuncion

Paraguay's government has announced the extradition of three Brazilian criminals part of the infamous First Capital Commando (PCC). The criminals were detained in the bordering town of Ciudad del Este and in the northern city of Concepcion. Their extradition came a day after two other PCC members broke out of a high-security prison in Asuncion. At least 18 police officers were arrested for allegedly aiding in their escape. Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez has launched a hard-line approach against Brazilian-based criminal groups. Since a former Red Commando leader, Marcelo Piloto, killed a woman inside his prison cell last month, dozens of Brazilian criminals were extradited to Brazil. The PCC is based in Sao Paulo and widely operate in Paraguay, especially in the bordering cities of Pedro Juan Caballero and Ciudad del Este.

Massive fire breaks out at oil refinery in northern Rio

A massive fire has broken out at an oil refinery in northern Rio. G1 reported that the incident unfolded at 13:30 local time and forced dozens of firefighters to be deployed around the Manguinhos neighbourhood. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the fire are, while there are no reports of casualties. The refinery is located close to a residential area, which is currently being preventatively evacuated. The Refit Refinaria is situated on the Avenida Brasil, which is currently blocked. Road traffic to and from Rio's Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG), the Yellow Line and towards the Rio-Niteroi Bridge may also be impacted.

Weather alert issued due to adverse weather in southern Brazil

Brazil's National Met Institute (INMET) has issued weather alerts as intense rainfall is forecast to hit southern Brazil on Tuesday. Increasing risks of flash flooding and landslides may hit  Rio Grande do Sul and parts of Santa Catarina, while strong winds may cause power outages and bring down trees. People are advised to remain vigilant and to avoid outdoor activities. Travel disruption is also likely to impact major airports. Travellers are recommended to follow INMET updates for further information. Similar weather conditions are also severely impacting the bordering areas with Uruguay and Argentina.

Brazilian drug-trafficker arrested and extradited from Paraguay

The leader of the Rio-based Pure Third Commando (TCP) has been arrested and extradited from Paraguay. Carlos Sales Cardoso, alias 'Capile', was detained alongside five other people in the affluent Los Laureles neighbourhood in Asuncion. Capile is now in Rio, where he is facing drug-trafficking and homicide charges. Since the arrest of alias 'Nem', the TCP has significantly conquered territory across northern and western Rio. The group is the main rival of the infamous Red Commando. In recent months, Paraguay has ordered the extradition of several Brazilian drug-traffickers who are currently detained in the country.

Security secretary claims that congresswoman's death may be linked to rezoning plan

Rio's public security secretary, General Richard Nunes, has said that preliminary investigations suggest  that the death of Congresswoman Marielle Franco may be linked to militia-linked rezoning plans in western Rio. In an interview to Folha de Sao Paulo, General Nunes said that Marielle was actively engaged in a local awareness campaign to inform the population of potential land appropriation. He claims that Franco's death has been planned by militiamen since late-2017 - she was killed in February. The main lines of investigation also implicate congressman Marcello Siciliano, who is accused of collaborating in the murder plot.

Several killed in head-on collision in Ceara

At least six people have been killed and more than two dozen others were injured in a head-on collision in Ceara, north-eastern Brazil. According to the police, the accident happened on Thursday afternoon near the town of Campos Sales. A chartered bus transporting several pilgrims was travelling from the town of Caninde when it crashed into a loaded lorry. Six people are in critical condition. Road accidents involving buses in Brazil are common and often lead to multiple casualties. They especially occur in isolated rural roads and during the night. Most accidents occur due to poorly signalled roads and reckless driving.

Thousands of soldiers deployed in fresh operation in Rio

Nearly 5,000 soldiers and police officers have been deployed during a joint operation across more than a dozen communities in northern and western Rio. At least two people were killed when criminals clashed with soldiers on Tuesday morning. Armoured vehicles and military aircraft were also deployed in those areas, while G1 reported that some areas Rio's airspace were temporarily restricted. Military operations in Rio significantly increased due to the ongoing federal intervention to the state public security, which is scheduled to last until the end of the year.

Prosecutors reiterate calls to sentence Lula da Silva in Car Wash probe

Federal prosecutors have reiterated a request to sentence former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for a case involving a farm in the town of Atibaia, Sao Paulo. Prosecutors claim that Lula da Silva spent more than 850k reais ($200k) in construction works at the Atibaia farm. The money is believed to be from millionaire bribes paid by the construction conglomerates OAS and Odebrecht. The case is being handled by Federal Judge Gabriela Hardt, who took over the Car Wash investigations after Sergio Moro was nominated to head the new justice ministry. Lula da Silva is currently serving a 12-year sentence on corruption charges.

Several killed as gunman raid church in Campinas, Sao Paulo

At least five people have been killed after a gunman raided a cathedral in Sao Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Campinas. Eight people were also injured. Reports suggest that the gunman killed himself. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are.

Senator Aecio Neves targeted for alleged links to bribery scheme

More than two dozen search warrants have been issued amid investigations on suspected corruption schemes linked to Senator Aecio Neves. Police officers raided his residence in the affluent neighbourhood of Ipanema in Rio to find documents regarding payments of up to 110m reais ($28m) in bribes. Neves, who was also a presidential contender in 2014 for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), is also being accused of illegal campaign financing through illegal payments from the Solidarity Party. Neves's sister, Andrea Neves, is accused of receiving the payments on his behalf - she was already arrested during a phase of the Car Wash investigations. The search warrants come as part of a plea bargain deal between federal prosecutors and the former chief of private investment holding company J&F Investimentos.

Massive oil spill hit Rio's Guanabara Bay after theft attempt

A massive oil spill has been reported at Rio's Guanabara Bay after criminals targeted an oil pipeline near Mage. It is estimated that more than 60,000 litres of oil reached the Estrela River. Transpetro, the company in charge of the pipeline, has said that over 350 staff members were deployed to contain the spillage, which is feared to heavily affected the environmentally-protected area. Mage is located near the Guapiumiram Environmental Protection Area. Police are investigating a potential oil theft attempt. In recent months, the police launched an investigation against criminals dedicated to oil theft in Rio and Sao Paulo.

Brazil to withdraw from UN migration pact when Jair Bolsonaro takes office

Brazil is set to withdraw from the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration when far-right Jair Bolsonaro takes office in January. His future foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, heavily criticised the agreement, which is currently being discussed in Morocco and was agreed by outgoing minister Aloysio Nunes. Araujo said that immigration issues should be approached based on the national interest of each country. The Global compact for migration is a non-binding document that seeks to introduce a global understanding of international migration. Brazil is currently facing a high-influx of Venezuelan migrants through its northern border. Araujo said that the new government will still welcome Venezuelan migrants. Earlier this week, the government approved a federal intervention in Roraima to assist state authorities.

Several members of the same family contract Chagas disease near Palmas, Tocantins

More than a dozen people from the same family have contracted the Chagas disease near Palmas, Tocantins. Local media reported that the patients were infected after ingesting a fresh home-made fruit juice at a party in Aparecida do Rio Negro. They were rushed to hospital after symptoms became visible nearly 10 days later. Chagas disease is common in Latin America and mainly spread through insect bites or the consumption of food and drinks contaminated with insect faeces. Symptoms may include fever, headache, rashes and body aches. Currently, there is no vaccination against the Chagas disease.

Presidential decree signed to allow federal intervention in Roraima

Outgoing President Michel Temer has signed a decree which will allow a federal intervention in the northern state of Roraima. The intervention was previously agreed on Friday and will be led by Roraima's Governor-elect Antonio Denarium, who is set to be sworn into office in January. The decree will grant Roraima access to federal funding to assist the state government in public security duties until the end of 2019. Roraima is the main point of transit of Venezuelan migrants into Brazil. Public services across the state are under extreme pressure, especially in the bordering town of Pacaraima. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 35,000 Venezuelans arrived in Brazil in 2017 - comparatively, in 2016, the number of Venezuelan migrants heading to the country was around 5,500.

Lorry drivers setup blockade along Sao Paulo-Rio highway

Lorry drivers have blocked the main highway between Rio and Sao Paulo to protest a court rule on freight rates. Protesters blocked in at least three points the BR-116 federal highway, also known as Rodovia Presidente Dutra, after the Supreme Court ruled over an injunction that would allow the government to fine companies that did not comply with the current freight rates framework. The protest was backed by the influential Brazilian Association of Truckers (Abcam), which represents more than 600,000 lorry drivers nationwide. Latest reports suggest that the highway was cleared on Monday morning, but further protests and blockades may occur throughout the week. Last May, Brazil came to a standstill after lorry drivers launched a nationwide strike action against rising fuel prices.

Scores killed during bank robbery attempt in Milagres, Ceara

More than a dozen people have been killed during a bank robbery attempt in Ceara, north-eastern Brazil. Reports revealed that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday in the town of Milagres, located in the Cariri region. A violent shooting broke out during a police chase, where criminals hijacked several vehicles and held hostages. Among the casualties are at least five civilians. Bank robberies in Brazil have become common in small rural towns due to the lack of a police presence. Police called people to avoid travel through the BR-116 federal highway, the main road to Milagres. The incident happened almost at the same time another bank was targeted with explosives in the town of Itatira, also in Ceara. Official data confirmed that over 40 banks across the state were attacked in 2018.

Prosecutors investigate international firms for paying bribes to Petrobras

Federal prosecutors are investigating several international trade companies on suspicion of paying bribes to officials of the state-owned oil company Petrobras. In a statement released on Wednesday, prosecutors said that companies such as the Dutch-based Vitol and Trafigura are among those under investigation, which is part of the notorious 'Car Wash' probe. Bribes are believed to have reached more than $30m to acquire lucrative state contracts to trade oil and lease storage tanks. Petrobras is at the centre of the Car Wash investigations, which already implicated dozens of high-level politicians and business officials.

US tourist hospitalised after contracting the swine flu in Santos, Sao Paulo

A 75-year-old US tourist has been taken to hospital after contracting the H1N1 virus on a cruise ship docked in Santos, Sao Paulo. G1 reported that the woman was taken to an intensive care unit in Guaruja after she was diagnosed with the swine flu. Two crew members were also hospitalised. It is still unclear how they contracted the virus. The H1N1 is a seasonal virus that usually circulates during the winter. Symptoms are often mild and may include fever, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and severe headache. 

Man targeted in express-kidnapping in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo

A man has been targeted in an express-kidnapping after armed criminals ambushed him in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo. Reports revealed that the incident happened on Thursday in the Cumbica neighbourhood. The victim was reportedly waiting for his daughter when he was targeted. Preliminary investigations indicate that the victim was forced to use his credit card before being released 12 hours later in the nearby town of Mogi das Cruzes. Express-kidnapping - when the victim is held for up to 48 hours - are common in Sao Paulo and Rio. 

Political groups to launch nationwide protests to demand Lula da Silva's release

Dozens of political groups linked to the Workers' Party (PT) have called for mass nationwide demonstrations to demand the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Protests are expected to take place across major Brazilian capitals on Monday. A major protest is scheduled to occur in front of the Metalworkers Syndicate in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo. The protest is scheduled to kick off at 18:00 local time. Lula da Silva is jailed since March when he was sentenced to serve 12 years for corruption. The marches come days after the Supreme Federal Court postponed an appeal hearing to release him from prison.

Supreme Court allows investigation on Bolsonaro's chief of staff

The Supreme Court has authorised federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into Onyx Lorenzoni, the recently nominated chief of staff of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Lorenzoni is accused of receiving illegal campaign funds from the Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS SA to finance Bolsonaro's presidential bid. The allegations came after a plea bargain deal was brokered with prosecutors. Lorenzoni is accused of receiving up to 200,000 reais ($52k) between 2012 and 2014. This is the second investigation against Bolsonaro's cabinet members. Last week, another probe was opened against his economy minister, Paulo Guedes.

Supreme Court to rule on potential release of Lula da Silva

Brazil's Supreme Court is set to rule on the potential release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Siva, who has been detained since April after being charged with corruption. Judges are set to analyse an appeal from Lula da Silva's lawyers that allege that Judge Sergio Moro - who handed over the sentence and was in charge of the 'Car Wash' investigations - was biased. Judge Moro was replaced by Gabriela Hardt after he was nominated by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to lead the justice ministry. Lula da Silva is jailed in southern Brazil and currently serving a 12-year prison sentence.

President-elect Bolsonaro to cease Rio's military intervention

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has announced on Friday that he is not extending the current military intervention to public security in Rio. The military intervention in Rio was first launched in February after a wave of criminality engulfed the city. Joint operations involving the military and the police significantly intensified since then. The intervention is scheduled to last until 31 December. In previous occasions, outgoing Defence Minister Raul Jungmann has said the move may compromise ongoing public security efforts to tackle drug-trafficking in Rio.

President-elect appoints seventh military official to his cabinet

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro announced on Friday the appointment of Navy Admiral Bento Costa de Albuquerque Junior as the new minister for mining and energy. Albuquerque Junior currently leads the Navy's nuclear and technological development programme. He is the seventh military official to be appointed to Bolsonaro's cabinet.

Rio governor detained for links to corruption

Rio's outgoing Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao has been detained as part of a new phase of the notorious 'Car Wash' investigations. Federal prosecutors accused Pezao of running his own corruption network while being the public works secretary of former Governor Sergio Cabral, who is currently arrested for corruption. Pezao is believed to have received more than 25m reais ($6.5m) in bribes. His arrest happened on Thursday morning at his official residence. Pezao's arrest came after a plea bargain deal of a close aide to Cabral. Brazil's Supreme Court also issued dozens of arrest and search warrants across several states. He is the fourth Rio governor to be arrested. Pezao will be replaced in January by Wilson Witzel.

Several killed as heavily armed criminals raid bank in Maranhao

At least four people have been killed after heavily armed criminals raided a bank in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. Reports revealed that violent shootings and explosions occurred on Monday evening in the remote town of Bacabal. Several vehicles were set ablaze, while lorries were used to block main roads around the city. The local police station was also targeted with high-calibre weapons. A large-scale police operation was launched to capture the criminals, which remain at large. Violent bank heists usually occur in remote Brazilian towns, where police presence is usually limited.

Several killed in helicopter crash in Sao Paulo

Six people have been killed after a helicopter crashed in Sao Paulo. G1 reported that the aircraft was heading from the city of Itapira to Campos do Jordao. Authorities confirmed that the aircraft was found on Saturday near the Itapeva Peak, a dense forest area located in the Mantiqueira Mountain Range. Reports revealed that the area is known for intense fog and heavy rainfall, which may have contributed to the crash.

Cuban doctors departure from Brazil over medical programme row

Thousands of Cuban doctors have left Brazil after the Cuban government decided to suspend a medical cooperation programme. More than 8,000 Cuban doctors are currently in Brazil to assist the shortages of medical staff in remote rural areas. They are part of a Cuban government initiate that is present in more than 60 countries. The decision came after President-elect Jair Bolsonaro highly criticised the Cuban government, alleging that doctors sent to Brazil are exploited by them. With their departure, municipal health departments raised concerns over medical care in rural areas.

Intense shooting reported during several police operations in Rio

Intense shooting has been reported as a number of police operations were launched across Rio on Wednesday morning. Reports suggest that special operations officers were deployed to the Caju community in eastern Rio, while other operations took place in the northern Complexo da Penha. Police operations in Rio have significantly intensified in recent months after the military took over public security duties in the city. The military intervention in Rio is expected to last until late-December - however, governor-elect Wilson Witzel said that he is considering extending the mandate.

Former presidential candidate indicted for links to bribery scheme

Former presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has been indicted for links to corruption. Prosecutors claim that Haddad received more than 2.6m reais ($700k) in bribes from the company UTC Engenharia while running for mayor of Sao Paulo. Haddad indictment comes after a businessman brokered a plea bargain with prosecutors amid the Car Wash investigations. Haddad lost the latest presidential elections to Jair Bolsonaro.

Several killed as heavy rainfall triggers landslides in Niteroi, Rio

At least 15 people have been killed and several others were injured when heavy rainfall triggered landslides in Rio. Authorities confirmed that a large boulder destroyed at least seven houses in the Morro da Boa Esperanca in Niteroi. Reports suggest that some houses were previously evacuated due to their locations in high-risk areas. Niteroi Mayor Rodrigo Neves told reporters that there was no indication that that particular area was at risk. Landslides in Rio are common, especially in low-income neighbourhoods were construction standards are seldom enforced.

Several buses destroyed in series of arson attacks in Rio

Several buses have been set on fire in a series of arson attacks across Rio's metropolitan area. The incidents happened over the weekend in the city of Nova Iguacu, where at least five vehicles were set ablaze. In one of the incidents, over a dozen people were injured after criminals reportedly blocked people from exiting a burning vehicle. Police believe that such incidents are retaliation to police operations in nearby communities. Such incidents often occur in some Brazilian towns, but in most cases, criminals request passengers to step out of the vehicle before setting it alight.

Several detained for links to bribery scheme in Minas Gerais

At least eight people have been arrested for alleged involvement in a massive bribery network during the administration of former President Dilma Rousseff. Official sources told EFE that most of the suspects are high-level state officials in the state of Minas Gerais and members of the meat-packing giant JBS. Among them include JBS major shareholder Joesley Batista, who last year brokered a plea bargain deal that led to the indictment of President Michel Temer. Reports suggest that the vice-governor of Minas Gerais, Antonio Andrade, was also detained. The bribery scheme is mainly linked to the ministry of agriculture.

Several arrested for links to bribery network in Rio

At least 10 state deputies have been arrested for links to a massive bribery scheme in Rio. Prosecutors and the Federal Police (PF) carried out over 20 arrest warrants in Rio. It is alleged that the suspects received monthly payments to support the administration of former Governor Sergio Cabral and incumbent Fernando Pezao. Most payments and negotiations were reportedly carried out within Rio's municipal assembly, Alerj. The warrants came as part of the infamous Car Wash investigations after a number of plea bargain deals were brokered with jailed politicians and facilitators.

Soldiers deployed to dismantle UPPs in central Rio

More than 1,000 soldiers have been deployed across central Rio to deactivate three Police Pacification Units (UPP). The operation kicked off on Wednesday in the Coroa, Fallet and Fogueteiro communities, where three UPP stations will be dismantled. Up to a dozen UPPs are set to be restructured into special police detachments. Since February, the military has taken over public security duties in Rio as part of a federal intervention programme, which is set to last until December.

Federal Judge Gabriela Hardt to replace Moro in Car Wash probe

Federal Judge Gabriela Hardt is set to replace Judge Sergio Moro as head of the Car Wash investigations. Hardt is expected to interrogate former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the next few weeks over a new case linked to the selling of a farm in Sao Paulo. Moro is stepping down from the Car War probe after accepting the nomination to lead the ministry of justice during the upcoming administration of Jair Bolsonaro.

Federal judge accepts nomination to lead ministry of justice

Federal Judge Sergio Moro has accepted President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's nomination to lead the ministry of justice. In a statement released on Thursday, Moro said that he would accept the offer to lead the revamped ministry, which will now take over the ministries of public security, transparency and the Republic’s general comptroller, and the Financial Activities Control Council (Coaf). Moro became popular in Brazil and worldwide as the judge in charge of the CarWash investigations. He is the main person responsible for the detention of high-level officials, including the imprisonment of former president Lula da Silva, who is serving a 12-year sentence in southern Brazil. 

Russia lift Brazilian meat import ban after feed additives row

President Michel Temer has announced that Russia has lifted the ban on the imports of Brazilian meat and poultry. In a statement on social media, President Temer said that the meat market has been reopened after talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Some Brazilian slaughterhouses were barred from exporting meat to Russia back in December due to concerns regarding the use of feed additive ractopamine - the substance is also banned in China and the European Union.

Criminals target buildings with explosives in Rio Grande do Norte

Two buildings in the north-eastern state of Rio Grande do Norte have collapsed after heavily armed criminals targeted a post office and a bank. According to local media, the incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the remote town of Ouro Branco. Reports suggest that after the attack, the assailants targeted a local police station. Such incidents are common in remote rural areas in Brazil where police presence has been significantly reduced.

Football player tortured and killed in Curitiba, Panana

A 24-year-old football player has been found dead in a rural area near Curitiba, Parana. Daniel Correa Freitas's body was found in a pine plantation in Sao Jose dos Pinhais. Police reports suggest that he was tortured before being killed. Investigations are being carried out to assess the motives behind the incident. Freitas was a prominent youth player who played for Sao Bento, a Sao Paulo-based second division team.

Right-wing Jair Bolsonaro wins presidential run-off

Right-wing politician Jair Bolsonaro has been declared the winner in a highly contested presidential run-off held on Sunday. According to official results, Bolsonaro garnered around 55 percent of the votes - nearly 57 million votes - against Fernando Haddad, the candidate for the Workers' Party (PT), who got 45 percent. Despite holding a historical victory and putting an end to PT's 14-year ruling, Bolsonaro's Social Liberal Party (PSL) still faces increasing challenges in Congress. Although the PSL secured 52 seats in the 513-seat chamber, the PT still holds most of the seats, 56. This general election also led to a massive renewal in political benches in Congress, where 30 parties are being represented. Bolsonaro is set to be sworn into office on 01 January 2019. Reports suggest that a number of protests are scheduled to take place nationwide to contest the presidential results. Caution is advised as political demonstrations in Brazil tend to turn violent.

Bolsonaro set to face Haddad in polarised run-off vote

Millions of Brazilians are set to cast their ballots on Sunday ahead of the presidential run-off vote. Right-wing Jair Bolsonaro is facing the candidate of the Workers' Party (PT), Fernando Haddad, in one of the most polarised races in recent decades. In the first round, Bolsonaro garnered more than 46 percent of the votes, while Haddad, the former mayor of Sao Paulo, got 29 percent. Some state governors are also expected to be elected on Sunday. Widespread demonstrations have been reported across Brazil this week through several marches to support both presidential contenders. Further protests are scheduled to occur next week as electoral results are released.

Environmental agents threatened during inspection in Para

Environmental agents of the Chico Mendes Institute (Icmbio) were forced to suspend their operations in the northern state of Para due to safety concerns. Icmbio agents were currently investigating a major operation at the Itaituba National Forest, where criminal groups were illegally extracting hearts of palm and wood. Police officers were called to escort the agents after locals ambushed them near a village in Trairao. According to G1, a bridge that links the village of Bela Vista do Caracol to the BR-163 highway was burned down. The police said that inspection in the area would be suspended until the safety of police officers and Icmbio agents could be guaranteed. Illegal loggers and miners widely operate in remote jungle areas in northern Brazil. They are often engaged in clashes with local indigenous tribes and law-enforcement agents.

Police seize weapons shipment at Rio airport

Nearly a dozen automatic assault rifles have been seized at Rio's Santos Dumont Airport (SDU). According to the anti-drugs unit of the Federal Police, a number of magazines and drugs were also found in a shipment of deep-fryers from the southern city of Cascavel, Parana state. Cascavel is considered to be one of the main routes of drugs and weapons from Paraguay. Rio's airports are often used as drug-trafficking and weapons smuggling hubs to organised criminal groups. Last year, 60 assault rifles concealed inside air-conditioners were seized at Rio's Tom Jobim Airport.

Facebook shuts accounts of marketing firm ahead of run-off vote

Facebook has removed dozens of accounts associated with a Brazilian-based marketing company for violating social media policies ahead of the presidential run-off on Sunday. Reports revealed that the company Raposo Fernandes Associados launched spam campaigns to lure people to third-party websites. In a statement, Facebook Inc said: “Our decision to remove these pages was based on the behaviour of these actors – including using fake accounts and repeatedly posting spam – rather than on the type of content they were posting.” Social media has been one of the main battlegrounds in a highly polarised race between right-wing Jair Bolsonaro and Workers' Party Fernando Haddad. Ahead of the Brazilian elections - and the US primaries - Facebook has been operating a so-called 'War Room' to tackle fake news and media manipulation on social media platforms.

Thousands march nationwide to support presidential candidates

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets over the weekend in separate marches to support presidential candidates a week ahead of the run-off vote. Supporters of Fernando Haddad, candidate for the left-wing Workers' Party (PT), and right-wing Jair Bolsonaro occurred across major Brazilian cities, such as Sao Paulo, Rio, Curitiba, Brasilia and Porto Alegre. Preliminary polls suggest that Bolsonaro holds a significant advantage in the run-off against Haddad. Last week, the presidential race was shaken after PT filed a formal complaint against Bolsonaro over claims that he received bribes to promote fake news through social media. Further marches and mass protests are expected to continue throughout the week.

Workers' Party accuse Bolsonaro of illegal campaign financing

Workers' Party (PT) presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has accused his opponent, Jair Bolsonaro, of violating campaign financing rules. PT has formally filed a complaint within Brazil's electoral body over allegations that Bolsonaro paid up to 12 million reais ($3,2m) to launch a propaganda campaign on WhatsApp. Right-wing Bolsonaro is currently leading the polls, which vote is scheduled for 28 October. Fake news and propaganda have engulfed the last weeks of campaigning, where both candidates seek the support of undecided voters amid a highly polarised race.

President Temer indicted in fresh corruption allegations

The Federal Police (PF) has asked the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to investigate President Michel Temer and 10 of his associates over links to corruption. President Temer is being accused of benefiting a private sector company through a 2017 presidential port decree. Alongside several high-level aides, his daughter, Maristela de Toledo Temer, is also being indicted. Investigations against President Temer can only proceed if a vote in Congress is passed. PF's accusations are still to be analysed by the Republic's General Prosecutor (PGR) - in September, the PGR called judges to suspend another corruption probe on President Temer.

Several killed in head-on collision in Minas Gerais

At least six people have been killed and several others were injured when a van crashed into a lorry in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. Reports revealed that the accident happened on Monday along the BR-381 federal highway near Sao Goncalo do Rio Abaixo. According to the police, the van was travelling from Brasilia to eastern Minas Gerais. All victims were from the same family, who were heading to a birthday party. Road accidents are common in Brazil and they mainly occur due to reckless driving and poor road conditions.

Blackout triggers flight disruptions at Salvador Airport, Bahia

Disruptions and flight delays are expected to occur after a blackout hit Salvador International Airport (SSA) in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. Flights were suspended on Monday morning. Reports revealed that operations resumed several hours later, but disruptions to airport operations and flights are still expected to occur throughout the day. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to SSA.

Presidential election heads to second round

Brazil's presidential election is heading to a second round after no candidate received the required 50 percent of the vote. Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won 46 percent of the vote, with Fernando Haddad from the Workers' Party (PT) on 29 percent. The second round will be held on 28 October. Bolsanaro's Social Liberal Party has gone from eight to 51 legislators in the Chamber of Deputies, leaving them the second-largest party behind the PT on 57.

Five Brazilians arrested for jail-break plot

Five Brazilian nationals have been arrested for plotting to free a drug gang leader from a jail in Paraguay. Four men and a woman were captured during a joint operation carried out by law enforcement officials from both countries. The group planned to help a leader from the Red Command group escape over the weekend.

Jair Bolsonaro skips final debate

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro has skipped the final televised debate to conduct a one-on-one interview. Bolsonaro, a right-wing front-runner for the election on Sunday, was interviewed on Rede Record, a broadcaster owned by Evangelical bishop Edir Macedo, who is also a prominent Bolsonaro supporter. Recent polls suggest he will win 35 percent of the vote, with Fernando Haddad from the Workers' Party (PT) predicted to win 22 percent. A second-round vote will be held on 28 October if no candidate wins an absolute majority.

Several inmates killed after prison riot in Araguaina, Tocantins

At least 10 inmates have been killed and nearly 20 others were injured during a prison riot in Araguaina, Tocantins. A riot broke out on Tuesday afternoon after inmates took at least six people hostage, including a teacher and the prison's shift manager. The incident happened at the Barra da Grota prison, located along the TO-222 state highway. Around 30 prisoners fled the facility, triggering a massive joint police operation to recapture the fugitives. Prison riots in Brazil are common and violence tend to spread across nearby communities.

Federal judge releases former minister plea bargain testimony

Federal Judge Sergio Moro has made public the testimony of former Finance Minister Antonio Pallocci, who made a plea bargain deal with prosecutors after being sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for money laundering and corruption. In court documents released on Monday, Palocci, who was Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff and the finance minister to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, claims that the latter requested the former CEO of state-owned oil company Petrobras, Sergio Gabrielli, to commission dozens of drilling ships and support Rousseff's presidential campaign with bribe money. Further allegations also involve operations in Africa through a financial institution. Such statement may further distance indecisive voters from the Workers' Party (PT), which presidential candidate Fernando Haddad is expected to reach a potential run-off vote later this month.

Roraima suspend energy imports from Venezuela

The state-owned electricity company Eletrobras has suspended the purchase of power from Venezuela after successive power outages were reported in the state. It has been reported that more than 65 power cuts occurred in Roraima in 2018. Energy is currently being provided through four thermo-electrical plants. Roraima fully relies on Venezuela for the provision of power as the state is the only one to not be included in the Brazilian national power grid. In August, Venezuela reportedly threatened the state with energy cuts. Concerns regarded a 30-million-dollar debt to Venezuela, which is currently being negotiated to avoid the violation of US sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Heavy rainfall affects hundreds in Rio Grande do Sul

At least 24 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul have been affected after heavy rainfall battered the region earlier this week. The state government said that more than 200 houses statewide were damaged, while dozens of people were forced to evacuate. The most affected areas were in the towns of Dom Pedrito and Lavras do Sul. The Navy has advised people to remain vigilant due to high waves, mainly on beaches located between the towns of Chui and Laguna. Adverse weather is expected to return to the state on Friday. Weather updates and alerts are provided by the National Meteorology Institute (INMET).

Court bars voters over fingerprints registration

Supreme Court judges have ruled that voters that did not provide their fingerprints to the national electoral registry will be barred from casting their ballots in the upcoming general elections in October. The measure is expected to affect more than 3.4m voters, mostly residents in remote and poor Brazilian neighbourhoods located in the country's northeastern region. Preliminary polls suggest a tight race between the main presidential contenders, which is likely to be decided in a runoff. 

Criminals killed during robbery attempt in Salgueiro, Pernambuco

Six suspects have been killed during an attempted robbery in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. According to reports, the criminals attempted to raid a light-aircraft leased by a cash-in-transit company while it was preparing to take off from a local airport in Salgueiro. Several high-calibre weapons were seized after a violent shooting broke out amid a joint police operation. Police revealed that the suspects were members of a group dedicated to attacking cash-in-transit vehicles in north-eastern Brazil.

Thousands to march in women-led protest against presidential candidate

Thousands of protesters are set to take to the streets nationwide as part of a women-led movement against presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. Protests are expected to take place on Saturday afternoon across major cities and state capitals such as Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Sao Paulo. Such comes as part of the campaign named 'ELENAO', which has been endorsed by a number of high-profile politicians and celebrities. Counter-protests are also expected to take place. Bolsonaro is the candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL). He is leading the latest polls against Worker's Party Fernando Haddad and Democrat Ciro Gomes. Bolsonaro is currently hospitalised after being targeted in a knife attack during a rally.

Attorney General calls court to suspend corruption probe on President Temer

Brazil's Attorney General Raquel Dodge has requested that the Supreme Federal Court (STF) suspend investigations against President Michel Temer, who is being accused of racketeering and obstruction of justice. Investigations against President Temer were barred in Congress last year. Earlier this month, the federal police accused him of receiving nearly 1.5 million reais ($360k) through high-level intermediaries. Dodge justifies the request due to President Temer's temporary political immunity from prosecution - the STF may order investigations to resume once his term ends.

Criminals kidnap police officer in western Rio

A police officer has been kidnapped after armed criminals targeted his vehicle in Santa Cruz, western Rio. G1 reported that the victim was abducted on Saturday alongside his wife and two children. Andre Silva's family was released but he was taken in his car to an undisclosed location. Silva's car was found burnt on a street in the same area several hours later. A police operation was launched on Sunday in three communities in the region.

Hezbollah fiancier detained in Foz do Iguacu

An alleged senior financier for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has been detained in the border town of Foz do Iguacu, Parana. Assad Ahmad Barakat has lived in Brazil since the 1980s and is accused of being a close associate of the group's leadership in Lebanon. Barakat was detained for fiscal evasion and for carrying fake documents. He is accused of operating along the tri-border area in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, especially in Ciudad del Este. Barakat was previously added to a terrorist watchlist back in 2006 by the US Department of the Treasury.

Red Commando leader detained in Asuncion, Paraguay

A notorious Brazilian drug-lord linked to the Rio-based Red Commando has been detained at a residence in Paraguay. ABC Color reported that Nestor Baez Alvarenga was arrested on Thursday in the Los Laureles neighbourhood in Asuncion. Alvarenga's detention came after Brazilian authorities issued an arrest warrant against him. Alvarenga was wanted for nearly seven years and had at least three pending extradition orders. He is known for links to Red Commando's leader Fernandinho Beira-Mar, who is currently detained at a federal prison in northern Brazil.

Local killed during police shooting in southern Rio

A 26-year-old man has been shot dead during a police operation in southern Rio. Reports revealed that Rodrigo Serrano was shot three times while heading back home from work in the Chapeu Mangueira community, Leme. Residents and family members claim that Serrano was carrying an umbrella at the time, which was mistaken for a rifle. Dozens of people carrying umbrellas took to the streets on Tuesday to protest his death. The local Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) said in a statement that the shooting broke out after reports of criminals at the scene. Although crime rates significantly reduced with the UPP presence, local residents often accuse them of aggressive incursions, which usually leads to civilian casualties.

Several killed during prison break attempt in Altamira, Para

At least seven inmates have been killed during a prison break attempt in Para, northern Brazil. Local authorities confirmed that more than 120 prisoners attempted to escape from an overcrowded prison in Altamira, a remote town located in central Para. Parts of the facility were set on fire, while several offices were destroyed. Prison riots in Brazil are common mainly due to poor living conditions inside detention facilities and clashes involving rival criminal factions. In April, more than 20 inmates were killed during a prison break attempt in the state capital, Belem.

Electoral court rules in favour of Rousseff's senatorial bid

A state electoral court in Minas Gerais has narrowly approved the nomination of former President Dilma Rousseff to run for Senate ahead of the upcoming general elections in October. Rousseff's nomination was challenged by the right-wing Novo Party and several federal deputies. She was impeached back in 2016 for corruption, but the Senate did not rule in favour of her ineligibility to hold public office. Preliminary polls state that Rousseff, who is running for the Workers' Party (PT), holds a comfortable margin against her main adversary, centre-right Carlos Viana.

Scores detained during military operation in Angra dos Reis, Rio

More than 24 suspected criminals have been arrested during a massive military operation in Angra dos Reis, Rio. The joint operation took place on Sunday morning after local authorities declared a state of emergency in the city due to high levels of criminality. For several months, some neighbourhoods in Angra dos Reis are being the stage of violent territorial disputes. The city is a famous beach resort that attracts many domestic and international tourists. Operations are likely to continue in the coming weeks.

Prosecutors order Rio museums to shutdown due to safety concerns

Federal prosecutors in Rio have ordered the closure of six federal museums that allegedly don't comply with basic safety standards. Federal Prosecutor Solange Braga told GloboNews that several museums in Rio are facing serious safety concerns, mainly linked to fire hazard systems. Among them are the museums of Republic, Fine Arts, National History, Villa Lobos, Chacara do Ceu and Acude, all located in the state capital. The move comes after a massive fire engulfed Rio's National Museum earlier this month. Over 20 million items were reportedly lost to the fire.

Heavily armed criminals raid prison near Curitiba, Parana

Several blasts and violent shootings were reported when heavily armed criminals targeted a prison in Parana, southern Brazil. At least seven vehicles were set ablaze to block the main roads of access to the Piraquara prison, located on the outskirts of the state capital, Curitiba. A stretch of the BR-116 federal highway was temporarily blocked. Reports suggest that nearly 30 criminals fled the facility after a prison wall was blown up.

Former Parana governor arrested for corruption in Curitiba

The former governor of the southern state of Parana, Beto Richa, has been arrested as part of warrants under a new phase of the infamous Car Wash investigations. Richa was detained at his house in Curitiba alongside his wife. His chief of staff, Deonilson Roldo, was also arrested. State prosecutors accuse Richa of receiving bribes from the construction company Odebrecht to finance a project to build rural roads. He is also the target in another investigation linked to the construction of a state highway. Richa is a senatorial candidate in the October elections.

Lula da Silva to withdraw presidential bid

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is reportedly withdrawing his presidential bid ahead of several appeals that are still to be considered by the Supreme Court. Workers' Party (PT) sources told Reuters that Lula is stepping down as PT's candidate, paving the way to his VP, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, to become the presidential candidate in the October elections. The decision is yet to be officially announced on Tuesday in Curitiba, southern Brazil, where Lula is detained. Preliminary polls suggest that he would be the main contender on the presidential race, followed by right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who has been hospitalised and is due to undergo major surgery after being stabbed during a campaign rally.

Dozens escape after criminals target maximum security prison in Paraiba

More than 100 prisoners have escaped after heavily armed criminals attacked a maximum security facility in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil. Reports suggest that the criminals targeted with explosives and gunshots the main fortified gate of the prison, which is located in the state capital, Joao Pessoa. According to the police, the criminals were attempting to rescue four inmates, who were detained last month for leading a gang dedicated to attacks on ATMs, banks and cash-in-transit vehicles.

Armed criminals raid beach bar in western Rio

A shooting broke out when armed criminals raided a beach bar in Rio. According to reports, two armed assailants attacked staff members and customers in a beach bar in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood on Monday morning. Barra da Tijuca is an affluent seaside area located in western Rio. Among the customers were three off-duty police officers, who shot dead one of the suspects.

Presidential front-runner stabbed during campaign rally in Minas Gerais

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro has been stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro, the candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), was amidst a crowd when a knifeman stabbed his abdomen. He was taken to hospital in stable condition, but reports suggest that he may undertake further surgeries that might take weeks. A suspect has been detained and called for questioning. Bolsonaro is the presidential front-runner and the main rival against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is jailed and may be barred from running. He is known for his controversial views and inflammatory comments while also publicly advocating for loosening gun control policies in Brazil.

Democrat presidential contender accused of corruption

State prosecutors in Sao Paulo have accused presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin of receiving illegal funds to finance his gubernatorial campaign in 2014. Alckmin, a former governor, is being accused of receiving more than $2.5m from the construction conglomerate Odebrecht. He is the head of the five-party democrat coalition. Sao Paulo's prosecutors have previously accused former mayor Fernando Haddad, who is highly expected to replace Lula da Silva as the Workers' Party (PT) candidate. Both candidacies are unlikely to be blocked. 

Supreme Court judge rejects Lula da Silva's electoral appeal

Supreme Court Judge Edson Fachin has rejected an appeal that aimed to allow former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to run for office ahead of the upcoming elections in October. This is the latest appeal rejected by the Supreme Court. The appeal was based on a request from the UN Rights committee that urged the government to allow his candidacy. Last week, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) overwhelmingly rejected Lula da Silva's presidential bid under the Clean Slate law. If barred from running, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad may be the Workers' Party candidate.

Federal Police accuse President Temer of corruption

President Michel Temer has been accused of corruption and money laundering after an investigation by the Federal Police (PF) concluded that he received illicit funds from the construction giant Odebrecht. In a report released on Wednesday, the PF allege that Temer received more than 1.5 million reais ($360k) through high-level middlemen. In total, it is believed that 10 million reais were paid to Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB). More than a dozen officials linked to Temer are also being implicated in the report, which was handed over to the Supreme Federal Court.

Workers' Party official charged with corruption

The Workers' Party (PT) vice presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, has been charged with corruption. Brazilian state prosecutors made the decision to charge Haddad on Tuesday over claims he funneled more than three million reais ($730k) to illegally pay for campaign material during his mayoral campaign in 2012. The potential trial will not hinder his ability to run in the upcoming elections, where he is expected to be the PT's presidential candidate after Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was barred from running.

Demonstrators gather over National Museum blaze

A group of demonstrators gathered in Quinta da Boavista on Tuesday to voice their anger and sadness over the fire which gutted the National Museum. There has been widespread criticism of the local authorities and federal government for failing to prevent the fire. On Monday local media reported that some firefighters did not have sufficient water to stop the fire from spreading. At times the protesters tried to force their way into the site and police used tear gas to repel them.

Army deployed after migrant attacks

The Brazilian army has been deployed to the Venezuelan border following a series of mob attacks against migrants. The worst violence has been reported in the border town of Pacaraima, with migrant camps torched and people attacked by local residents. Around 1,000 people fled back across the border to Venezuela to escape the violence.

National Museum engulfed by fire

The historic National Museum in Rio de Janeiro has been engulfed by a huge fire. Firefighters and museum staff have been trying to save historical relics from the blaze at the 200-year-old site. President Michel Temer called it "a sad day for all Brazilians". The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Several held hostage as criminals raid bus near Angra dos Reis, Rio

Several people have been held hostage after three armed criminals ambushed a passenger bus near Angra dos Reis, Rio. According to reports, officers of the Highway Federal Police (PRF) were deployed to the area after the bus was intercepted along the BR-101 in Mangaratiba. A violent shooting broke out before the assailants turned themselves in. The bus was transporting workers from Angra dos Reis to Rio. Earlier this month, the mayor of Angra dos Reis declared a state of emergency due to high-levels of criminality reported on the BR-101 highway.

Thousands of soldiers deployed in joint operation in Sao Goncalo, Rio

More than 2,000 soldiers have been deployed in a joint operation on the outskirts of Rio. Soldiers from the navy and the army have launched a siege to the Complexo do Salgueiro community in Sao Goncalo to recover weapons and detain suspected criminals. Since the military took over public security duties in Rio, large-scale operations became more frequent. In late-June, the military launched a similar operation in southern Rio.

Soldiers to be deployed to secure Venezuelan border

President Michel Temer has signed a decree to allow the deployment of soldiers to patrol the Venezuelan border. The move comes as thousands of Venezuelans continue to cross into Brazil through the town of Pacaraima, Roraima state. President Temer said that: "The problem of Venezuela is no longer one of internal politics. It is a threat to the harmony of the whole continent." Tensions in the region have recently escalated, leading to clashes between migrants and locals. Soldiers will also be deployed to major federal highways in Roraima. This is the second time the federal government send troops to beef up security along the border. 

Workers' Party VP candidate accused of corruption

Prosecutors in Sao Paulo have accused the Workers' Party (PT) vice-presidential contender, Fernando Haddad, of corruption during his mayoral campaign back in 2012. Prosecutors allege that Haddad funneled more than three million reais ($730k) to illegally pay for campaign material. The money was reportedly given to the construction company UTC Participacoes, which has been accused of paying bribes to acquire public works in Sao Paulo. Haddad is the running mate of former President Lula da Silva and is set to be PT's presidential candidate if Lula is barred from running.

Police operations reported in several communities across Rio

A police operation was reported on Tuesday morning in several communities across Rio. Special operation officers were deployed to the Sao Carlos community in the northern Catumbi neighbourhood, where intense shootings were reported in the early hours of the day. Other operations are also being reported in two communities in Copacabana and Botafogo, southern Rio. Intense shootings are often reported during clashes involving police officers and criminals. Risks are mostly associated with stray bullets as some of those communities are located close to busy urban centres.

Supreme Court to assess Lula da Silva's release

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) is set to assess an appeal to release former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison. STF Minister Edson Fachin has announced on Monday that a team of 11 judges will decide if Lula da Silva remains in prison. The process is scheduled to occur between 07 and 13 September. Lula da Silva has been detained in the southern city of Curitiba since April. Earlier in the month, the Workers' Party (PT) registered him as a presidential candidate despite his eligibility to run being discussed at the Supreme Electoral Court in early September.

Roraima request federal aid amid energy cut threats

Roraima Governor Suely Campos has asked the federal government to investigate a potential threat of Venezuela to cut the power supply to the northern Brazilian state. Campos has called President Michel Temer and federal authorities to publicly express a position regarding the matter. Roraima relies on Venezuela to be provided with energy. Concerns regard a potential 30-million-dollar debt to Venezuela, which is currently being negotiated to avoid the violation of US sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Roraima is the main entry point for Venezuelans into Brazil. Diplomatic tensions escalated after the Brazilian government considered shutting the border.

Health authorities investigate malaria cases in Minas Gerais

Health state authorities in Minas Gerais have announced on Wednesday that they are investigating five cases of malaria. According to reports, more than 20 cases of malaria were already confirmed in Minas Gerais, but all patients contracted the disease in the Brazilian Amazon region. Most cases investigated were reported around the city of Governador Valadares. Concerns have been drawn towards an ongoing malaria outbreak reported in the neighbouring state of Espirito Santo, where nearly 140 cases were reported so far in 2018. Most of them were confirmed in the bordering town of Vila Pavao and Barra de Sao Francisco. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. Symptoms may take up to 60 days to manifest and include fever, vomit, headaches and anaemia. The disease is most commonly contracted in the northern states of the country and large forest areas in the west.

State of emergency declared over criminality wave in Angra dos Reis, Rio

A bus and a private car have been set ablaze after criminals targeted a petrol station and a bar in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro. Mayor Fernando Jordao has declared a state of emergency in the city due to a wave of criminality reported in recent months. The move comes as most incidents have led to the continuous blockage of the BR-101 federal highway, which is the main route to nuclear plants based in the region. Jordao is set to meet with the federal intervention cabinet in Rio to request aid to curb daily shootings in Angra dos Reis. Violence in the city has been mainly attributed to territorial disputes involving rival criminals factions, which seek to secure key drug routes between Rio and Sao Paulo.

Military intervention in Rio to end in December

Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann has said that the military intervention in Rio will end in December. During an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo, Jungmann said that the armed forces refused his proposal to extend the military mandate in Rio for another year. He claims that the move may hinder efforts of integration between the military and the local police forces. In February, the military took over public security duties in Rio due to hampering levels of criminality.

State of emergency declared over drought in Alagoas

A state of emergency has been declared due to intense drought in Alagoas, north-eastern Brazil. More than 200,000 people are believed to have been affected as water shortages persist. Crops, which are the main income source of most residents in some rural areas, have been significantly hit. North-eastern Brazil was heavily affected after nearly five years of intense drought. The situation significantly improved last year, but some drought-prone states continue to be impacted.

Six criminals shot dead after a police chase in Niteroi, Rio

Six criminals have been killed after a police chase in Niteroi, Rio's metropolitan area. The incident happened on Monday morning along the Rio-Niteroi bridge, which was temporarily closed. At least a dozen shots were fired when violent clashes broke out. Four high-calibre weapons were seized at the scene. Police told Extra that the chase started after criminals encountered a police patrol after leaving a street party in Sao Goncalo.

Eight killed during massive military operation in Rio

At least eight people have been killed during a massive military operation in northern Rio. More than 4,200 soldiers have been deployed across the Mare, Alemao and Penha communities to remove barricades on Monday morning. Similar operations also took place over the weekend.

Gay-rights activist found dead in Itororo, Bahia

A gay rights activist has been found dead near the central bus station in Itororo, Bahia. Marcos Cruz Santana was found in the early hours of Saturday morning with stab wounds. Santana was the leader of a gay rights and minorities group in the town. It is unclear what the motives are behind the crime. According to a local LGBT group, more than 440 people were killed in homophobic attacks in 2017.

Security beefed up after clashes break out in Pacaraima, Roraima

Security measures along the Venezuelan border have been heightened after tensions broke out in Roraima over the weekend. Residents in the bordering town of Pacaraima targeted migrant camps and erected roadblocks after a local shop owner was brutally beaten by four alleged Venezuelans. More than 1,000 migrants were forced to flee back to Venezuela after clashes erupted. Dozens of soldiers and additional police officers are set to be deployed to the area. Pacaraima is the main point of entry of migrants fleeing Venezuela into Brazil. 

Local indigenous leader found dead in Maranhao

A local indigenous leader has been found dead near a river in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. Jorge Guajajara was the leader of the Guajajara tribe, which is based in the remote forest area of Arariboia in western Maranhao. Federal Police and the Brazilian Indian National Foundation (FUNAI) launched investigations. The Guajajara people are known as the 'Guardians of the Amazon' and have received threats from illegal gold miners and loggers based in northern Brazil. Reports estimate that more than 80 of its members have been killed since 2000.

Electoral campaign officially kicks off amid rising political tensions

Brazil's electoral campaign has officially kicked off ahead of the general elections in October. More than a dozen presidential candidates will run for office. Voters will also elect local and state officials. Among the main presidential contenders are right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, former Governor Geraldo Alckmin, former minister Henrique Meirelles and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who despite his potential ineligibility was selected as the candidate for the Workers' Party (PT). Until the first round of the vote on 07 October, political rallies and protests are expected to intensify.

Attorney General requests court to bar Lula da Silva's electoral registry

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been registered as candidate for the Workers' Party (PT) ahead of the upcoming general elections in October. Brazil's Attorney General Raquel Dodge has requested the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) to bar his registry based on the 'Clean Slate Law'. A federal appeals court has sentenced Lula da Silva for more than 12 years. Thousands of supporters headed to Brasilia to back the announcement on Wednesday. The decision of the TSE may take several weeks to be revealed, while PT may still appeal before the Supreme Federal Court (STF).

Massive security operation launched in western Rio

More than 1,900 soldiers have been mobilised during a massive security operation in western Rio. The operation started in the early hours of Tuesday in the Antares and Complexo do Rola communities. The area has been the main battleground between drug-traffickers and militias. At least one suspect has been killed and two others were detained. Security operations in Rio significantly intensified since the military took over public security duties statewide. 

Former minister charged with corruption amid Odebrecht scandal

Former Finance Minister Guido Mantega has been charged with corruption and money laundering amid the notorious 'Car Wash' investigations. He is being accused of receiving millionaire bribes from the construction conglomerate Odebrecht, which were relocated to political marketing advisers to support Dilma Rousseff's 2014 presidential campaign. Federal Judge Sergio Moro has also rejected calls for the prosecution of former Minister Antonio Palocci due to lack of evidence. Both served as ministers during the administrations of Workers' Party (PT) Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Thousands march in Brasilia to support jailed Lula da Silva

More than 2,000 members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) have engaged in a 100-kilometre march to support jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Demonstrators started the march on Saturday in three rural communities in Brasilia. They are marching towards the capital, where they are expected to arrive on Wednesday - the deadline for the presidential nominations to the upcoming general vote in October. Lula has been nominated as the official candidate for the Workers' Party (PT), but he is expected to be barred from running due to his corruption conviction. Further protests are expected to break out throughout the week across major state capitals.

Armed criminals raid vessel at Port of Santos, Sao Paulo

Heavily armed criminals raided the Italian-flagged ship Grande Francia anchored off the Port of Santos in Sao Paulo. Reports revealed that a group of men on a speedboat approached the vessel and climbed onto the deck. During the incident, the commander locked down the bridge and ordered the crew to take refuge. According to the police, more than 1.3 tonnes of cocaine was found on the vessel. Investigations were launched to assess if the criminals loaded them into shipping containers. The incident came just days after a similar incident happened at the Port of Santos, where criminals loaded a large drug haul onto the Grande Nigeria ship. According to port authorities, more than 12 tonnes of drugs were seized in Santos in 2018. 

Stray bullet hit youngster inside a train in western Rio

A 16-year-old has been shot in the chest after being hit by a stray bullet in western Rio. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon when the victim was inside a train at the Tancredo Neves Station in Paciencia neighbourhood. Train services in Rio have previously been suspended due to intense shootings in some areas in western and northern neighbourhoods. The incident came a day after a stray bullet hit a woman while she awaited surgery at a hospital in Niteroi, Rio's Metropolitan area. Reports suggest that the bullet came from a shooting at a nearby community.

Woman targeted in express-kidnapping in Sao Paulo

A woman has been the target of an express-kidnapping in northern Sao Paulo. According to G1, two armed criminals targeted her on Thursday evening at the traffic lights in the Parque Novo Mundo area. Reports suggest that the assailants forced her to drive towards a shopping centre in the eastern area of the city, where they robbed her credit cards to withdraw money and shop. The victim managed to phone her husband, who called the police. Police officers shot dead one of the assailants after they engaged in a high-speed pursuit. Express-kidnappings are common in most state capitals. Criminals often hold the victims for several hours while using their bank cards in several ATMs citywide.

Criminals target bank with explosives in Ibiuna, Sao Paulo

Three banks have been targeted in a wave of attacks in Ibiuna, west of Sao Paulo. The incidents happened in the early hours of Wednesday. Two banks were completely destroyed when explosives went off, while another bank and a jewellery shop were attacked by gunfire. No casualties were reported. Criminals often use explosives to target banks in rural areas in Brazil. Most incidents are reported late at night in areas where police presence is limited or virtually nonexistent.

Supreme Court overturns decision to shut Venezuelan border

A federal judge in the northern state of Roraima has ordered the temporary closure of the Brazilian border with Venezuela amid an ongoing wave of migration. Judge Helder Barreto has blocked the crossing of Venezuelans into Brazil, while other nationalities were unaffected. Barreto claimed that the measure was introduced to prepare facilities to properly receive migrants. Supreme Court Judge Rosa Weber overturned the rule over claims that such violated international conventions for refugees. Hundreds of Venezuelans cross into the bordering town of Paracaima every day. The number has significantly increased in recent months due to the country's political and economic crisis.

Lula da Silva announced as Workers' Party presidential candidate

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been officially nominated as the candidate for the Workers' Party (PT) ahead of the presidential election in early-October. Lula da Silva is currently serving a 12-year prison sentenced for corruption charges, which may preclude his eligibility under the 'Clean Slate' law. Former Sao Paulo's Mayor Fernando Haddad was nominated as his running mate - Haddad may be PT's first choice if Lula da Silva is barred from running. The announcement came after PT and the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) joined forces. Previously, the Brazilian Communist Party (PCdoB) announced Manuela Avila as their candidate, but her bid was withdrawn after the party chose to join the PT-PSB alliance.

Henrique Meirelles officially heads MDB's presidential bid

The ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) has officially nominated former finance minister Henrique Meirelles as their presidential candidate. Meirelles is a close ally to President Michel Temer, who previously announced that he was not seeking re-election. Links to Temer may heavily compromise MDB's success due to his high levels of unpopularity. For nearly a quarter of a century, the MDB has been forming coalitions with ruling parties - including its now rival Workers' Party (PT) - and it is the first year since then to launch its own presidential candidate.

Five killed amid measles outbreak in northern Brazil

The health ministry has confirmed that more than 1,000 cases of measles have been reported in northern Brazil. Almost all cases were reported in the states of Amazonas and Roraima, where five people were killed after contracting the disease. According to the authorities, all cases are imported from Venezuela. Earlier in the week, a major vaccination campaign was launched to avoid the disease spreading. Roraima is particularly at risk due to the daily arrival of hundreds of Venezuelans, who are mostly not vaccinated. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, coughing and red eyes. It is strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the region.

Four killed in street market shooting near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte

Four people have been killed after a shooting broke out at a street market near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. The incident was reported on Wednesday morning when armed criminals targeted a guard in the town of Macaiba. A police officer at the scene opened fire and killed three of the assailants. Brazilian north-eastern states present the country's highest levels of serious crime, which are especially reported around state capitals.

Workers' Party forms alliance with Socialists ahead of presidential vote

The Workers' Party (PT) has announced an alliance with the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), bringing further uncertainty ahead of the upcoming presidential vote in October. With the PT-PSB partnership, Brazil's left-wing parties remain highly divided. PT's announcement comes on the same day the Brazilian Communist Party (PCdoB) announced Manuela D'avila as their candidate. Such fragmentation may provide a boost to right-wing candidates, such as Geraldo Alckming and Jair Bolsonaro, while PT insists in supporting jailed former President Lula da Silva to run for president.

Eight fuel executives detained in Curitiba, Brazil

Eight high-level executives from three major fuel distributors have been detained in Curitiba, Parana. They have been accused of manipulating fuel prices in major petrol stations across the state capital. Among the companies involved are Petrobras's BR Distribuidora, Ipiranga and Shell's Raizen. Together they control more than 60 percent of the fuel market in Brazil. The executives were charged with racketeering and market-power abuse.

Top prosecutor refuses appeal to release Lula da Silva from prison

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to remain in jail in southern Brazil after the country's top prosecutor refused an appeal for his release. Republic's General Prosecutor (PGR) Raquel Dodge has said that Lula da Silva will remain in prison as he is considered a key actor in a massive corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Lula was sentenced in April for more than 12 years in prison. Meanwhile, his supporters of the Workers' Party (PT) are still pushing for his presidential bid, which is being contested under the 'Clean Slate' law.

Buses set ablaze in presumed retaliation in Fortaleza, Ceara

More than a dozen buses have been set on fire amid a wave of violence across Fortaleza, Ceara. Since Friday, dozens of attacks were reported in the state capital. Besides several buses being targeted, public buildings and banks were also attacked across Fortaleza's metropolitan area. According to the police, it is believed that the attacks are retaliation for the deaths of three criminals, who were shot down by the police last Thursday. In March, an assailant's death also triggered a wave of violence in Fortaleza, which reports one of the highest levels of criminality in the country.

Democrats back Geraldo Alckmin as candidate of five-party coalition

Former Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin has been formally endorsed to launch his presidential bid to lead a five-party democrat coalition ahead of the upcoming vote in October. Alckmin is a member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He ran for president back in 2006, when he was defeated by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Facebook deactivate pages from right-wing political movement

Facebook has announced the deactivation of dozens of pages and users linked to the alleged spreading of 'fake news' ahead of the upcoming general election in October. Nearly 200 pages and 90 users believed to be linked to a right-wing movement were banned from the social network. According to Reuters, the pages were managed by the Free Brazil Movement (MBL), which were one of the main groups behind calls for the impeachment of leftist former President Dilma Rousseff.

Two suspects detained for links to Rio councillor's murder

Two suspects have been detained for alleged links to the assassination plot against Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was shot dead back in March. Both suspects were arrested under another investigation into the death of a former police officer. According to local media, the unnamed suspects are members of a local militia group. Marielle's murder continues to be under investigation and has triggered a number of protests across Rio.

Shootings reported during police operation in southern Rio

Shootings have been reported during a police operation in southern Rio. O Globo reported that the operation started on Wednesday morning in the Rocinha and Vidigal communities. According to the police, the operation comes to detain a number of drug-traffickers based in the region. Caution is advised in areas near the communities due to risks of stray bullets. Police operations intensified since the military assumed security duties in Rio.

A dozen indicted for massive corruption scandal in Sao Paulo

A dozen people have been indicted for involvement in a massive corruption scandal linked to a state-owned company in Sao Paulo. Prosecutors revealed that officials in the road management company Dersa, overpriced roadworks in more than 600m reais ($158m). The project concerns the construction of the Rodoanel, a 180-kilometre ring-road surrounding the state capital, Sao Paulo. Among other companies involved is the construction giant OAS, which is also involved in other corruption probes under the Car Wash investigations.

Right-wing Jair Bolsonaro launches presidential bid

Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro has officially launched his presidential bid ahead of the general elections in October. Bolsonaro will run for the Social Liberal Party (PSL). Recent polls show Bolsonaro as the runner-up behind former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - whose presidential aspirations remain uncertain due to his corruption charges. Among many of his proposals are plans to reform the country's gun policies and push for anti-abortion legislation.

Several killed in presumed drug-related shooting in Rio Grande do Sul

At least seven people have been killed after armed criminals raided a house in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Reports revealed that the attack happened late on Thursday evening in the Passo das Pedras neighbourhood. Preliminary reports revealed that the house was known as a drug consumption hotspot in the north area of the state capital. The incident came just a month after a similar incident occurred on the outskirts of Porto Alegre.

Senior member of the PCC detained in Paraguay

A suspected regional leader of the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC) has been detained in Paraguay. Paraguayan police detained Eduardo Aparecido de Almeida at a house located in an affluent neighbourhood of Asuncion. He has been since been transferred to Brazil. Alias 'Pisca' is known for operating across Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. He is accused of orchestrating a number of kidnaps, extortion and drug-trafficking operations. The PCC is one of the most violent criminal groups in Brazil. It widely operates along the tri-border with Paraguay and Argentina.

Court rejects calls to make Lula ineligible ahead of presidential vote

Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has rejected calls to declare former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ineligible ahead of the upcoming presidential vote. The request was sent by the Free Brazil Movement (MBL), which claimed that Lula da Silva's conviction for corruption makes him ineligible under the guidelines of the 'Clean Slate' law. Judge Rosa Weber said that the request could not be analysed as Lula da Silva is not an official candidate - Lula is expected to be officially nominated the Workers' Party (PT) candidate ahead of the electoral deadline in mid-August.

Dozens of vehicles set ablaze during protest in Olimpia, Sao Paulo

Dozens of vehicles have been set on fire in an apparent retaliation to a police shooting in Olimpia, Sao Paulo. At least a dozen buses parked at a local company's headquarters were burned alongside 10 cars. Several roadblocks and burned barricades were also erected across the town. Police are investigating a potential connection to the death of a local electrician, who was killed during an altercation with an off-duty police officer. 

Health ministry confirms increase in measles cases in northern Brazil

The ministry of health has said that more than 700 cases of measles have already been confirmed in northern Brazil. Authorities said that more than 440 cases were reported in Amazonas and around 220 others in Roraima, both located along the Venezuelan border. Reports suggest that all cases are related to an ongoing measles outbreak imported from Venezuela. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, cough and red eyes. It is strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the region.

Intense shooting reported during police operation in southern Rio

Intense shootings were reported on Wednesday morning during a police operation in southern Rio. According to the police, security forces are carrying out an operation in the Morro Dona Marta community in Botafogo. Travellers have been advised to avoid the area due to the risk of stray bullets. Police operations in Rio have significantly intensified since the military took over the state's public security duties.

Football player's mother kidnapped in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul

Four people have been detained for the involvement in the kidnap of the mother of a national team football player in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul. Rosangela Barcellos Freda was abducted from her house in Fatima neighbourhood when armed criminals disguised as deliverymen forced her into a vehicle. According to the police, she was located and rescued nearly an hour later in the nearby Morro Redondo community.

Federal police launch nationwide operation against cargo theft

Brazil's federal police have launched an operation across six states to tackle cargo theft. The operation seeks to arrest 64 people linked to a network which targets lorry drivers nationwide. According to the police, it is estimated that more than eight million reais ($2.2m) were lost by the scheme, which included false claims of robberies and fake kidnaps. Cargo theft is a serious issue in Brazil. In 2017, more than 22,000 incidents were reported in Sao Paulo and Rio alone.

Eight killed and scores injured in road accident in Minas Gerais

At least eight people have been killed and more than 30 others were injured in a massive road accident in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. The accident happened on Monday morning along the BR-251 federal highway near Francisco Sa. Reports revealed that the crash involved five lorries, five cars and a bus. Accidents on the BR-251 are common due to the high influx of lorries. The risk is further increased due to reckless driving and poor road conditions in some of its routes.

Federal court clears Lula da Silva of obstruction of justice charges

A federal court in Brasilia has cleared former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of obstruction of justice charges. Lula has been accused of requesting a former senator to pay bribes for a witness of investigations against him. Judge Ricardo Leite said that there was no substantial evidence linking Lula to such allegations. Lula still faces six other charges, but none of them directly linked to his current 12-year sentence for allegedly accepting a luxurious apartment from construction company OAS.

Workers' Party call for wave of nationwide protests to support Lula

Workers' Party (PT) President Gleisi Hoffmann has called for a series of protests to support the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mass protests are scheduled to take place in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, where Lula is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence. Further protests are also scheduled in major capital cities, especially in north-eastern Brazil. Demonstrations are expected to intensify until mid-August when the PT is set to launch Lula da Silva's official bid for the presidential race in October.

Thousands of soldiers deployed in military operation across Rio

More than 3,700 soldiers have been deployed in a military operation in several communities across Rio. The operation started on Wednesday in the northern Complexo do Lins, where the major highway Grajau-Jacarepagua was shut down during the morning. Soldiers have also been deployed to four communities in southern Rio, including Pavao-Pavaozinho, Cantagalo, Chapeu Mangueira and Babilonia - the latter of which has been the location of violent territorial disputes between rival criminal factions. Military operations in Rio have intensified since February when President Michel Temer ordered a federal intervention to the state's public security.

Heavy rainfall triggers floods across Rio Grande do Norte

More than 8,000 people have been affected after heavy rainfall battered the coastal areas of Rio Grande do Norte. Severe weather reported over the weekend hit the town of Touros, where several neighbourhoods were completely isolated due to flooding. Local authorities declared a state of emergency in the town. Weather conditions in the region are forecast to improve in the next few days.

Supreme Court receive dozens of petitions to release Lula da Silva

Brazil's Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) has received more than 140 requests to release former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison. None of the habeas corpus petitions were filed by a member of Lula da Silva's legal team. Such comes as the Brazilian judicial system faced a number of setbacks regarding the release of Lula da Silva over the weekend - when on-duty judge Rogerio Favreto approved a habeas corpus request. STJ Minister Laurita Vaz has refused to rule in favour of Lula da Silva's release over claims that judge Favreto overstepped his authority.

Two cases of measles reported in Rio

Two cases of measles have been confirmed in Rio after more than a dozen suspected cases affected students of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Both cases involved two students of UFRJ's Law School, which reportedly attended a youth camp in the neighbouring town of Petropolis. Last week, the health secretary ordered a vaccination campaign at the school. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, cough and red eyes. It is strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the country.

Judge overrides court order to release Lula da Silva from prison

A judge within a regional federal court (TRF-4) has overridden the decision of an on-call judge to release former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison. Judge Joao Pedro Gerbran Neto has rejected calls of on-duty Judge Rogerio Favreto after the latter accepted a request from three members of the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) to free Lula. In a court battle, the head of TRF-4, Eduardo Thompson Flores, reiterated that Judge Favreto lacks legal basis and authority to make such a decision. The TRF-4 has sentenced Lula da Silva to spend more than 12 years in prison for corruption. Lula da Silva's supporters are expected to launch protests nationwide in the coming days, mainly across major capital cities.

Several found dead inside hotel in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

At least five people have been found dead after gunmen stormed a hotel in northern Florianopolis, Santa Catarina. According to the police, four of the victims were from the same family, while the other victim was an employee of the hotel located in Canasvieiras. Preliminary reports suggest that the victims were targeted by the First Capital Commando (PCC), which is based in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo. Florianopolis has recently reported a surge in homicides mainly attributed to disputes involving rival criminal factions.

Baby dies after contracting measles in Manaus, Amazonas

A seven-month-old boy has died after contracting measles in Manaus, Amazonas. City officials revealed that the baby died last week and that the cause of death was released after tests were carried out. The incident comes amid a measles outbreak in northern Brazil, especially in Amazonas and Roraima, where more than 500 cases were confirmed. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, cough and red eyes. It is strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the country.

Scores detained in corruption scheme linked to health secretary

More than 20 people have been detained in a new phase of the 'Car Wash' investigations. Several prominent politicians and executives from multi-national companies were arrested due to links to a massive corruption scheme involving Rio's State Secretary of Health. Among those detained is former health secretary Sergio Cortes, who was in office during Governor Sergio Cabral's administration. It has been alleged that more than 600m reais ($153m) were diverted between 2006 and 2017. Most contracts were paid with money allocated to a high-end federal health facility in Rio.

Work minister suspended over illicit registration of syndicates

Minister Helton Yomura has been suspended amid an ongoing corruption investigation involving the Work Ministry and the Brazilian Worker's Party (PTB). Yomura is being accused of involvement with the illicit registration of a number of workers' unions. Federal prosecutors revealed that several high-level members of the ministry and the lower house of Congress are involved in the manipulation of several processes. This is the third phase of the operation which was launched two months ago to investigate fraud on the registry of syndicates and benefit workers' unions.

Family killed in road accident near Campo Mourao, Parana

Five members of the same family have been killed during a violent road crash in Parana, southern Brazil. According to police, the accident happened along the BR-369 near Campo Mourao. Preliminary investigations suggest that the vehicle crashed head-on into a lorry, which was allegedly taking part in a street race. Four suspects have been arrested. Road accidents in Brazil are common, especially during the night. They mainly occur due to poorly maintained roads and reckless driving.

Brazilian billionaire sentenced for corruption

Federal Judge Marcelo Bretas has sentenced Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista to 30 years in prison for corruption. Batista has also been ordered to pay a fine of 53 million reais ($14m) for his role in a massive bribery scandal involving former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral - who has also been sentenced to additional 22 years in prison. Batista is accused of paying Cabral more than $16.5m in bribes. Eike Batista, an influential businessman linked to the oil and mining industries, was one of the world's richest person. He has been detained since January 2017.

Several found dead inside residence in Rio

At least six people have been killed in a house massacre in Mangaratiba, Rio's metropolitan area. According to police reports, the incident happened at a residence located along the RJ-14 state highway in Parque Bela Vista neighbourhood. Preliminary investigations suggest that criminals raided the house to kill a man, but ended up killing all of its occupants. 

Buses set ablaze during protest in Sao Paulo

At least two buses have been set on fire during a protest in Poa, Sao Paulo's metropolitan area. Demonstrations broke out after a 20-year-old woman was killed by an off-duty police officer. Several roads around the Sao Jose neighbourhood and the local bus terminal were shut down. Brenda Oliveira was riding a motorcycle with her boyfriend when she was shot in the back. The shooter claims that he opened fire at the motorcycle after confusing them with alleged criminals that were surrounding his house and issuing death threats against him.

Hundreds of measles cases reported in northern Brazil

More than 500 cases of measles have been identified in Amazonas and Roraima, northern Brazil. According to the ministry of health, in Amazonas, around 260 cases were confirmed, while more than 1,300 cases are still being investigated. In Roraima, officials confirmed nearly 180 cases, which has been mainly attributed to the current migrant influx from Venezuela, where most people crossing the border are not vaccinated. In March, a vaccination campaign was launched across both states, which also included the vaccination of migrants. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, cough and red eyes. It is strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the country.

Expressway shutdown due to police operation in northern Rio

The Grajau-Jacarepagua expressway in northern Rio has been shut down due to a police operation at the Complexo do Lins community. A massive police operation has been launched on Tuesday morning to locate a number of suspects linked to the murder of police officers. Travellers have been advised to choose alternative routes and avoid the area. Operations in the area have significantly intensified since the military takeover of Rio's public security.

Court cancels ruling which could release Lula da Silva from prison

Brazil's Supreme Court has cancelled a new ruling regarding the potential release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently jailed over corruption charges. Reports showed that the lower court of appeal, which sentenced Lula to 12 years in prison, argued that the Supreme Court may not address the case as it does not relate to any constitutional violation. Lula is in prison since April and still seeks to run for president ahead of the elections in October. The decision comes days after his former minister, Antonio Palocci, brokered a plea bargain deal with prosecutors.

Hundreds march to demand abortion legalisation in Rio

Hundreds of women marched across Rio to demand the legalisation of abortion. Demonstrators gathered around local government buildings to demand legal alternatives for women, who are financially unable to carry on with the procedure in a safe environment. Currently, in Brazil, abortion is allowed under severely restricted circumstances.

Hundreds of soldiers deployed in joint operation in southern Rio

Nearly 2,000 soldiers have been deployed during a joint operation in southern Rio. Military checkpoints have been erected across the Babilonia and Chapeu Mangueira communities in Leme neighbourhood. The operation started in the early hours of Thursday morning, where security forces seek to remove barricades. Several weeks ago, the Pao de Acucar - Sugar Loaf - cable car was shut down due to violent shootings in the region. The operation comes just days after another operation was launched in the Mare community in northern Rio.

Opposition party's leader cleared of corruption charges

Supreme court judges have cleared the leader of the opposition Workers' Party (PT) of corruption and money laundering charges. Senator Gleisi Hoffmann was accused of accepting more than $260k from shadowy contracts brokered with the state-owned oil company Petrobras to fund her campaign. Judges said that prosecutors showed no conclusive evidence of any wrongdoing. PT has been badly hit ahead of the presidential elections later in the year after its main candidate, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was jailed for corruption.

Several killed during joint-operation in northern Rio

At least six people have been killed during a police operation in the Complexo da Mare in northern Rio. According to the police, the joint-operation aimed to detain several suspected drug traffickers but as police officers and soldiers approached the community a violent shooting broke out. A 14-year-old student also died after being hit by a stray bullet while on his way to school. Joint operations across Rio have recently intensified since the military took over public security in the state.

General Silva e Luna appointed as Minister of Defence

On 13 June, President Michel Temer officially appointed General Joaquim Silva e Luna as Minister of Defence, after he had held the post on an interim basis for four months.  

Flu deaths double in six months

The number of deaths attributed to flu has doubled so far this year compared to  2017, according to Brazil's Health Ministry this week.  The government launched a vaccination campaign in April targeting over 54 million people, primarily children, the elderly and pregnant women, but despite warnings from authorities, only 42.6 million people had taken the vaccinations.  Health officials are particularly concerned as winter approaches, when flu cases are expected to peak. 

Civilian policeman shot dead in Acari

On 12 June, a civilian policeman was shot dead in Acari, to the north of Rio de Janeiro.  Over 50 military police and three civilian police officers have been killed in the area so far in 2018.

New rules issued on operation of drones

On 12 June, the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA) announced new regulations on the use of drones in Brazil, particularly with regard to access to Brazilian airspace around airports.

Armed assault leaves one dead two injured

On 12 June an attack at a residential property in Ibura, Recife left one man dead and two further people injured.  According to initial reports the assailants' intended target was the brother of the dead man.

Sugarloaf gun battle leaves six dead

A fierce gun battle between law enforcement and gunmen left six people dead at the foot of the country's renowned Sugarloaf mountain on Sunday.  The cable car service was suspended for around two hours, leaving a hundred tourists stranded.  The authorities said that the deceased individuals were involved in ongoing turf wars.  President Michel Temer deployed armed forces across Rio de Janeiro earlier this year as the country faces economic and political unrest and a notable spike in violence.  

Police officer killed during robbery attempt in Rio

An off-duty police officer has been killed during a robbery attempt in Duque de Caxias, Rio. According to the police, Douglas Fontes was the target of carjacking attempt in the Jardim Gramacho neighbourhood. O Globo reported that Fontes was with his girlfriend when he was shot. More than 50 police officers have been killed in Rio since the start of the year.

Thousands of soldiers deployed amid operation in western Rio

More than 5,000 soldiers and police officers have been deployed in a joint operation in western Rio. Security forces headed to the Jacarepagua neighbourhood on Thursday morning to reportedly remove barricades across several communities in the region. Meanwhile, special operation officers also launched a massive operation in the southern Rocinha community. Security operations across Rio have intensified since the military intervention started in February.

Dozens of buses set ablaze across Minas Gerais

Dozens of public buses have been set on fire in a fresh wave of criminality across Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. Reports revealed that a number of vehicles were targeted across the state capital, Belo Horizonte, and several towns across the southern and western regions of the state. Other attacks were also reported against three banks. More than 30 people were already detained, while the police investigate potential links with criminal factions operating from prisons. The attacks come a few days after several buses were also targeted in Rio Grande do Norte, north-eastern Brazil.

Youngster killed in fresh shark attack in Recife, Pernambuco

An 18-year-old man has been reported dead on Monday - a day after he was a victim of a shark attack in Recife, Pernambuco. The incident happened at the Piedade Beach in Jaboatao dos Guararapes. It happened nearly two months after another man was attacked at the same beach. Travellers are advised to follow authorities' recommendations and always check for warning signs located across beaches at risk in the state.

CEO of state-owned oil company steps down amid fuel prices crisis

The CEO of the state-owned oil company Petrobras has handed over his resignation on Friday amid a deep crisis linked to fuel prices. Pedro Parente has been accused of mismanagement and has been blamed for the ongoing crisis in Brazil, which put the country on halt for nearly a week due to a lorry drivers' strike. Petrobras oil workers launched a strike action earlier in the week, but such was called off after a court rule. Parente headed Petrobras since mid-2016 and was the main responsible for the introduction of the company's pricing strategies.

Oil workers launch industrial action as nationwide protests persist

Oil workers of the state-owned company Petrobras have launched a 72-hour strike action. The protest comes as thousands of lorry drivers are also protesting a significant hike to fuel prices. A top Brazilian court ruled the strike action unlawful, while Petrobras claims that it is politically motivated. Workers from nearly 10 plants nationwide failed to head to work on Wednesday. Petrobras said that the strike will not further interfere with the supply of fuel to consumers. For more than a week, lorry drivers blocked roads nationwide, leading to fuel, medicine and food shortages. 

Criminals blow up bank in northern Rio

A Banco do Brasil branch in northern Rio has been blown up with explosives. The incident was reported on the early hours of Wednesday morning at the 28 de Setembro Avenue in Vila Isabel neighbourhood. The incident came nearly a week after another bank was also blown up in southern Rio. Although some incidents occur across urban areas, most of them are reported in small rural villages, where police presence is virtually non-existent.

Several inmates killed in prison fire in Goiania, Goias

At least nine inmates have been killed after a fire broke out at a detention facility in Goias, central Brazil. According to firefighters, the fire was caused after inmates set mattresses alight. All victims were minors, who were being held at a police station in the state capital, Goiania.

Travel disruption to persist as lorry drivers continue strike action

Widespread travel disruption is expected to continue to impact roads and airports as lorry drivers continue engaged in a nationwide strike action. Some flight cancellations have been reported across major airports due to fuel shortages, while public transports are also being widely impacted after a number of petrol stations were shut down. Major federal and state highways are still being blocked on some routes despite government pledges to temporarily halt a recently introduced fuel tax. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines and to anticipate road delays on their way to the airport.

Flight cancellations due to fuel shortages in Brasilia

Flight cancellations and delays have been reported nationwide due to shortages of fuel. Airports in Belo Horizonte and Brasilia faced severe disruption on Friday, while other major airports may also be affected. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines. Massive disruption has been reported across Brazil as lorry drivers launched a nationwide strike action. Despite government efforts to negotiate, protests are likely to continue throughout the weekend.

Taxi drivers erect roadblock along major international bridge

Roadblocks have been erected along the Brazil-Paraguay Friendship Bridge (Ponte da Amizade) as taxi drivers join lorry drivers in a wave of nationwide protests against fuel prices. Both ways of the bridge currently blocked. Ponte da Amizade links the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu to the eastern Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este.

Fuel shortages reported nationwide amid lorry drivers' strike

Fuel shortages have been reported nationwide as lorry drivers launched a wave of protests across Brazil. Demonstrators demand the government to cut fuel tax as the strike enters its fourth day. The protest is already generating a deep impact in the country's exports and industrial sector. Major federal highways have at least two lanes blocked, which already led to massive road disruption across most states. Although the state-owned Petrobras announced a slight cut on fuel prices, protests continue to gradually expand. Demonstrations are likely to continue over the weekend.

Criminals explode bank in southern Rio

A bank has been blown up after criminals raided a Banco do Brasil branch in southern Rio. The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday morning in the affluent Laranjeiras neighbourhood. This is the third bank exploded in Laranjeiras in less than one month. Criminals often use explosives to target banks in Brazil. Although some incidents occur across urban areas, most of them are reported in small rural villages, where police presence is virtually non-existent.

Intense fog triggers flight disruptions in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) confirmed that landing was temporarily suspended on Tuesday morning due to intense fog. The measure was implemented until 08:00 local time and operations are being gradually resumed. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Henrique Meirelles to be nominated as MDB presidential candidate

Former Minister Henrique Meirelles is set to be nominated as the presidential candidate for the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) after President Michel Temer reportedly withdrew his re-election aspirations. Meirelles's bid will be confirmed on Tuesday during an MDB event in Brasilia. Previous reports revealed that the MDB Senate bench already pressured President Temer to step down from the race. Brazil's general elections are scheduled to occur on 07 October.

Dozens of migrants rescued off Maranhao coast

More than 25 migrants have been rescued off the Brazilian north-eastern Atlantic coast. Reports revealed that the group's vessel was adrift for more than a month before it was rescued by local fishermen and taken to a dock in Sao Jose de Ribamar, on the outskirts of Sao Luis. Most of the migrants were from West Africa. Two Brazilian nationals were detained over links to human trafficking, while the Navy launched further investigations.

Professors held hostage after robbery at university campus in Rio

Two professors have been held hostage for several hours after a robbery attempt at a university campus in northern Rio. The incident happened on Friday morning when two armed criminals raided a building of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) in an area known as the University City. Reports revealed that the couple was held for nearly 12 hours, while the assailants used their credit cards across several shops and ATMs. Both victims were later released in Belford Roxo, Rio's metropolitan area.

Several charged over attempt to establish terrorist cell in Goias

Nearly a dozen people have been charged over links to a terrorist recruitment ring allegedly linked to the Islamic State (IS). According to prosecutors, the suspects were detained back in October in the central state of Goias after they attempted to set up a cell to recruit Brazilians to join IS fronts in Syria. Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported that investigations started in cooperation with Spanish authorities, who recovered an address book with a Brazilian national detained in Spain.

Police officer killed during robbery in southern Rio

An off-duty police officer has been killed during a presumed robbery attempt in southern Rio. Reports revealed that the victim was shot dead moments after parking his vehicle along the Dezenove de Fevereiro street in Botafogo neighbourhood. The incident happened hours after another police officer was killed during another robbery attempt in northern Rio.

Police officer killed in northern Rio

A 42-year-old police officer has been killed during a presumed robbery attempt in northern Rio. The incident happened on Wednesday morning in the Cascadura neighbourhood. Robert Nogueira de Almeida was riding his motorcycle to work when he was ambushed. Reports revealed that the victim's belongings were not taken. Nearly 50 police officers have been killed in Rio since the start of the year.

Workers' Party former treasurer sentenced over corruption

The former treasurer of the Workers' Party (PT) has been sentenced alongside a dozen others for corruption. Paulo Alves Ferreira was sentenced for nearly 10 years for money laundering and racketeering. The former director of the state-owned oil company Petrobras, Renato Duque, and a former senior executive of the construction giant OAS, Leo Pinheiro, are also among those who were sentenced. This is the latest phase of the 'Car Wash' investigations, which targeted fraudulent Petrobras contracts.

Child dies after contracting rabies in Melgaco, Para

Health authorities in the northern state of Para confirmed that a child has died after contracting rabies. Reports revealed that the victim was bitten by a bat in the town of Melgaco, located in the Marajo Archipelago. Nearly a dozen other suspected cases - including four deaths - are also being investigated. This is the latest outbreak of rabies in Para since 2005. Rabies is a rare infection which widely affects the neurological system. It is often contracted through bites of infected animals. Preliminary symptoms may include high fever and headache.

Stray bullet hits baby at primary school in southern Rio

A six-month baby has been shot and wounded after a stray bullet hit a primary school in southern Rio. The incident happened on Monday morning in the Cosme Velho neighbourhood. The infant was hit on the arm and taken to a hospital, where he is in a stable condition. 

Criminals blow up bank in southern Rio

A bank branch in southern Rio has been targeted with explosives. The Bradesco branch located in the affluent Larajeiras neighbourhood was targeted in the early hours of Monday morning. Reports suggest that the same branch was blown up nearly a week earlier. Criminals often use explosives to crack open ATMs across Brazil. Although such attacks are most common in isolated towns, several incidents have been reported in southern Rio.

Lula da Silva confirms intentions to maintain presidential bid

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has sent a letter to the Workers' Party (PT) leadership to confirm that he will be the party's candidate ahead of the upcoming presidential vote. Lula da Silva is arrested since early-April after an appeals court upheld a 12-year sentence for corruption.

Rio city councillor investigated for links to Marielle Franco's death

Authorities are investigating if a local councillor involved with paramilitary militias in Rio is linked to the assassination of Marielle Franco, a local councillor openly critical towards militias who was killed alongside her driver back in March. Government sources told Reuters that one of the suspects is Marcello Siciliano, a local councillor in a western area in Rio, where militia groups widely operate. Siciliano denied any wrongdoing.

Police launch fresh operation amid Car Wash investigations

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has launched a fresh operation amid the notorious Car Wash investigations. Arrest warrants were issued across three Brazilian states for a number of former officials of the state-owned oil company Petrobras and three financial operators - one of them is linked to the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the same party as President Michel Temer. PF revealed that more than R$200m ($56m) was paid in bribes by the construction conglomerate Odebrecht in exchange for lucrative and overpriced state contracts.

Criminals blow up banks in Goias

Three banks have been hit by explosions after heavily armed criminals targeted several branches across Ipameri, Goias. The attacks happened in the early hours of Tuesday. Reports suggest that a post office and a jewellery store were also targeted. In Mato Grosso, a similar incident happened in the town of Alto Taquari. Criminals often employ the use of explosives during bank heists in Brazil. Such incidents are common across isolated towns, where police presence is virtually nonexistent.

Nine killed as passenger bus overturns in Parana

At least nine people have been killed and more than 20 others were injured when a bus overturned in Parana, southern Brazil. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the crash occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning near the town of Candoi. PRF reports revealed that the crash was caused by a car driving in the opposite direction attempting to overtake another vehicle along the BR-373 federal highway. Most victims were patients who were travelling from Curitiba to Realeza.

Criminals killed during police operation in western Rio

At least four suspect criminals have been killed during a massive police operation in western Rio. Police officers were deployed across the Complexo do Lins and Cidade de Deus communities after a 36-year-old police officer was killed during a presumed robbery attempt. According to the police, at least eight suspects were detained and a large drug-haul was seized. Major expressways were shut down in both directions for several hours as violent shootings erupted on Thursday morning.

Police launch massive operation targeting 'Car Wash' brokers

A massive police operation has been launched amid the notorious Car Wash investigations. Prosecutors issued arrest warrants to more than 50 individuals across five Brazilian states and to Paraguay, where the main target is Dario Messer, a man known for operating an infamous money exchange system in the black market. The operation came after two other brokers reached a plea bargain with prosecutors. According to the Public Federal Ministry (MPF), the group is responsible for moving more than $1.6bn through thousands of companies across 52 countries.

Supreme Court approves bill to limit legal protection for congressists

Brazil's Federal Supreme Court (STF) has unanimously approved a bill that limits the so-called "privileged standing" to members of both houses Congress. The move seeks to expedite current and upcoming cases which are often stalled at overwhelmed higher courts. STF ministers, however, decided that the new law is only applicable to crimes committed during a lawmaker's term and related to their official functions. Minister Dias Toffoli suggested extending the measure to all officials who benefit from privileged standing - such as prosecutors, auditors, members of the military, judges - but the proposal was rejected.

Major highways blocked due to police operations in western Rio

Major highways in western Rio have been blocked due to intense shootings reported on Thursday morning. Reports suggest that the Yellow Line was blocked due to a police operation in the Cidade de Deus neighbourhood. The Grajau-Jacarepagua highway, which links northern to western Rio, is also blocked due to another operation in the Complexo do Lins community. Travellers are advised to take caution and to avoid both roads due to intense police presence and potential shootings.

Police sergeant killed in Duque de Caxias, Rio

A police sergeant has been killed after armed criminals targeted his vehicle in Duque de Caxias, Rio's metropolitan area. The incident happened on Wednesday morning when criminals ambushed the victim's vehicle in Imbarie neighbourhood. Preliminary reports suggest that Luiz Filho was assassinated. So far this year, nearly 40 police officers have been killed in Rio. 

Agriculture minister charged with corruption

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Mario Blaggi has been charged with corruption for links to a bribery scheme while his time as governor back in 2009. Blaggi, who was at the time governor of the western state of Mato Grosso, is being accused of meddling in the nomination of officials within the state's audit body. The accusation came after his vice-governor at the time brokered a plea bargain deal with prosecutors.

Thousands march in Curitiba to support Lula da Silva

Thousands marched across the streets of Curitiba in a fresh demonstration to support former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is jailed for nearly a month. Major workers' syndicates and associations headed to the southern Brazilian city where hundreds have been camped outside the Federal Police (PF) headquarters since Lula da Silva was detained. 

Workers' Party hit in fresh corruption probe

Former President Lula da Silva and three former ministers have been charged in a fresh corruption probe engulfing the opposition Workers' Party (PT). Brazil's General Attorney Raquel Dodge accused them of involvement in another bribery scheme linked to the construction giant Odebrecht. PT's leader, Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, is also being accused of money laundering over the financing of her senatorial campaign. Lula da Silva was jailed last month after he was sentenced to 12 years amid the Car Wash investigations, in which Senator Hoffmann is also being investigated.

Scores killed as criminality wave hits Belem, Para

At least 20 people have been killed in a renewed criminality wave in Para, northern Brazil. Incidents happened overnight on Sunday across the state capital, Belem, a day after criminals killed a 49-year-old police officer. Police believe that most incidents are linked to targeted assassinations involving criminal groups. Belem and its metropolitan area record one of the highest homicide rates in Brazil, which are often attributed to retaliatory attacks carried out by criminals or local militias.

Daily rail operations launched between Sao Paulo and Guarulhos Airport

A rail line between downtown Sao Paulo and the Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) has been officially launched on Monday. The Line 13-Jade will link the Eng Goulart Station in eastern Sao Paulo to GRU. Tests are still being undertaken until 29 May - during this period the line will operate daily from 10:00 to 15:00 - and no tickets will be required. It is estimated that the journey time from downtown to GRU takes around 15 minutes. When alighting from the train, passengers are instructed to walk along an overpass and wait for shuttle buses at terminals 1, 2 or 3.

Massive fire breaks out at a building in central Sao Paulo

The emergency services rushed to central Sao Paulo overnight on Monday after a massive fire broke out at a 26-story building. It is still unclear what caused the fire or the precise number of casualties, but local media reported that at least one person was killed after part of the building collapsed. Authorities revealed that the building - located in the Largo do Paissandu area - is an old government-owned property that was recently squatted.

Five killed as gunmen target fast food trailer in Rio

Five people have been killed after armed criminals opened fire on a fast food trailer in Rio's metropolitan area. The incident happened overnight on Saturday in the Vila Operaria neighbourhood in Duque de Caxias. Preliminary investigations suggest that the incident is linked to a targeted assassination, while the motives behind the crime remain unclear. According to recent reports, the number of shootings and massacres in Rio suffered an increase since the military takeover earlier in the year.

Two shot as gunman opens fire on Lula da Siva's supporters

At least two people have been shot after a gunman opened fire at a camp housing former President Lula da Silva's supporters in Curitiba, Parana. Reports suggest that the shooting broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Santa Candida neighbourhood, where Lula da Silva's supporters are camped near the Federal Police HQ in the city after he was arrested for corruption. Tensions in the area remain high between residents and demonstrators who have been camped at the site since early- April.

Military orders UPP stations in Rio to be halved

The number of Police Pacifying Units (UPP) in Rio is set to be halved over a recent decision from the military intervention cabinet. According to Globo, from the 38 active UPP stations across Rio, 19 will shut down over the next few months. The decision comes as the reported lack of efficiency of UPPs in some high-risk areas. Since 2013, the operation of UPPs has been widely compromised due to the lack of funding during the state's deep economic crisis.

Former minister reaches plea bargain deal

Brazil's former treasurer, Antonio Palocci, has reportedly reached a plea bargain deal with the Federal Police. Palocci has been detained since 2016 after being sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for money laundering and corruption. He is one of the founders of the Workers' Party and the treasurer during the administrations of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. The move is expected to generate a boost in the long-standing Car Wash investigations, which recently led to the imprisonment of Lula da Silva.

Hundreds of indigenous set up camp in Brasilia

More than 2,000 indigenous Brazilians from dozens of tribes are set to arrive in Brasilia to camp outside government buildings. The move comes as part of the indigenous mobilisation week, where the indigenous population seek to pressure the government on land demarcation issues. Protesters are set to march towards Congress on Tuesday, while camps were set up near the JK Memorial. Demonstrators are expected to stay in the area until Friday. Last year's event turned violent as clashes between protesters and riot police erupted across central Brasilia.

Several killed in head-on collision in Minas Gerais

At least seven people have been killed and a dozen others were injured when a lorry and a bus crashed near Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais. The accident happened in the early hours of Monday along the BR-116 federal highway. Preliminary reports suggest that the lorry attempted to overtake another vehicle and crashed into the bus travelling in the opposite direction. Road accidents during the night are common in Brazil and they mainly occur due to reckless driving and poor road conditions.

Three killed as criminals raid bus in Sao Paulo

Three people have been killed after a shooting broke out during a criminal raid in Sao Paulo, south-western Brazil. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when three assailants stormed a bus in the Jabaquara area in the southern area of the city. According to the police, the shooting erupted when an off-duty police officer opened fire on the criminals. Among the casualties are the police officer, a passenger and a robber.

British artist reported missing in western Rio

A British hip-hop artist has been reported missing after leaving a recording studio in Barra da Tijuca, western Rio. Kenny Mukendi, aka Kenny Vulcan, was reported missing by his girlfriend last week. Police is investigating his disappearance. Kenny Vulcan has been in Brazil since December.

EU to ban several chicken plants due to sanitary concerns

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi has said that the European Union is set to halt poultry imports from several Brazilian chicken plants due to alleged sanitation concerns. Some plants include those owned by the scandal-riddled exporter BRF, which was at the centre of the 'Weak Flesh' scandal. Maggi said that he will appeal the decision before the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Since March 2017, the EU has reinforced sanitary inspections on Brazilian imports.

Senator charged with corruption linked to meat-packing giant JBS

Senator Aecio Neves has been charged with corruption and justice obstruction over bribery schemes linked to meat-packing giant JBS. Senator Neves - who is also a former governor and former presidential candidate - is being accused of asking more than R$2m ($580k) from JBS's executive Joesley Batista in exchange for favours. The charges come amid the Car Wash investigation, which already implicated five other senators in separate corruption probes.

Four men killed in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo

Four men were killed overnight on Monday in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo. The incident happened just outside a fast-food restaurant close to the city border with Santo Andre. Preliminary reports suggest that the killings were targeted executions, while it is unclear who is behind the attack. 

Protesters occupy flat part of Lula da Silva's corruption probe

Dozens of protesters from the Brazilian Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) briefly occupied a seaside apartment in Guaruja which is related to the former President Lula da Silva's imprisonment. Lula was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for allegedly receiving the apartment amid a bribery scheme involving a renowned engineering company. He was arrested last week after he lost a number of appeals to keep him out of prison.

Man injured in shark attack in Recife, Pernambuco

A 34-year-old man has been severely injured after suffering a shark attack in Recife, Pernambuco. Official sources revealed that the victim was attacked on Sunday afternoon at the Piedade Beach in Jaboatao dos Guararapes. Investigations have been launched to assess further risks in the area. Travellers are advised to follow authorities' recommendations and always check for warning signs located across beaches at risk in the state.

Police officer killed in Niteroi, Rio

A police officer was killed when heavily armed criminals sprayed his vehicle with bullets in Niteroi, Rio's metropolitan area. Diogo Bernardo Alcantara had just finished his night shift when he was targeted along the Presidente Roosevelt Avenue on Saturday morning. It is unclear what motivated the incident as investigations are launched. So far in 2018, nearly 40 police officers have been killed in Rio.

Thousands protest death of councilwoman in Rio

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Rio and Sao Paulo to protest the death of a Brazilian councilwoman killed last month. Protesters gathered in Rio to demand answers over the brutal assassination of Marielle Franco, who was killed alongside her driver in central Rio. Investigations are still ongoing and no suspects have been detained so far. Franco was known for her strong stance against police brutality and the security situation in Rio.

Governor calls court to shut Venezuelan border over migrant influx

Roraima's Governor Suely Campos has called the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to shutdown the border with Venezuela due to the large influx of migrants. Campos urged the federal government to assist in the redistribution of thousands of Venezuelans who keep arriving in the northern state. She claims that the influx has heavily impacted the state's health services and security. In February, the federal government approved the relocation of migrants to other Brazilian states after a state of emergency was declared in Roraima.

Shots fired at council building in Mesquita, Rio

Shots have been fired at the building of a local council in Rio's metropolitan area. Local media reported that at least eight shots hit the front of the building of one of the main government buildings in Mesquita. The incident happened overnight on Thursday. No casualties were reported. 

Border reinforced due to FMD cases in Colombia

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry has announced that sanitary monitoring along the Venezuelan border will be reinforced after a number of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) cases were reported in Colombia. Despite not presenting immediate concerns to the northern states of Amazonas and Roraima, the area will be in constant monitoring to avoid the spread of the disease into Brazilian territory. Last week, Colombian authorities slaughtered more than a dozen heads of cattle due to FMD suspicion. FMD is not harmful to humans but is highly contagious to livestock.

Tensions high due to clashes with drug users in central Sao Paulo

Tensions remain high in central Sao Paulo where a wave of unrest broke out after a police operation near the so-called Crackland. According to the state security secretary, tensions erupted after five people were detained near the area. The Crackland is an area known for a high influx of crack cocaine addicts. Drug users are mainly concentrated on the intersection between the Helvetia Street and the Cleveland Avenue, near the Julio Prestes train station. Other areas of concern are near the Luz train station, the Princesa Isabel Square, Apa and Triunfo Streets, the Duque de Caxias Avenue, Baixada do Glicerio and Dom Pedro II Park. Travellers are advised to avoid the area both by day and night.

Massive landslide blocks highway in southern Sao Paulo

A massive landslide has blocked the main road between Mogi das Cruzes and Bertioga in Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Wednesday morning when the landslide blocked both ways of the state highway SP-098. No casualties or damage to vehicles have been reported so far. It is unclear when the road will be reopened as drivers have been advised to opt for alternative routes. The area affected is between the town of Biritiba-Ussu and the intersection with the coastal BR-101 highway.

Three buses set ablaze in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

Three buses have been set on fire in separate incidents across the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. One of the incidents happened in the town of Contagem, where a couple of criminals raided the bus in the Colonial neighbourhood. Two incidents were also reported in the town of Brumadinho and Belo Horizonte. According to the police, the criminals responsible for the incident in Contagem left a note airing complaints over poor conditions at a local prison.

Scores killed during prison break attempt in Belem, Para

At least 20 people have been killed when criminals attempted to jailbreak inmates from a prison facility on the outskirts of Belem, Para. Reports revealed that heavily armed criminals opened fire on the prison in Santa Izabel on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, an unrelated wave of assassinations hit the city. In less than nine hours, a dozen people were killed in separate incidents across Belem. The incident came after a 49-year-old police officer was murdered. Previous attacks have been attributed to disputes between rival militias operating in the state capital.

Criminals hold Uber driver hostage in Sao Paulo

An Uber driver has been held hostage for several hours after criminals posing as customers robbed his vehicle in northern Sao Paulo. Brazilian media reported that the victim was lured into buying a fake service and then held at gunpoint in an undisclosed location. Reports suggest that criminals took his credit card and went on a shopping spree at a mall in the western area of the city. Both were later detained and the victim released unharmed.

Spanish sailors taken to hospital over dengue fever

Four sailors from a Spanish training ship have been admitted to a hospital in southern Uruguay with suspected cases of dengue fever. Official sources told EFE that the patients arrived from Rio suffering symptoms such as fever, muscle pain and diarrhoea. Preliminary examinations excluded the suspicion of dengue in two of the sailors. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Latin America. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle and joint pain.

Lula da Silva to be registered as PT's presidential candidate

The Workers' Party (PT) has announced on Monday that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be registered as the party's presidential candidate despite his detention. In a statement, PT revealed that Lula da Silva's presidential bid still stands and will be submitted until the electoral registration deadline in mid-August. It remains unclear if Lula da Silva can still run for president as the so-called 'Clean Slate Law' bars convicted politicians from running for office. Lula da Silva was convicted to more than 12 years in prison for links to corruption.

Judge accepts racketeering accusations against President Temer's allies

A federal judge in Brasilia has accepted accusations against nine high-level politicians linked to President Michel Temer. Most of them are members of the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) who are being accused of corruption and racketeering. Among them is Rio's former house speaker, Eduardo Cunha, and former minister Geddel Vieira. The move comes amid investigations submitted back in September to the Supreme Federal Court (STF) - they were previously suppressed after the Brazilian lower house of Congress blocked them to proceed.

Scores detained in massive anti-militia operation in western Rio

More than 140 suspected militiamen have been detained in a massive police operation in western Rio. Police officers raided a party in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood overnight on Saturday. Four people were killed when security guards opened fire on the police. According to the authorities, nearly a dozen high-calibre rifles were seized alongside ammunition and robbed vehicles. This was one of the largest operations targeting the operation of militias in recent years. The target was one of the biggest militias in Rio, which controls most areas in western Rio and recently expanded its influence to some areas in the metropolitan area and the Costa Verde in southern Rio.

Heavy rainfall triggers flooding in Recife, Pernambuco

Heavy rainfall triggered widespread flooding and a number of landslides across the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. Major streets in the state capital, Recife, were flooded while other surrounding towns were also affected. No casualties have been reported. According to the Civil Defense authority, it rained the equivalent expected for 21 days over the weekend.

Lula da Silva turns himself in to the Federal Police

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has turned himself in to the Federal Police (PF). Thousands gathered outside the metalworkers' syndicate in Sao Paulo to support the former president - who had a deadline to voluntarily surrender until Friday afternoon. Lula da Silva was detained a day later after a lengthy public speech just outside the union's building. Although two other appeals were put forward to higher courts, both were promptly rejected. Lula is currently at the PF headquarters in Curitiba, Parana, where thousands of supporters have already gathered in his support. He still faces a long legal battle, where his lawyers seek to clear him from corruption charges ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. 

President Temer's cabinet faces reshuffle ahead of elections

Seven ministers have resigned on Friday ahead of the upcoming general elections. Among them are the Education Minister Mendoca Filho, Environment Minister Sarney Filho and Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani. Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira will assume the office as head of Social and Economic Development National Bank (BNDES). In October, millions of Brazilians will head to the polls to elect new federal and state deputies, senators, governors and the country's president.

Lula da Silva expected to violate judge arrest orders

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected not to turn himself in to the Federal Police despite a federal judge order. Lula da Silva's lawyers claim that the move is unlawful and contradicts a decision of a regional appeals court in Rio Grande do Sul. He is currently meeting with high-ranking members of the Workers' Party (PT) at the metalworkers' syndicate in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo. Lula has until late-Friday to voluntarily head to the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, Parana - nearly 400km away from Sao Paulo.

Judge orders Lula da Silva's prison on corruption charges

A federal judge has ordered the arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the Supreme Federal Court (STF) narrowly rejected his appeal to avoid prison. Judge Sergio Moro has ruled that the former chief of state has until Friday afternoon to hand himself in to the Federal Police in the southern city of Curitiba, Parana. Lula da Silva's lawyer said that the move violates a previous rule of a regional court in Rio Grande do Sul, which still has to decide on Lula's latest appeal. Protests are expected in Curitiba and other major Brazilian cities over the weekend.

Army chief makes controversial comments before Lula's court appeal

As the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court was deciding the fate of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country's top Army commander published inflammatory comments on social media. Just hours before Lula da Silva's session, General Eduardo Villas Boas wrote on his Twitter account that "the Brazilian Army shares the eagerness of all citizens to repudiate impunity and respect the Constitution, peace and democracy (...)". Government officials widely criticised his comments while the military supported Villas Boas. No comments have been made so far by the ministry of defence regarding the issue.

Five inmates killed in prison fire in Rio Grande do Sul

At least five inmates have been killed after a fire broke out at a prison facility in Rio Grande do Sul. Authorities revealed that the fire erupted in the early hours of Thursday morning at the State Penitentiary of Rio Grande. It is still unclear what caused the fire as investigations have been launched to assess any potential criminal links to the incident.

Supreme Court rejects Lula da Silva's appeal

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) has confirmed the prison sentence of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - who was charged with more than 12 years in prison over corruption. In a lengthy 11-hour session on Wednesday, STF ministers voted 6-5 against Lula da Silva's appeal to avoid jail. The last appeal is still open and is set to be submitted to a regional court in Rio Grande do Sul - where judges previously rejected the first appeal - in the next few weeks.

Protests expected as Supreme Court decides Lula da Silva's prison sentence

Protests are expected in Brasilia as the Supreme Federal Court (STF) is set to issue the final decision on the prison sentence of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Protesters are expected to gather outside government buildings in the capital on Wednesday. Demonstrations across major Brazilian cities and state capitals are also expected to occur throughout the week. Lula da Silva has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison over money laundering charges. This is Lula da Silva's last appeal after a regional appeals court rejected his request to avoid prison.

Several arrested amid corruption investigation linked to President Temer

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) has launched an operation to detain a number of suspects under Operation Skala, which is investigating an alleged corruption scheme linked to President Michel Temer. The operation took place in Sao Paulo and Rio, where the head of the company Rodrimar, Antonio Celso Grecco alongside a close former aide to President Temer, Jose Yunes, were arrested. Rodrimar is at the centre of a corruption scandal which involves the issuing of a presidential decree in exchange for bribes.

Criminals target banks with explosives in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro

Two banks have been targeted with explosives in a violent heist in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro. The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday morning when more than a dozen heavily armed criminals raided two branches in the central areas of the city. Roadblocks were also erected when the assailants set two vehicles on fire. Criminals often use explosives to target banks in Brazil. Most incidents are reported in small rural villages, where police presence is virtually non-existent.

Missing British tourist found safe in Rio Grande do Sul

Brazilian police have confirmed that the 27-year-old British tourist reported missing last week has been found safe in an isolated rural area in Rio Grande do Sul. Katherine Brewster was in the town of Alpestre to attend a meditation retreat. According to the police, Brewster went by herself to a camp for five days in a deep jungle area near the town of Foz de Chapeco.

Shots fired at presidential campaign caravan in Parana

Shots have been reportedly fired at two buses part of a campaign caravan of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when the convoy was heading from Quedas do Iguacu to Laranjeiras do Sul, Parana state. Civil Police said that investigations were launched, while Brazil's public security minister, Raul Jungmann, called state authorities to beef up security. This is the latest spate of violence to be reported as Lula da Silva continues his political rally across southern Brazil.

Security forces launch massive operation in northern Rio

More than 3,400 members of the security forces have been deployed across northern Rio in a massive joint operation. Police officers and soldiers headed to the Complexo do Lins community to fulfil a number of arrest warrants. The Grajau-Jacarepagua highway - the main link between west and northern Rio - was temporarily closed. Six suspects have been so far detained. The area is known for the presence of criminal groups dedicated to cargo theft. The operation comes just days after intense shootings were reported in the nearby Praca Seca neighbourhood.

Appeals court upholds Lula da Silva's 12-year sentence

Judges at a Regional Federal Court in Rio Grande do Sul (TRF-4) have unanimously decided to uphold the conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. In a vote held on Monday, the appeals court decided that no omissions or contradiction could be identified in Lula da Silva's case, despite claims of irregularities from his own legal team. He has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering. Lula da Silva's lawyer, Cristiano Zanin, told Brazilian media that he will appeal the decision in a higher court.

Criminals raid shopping centre in southern Rio

A shopping centre in southern Rio was evacuated after armed criminals raided a jewellery shop on Monday evening. Tensions escalated when police officers clashed with criminals outside the Botafogo Praia Shopping. Extra reported that after the heist a driver was forced at gunpoint to take the criminals to Sao Cristovao neighbourhood. No casualties were reported.

Wave of criminality engulfs Fortaleza, Ceara

A wave of shootings and arson attacks have targeted buses and public buildings in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza, Ceara. At least a dozen buses were set on fire and a number of government offices were targeted in a presumed retaliation for the death of three criminals last Saturday. Tensions erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning across the main areas of Fortaleza, Sobral and Cascavel. No casualties were reported and six suspects were detained. Ceara presents one of the highest rates of criminality in Brazil.

Police kill seven suspects in southern Rio

At least seven criminals have been gunned down during a police operation in southern Rio. Authorities revealed that a violent shooting broke out on Saturday morning when police officers were patrolling the Rocinha community. According to the police, the assailants were shot and taken to a local hospital, where they succumbed to their wounds. The incident comes just days after a police officer and a civilian were killed in another shooting in the area.

Two killed during shooting at Rio's Rocinha community

A police officer and 70-year-old civilian have been killed during a violent shooting in southern Rio. EBC reported on Thursday evening that the shootout erupted near the Largo do Boiadeiro area at the Rocinha community. On the same evening, a police officer working as a security guard was killed in Cabo Frio while another was gunned down during a police operation in Belford Roxo.

Lula da Silva granted delay in court case

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (STF) has delayed making a ruling in the case of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The court has postponed the vote until 04 April, the date when the judgment is scheduled to be concluded. Next Monday, a regional court will issue its final decision on Lula da Silva's appeal on a 12-year prison sentence over corruption allegations.

Several foreign nationals contracted yellow fever in Brazil

The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has confirmed that 11 foreign tourists contracted yellow fever since the start of the year. According to a report, most cases were identified in Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro. PAHO confirmed that none of them were vaccinated and that two of the infected patients succumbed to the disease. Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Health confirmed that more than 1,000 yellow fever cases had already been reported nationwide in the last nine months.

Tensions escalate during Lula's political rally in southern Brazil

Tensions escalated during a political rally of the opposition Workers' Pary (PT) in Rio Grande do Sul. Protests erupted earlier in the week as former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited the southern town of Bage and Sao Borja. The rallies comes as part of Lula da Silva's presidential campaign across southern Brazil. Further demonstrations are expected throughout the next week as he heads to Passo Fundo, Florianopolis, Chapeco, Foz do Iguacu and Curitiba.

Heavy rainfall triggers flooding in south-eastern Brazil

Widespread flooding has been reported due to heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms across central and south-eastern Brazil. In Sao Paulo, three people were killed and hundreds of others were evacuated, while a weather alert remains in place in Rio. In Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, a state of emergency was declared as severe weather triggered destruction across the state capital. More rain is expected to affect the region throughout the next few days.

Millions suffer power outages across northern Brazil

Millions of people suffered power outages on Wednesday after a reported malfunction at the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in northern Brazil. Residents across 13 Brazilian states in the northern and south-eastern regions were affected for several hours. Mines and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho said that the incident was caused due to a voltage drop and that further investigations were launched.

Supreme Court ministers to vote on Lula's request to avoid prison

Ministers of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) are set to make a decision on the request to keep former President Lula da Silva out of prison while he awaits further appeal options. The vote is scheduled for Thursday, just days before the regional court is set to judge his last appeal. In January, Lula da Silva lost an appeal after a regional court sentenced him to more than 12 years on corruption and money-laundering charges.

Ex-convict shot dead by assailants

On 19 March an ex-convict was cornered and shot in Rua do Arame in Camaragibe, Pernambuco state.  The incident occurred at 21:30 local time, and police believe it was a targetted killing, and likely to be a "settling of scores".  

Three killed in Rio de Janeiro shooting

Three people were killed and a 12-year-old injured when three men attacked a group in Paraiso Street, Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro.  According to witnesses, the incident happened at around 21:00 local time, and the assailants escaped on foot.

Narcotics suspect arrested in Cabo Frio

On 16 March, a suspect with a substantial amount of narcotics and a firearm, was arrested in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro.  

Thousands gather to protest murder of councillor

Thousands of people gathered in Rio de Janeiro and across Brazil on Thursday to mourn a popular councillor who was killed in a drive-by shooting on Wednesday.  Marielle Franco was hit by several bullets after an attacker pulled up next to her vehicle in what appeared to be a targeted assassination.  Her driver was also killed and an aide was injured in the incident.  Franco defied the odds of Rio politics when she won the fifth-highest vote count amongst council members in 2016, and was an expert on police violence, particularly in the favelas where she grew up.  The deaths come despite the military taking charge of security in the city following a surge in violence.

City councillor shot dead in Rio de Janeiro

A Brazilian city councillor has been shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Rio de Janeiro. Marielle Franco, 38, died along with her driver during the attack, which took place in Estacio on Wednesday evening. Her press officer was also shot and wounded. The incident has sparked outrage and protests are expected to take place in the city on Thursday. Franco was an outspoken critic of police and military violence in the city's favelas and it is believed that she was deliberately targeted.

Massive measles vaccination campaign launched in Roraima

Health authorities have launched a massive vaccination campaign after six suspected measles cases were identified in Roraima, northern Brazil. The move comes in order to immunise more than 400,000 people, including locals and thousands of Venezuelan migrants who recently arrived in the state. Vaccination campaigns were also launched in the neighbouring state of Amazonas. Measles' symptoms may include high fever, cough and red eyes. It is widely recommended to keep up-to-date to the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination before travelling to the country.

Finance Minister Meirelles to consider presidential bid

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles has said that he is considering launching his own presidential bid as head of the centre-left Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB). Meirelles is set to consider the decision and resign from his office until April. He claims that he has a good chance of getting significant results in the upcoming vote, which is scheduled for early-October. Recent polls suggest that Meirelles would end-up at the bottom of the table due to his links to President Michel Temer's historically unpopular administration.

Four killed in building collapse in Salvador, Bahia

Four people have been killed and three others injured when a four-story building collapsed in Salvador, Bahia. The incident happened on Tuesday morning when heavy rainfall battered the Pituacu neighbourhood. All victims were members of the same family, which included two young children. Civil defence officials headed to the scene to investigate what caused the structure to collapse.

Minor disruptions reported at Belo Horizonte Airport, Minas Gerais

Minor disruptions have been reported at Belo Horizonte International Airport (CNF) in Minas Gerais, south-western Brazil. Cancellations and delays are impacting some flights throughout Monday. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for further information.

Seven people killed in series of attacks across Fortaleza, Ceara

At least seven people have been killed in a series of coordinated attacks in Fortaleza, Ceara. The incidents happened on Friday evening when a group of heavily armed criminals targeted supporters of a local football team. The incidents were reported in the central Benfica neighbourhood. Fortaleza presents one of the highest homicide rates in Brazil. In January, 14 people were killed when criminals raided a party in the city.

Three killed as hijacked helicopter crashes in Joinville, Santa Catarina

Three people have been killed and another injured when a hijacked helicopter crashed in Joinville, Santa Catarina. Preliminary reports suggest that the aircraft was hijacked by armed criminals, who were attempting to rescue an inmate transferred from a local prison. It is still unclear what caused the accident, which is still under investigation.

Police officer assassinated in Ponta Pora, Mato Grosso do Sul

A 37-year-old police officer has been shot dead when heavily armed criminals sprayed his vehicle with bullets in the bordering town of Ponta Pora, Mato Grosso do Sul. Wescley Vasconcelos was driving alongside a police intern when he was attacked by unknown assailants. Vasconcelos's death triggered concerns from police syndicates, which demanded action from state authorities. The incident comes days after a massive police operation took place along the Paraguayan border to identify potential drug-trafficking routes into Brazil.

Petrobras former chief sentenced amid Car Wash probe

Federal Judge Sergio Moro has sentenced a former CEO of the state-owned oil company Petrobras for 11 years in prison. As part of the 'Car Wash' investigations, Aldemir Bendine was found guilty of corruption and money laundering. He has been accused of receiving more than $1m in bribes from the construction conglomerate Odebrecht. A number of high-level state officials and politicians were already implicated in the investigations. 

Two killed as shooting breaks out in southern Rio

Two unnamed individuals have been killed during violent shooting in southern Rio. The incident happened on Wednesday evening near the Flamengo neighbourhood, where the assailants opened fire from a moving vehicle. O Globo reported that a taxi driver was hit by a stray bullet. Local media also revealed that the incident is likely to be related to a retaliation between two rival gangs.

Heavily armed criminals raid bank in Cubatao, Sao Paulo

Nearly 20 heavily armed criminals blew up a bank in the coastal town of Cubatao, Sao Paulo. Reports revealed that a Caixa Economica Federal branch was raided overnight on Tuesday, where criminals employed explosives to open the bank's main safe. Tensions escalated when police officers approached the scene and exchanged fire with the assailants. The heist comes several months after another high-profile bank robbery took place in the neighbouring city of Santos. 

High Court judges reject Lula da Silva's request to avoid prison

High Court judges have unanimously rejected a request to keep former President Lula da Silva out of prison while he awaits further appeal options. Lula's defense are set to appeal the decision with the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF). In January, Lula da Silva lost an appeal after a regional court sentenced him to more than 12 years on corruption and money-laundering charges.

Hundreds of soldiers take part in operation in western Rio

More than 900 soldiers are taking part in a massive military operation in western Rio. Reports revealed that the operation seeks to launch a siege on the Villa Kennedy community to remove roadblocks. The operation comes days after more than 1,400 soldiers removed 16 roadblocks across the same community. Operations in the area have intensified since the military took over Rio's public security. 

British tourist dies after falling ill at Amazon cruise

On Thursday, a 66-year-old  British tourist died after spending several days at a hospital in Para, northern Brazil. Reports revealed that Joanna Margaret Kiln fell ill whilst on board an Amazon cruise. Globo reported that she was admitted to a private hospital in Santarem on 20 February but was later transferred to a public facility as her travel insurance reportedly ran out. Medical sources revealed that she suffered from severe health conditions such as heart problems and pneumonia.

High Court judges to decide on Lula da Silva's immediate imprisonment

High Court judges are set to decide on Tuesday afternoon if former President Lula da Silva will be imprisoned while he awaits further appeals. In January, Lula da Silva lost an appeal after a regional court sentenced him to more than 12 years for corruption and money-laundering charges. Lula da Silva's defence has requested that judges keep him out of prison while his legal team explores appeal options. If denied, the case will be put forward to the Federal Supreme Court (STF), which already refused a previous bid by Lula da Silva to avoid serving prison time.

Cash-in-transit vehicle blown up in Inhapi, Alagoas

Heavily armed criminals have blown up a cash-in-transit vehicle in Alagoas, north-eastern Brazil. The incident was reported on Monday afternoon along the BR-423 federal highway. Reports suggest that assailants in two cars ambushed the armoured vehicle near the town of Inhapi. Shooting erupted when police officers approached the scene.

Bank targeted with explosives in Rio Grande do Sul

Several people have been held hostage when criminals raided a bank in Rio Grande do Sul. Reports revealed that criminals employed explosives to get access to a Banco do Brasil branch in Santa Clara do Sul. G1 reported that residents were used as a human cordon during the heist. Criminals often employ explosives to target banks in Brazil. Most incidents are reported in small rural villages, where police presence in virtually non-existent.

Police investigates cargo heist at Sao Paulo Airport

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) is investigating a high-profile heist at the cargo terminal of Sao Paulo's Viracopos Airport (VCP). Brazilian media reported on Monday that five heavily armed criminals impersonating security guards raided cargo unloaded from a Lufthansa aircraft. Preliminary investigations revealed that $5m in cash were stolen. The cargo was believed to be destined to a bank in Switzerland.

British tourists shot during robbery attempt in Porto Seguro, Bahia

Two British tourists have been shot during a robbery attempt in southern Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. Both victims were rushed to a hospital when they were targeted in the coastal town of Porto Seguro. Reports revealed that two assailants riding a motorcycle attempted to snatch their bags while they were heading back to their hotel. Bahia presents one of the highest levels of criminality in the country.

Massive operation launched amid Weak Flesh investigations

On Monday, Brazil's Federal Police (PF) launched the third phase of the Weak Flesh investigations, which targets the issue of fake sanitary certificates to meat products. More than 90 warrants were issued across the states of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo. The main target of the operation is the company BRF Brasil Foods. According to the PF, five laboratories accreditated by the ministry of agriculture issued fake sanitary certificates after manipulating samples from a number of companies linked to the meat industry.

Mail services in Rio to charge additional tax over violence levels

Brazil's state-run mail service, Correios, has announced that from the first week of March an additional tax will be charged to parcels destined for Rio. According to a statement released on Wednesday, the so-called emergency tax comes due to Rio's current levels of violence, which include attacks on post offices and cargo theft.

Seven criminals killed in armed clashes near Campinas, Sao Paulo

At least seven suspect criminals have been killed during a violent standoff with police officers in Sao Paulo. Police officers were deployed to a rural area on the outskirts of Campinas after receiving an anonymous tip-off of a potential bank robbery. Shooting broke out when the criminals were ambushed while heading to Joanopolis. According to the police, high-calibre rifles, explosives and a cache of ammunition were recovered. Bank robberies and ATM explosions are common in remote rural villages in Brazil, mainly due to the lack of police presence.

Lower house approves bill to regulate app-based transport services

On Tuesday, Brazil's lower house of Congress approved a bill that regulates the operation of app-based transport services. The bill was already approved last year by the Senate and is now set for presidential approval. Despite this version of the bill being approved, local governments still hold the power to enforce specific legislation regarding services and operations. The approved bill has been seen as a defeat for taxi-drivers who are engaged in lengthy legal battles with companies such as Uber, Cabify and 99.

President Michel Temer creates Ministry of Public Security

Last week, President Michel Temer announced the creation of the Ministry of Public Security, which seeks to oversee federal forces and coordinate efforts with state law-enforcement agencies. Defense Minister Raul Jungmann will head the ministry, which will monitor operations of the Federal Police (PF), the National Penitentiary Department and other federal bodies. Jungmann is being replaced by General Joaquim Silva e Luna, the first military to assume the defence office. The move comes days after President Temer announced federal intervention in Rio's public security.

Espirito Santo to reinforce state borders over Rio's federal intervention

Espirito Santo's state government said that state borders with Rio and Minas Gerais will be reinforced during the following two months. The measure comes after President Michel Temer signed an order allowing federal intervention in Rio's public security. Andre Garcia, the state's public security secretary, said that the measure will be widely preventive and that no current threat of criminals fleeing from neighbouring states into Espirito Santo has been reported. 

Thousands protest suspension of pension reforms vote

Thousands of people took to the streets across the country after the National Congress announced that the vote on the pensions reform bill has been suspended. Congress votes on many other bills have been also suspended after President Michel Temer ordered a federal intervention to Rio's public security. According to the constitution, a major change cannot be undertaken during a federal intervention, which is set to be approved by a Senate vote later on Tuesday.

Joint operation takes place in northern Rio

A joint operation involving the police and the armed forces took place on Tuesday morning in northern Rio. Soldiers and police officers were deployed to the Kelsons community under the so-called guarantee of law and order decree, which was issued last week by President Michel Temer. The operation comes just as the lower-house of Congress overwhelmingly approved federal intervention to Rio's public security.

Hostages taken during prison riot in Rio

Inmates at a maximum security prison in Rio have taken 18 hostages after a riot broke out overnight on Sunday. The incident happened at the Milton Dias Moreira prison in Japeri, Rio's metropolitan area, after a presumed escape attempt. Riot police and special operations officers were deployed to the area and released all hostages hours later. Authorities revealed that the facility is overcrowded and largely controlled by criminal groups. The riot came just as President Michel Temer declared a military take over of Rio's public security and prisons until the end of 2018.

President Temer to allow military to take over security in Rio

On Thursday, President Michel Temer and high-ranking members of the armed forces debated a potential federal intervention for public security in Rio. President Temer seeks to pass the responsibilities of both civil and military police to the armed forces under the tutelage of General Walter Neto, who is the Army's commander in the region. Governor Fernando Pezao has already suspended his chief of public security, Roberto Sa, to hand over duties to the military. The measure is expected to be signed on Friday and head for approval by the Congress next week.

Four killed as heavy rainfall hit northern Rio

At least four people have been killed when heavy rainfall hit northern Rio overnight on Wednesday. In Quintino neighbourhood, a couple were killed when a wall collapsed. Meanwhile, in the western area in Realengo, a police officer died after being hit by a tree and a 12-year-old boy was also killed in Cascadura. The most areas affected were northern and western Rio, but some neighbourhoods in the south also suffered power outages. Widespread flooding limited traffic on major highways across the city and disrupted public transport. Caution is advised as heavy rainfall is expected to last throughtout the weekend and into early next week.

Several killed as bus crashes into lorry in Goias

At least seven people have been killed and nearly 20 others injured when a bus and a lorry coming from opposite directions collided in Goias. The accident happened on Thursday morning along the BR-020 federal highway in the outskirts of Formosa, near the state border with the Federal District. The bus was heading from the north-eastern state of Paraiba and heading to Goiania. Road accidents involving buses occasionally occur in Brazil and often lead to a high number of casualties.

President Temer to create new ministry to oversee police forces

President Michel Temer has recently announced that he intends to create a new ministry to oversee police forces nationwide. On Wednesday, Temer met with senior members of the armed forces to discuss further arrangements for the establishment of the Public Security Ministry. Among the police forces to be transferred to the new ministry is the Federal Police (PF), which is currently under tutelage of the Ministry of Justice. Concerns have been drawn over the independence of the PF, which has been investigating major corruption scandals involving senior government politicians.

Five killed in bus crash in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

At least five people have been killed and more than a dozen others injured when a municipal bus drove into a river in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The accident happened on Tuesday evening in the Barreiro area. It is still unclear what caused the crash. Road accidents involving buses occasionally occur in Brazil and often lead to a high number of casualties.

Several injured as criminals raid hospital in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso

A 32-year-old woman and a baby were taken to intensive care after they were shot during a criminal raid on a hospital in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso. According to the police, five people were injured when heavily armed criminals stormed the hospital's A&E unit to rescue a man held by the police.

President announces task force to tackle migrant influx in Roraima

President Michel Temer has announced the creation of a joint task force to assist in the high-influx of Venezuelan migrants in Roraima, northern Brazil. Along with the security reinforcement in the border area, Temer announced the establishment of temporary medical and immigration facilities to process migrants and potentially relocate them to other states. Since the political crisis broke out in Venezuela, thousands of migrants continue to flee the country into Colombia and Brazil.

Large-scale plunders reported during Rio's carnival celebrations

A number of large-scale plunders - locally known as arrastao - have been reported in Rio as thousands gathered during the carnival celebrations. Reports revealed that over the weekend, victims were targeted in the metropolitan area of Niteroi and across affluent neighbourhoods in southern Rio, such as Leblon and Ipanema. Arrastao is a common criminal practice in Rio where dozens of youngsters target their victims to rob their valuables. It is widely advisable to remain vigilant, do not display wealth and, especially, do not react to robbery attempts as criminals are often armed and may resort to violence.

Criminals kidnap manager to rob his bank in Parana

A bank manager and his family have been held hostage when armed criminals raided their home in Parana, southern Brazil. Local media revealed that Ricardo Figueiredo and his family were targeted on Wednesday evening in Santo Antonio da Platina. Reports suggest that his wife was forced to head to the bank and take more than 200k reais ($61k) from the branch's safe. All victims were later released in a nearby rural area. A special anti-kidnapping police unit is investigating the incident.

Beach access restricted over poor water quality in Vitoria, Espirito Santo

Authorities have warned visitors that all beaches along the coast of Vitoria, Espirito Santo, are not suitable for bathing or swimming. According to recent water tests released by the Mayor of Vitoria, the access to all 26 beaches is temporarily restricted due to poor water quality. It is believed that the situation has been caused by heavy rainfall which battered the city last week. This has brought untreated sewage and loose garbage to the shores. It is expected the situation will improve as thousands head to the city ahead of the carnival holidays. It is widely advised not to bathe in Vitoria beaches during this period and closely follow local authorities' recommendations.

Soldiers to be deployed in Roraima over migrants influx

Additional soldiers are set to be deployed to northern Brazil due to the high influx of migrants from Venezuela. As thousands of migrants cross the border into Roraima, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said on Thursday that the military contingent along the border region will be doubled to at least 200. Meanwhile, the Colombian and Guyanian government already announced measures to reinforce the border to avoid the escalation of a potential migrant crisis and to fight cross-border criminality.

Bank worker's family held hostage in Cascavel, Parana

A bank worker was held hostage alongside his family when heavily armed criminals raided his home in Cascavel, Parana. The incident happened overnight on Monday when the victim was forced to head to the bank while his family was held at gunpoint at their house. Local media reported that more than 300k reais ($92k) were taken from the bank's safe before the family were safely released. No further details were revealed due to ongoing investigations.

Scores arrested in massive joint operation in western Rio

At least 22 people have been detained during a massive joint-operation in the Cidade de Deus community in western Rio. The operation involving the armed forces and the police took place on Wednesday morning. Violent shooting has been reported during the raid. Operations also took place in the Rocinha and Mare communities. The three major expressways in Rio - Red Line, Yellow Line and Brasil Avenue - were temporarily shut down. Overnight, five people were killed in several security incidents across Rio, including two minors who were hit by stray bullets.

Overpass collapse triggers disruptions in central Brasilia

Traffic has been severely disrupted after part of an overpass collapsed in central Brasilia. Governor Rodrigo Rollemberg confirmed that no injuries were reported but four cars were destroyed. The incident happened on Tuesday morning. Brasilia's International Airport (BSB) has recommended that travellers avoid the so-called Eixao Sul due to heavy traffic, which links the Asa Sul to Asa Norte areas.

Criminals erect roadblock along highway in Florianopolis

Criminals blocked a major federal highway on Monday evening amid a wave of violence in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina. According to the Highways Federal Police (PRF), criminals set a roadblock along the BR-282 highway and attempted to rob drivers. Shooting was reported as PRF officers headed to the scene. Meanwhile, preliminary reports revealed that more shooting erupted during a police operation in the nearby Morro do Maloca. BR-282 in the main route from the continental part of Santa Catarina to the state capital, Florianopolis.

Large crowds expected ahead of the Carnaval celebrations

Large crowds are expected to swarm the streets of major Brazilian cities as the Carnival celebrations approach. Millions of people usually march through the so-called 'blocos' across traditional neighbourhoods in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and other major cities. It is widely advised to remain vigilant when near crowded areas as pickpockets may operate in certain venues. Traffic restrictions and disruptions are also likely, especially along major highways as millions head from capital cities to coastal areas. The Carnival holidays in 2018 are set to roughly last from 10 to 14 February.

CDC issues warnings over locally transmitted malaria in southern Bahia

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health warning for southern Bahia after a locally transmitted outbreak was reported in the town of Wenceslau Guimaraes. It is believed that the outbreak started when a traveller to the northern state of Para was infected. Malaria is not usually found in Bahia. Malaria is known to occur mainly across states in northern and central Brazil. Travellers are advised to remain vigilant to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes - use insect repellent and mosquito nets - as there is no available vaccine against the disease.

Yellow fever death toll rises in south-western Brazil

Rio's State Health Secretary has reported that the state's yellow fever death toll has risen to 18. As Rio continues to be on alert due to the high incidence of yellow fever cases, a massive vaccination campaign is in place until late-February. The most affected areas are Valenca, Teresopolis, Sumidouro and Nova Friburgo. Meanwhile in the neighbouring state of Sao Paulo, since the start of 2017, the death toll has reached 61. Most cases were reported in Mairipora and Atibaia. Visitors to south-western Brazil have been advised to be vaccinated against yellow fever, especially if heading to rural and deep jungle areas.

Several killed in recent wave of violence across Rio

At least seven people have been killed and several others shot in separate incidents reported in less than 24 hours across Rio. The incidents happened on Saturday mostly in western and northern Rio. According to the police, clashes in the western region include territorial disputes between drug-traffickers and local militias. In other incidents, two people were shot in separate robberies. Tensions remain particularly high in the Cidade de Deus and Rocinha communities.

Major expressway closed as shootings break out in northern Rio

One of Rio's busiest expressways has been shut down after violent shooting erupted during a police operation in the Cidade de Deus community, western Rio. The Yellow Line (Linha Amarela) was blocked after residents erected barricades and set tires on fire in protest. Three suspected criminals were killed, including a local criminal leader. Tensions further escalated on Thursday morning when a police car was targeted. Drivers were forced to leave their vehicles and hide to avoid being hit by stray bullets. Traffic in the area was temporarily suspended and people have been advised to avoid the area.

Rio health officials urge visitors to stick to urban areas

Rio state health secretary, Luiz Antonio Teixeira Junior, has urged visitors attending the carnival celebrations to stick to urban areas due to the recent outbreak of yellow fever in south-eastern Brazil. In a press conference, Teixeira said: “Visit our beaches, but avoid forests, bushes and waterfalls. That is where the mosquitoes that transmit the disease live.” Despite state authorities' concerns, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and foreign governments have advised people travelling to the whole state to be vaccinated at least 10 days before the trip.

Bank targeted with explosives in Nova Iguacu, Rio

A bank in Rio's metropolitan area was targeted with explosives during a criminal raid overnight on Wednesday. According to the police, criminals blew up a Bradesco branch in Nova Iguacu's Miguel Couto neighbourhood, where the whole building was destroyed but no casualties were reported. Armed criminals usually employ the use of explosives to open ATMs in some urban areas, although the practice is more commonly reported in isolated rural towns.

Health ministry includes Maranhao state to yellow fever risk areas

Visitors and residents in the north-eastern state of Maranhao have been advised to consider being vaccinated against yellow fever. Brazil's health ministry has included the whole state in the yellow fever alert and launched a widespread vaccination campaign to avoid an outbreak. Hundreds of cases of yellow fever were already reported in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais. Yellow fever vaccination should be done at least 10 days before heading to Brazil, especially in the event of travelling to deep jungle areas.

Several inmates killed in violent prison riot in Itapaje, Ceara

At least 10 inmates have been killed when a prison riot broke out in Ceara, north-eastern Brazil. On Monday morning, special police forces were deployed to the prison in the remote town of Itapaje after rival criminal factions engaged in violent clashes. The police are investigating if the incident is linked to the bar massacre last weekend, where 14 people were gunned down in the state capital, Fortaleza. 

Several killed as bus overturns in Dianopolis, Tocantins

At least seven people have been killed and 20 others injured when a bus overturned in Tocantins, northern Brazil. The accident happened overnight on Sunday when the bus hit a curve along the TO-040 state highway near Dianopolis. The bus driver told local authorities that he lost control of the vehicle due to an alleged brake failure. The bus was heading from Barreiras in Bahia to the Tocantins' capital, Palmas. 

Violent shooting breaks out during police pursuit in Rio

A 24-year-old waiter has been killed and several others injured when violent shooting broke out in northern Rio. The incident happened on Saturday evening when thousands of people were gathered at several bars in Tijuca neighbourhood during the carnival celebrations. Reports suggest that criminals in six vehicles engaged in a police pursuit, where dozens of shots were fired. A 54-year-old Uber passenger was hit in the arm, while two police officers were also injured. It is believed that the criminals were part of a criminal gang which currently controls the nearby Rocinha and Morro do Formiga communities.

Scores killed as criminals raid bar in Fortaleza, Ceara

At least 14 people have been killed and scores injured when heavily armed men raided a bar in Fortaleza, Ceara. The incident happened on Saturday evening in the Cajazeiras neighbourhood. Reports suggest that gunmen armed with high-calibre rifles arrived at the scene and opened fire indiscriminately. Investigations have been launched to assess the motives behind the attack, which is the worst ever reported in the state. It is believed that the incident may be linked to a drug-trafficking dispute. Ceara state reports one of the highest criminality levels in Brazil. Last year, more than 5,000 people were killed.

Notorious Brazilian drug-lord detained in eastern Paraguay

One of the most murderous criminals in southern Brazil has been recaptured during a joint police operation in eastern Paraguay. Deivid Adriel de Mello was one of the leaders of the notorious 'Os Manos' gang, which widely operate in Rio Grande do Sul. He was captured in an apartment in the bordering city of Ciudad del Este. Mello escaped from prison in late-November and headed to Paraguay in an alleged attempt to acquire weapons and ammunition. He was serving a sentence of 43 years for links to more than 50 assassinations.

Tensions remain high due to police operations across Rio

Security tensions remain high across southern Rio's Rocinha community as intense shooting has been reported recently. Police operations, that started several weeks ago in the City of God community in western Rio, seek to seize weapons and drugs and to arrest criminal suspects. In the last four months, more than 30 suspects were killed in violent incursions across several communities in southern, western and northern Rio.

Judge seizes Lula da Silva's passport amid fresh probe

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has had his passport seized and has been barred from leaving the country in the wake of fresh corruption allegations. Just as judges at an appeals court decided to uphold and increase Lula da Silva's sentence, the former chief of state is now the target of a new probe. Lula da Silva is being now investigated for illegally lobbying on behalf of the Swedish-based firm Saab, regarding a deal of $4.5bn for 36 fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force. Judge Ricardo Leite is investigating the deal that was negotiated during his presidential term back in 2013 and concluded under Dilma Rousseff's administration.

Criminals strap explosive to abducted bank manager in Minas Gerais

The military police's special operations unit (BOPE) has been deployed after the kidnap of a bank manager in Nova Serrana, central Minas Gerais. According to the police, the victim was abducted near his home on Wednesday evening by eight criminals and held captive overnight. Reports revealed that he was ordered to head to the bank on the following morning with a small home-made explosive strapped to his body. BOPE officers safely removed the device after his co-workers warned the authorities as soon as he got into the building.

Landless movement leader shot dead in Iramaia, Bahia

A regional leader of the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) has been shot dead at a settlement in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. Marcio Matos Oliveira was killed while he was with his six-year-old son on a farm in Iramaia. Preliminary investigations assessed that he was the target of a robbery, but this idea was later discarded. Bahia State Governor Rui Costa condemned the attack. The MST is very close to the opposition Workers' Party (PT), which Oliveira was also a member. Last April, another MST regional leader was shot 10 times in a settlement in Minas Gerais.

Judges uphold Lula da Silva's corruption conviction

Judges at the appeals court in the southern city of Porto Alegre have unanimously decided to uphold former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's corruption conviction. Further, they also decided to increase his sentence from nine-and-half years to 12. Such a decision could be a major blow to the left-wing Workers' Party (PT) and Lula da Silva's intentions to run for office in the upcoming elections. The former president is being accused of receiving bribes through a seaside apartment. He denies any wrongdoing and claims that the judges are being politically motivated. Lula da Silva still has a number of appeals until the final decision is settled.

Protests break out as judges vote on Lula da Silva's appeal

A wave of protests has been reported nationwide as an appeals court in southern Brazil continues to judge an appeal from former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was charged with corruption and money laundering. Demonstrators in favour and against the former chief of state took to the streets across major cities and state capitals. Judges are still voting to decide if they accept the appeal which seeks to scrap Lula's prison sentence of nearly 10 years. Despite rising tensions, this is not his last legal appeal. Demonstrations are expected to continue in the coming days.

Protests expected as appeals court decides Lula's fate

Protests are expected to break out on Wednesday as a court of appeal in Rio Grande do Sul is set to decide the fate of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula da Silva is being accused of receiving more than R$2,2m (£540k) in bribes from the construction company OAS. As investigations involving the state-owned company Petrobras unfold, the results of the corruption appeal may influence Lula's presidential bid later in the year. Strong security measures have been introduced around the Regional Federal Court in Porto Alegre as thousands of people are expected to head to the city to support the former chief of state.

Authorities declare yellow fever emergency in Minas Gerais

State authorities have declared a state of emergency due to a yellow fever outbreak reported in some areas of Minas Gerais. The measure is in place in the central region and the rural area of Zona da Mata, in south-eastern Minas Gerais. Since December, around 20 people died in the state after contracting yellow fever. The neighbouring state of Sao Paulo is also under alert. Yellow fever vaccination is advised to be taken at least 10 days before heading to Brazil, especially in the event of travelling to deep jungle areas.

Blackout triggers disruption at Salvador Airport in Bahia

A blackout has triggered flight disruptions at Salvador International Airport (SSA) in Bahia. Delays and cancellations are likely to occur during Monday as most services, including check-in and luggage dispatching, remain heavily limited. Passengers have been widely advised to check flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Powerful explosion destroys bank in northern Rio

A powerful blast was reported when criminals blew up a bank in northern Rio. According to Globo, the incident happened in the early hours of Friday in the Cascadura neighbourhood. So far in 2018, around 10 banks were targeted with explosives in Rio. According to the Public Security Institute (ISP), more than 60 similar attacks were reported last year. Armed criminals usually employ the use of explosives to open ATMs in some urban areas, although the practice is more commonly reported in isolated rural towns.

Scores injured as vehicle ploughs into pedestrians in Rio

More than 15 people have been injured when a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians on the Copacabana promenade in southern Rio. On Thursday evening, hundreds of tourists and beachgoers were walking along the Atlantica Avenue when a car invaded the pavement. An eight-month-old baby succumbed to her wounds after being rushed to a local hospital. Investigations were launched to assess the circumstances behind the incident. According to the police, the driver was a local resident and allegedly suffered from epilepsy.

Hundreds of containers seized in anti-logging operation in Amazonas

More than 400 shipping containers have been seized during a lengthy operation led by the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) in Amazonas. Authorities revealed on Thursday that the seizure took place across port areas of the state capital, Manaus, the main route used by traffickers. It is believed that most shipments were bound to the US or Europe. Illegal loggers and clandestine gold miners have been engaged in long-standing tensions both with the government and local indigenous communities. Armed attacks targeting environmental agencies and indigenous tribes often occur.

WHO warns over yellow fever in Sao Paulo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday that travellers to Sao Paulo are recommended to get yellow fever vaccinations before heading to the state. Yellow fever cases in Sao Paulo are on the rise, which prompted state and local authorities to launch vaccination campaigns mainly across rural areas. A number of state parks and forest sites were also preventively shut down to avoid an outbreak. Despite the WHO warning, Sao Paulo's health authorities continue to only recommend vaccinations to travellers heading to deep jungle areas. Brazil's Deputy Health Minister Antonio Carlos Nardi said: “We are not at this time speaking of an outbreak but an increase in the number of cases in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia.” The alert comes weeks before millions of tourists are expected in Brazil to attend the Carnival.

Bank targeted with explosives in western Rio

A bank has been targeted with explosives during a criminal raid in western Rio. The incident happened overnight on Tuesday when heavily armed criminals stormed a Banco do Brasil branch in Vila Valqueire neighbourhood. Witnesses told G1 that the assailants ordered the bank's customers to lay on the floor before a powerful explosion was reported. Nearly 10 days ago, a similar incident happened in the Botafogo neighbourhood in southern Rio, where criminals erected roadblocks to rob a Santander branch.

Three yellow fever deaths reported in southern Rio

State health authorities in Rio have confirmed that three people have died after reportedly contracting yellow fever. The deaths were reported in southern Rio's Valenca and Teresopolis, while more than 100 cases were already recorded across the state. All cases are of sylvatic yellow fever, which is predominant across jungle and rural areas. Meanwhile, in the neighbouring state of Minas Gerais, health officials confirmed that 11 deaths were already attributed to yellow fever infections. Most cases were recorded across the Zona da Mata, Central and Metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte. No cases of the so-called urban yellow fever have been recorded in Brazil for decades. In the event of heading to rural and jungle areas, visitors are advised to be vaccinated.

A dozen killed in road accident in northern Minas Gerais

More than a dozen people have been killed when a lorry collided with a passenger bus in northern Minas Gerais, south-western Brazil. The accident happened along the BR-251 federal highway between the towns of Salinas and Grao Mogol. The bus was travelling from Sao Paulo to the north-eastern state of Paraiba - a trip of roughly 2,700 km. According to reports, the lorry drove into the highway's opposite lane and collided with five other vehicles. It remains unclear what caused the driver to swerve into the other vehicles, while Brazi's Federal Highway Police (PRF) revealed that the bus was overcrowded. Road accidents across Brazilian highways are common and often lead to a high number of casualties.

Rio's Mayor calls for federal troops to support Carnival security

Rio city authorities have requested the deployment of federal troops during Rio's Carnival season. As more than six million people - including one-and-half million foreigners - are expected to travel to Rio in early and mid-February, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella and the head of Riotur confirmed the official request for federal support. The measure - which also includes around 3,400 private security guards - comes to avoid rising criminality levels affecting tourists and locals. Rio is currently passing through a deep economic crisis, which had previously led to calls for strike action from the security forces.

Deadly rainfall affects thousands in Santa Catarina

At least two people have been killed as heavy rainfall affected thousands across Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. One man died in the state capital, Florianopolis, while an eight-year-old girl was also reported dead. According to the state civil protection authority, more than 20 municipalities across the state - mostly in northern and eastern Santa Catarina - reported damages, while a state of emergency has been declared in Florianopolis, Porto Belo and Itapema. Southern Brazil's rainy season usually occurs during the summer months between December and February.

Shooting breaks out during bus robbery in Rio

Two people have been killed during a robbery attempt on an urban bus in northern Rio. The incident happened on Thursday evening when armed criminals raided a bus in the Jardim America neighbourhood, located in Sao Joao de Meriti. Police officers and criminals engaged in violent shooting where a criminal was killed alongside a 44-year-old passenger, who was shot in the chest. 

Criminals raid high-security beach villa in Angra dos Reis, Rio

Two bank branches have been blown up when heavily armed criminals raided a residential villa in the beach resort of Angra dos Reis, western Rio state. Reports revealed that around 10 armed men targeted both banks with explosives before setting two vehicles ablaze. Local residents at a club were also robbed of their valuables moments later. According to G1, the criminals fled in a luxurious speedboat parked at the villa's beach. The villa is a high-level security area and is considered to be of national security interest as it houses employees of a nuclear power plant in the region. A similar incident occurred in the beach town of Paraty in early-December when a dozen criminals targeted an ATM at another private villa.

Criminals set bus on fire in southern Sao Paulo

A bus has been set ablaze during a criminal raid in southern Sao Paulo. According to G1, the vehicle was targeted on Monday evening moments after reaching a bus stop in the Americanopolis neighbourhood. No injuries were reported as the assailants had ordered all passengers to step down from the vehicle. The police are investigating if the crime is in retaliation to a police pursuit in the area, where one suspect was shot dead on Sunday.

Three yellow fever cases reported in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo's health secretary has announced that three yellow fever cases have been reported in the state. According to a health official, Marcos Boulos, two people have been killed and a 27-year-old woman remains in hospital after contracting the mosquito-borne disease. Further, Boulos said that preliminary reports suggest that all patients - who were not vaccinated - contracted the virus after travelling to a jungle area in Maripora, near Guarulhos. Maripora is on alert since December, when more than 20 monkeys infected with yellow fever died. Several parks across Sao Paulo were preventively shut down as an intensive vaccination campaign was launched in the region.

Red Commando drug lord detained in Cabo Frio, Rio

Police officers in Rio have detained an infamous leader of the Red Commando (CV) who is believed to be responsible for last week's deadly prison riot in Goias, central Brazil. Stephan de Souza Vieira is reported as the leader of the CV in the state. He was detained in a police operation at his luxurious flat in Cabo Frio's Vila Nova neighbourhood. Vieira is accused of being the main instigator who ordered the rebellion at the Aparecida de Goiania prison, where nine inmates were brutally murdered. Reports revealed that Vieira fled the same prison back in November.

State of emergency declared over security crisis in Rio Grande do Norte

A six-month-long state of emergency has been declared in Rio Grande do Norte due to the current public security crisis that the state has been facing over ongoing police strike action. Police officers are engaged in a strike over delayed salaries and poor working conditions. More than 2,800 members of Brazil's National Force have been deployed - and are scheduled to stay until 12 January - across the state as hampering levels of violence have emerged since the strike action started nearly three weeks ago. More than 100 homicides have already been reported across the state along with widespread looting and robberies. Rio Grande do Norte is facing an ever-increasing security crisis, which was evident one year ago when 26 inmates were killed in a violent prison riot at a detention facility near Natal.

Criminals blow up bank in southern Rio

Powerful blasts were reported when heavily armed men raided a bank in southern Rio. G1 reported that around 20 armed criminals raided a Santander branch in Botafogo neighbourhood in the early hours of Saturday. During the raid, criminals armed with high-calibre rifles blocked the traffic along the Passagem Street and opened fire at least five times. Three ATMs were blown up before the assailants fled the scene. The incident happened just 24 hours after another bank was also blown up in Duque de Caxias, Rio's metropolitan area.

Federal Police to double anti-corruption agents in Car Wash probe

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) have nearly doubled the number of agents dedicated to investigating corruption involving sitting politicians. A source told Reuters on Thursday that the number of officers involved in the long-standing 'Operation Car Wash' has increased from nine to 17. Car Wash is the largest corruption operation to ever engulf the country. High-level politicians, including President Michel Temer, have been implicated in multi-million schemes initially linked almost exclusively to the Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras. Recently, Petrobras has agreed to pay around $3bn to settle a class action suit in the US, where investors claimed to have been damaged by the corruption scandal that centred on bribes received by senior executives from private contractors.

Health Minister to step down ahead of 2018 elections

Brazil's Minister of Health Ricardo Barros announced on Thursday his intentions to step down to launch his bid as a federal deputy ahead of the upcoming 2018 elections. Barros said that he is willing to remain in office up until early-April under President Michel Temer's request. He seeks to be re-elected as Parana state's federal deputy for the centre-right Progressist Party (PP). Barros is the fourth minister from the Temer administration in recent days to announce his intention to leave office.

Businessman target of express-kidnap in Teresina, Piaui

An unnamed businessman was reportedly kidnapped on Wednesday afternoon in Teresina, Piaui. The victim headed to a mall in the central area of the city to meet a potential buyer of a mobile phone that he was selling through an online app. Local media reported that three armed suspects approached the victim and forced him into a vehicle. Jewellery and other valuables were taken before the victim was briefly held and later released at the BR-316 highway. A 25-year-old suspect was detained moments later but the two other assailants are still at large. 

Police officer shot dead in Queimados, Rio

A 41-year-old police officer has been killed after a presumed road traffic altercation in Queimados, Rio's Metropolitan area. Anderson da Silva Santos was off-duty when he was shot three times on Wednesday evening. He was rushed to a hospital in Nova Iguacu, where he succumbed to his wounds. Santos is the second police officer killed in Rio since the start of 2018. Last Tuesday, another police officer was killed when armed criminals ambushed his vehicle in Sao Goncalo. 

Industry Minister hands in resignation

Brazil's Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, Marcos Pereira, handed over his resignation on Wednesday. He has been in office since President Michel Temer incumbently assumed functions during impeachment proceedings against Former President Dilma Rousseff. Pereira is the leader of the centre-right Brazilian Republican Party (PRB) and is the third minister to leave the government since December. In an official statement, the former minister claimed to be leaving office to launch his bid as a federal deputy. In April, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) opened investigations on Pereira over an alleged multi-million payment from the construction company Odebrecht to the PRB.

Several killed in two road accidents in Rio Grande do Sul

Nearly a dozen people have been killed in two separate road collisions in Rio Grande do Sul. On Monday morning, seven people died after a taxi and another car crashed along the federal highway BR-471 in Santa Vitoria do Palmar. The incident happened just hours after an Egyptian couple and their two young children died when their vehicle overturned and fell off a cliff near Bage. Road accidents tend to become more frequent across Brazil during the peak holidays season. Most accidents are caused by speeding and reckless driving.

Two-year-old child shot in the head near Joao Pessoa, Paraiba

A two-year-old child has been shot in the head during a presumed murder attempt in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened on Monday afternoon in the Renascer neighbourhood in Cabedelo, located on the outskirts of the state capital, Joao Pessoa. Authorities revealed that the child was near a man who was targeted in a suspected retaliation. North-eastern Brazil presents the highest homicides rates nationwide, especially across major urban areas and state capitals.

Violent shooting breaks out in Rio's Rocinha

Violent shooting has been reported in southern Rio's Rocinha community. Clashes erupted when police officers encountered heavily armed criminals on Monday morning. One police officer was injured in the shooting. Meanwhile, in the Jacarezinho community, northern Rio, a Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) station was targeted. Since September, tensions remain high in the Rocinha community due to territorial disputes between rival criminal groups. Security measures have been reinforced in the area since alias 'Rogerio 157', one of Rio's most wanted criminals, was detained in the Arara community.

Several killed during violent prison riot near Goiania, Goias

Nine inmates have been killed and more than a dozen others injured when a prison riot broke out in Goias, central Brazil. Clashes at the detention facility in Aparecida de Goiania, located on the outskirts of the state capital, erupted on Monday when inmates invaded three cell blocks housing members of a rival faction. More than 100 inmates managed to escape the prison. Last year, violent prison riots broke out in Amazonas, Roraima and Rio Grande do Norte, where violence spread for several days across major urban areas.

Massive traffic jams expected ahead of New Year celebrations

Massive traffic jams have been reported across Brazil as millions head to coastal areas ahead of the New Year celebrations. Major motorways in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are experiencing queues of up to 30 kilometres while slow-moving traffic is also being reported nationwide. Heavy traffic between major cities and the Brazilian coast is expected to intensify over the coming days, during the weekend and in the first week of January.

Five killed in house massacre in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul

Five people have been killed after heavily armed criminals raided a house in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. The incident happened on Wednesday morning when six assailants stormed the residence in the Lombas do Pinheiro neighbourhood, in the eastern region of the state capital. Preliminary investigations suggest that incident is likely to be drug-related. 

Wave of criminality hits Rio Grande do Norte amid police strike

A wave of criminality has been recorded in Rio Grande do Norte state since police officers launched a strike over ongoing salary disputes last week. Over the last week, police patrols have remained almost nonexistent in the state capital, Natal - where robberies, large scale plunders and hampering levels of homicide have been recorded. Recent data revealed that since the strike began, more than 50 homicides have been reported across the state. Almost 200 members of the National Force were deployed across Rio Grande do Norte to reinforce security measures. Police officers are set to meet on Wednesday to decide if the strike action will continue despite a court order.

Violent shooting breaks out during robbery in Sao Paulo

Intense shooting has been reported when heavily armed criminals clashed with security guards in south-eastern Sao Paulo. Criminals armed with high-calibre weapons set two lorries alight to block the SP-99 state highway between Sao Jose dos Campos and Caraguatuba. The incident happened near the highway's toll station in Jambeiro. According to the police, the assailants targeted two cash-in-transit vehicles, which were heavily damaged. No casualties were reported. Robberies have been previously reported in the SP-99, also known as the Tamoios highway.

Sao Paulo's former mayor turn himself in to Federal Police

Sao Paulo's former mayor and incumbent federal deputy, Paulo Maluf, has turned himself in after receiving a prison sentence totalling seven years and nine months. The 86-year-old millionaire businessman headed to the Federal Police's headquarters in western Sao Paulo after Supreme Federal Court Minister Edson Fachin determined his sentence for corruption allegations. Maluf is accused of overcharging and hiding public money in off-shore accounts during his time as Sao Paulo's mayor. His lawyer said that he will appeal for the sentence to be changed to house arrest.

Odebrecht's former boss under house arrest in Sao Paulo

The former chief of the scandal-riddled construction conglomerate Odebrecht, Marcelo Odebrecht, has been put under house arrest. Marcelo had been jailed since June 2015 and had his sentence significantly reduced after brokering a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. He is set to be sent to his own home in the affluent Morumbi neighbourhood in southern Sao Paulo. Dozens of high-level politicians across Latin America have been implicated in the Odebrecht bribery scheme in which Marcelo has denounced a number of millionaire public projects in Brazil and abroad that were part of the dealings.

Businesswoman freed after abduction in Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul

A businesswoman has been kidnapped moments after leaving her restaurant in Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul. Local media reported that the victim was targeted overnight on Tuesday and taken to Viamao, where she was held for nearly 24 hours. Criminals reportedly demanded a ransom of R$1m ($300k) to be paid in the city of Gravatai, in the outskirts of the state capital, Porto Alegre. Three men were detained when police officers intercepted the ransom in the neighbouring town of Cachoeirinha. According to the police, one of the criminals was the victim's former employee, who had been recently sacked.

Six banks targeted in fresh wave of attacks in Paraiba

Six banks have been targeted between Tuesday and Thursday in a fresh wave of attacks in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened in Sao Miguel de Taipu and Puxinana where criminals used explosives to rob two banking agencies. Further attacks also happened in Mataraca and in the state capital, Joao Pessoa. In Puxinana, criminals exploded a bank branch and later engaged in a violent shooting with the police. Bank robberies in isolated rural communities are common mainly due to a lack of police presence. State authorities revealed that more than 70 banks have been attacked in 2017, where more than 50 of them involved some kind of explosion.

Several killed as criminals storm football pitch in Manaus, Amazonas

Six people have been killed after heavily armed criminals stormed a football pitch in Amazonas, northern Brazil. The incident happened on Tuesday evening when dozens of people attended an amateur football match in Compensa neighbourhood, western Manaus. Two people died at the scene, while four others succumbed to their wounds moments later. Police believe that the incident is connected to an ongoing dispute between two rival criminal factions that operate in the state.

Red Commando senior member detained in southern Paraguay

One of the most wanted criminals in Rio has been detained during a massive joint operation in southern Paraguay. Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, alias 'Marcelo Piloto', is considered one of the leaders of the infamous Red Commando (CV) and was known as the main arms dealer for the group. According to Brazilian authorities, Marcelo Piloto had been hidden in Paraguay for years but was still controlling drug-trafficking operation across the Manguinhos community in northern Rio. The operations were supported by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Brazilian police.

National Force to remain in Amazonas to support prison system

Brazil's Ministry of Justice has announced a 90-day extension to the deployment of the National Force in Amazonas, northern Brazil. According to a statement released on Monday, the move comes to ensure the continuation of support to the state's prison system. The National Force is present in the state since January when more than 50 inmates were killed during a violent prison riot near Manaus. According to preliminary reports released by the Civil Police, violent riots in Amazonas are mainly attributed to disputes between the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC) and the Northern Family (FDN) criminal groups.

Yellow fever vaccination recommended after monkeys' deaths in Guarulhos

Health authorities in Sao Paulo confirmed that two monkeys have died after contracting yellow fever in Guarulhos. One of the cases happened in the Cabucu area, while the other occurred in the Cantareira State Park in late-November. According to the State Health Secretary, four similar cases have been recorded recently in Sao Paulo. Health authorities reinforced vaccinations in the area and urged visitors to be vaccinated at least 10 days before arrival. Most cases in Brazil are cases of sylvatic yellow fever, which are mainly contracted in deep jungle areas.

Heavily armed criminals raid bank near Recife, Pernambuco

Heavily armed criminals raided a bank and held several staff members hostage near Recife, Pernambuco. The incident happened in the town of Ipojuca in the early hours of Friday. No custumers were at the scene as the raid happened outside working hours. According to the Federal Police, employees were held at gunpoint and ordered to open the safe. One employee was later reportedly abducted when criminals fled the scene. According to Pernambuco's Bank Officers Syndicate, more than 160 armed raids have been reported across the state in 2017, most of them in the state capital, Recife.

Six killed in vehicular crash in Santa Catarina

Six people have been killed when a car crashed with a pick-up truck in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. The accident happened on Sunday afternoon along the SC-284 state highway between Campos Novos and Ibicui. Reports revealed that one of the vehicles was carrying seven people when it crashed head-on into the pick-up truck. The circumstances behind the accident remain unclear. Road accidents in Brazil are common and are mainly attributed to reckless driving.

Several killed in wave of violence in Belem, Para

Eight people have been killed in less than 48 hours amid a fresh wave of violence in Para, northern Brazil. The incidents happened on Tuesday and Wednesday across the metropolitan area of the state capital, Belem. Among the victims is one suspect criminal shot dead after a shooting with the police. Authorities believe that several of the remaining incidents are linked to targeted assassinations carried out by the same group. According to the State Security Secretary, nearly 800 people have been killed in Belem in the first semester of 2017. In January, more than 30 people were killed across the city in a period of 24 hours. It is believed that most crimes are retaliatory attacks carried out by criminals or local militias.

Police sergeant killed at train station in Nova Iguacu, Rio

A 40-year-old police sergeant was shot dead on Tuesday afternoon during a robbery attempt in Rio's metropolitan area. According to the police, Carlos Marcelo Lima de Souza was off-duty when he was attacked at the Comendador Soares train station in Nova Iguacu. So far in 2017, more than 120 police officers have been killed in Rio.

Criminals blow up bank near Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo

Criminals raided and blew up a bank on the outskirts of Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo. According to the police, the incident happened in the early hours of Thursday in the central area of Guatapara. The suspects stormed the local Santander branch and carried out four powerful explosions to steal ATMs. Reports further revealed that shooting broke out before the assailants fled the scene. Criminals often employ explosives to target ATMs across isolated rural villages due to the lack of police presence.

Yellow fever vaccination campaign launched in Extrema, Minas Gerais

Health authorities in Minas Gerais have confirmed that a monkey has died in the city of Extrema after contracting yellow fever. According to the Extrema Municipal Health Secretary, the animal died nearly two weeks ago and was found in the tourist area of Pico dos Cabritos. Local authorities announced that a preventive vaccination campaign has been launched across the area. Similar incidents happened in Sao Paulo back in October, when five monkeys were found dead at urban state parks. One of the monkeys was infected with sylvatic yellow fever.  People heading to the area have been advised to take standard precautions, while it is strongly recommended that they are vaccinated against yellow fever if heading to the Brazilian countryside.

Rio's most wanted criminal detained during massive joint-operation

Rio's most wanted criminal has been detained after more than 3,000 soldiers were deployed across northern Rio. The massive joint-operation took place around the Parque Arara community, where alias Rogerio 157 was detained inside a residence by Civil Police officers. Operations further spread across the Mandela, Tuiuti and Mangueira communities where several others were arrested. According to preliminary investigations, Rogerio was moving across areas controlled by the infamous Red Commando. He has been involved in the recent incidents that have broken out in southern Rio's Rocinha community after criminals linked to his former ally, alias Nem, attempted to take over control of the area. He is set to be taken to a maximum security prison in western Rio, while judicial authorities seek his transfer out of the state.

Police shoot at fire engine during high-speed pursuit in Brasilia

A fire brigade sergeant has been detained after a high-speed police pursuit in Brasilia. The incident happened overnight on Saturday when an off-duty firefighter stormed a fire brigade in the neighbouring town of Ceilandia and stole a fire engine. Dozens of police cars followed the vehicle for more than 20 km as it was heading towards the Congress building in the capital. Police officers opened fire to force the vehicle to stop and detained the suspect. Preliminary statements revealed that the man was inebriated at the time of his detention. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances behind the incident. The suspect was identified as Fabricio de Araujo, a 44-year-old firefighter who worked in the Ceilandia station for 10 years.

Several injured as vehicle ploughs into crowd in Lages, Santa Catarina

At least six people have been injured when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd along a busy boulevard in Lages, Santa Catarina. According to the police, a 41-year-old man identified as Giovanni Fernari deliberately drove towards pedestrians on Saturday afternoon. The driver was later shot and killed after he reportedly approached officers with a knife. Family members told the authorities that the suspect suffered from mental health issues. Police launched an investigation to assess the motives behind the incident.

Hundreds of cities at risk of mosquito-borne diseases outbreak

A recent survey revealed that more than 350 cities across Brazil are at risk of facing a fresh outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases next summer. The same survey recorded that a further 1,140 cities are on alert of a renewed Zika, Dengue or Chikungunya outbreak. All three are transmitted by the same mosquito, the Aedes aegypti, which mainly proliferate around abandoned properties and open-air containers with standing water. Around 4,000 cities nationwide were surveyed within the Rapid Survey of Aedes aegypti Infestation Index (LirAa). Most cities at risk are located in north-eastern Brazil.

Lawyer and her daughter kidnapped in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba

A 35-year-old lawyer has been briefly abducted alongside her young daughter in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba. According to the police, both victims were held for nearly one hour before being released on the BR-230 national highway. The incident happened on Wednesday evening in the Bessa neighbourhood, where several minutes later another man was taken and later released in the Manaira area. It is believed that both crimes were committed by the same assailants.

Police officer briefly abducted in car-jacking in Ceara

A Civil Police officer has been targeted in a car-jacking attempt in Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara. According to local media, the victim was attacked in the central area of the city on Wednesday afternoon. She was taken to the neighbouring town of Caririacu, where she was later released. Reports suggest that her vehicle, a bullet-proof vest and her mobile were stolen. Regional authorities told Globo that some of the suspects were already identified, but no arrests were made.

Hundreds deployed in joint operation near Rio's International Airport

More than 1,500 police officers and soldiers have been deployed to Rio's Ilha do Governador to carry out a joint operation in the Galeao neighbourhood. The operation, which has been taking place since Monday, aims to locate criminals involved in last Saturday's attack on a police station in Vila Joaniza area. It is believed that more than 40 heavily armed criminals stormed and destroyed the police station. Operations are currently being carried out across the Morro do Barbante community, close to the main access to Rio's Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG). No shootings or major incidents have been so far reported.

Mayor's security guard and driver kidnapped in Paraiba

A security guard and the driver of a local mayor in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil, were briefly abducted on Monday morning. According to the police, the victims were targeted in the town of Alhandra, located on the outskirts of the state capital, Joao Pessoa. Both victims work for the mayor of the neighbouring town of Caapora, who was not in the vehicle during the raid. They were released moments later in the rural area of Caapora, where one criminal was detained.

Young couple killed during robbery in Rio Grande do Norte

A young couple has been shot dead during a suspected robbery attempt in Rio Grande do Norte. According to the police, the victims were riding a motorcycle on the early hours of Sunday when they were attacked in the rural area of Boa Saude, located on the outskirts of Natal. Rio Grande do Norte and other north-eastern Brazilian states record the highest homicide rates in the country.

Seven killed as violent clashes break out in central Rio

At least seven suspected criminals have been killed when a violent shooting broke out in central Rio. The incident happened in the Caju neighbourhood overnight on Saturday, where more than a dozen high-calibre rifles and a cache of ammunition were seized. Conflicting reports initially suggest that the casualties were caused during clashes between police officers and criminals, but the police launched an investigation to assess if the incident escalated during a gunfight between rival gangs. For several months rival criminal factions have been engaged in violent territorial disputes in the area.

US diplomat shot during robbery in Angra dos Reis, Rio

A US diplomat was shot during a presumed robbery attempt in Angra dos Reis, southern Rio. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), Stephanie Masland Bohlen and her husband were targeted on Thursday evening when they stopped their rental vehicle near the Ariro neighbourhood at the BR-101 national highway. According to reports, the couple parked the vehicle on the highway's hard shoulder to set up their sat nav. Two armed criminals approached and opened fire when the victims attempted to escape. Bohlen was rushed to a hospital in southern Rio, where she had surgery on her foot. Police believe that the criminals are part of a gang that often operate in the area.

Police officer shot in the head in Japeri, Rio

A 31-year-old police officer has been shot in the head when criminals opened fire in Japeri, Rio's metropolitan area. The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday in the Engenheiro Pedreira neighbourhood. The victim was taken to a hospital in Nova Iguacu to have surgery. Police launched an investigation to assess the motives behind the crime. The incident comes days after another off-duty police officer was shot dead in an armed attack in Nova Iguacu. So far in 2017, more than 120 police officers have been killed in Rio.

Armed criminals briefly kidnap man near Campinas, Sao Paulo

Two armed criminals briefly kidnapped an unnamed individual near Campinas, Sao Paulo. According to the military police, the victim was targeted by two assailants on Jardim Nossa Senhora de Fatima neighbourhood in Hortolandia. It is believed that they intended to force the victim to withdraw money from ATMs across the town. A 20-year-old suspect was detained after police officers were warned and engaged in a high-speed pursuit along the SP-101 state highway. Express-kidnaps are common in small Brazilian towns, especially at night. Criminals usually hold the victim for several hours to force them to withdraw money from ATMs and handover their belongings before being released.

Security measures heightened over crime wave in Florianopolis

Security measures across Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, have been reinforced after five people were reportedly murdered in less than nine hours. Police revealed that besides the assassinations, six people remain missing. It is believed that most cases are linked to a violent territorial dispute between a faction linked to the Sao Paulo-based group First Capital Commando (PCC) and the local Primeiro Grupo Catarinense (PGC). The areas of main concern are around the Vila Uniao neighbourhood and the Morro do Mosquito community, both located in the north region of the state capital.

Two former Rio governors detained over corruption allegations

Brazil's Federal Police (PF) and the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) have detained two former Rio governors suspected of corruption amid the Car Wash investigations. Anthony Garotinho and his wife Rosinha Matheus were arrested on Tuesday morning at their residences in southern and northern Rio. According to reports, both are being accused of corruption and racketeering. The PF revealed that their detention comes as part of a plea bargain deal with Ricardo Saud, the executive of the meat-packing giant JBS. In September, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) had revoked his house arrest after he was condemned to nine years in prison for involvement in a vote-buying scheme.

Three killed during police operation in northern Rio

At least three suspected criminals have been killed when an intense gunfire broke out in northern Rio. Hundreds of police officers have been deployed to the Cidade de Deus community to detain dozens of minors linked to drug-trafficking and criminal groups in the region. Witnesses said that the shooting lasted for several hours overnight on Tuesday. The operation came one day after five suspected assailants were shot dead when police officers and criminals engaged in a violent shootout in the Morro do Sao Carlos community. Tensions erupted when members of the Red Commando (CV) group attempted to take over territory from a rival drug-trafficking group. 

New Zealander activist stabbed in robbery attempt in Macapa, Amapa

A New Zealander conservationist has been stabbed in a suspected robbery attempt in Macapa, Amapa. Activist Pete Bethune told Kiwi media that he was stabbed at least three times while attempting to rent a boat in a nearby port town. He was later rushed to a local hospital in the state capital and promptly discharged. For several months, Bethune has been working in the Amazon rainforest with the Earthrace Conservation to tackle illegal logging and wildlife poachers.

Woman targeted in express-kidnap in Minas Gerais

A 42-year-old woman has been targeted in an express-kidnap in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The victim, the wife of a federal attorney, was abducted on Monday evening in the Ipiranga neighbourhood. Criminals took her vehicle and belongings after forcing her to withdraw money from an ATM in Santa Ines area. Express-kidnaps are common in major Brazilian cities. Victims are often held for several hours and ordered to withdraw money from a several ATM across the city.

Vote to release jailed Rio's house speaker triggers protests

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of Rio's State Assembly (Alerj) to protest a vote that approved the release of three influential politicians implicated in a long-standing corruption scandal. Police officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas as clashes escalated on Friday afternoon. The protest came moments after Alerj lawmakers voted to release Jorge Picciani and two other close allies within the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). Nearly 24 hours before the vote, the Regional Federal Court (TRF) ruled the detention of Picciani, Edson Albertassi and Paulo Melo over suspicion of racketeering, money laundering and bribery amid a millionaire scheme linked to public transportation companies in Rio. Low-scale demonstrations often break out after corruption scandals are disclosed. Most of them tend to occur in the Centro neighbourhood.

Criminals steal explosives from mining company in Sao Paulo

Around three tonnes of explosives have allegedly been stolen after heavily armed criminals stormed the warehouse of a mining company near Sorocaba, Sao Paulo. Preliminary reports suggest that four armed men raided the building in the small village of Salto de Pirapora overnight on Thursday and stole more than 100 boxes of dynamite. Police believe that the explosives are likely to be used to target ATM machines, which are a common method used by criminals across the state.

Youngster kidnapped in Uruguaiana, Rio Grande do Sul

Five criminals have kidnapped a 15-year-old youngster in Uruguaiana, Rio Grande do Sul. According to the Civil Police, the incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in the Bela Vista neighbourhood. The victim was forced into a vehicle and held for more than 30 hours. Criminals demanded a sum of R$200k ($60k), which was not paid. Three suspects were detained after the victim was released near a shop in the same neighbourhood.

Criminals kill Air Force colonel during robbery in Rio

A Brazilian Air Force Colonel has been shot dead during a presumed robbery attempt in Rio. Ialdo Pimentel was killed on Wednesday morning when armed criminals targeted his vehicle along the Marcelo Alencar tunnel in central Rio. Reports suggest that criminals opened fire after the victim attempted to flee the scene. Pimentel was accompanied by his wife who escaped unharmed. Robberies across road tunnels in Rio are common. Assailants erect temporary roadblocks and escape on motorcycles. In the event of a robbery, it is widely advisable to remain calm and not react to the attack as criminals are often armed.

Rio's house speaker implicated in massive bribery scheme

Rio's house speaker Jorge Picciani has been implicated in a long-standing bribery scheme which sought to benefit public transportation companies in Rio. According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Picciani and other politicians of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) have acquired more than R$349m ($100m) in bribes between 2010 and 2016. The Federal Police (PF) has brought in Picciani for questioning amid the 'Operation Cadeia Velha'. It is believed that the scheme has been active since the 1990s and that jailed former governor Sergio Cabral was the mastermind behind it. PF officials revealed that billionaire tax reliefs were granted to major companies in Rio, which led to a massive deficit in the state's economy.

Abortion law amendment sparks nationwide protests

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the country to protest against a new bill aimed at amending Brazil's abortion law. Demonstrators - mostly women - marched in Rio, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Florianopolis and across several other state capitals. Last week, a special lower house commission - controlled by highly conservative evangelical politicians - overwhelmingly approved a bill to criminalise abortion in all instances. Currently, in Brazil, abortion is allowed in cases of rape, a pregnancy that threatens a woman's life, or a fetus with brain-related birth defection. To become law, the bill still has to be approved by two-thirds of Brazil's lower house of Congress. 

Criminals raid hotel in western Sao Paulo

At least eight armed criminals have raided a hotel in western Sao Paulo. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, the assailants stormed the Gold Tulip Hotel in the affluent Jardins neighbourhood in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Reports suggest that surveillance equipment, personal possessions and an ATM were stolen. No casualties have been reported and no rooms were raided. The criminals fled the scene after stealing two vehicles belonging to guests.

Police sergeant shot dead in central Rio

A 36-year-old police sergeant has been shot dead during a violent shooting in central Rio. Clashes broke out in the Morro da Providencia community when patrolling police officers were ambushed on Sunday morning. Victor Aleixo was part of the reinforcement sent to rescue the officers under fire. The incident came around the same moment that another police officer was killed during a robbery attempt in Barra Mansa, southern Rio. Several shootings were reported during the weekend around the Jacarezinho and Rocinha communities. In Cidade de Deus, two police stations were attacked. Around 119 police officers have been killed in Rio since the start of the year.

Seven killed in joint operation in Sao Goncalo, Rio

Seven people have been shot dead during a joint-operation in San Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro. Preliminary reports suggest that special operations soldiers and police officers raided the Complexo do Salgueiro community on Saturday evening to arrest two drug-traffickers. Due to conflicting reports, investigations were launched to assess if the use of police and military force was excessive. The operation came just days after thousands of soldiers and police officers were deployed to the same area in a massive siege targeting criminals and hideouts.

Criminals target F1 crew vehicle in Sao Paulo

Armed criminals have reportedly targeted a convoy of the Mercedes F1 Team in Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Saturday just moments after crew members left the Interlagos circuit. "Some of my team were held up at gunpoint last night leaving the circuit here in Brazil. Gunshots fired, gun held at one's head", said F1 driver Lewis Hamilton on Twitter. Another armoured vehicle carrying officials of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) was also targeted. The FIA said that security measures were fully reinforced around the circuit ahead of last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Similar incidents occurred on previous occasions, where drivers and their respective crews were targeted. The FIA had issued safety guidelines urging F1 staff to drive unmarked vehicles and wear plain clothes outside the circuit and official venues.

Workers' syndicates call for protests in central Sao Paulo

Workers' associations and syndicates called for a protest on the streets of Sao Paulo to reject a highly controversial new labour law reform, which is set to be introduced on Saturday. Hundreds of people gathered in the Se square in the state capital to march towards the central Paulista Avenue on Friday morning. Several other low-scale demonstrations were also reported across the city, in Rio and Salvador, Bahia. Further demonstrations are expected in the coming days and next week. President Michel Temer and the Brazilian Congress have recently ratified a labour reform that seeks to ease the country's deep economic crisis and ensure better juridical guarantees to both workers and employers.

Bank treasurer's family held hostage in Sao Paulo

Heavily armed criminals held hostage family members of a local treasurer of the state-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal in Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Thursday morning when the assailants briefly abducted the wife and sister-in-law of the bank's employee in Santa Barbara d'Oeste, outskirts of Campinas. Both victims were held hostage for several hours at their own home in Vila Grego neighbourhood. Three criminals were detained after an anonymous call warned the police. According to authorities, it is believed that the criminals had been monitoring the victims' routine for eight months in an attempt to raid the bank's cash-in-transit vehicle.

Four killed in drive-by shooting in northern Sao Paulo

Four people have been killed in a drive-by shooting in northern Sao Paulo. Reports revealed that a violent shoot out erupted in the early hours of Thursday in the Vila Albertina neighbourhood. Preliminary investigations suggest that all victims were standing at an isolated street when they were targeted, while the circumstances behind the attack remain unclear. According to Globo, in 2017, more than 39 people were killed in 10 mass shootings across Sao Paulo and its metropolitan area.

Police investigate tour operators over alleged robberies in Rio

Brazil's Civil Police launched an investigation to assess claims that official tour guides at the Tijuca National Park in Rio are behind a wave of robberies targeting tourists. Tourist Police Chief Valeria Aragao told Globo that two drivers have been already identified as having links to local criminal groups that attack visitors along the Corcovado trail, which leads to the Christ the Redeemer. Investigations were opened after a Spanish tourist was shot dead by the police when she was reportedly taken by a tour guide to the Rocinha community in southern Rio.

Authorities report suspected yellow fever cases in northern Sao Paulo

Ten suspected cases of yellow fever are currently being investigated by Sao Paulo's State Health Secretariat. Initially, authorities reported 14 cases but four of them were later dismissed. All cases were reported around northern Sao Paulo, where several parks remain closed after two monkeys died of the disease. Last month, state authorities launched a vaccination campaign to reinforce the immunisation of residents living in Tremembe, Casa Verde and Vila Nova Cachoeirinha neighbourhoods, which are located near the Horto Florestal and Cantareira parks.

Family briefly kidnapped in Diadema, Sao Paulo

A couple and their four-year-old daughter were briefly abducted after two armed criminals targeted their vehicle in Diadema, outskirts of Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Tuesday evening moments after the victims concluded a car-sale transaction. All victims were released after police officers engaged in a high-speed pursuit and detained the two assailants.

Young girl abducted during robbery in Teresina, Piaui

A six-year-old girl has been abducted during a robbery attempt at a betting shop in Teresina, Piaui. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when criminals targeted the young girl's mother - who worked at the local betting shop in Dirceu neighbourhood - moments after the victim left school. The young girl was released at Tancredo Neves neighbourhood after the assailants raided and robbed the shop.

South American governments targeted by cyber-espionage group

Researchers from the US-based software company Symantec had uncovered a clandestine cyber-espionage group that targeted official documents of several South American and Asian governments. According to reports, the virus would be introduced into the system through a malware known as 'Felismus', which would usually come in the form of an Adobe software update. It is believed that the group - named as Sowbug - systematically targeted foreign policy bodies and government agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Brunei and Malaysia since 2015. Symantec said that: "The group is well resourced, capable of infiltrating multiple targets simultaneously and will often operate outside the working hours of targeted organisations. (...) It gives its tools file names similar to those used by software and places them in directory trees that could be mistaken for those used by the legitimate software."

Armed criminals launch massive heist in Uberaba, Minas Gerais

At least two people have been injured when more than 30 heavily armed criminals stormed a cash-in-transit company in Uberaba, Minas Gerais. Globo reported that the assailants set five vehicles on fire to block the surrounding roads. High-calibre rifles and explosives were employed in the heist, which happened in the early hours of Monday. It remains unclear which group is behind the attack. Criminals often launch large-scale attacks targeting banks and cash-in-transit companies based in small towns mainly due to the lack of police presence.

Thousands deployed in joint operation in Rio's Sao Goncalo

Around 3,500 federal troops have been deployed in Sao Goncalo, Rio's metropolitan region, in a massive joint operation targeting criminals and hideouts in the Complexo do Salgueiro community. The Navy is also taking part in the operation, which is aimed to launch a siege by land and sea. Traffic in the Rio-Niteroi bridge was briefly disrupted during the morning as dozens of military vehicles crossed to Sao Goncalo. Joint operations with the armed forces have recently intensified since a criminal group attempted to take over a rival territory in the Rocinha community, southern Rio. It is widely advisable to avoid the areas surrounding the Jardim Catarina neighbourhood due to the potential risk of shootings and stray bullets.

Criminals abduct police officer in Rio

A police officer was briefly kidnapped on Sunday evening during an ambush in Rio's Metropolitan area. According to Extra, the victim was leaving his home when heavily armed criminals abducted him. Reports suggest that he was taken to the Complexo da Vila Ruth community in Sao Joao de Meriti, where criminals intended to execute him. The victim was released nearly one hour later after fierce shooting broke out during a police rescue operation. Police officers are often targeted by criminal groups in Rio. Since the start of the year, more than 110 officers were killed.

Woman targeted in express-kidnap attempt in Sao Paulo

A 38-year-old woman has been targeted in an express-kidnap attempt in southern Sao Paulo. R7 reported that the victim was attacked when she stopped at a red traffic light in Cidade Dutra neighbourhood. Police officers patrolling the Interlagos Avenue approached the vehicle after several kilometres and detained the suspect. 

Two students abducted near university in Campo Grande

Two students were briefly abducted moments after leaving their university campus in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. According to reports, an armed criminal approached the victims near the university's car park and held them for several hours. Further, the criminal sexually abused both victims while driving across several neighbourhoods of the city. Both victims were later released in the Colibri neighbourhood after the assailant set the vehicle on fire.

Shooting breaks out as criminals raid shop in Salvador, Bahia

Violent shooting broke out on Wednesday afternoon when criminals raided a local business in Salvador, Bahia. According to local media, six armed men stormed a local paper shop in the busy Comercio neighbourhood and held staff and several costumers hostage for nearly one hour. One of the criminals was killed and another was injured, while four others were detained when police officers were deployed to the scene. 

Missing American family found safe in Para

An American family has been reported missing for several days after armed criminals stormed a ferry in Para, northern Brazil. Adam and Emily Harteau and their two young daughters were travelling along the Amazon River delta between the cities of Belem and Macapa when assailants - locally described as river pirates - raided the ferry near the town of Breves. Criminals held passengers and crew members hostage for several hours before fleeing the scene. The family's motorhome was recovered in an isolated area, while the circumstances behind their disappearance remain unclear. Security forces announced on Wednesday that all of them were later found in the isolated Vila Curumu on Marajo Island. The Harteaus family is originally from California and they have been living in southern Brazil, after taking to the roads across Latin America nearly five years ago.

Stray bullet hits three-year-old in the head in Rio

A three-year-old boy has been shot in the head when a stray bullet penetrated his home's roof in Sao Joao de Meriti, Rio's metropolitan area. Victor Matheus was playing indoors in the Sao Mateus neighbourhood when the incident happened on Monday evening. The victim was taken to a hospital in the neighbouring Nova Iguacu and remains in an extremely serious condition. Collateral casualties often occur when police officers and criminal groups engage in armed clashes in Rio. However, authorities revealed that no operation was taking place in the region.

University student killed during robbery in Rio

A 22-year-old psychology student has been shot dead during a robbery attempt near Volta Redonda, southern Rio. The victim was killed on Tuesday evening when a criminal approached him and another colleague near a university campus in Barra Mansa area. Caio Cesar Camargo was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Bank manager held hostage near Belem, Para

A bank manager has been kidnapped along with his wife and his 11-year-old grandson on the outskirts of Belem, Para. The victim was attacked in the town of Ananindeua while he and his wife were taken their young grandson to school. Armed criminals held two of the victims hostage while they forced the manager to withdraw money from a Banpara branch in Cidade Nova neighbourhood. Both hostages were later released on the BR-316 highway. Civil Police said that the practice is common, where criminal groups usually target family and friends of bank employees to force access to bank safes.

Thousands march to demand better housing conditions in Sao Paulo

Thousands of members of the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST) took to the streets of Sao Paulo in a renewed action to demand better government housing policies. Demonstrators marched on Tuesday morning from Sao Bernardo do Campo towards the Bandeirantes Palace, the state government headquarters. The demonstration came after a judge authorised the repossession of an occupied plot of land in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where more than 7,000 families are currently living. MTST members occupied the privately-owned land in early-September to demand that the government build social housing.

Armed men raid environmental agencies in the Amazon

Dozens of troops and federal police officers have been deployed to the Amazon town of Humaita after hundreds of armed men set buildings belonging to environmental agencies on fire. For several hours local clandestine gold miners set government buildings and several vehicles ablaze as an apparent retaliation to a recent police crackdown on illegal gold exploration in the region. Among the agencies targeted were Brazil's Environmental Protection Agency (Ibama) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. Clandestine gold miners have been engaged in long-standing tensions both with the government and local indigenous communities.

Police colonel killed in violent shooting in northern Rio

A 48-year-old senior police officer has been shot dead after criminals sprayed his vehicle with bullets in northern Rio. The incident happened on Thursday when Luiz Gustavo Teixeira engaged in a violent shoot-out with criminals who were reportedly attempting to launch a large-scale robbery, locally known as 'arrastao'. Teixeira was returning from a police ceremony when he encountered the assailants near the Lins de Vasconcelos neighbourhood. The incident happened hours before another police officer was shot dead in the Jardim Guadalupe mall while criminals attempted to rob a jewellery store. So far in 2017, more than 110 police officers have already been killed in Rio.

Several parks closed over suspected yellow fever outbreak in Sao Paulo

Local authorities in Sao Paulo have ordered the closure of more than a dozen municipal and state parks as a preventive measure to tackle a potential yellow fever outbreak. So far, 15 parks across the northern area of the state capital have been closed indefinitely as a vaccination campaign was launched throughout the week. Initially, only two parks - Horto Florestal and Cantareira - were preventively closed for visits, but the measure was extended to other parks after an infected monkey was found dead in the Anhanguera Park. Residents and visitors to the area and the countryside have been advised to be vaccinated and take standard precautions.

Four killed as car crashes into bus in Parana

Four people have been killed and at least a dozen others were injured when two vehicles crashed in central Parana, southern Brazil. The accident happened in the early hours of Thursday when a passenger bus and a car collided along the BR-277 highway - between Curitiba and Campo Mourao - near the town of Irati. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the car lost control on a curve and crashed into the back of the bus. The PRF further revealed that it was raining at the time of the crash and launched an investigation to assess the circumstances behind the accident. Road accidents involving buses occasionally occur in Brazil and often lead to a high number of casualties.

President Temer survives fresh lower house vote

President Michel Temer has narrowly survived a vote in the Brazilian lower house of Congress after lawmakers rejected charges regarding accusations of his engagement in a criminal organization and obstruction of justice. With 251 votes in favour and 233 against - two deputies abstained and 25 were absent - charges against Temer will be filed within the Supreme Federal Court (STF) until the end of his presidential term in December 2018. Temer was indicted along with two ministers - Eliseu Padilha and Moreira Franco -, but their current situation is still to be fully assessed by the STF. The vote came a week after a Chamber of Deputies committee also rejected the charges.

Yellow fever vaccination campaign launched in Sao Paulo

Local and federal officials announced on Monday that the government is launching a new vaccination campaign to reinforce efforts to tackle yellow fever cases in northern Sao Paulo. The announcement came after five monkeys were found dead - one was infected with sylvatic yellow fever -  last week around the Horto Florestal park, which remains closed indefinitely along with the Cantareira Park. Sao Paulo Health Secretary David Uip said that the warning also includes the neighbourhoods of Tremembe, Cachoeirinha and Casa Verde. Residents and visitors to the area and the countryside have been advised to be vaccinated and take standard precautions.

Wildfire spreads across Chapada dos Veadeiros Park in Goias

A state of emergency has been declared in Cavalcante and Alto Paraiso as wildfires are quickly spreading across the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Goias. Wildfires broke out last Tuesday and already consumed more than 35,000 hectares of land. Flames are being mainly fuelled by the extremely dry weather and vegetation. Visits to the natural park - a UNESCO natural heritage site - have been suspended indefinitely.

Spanish tourist killed at police blockade in Rio's Rocinha

A 67-year-old Spanish tourist has been killed when police officers accidentally opened fire at her vehicle in southern Rio's Rocinha community. Maria Jimenez Ruiz was driving a jeep with four other family members when she reportedly failed to stop at a police blockade at the Largo do Boiadeiro. Ruiz was hit in the shooting and later taken to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her wounds. Further investigations were launched as both Brazilian and Spanish officials are in contact with local authorities. Security tensions have been extremely high around the Rocinha community since mid-October, where a long-standing territorial dispute broke out between two rival criminal groups.

Three injured as shooting breaks out in northern Rio

Three people were injured when police officers and criminals engaged in a shootout in northern Rio. According to Extra, the police was carrying out an operation on Sunday evening when the shooting erupted near the Norte Shopping mall in Cachambi. All victims were civilians who were collaterally hit at a bus stop. The incident happened hours after a violent shooting erupted in the Vidigal community in southern Rio, where police believe that criminals, linked to ongoing clashes involving the Rocinha-based gang of alias 'Rogerio 157', are sheltered.

Five killed as light aircraft crashes in Itaituba, Para

Five people have been killed after a light aircraft crashed in Para, northern Brazil. Authorities revealed that the accident happened on Sunday in an urban area in Itaituba, near the town's airport. Local media reported that the Cessna 210 aircraft was part of a commemorative flight to celebrate a national holiday.

Dozens detained nationwide as police dismantle paedophile ring

More than 1,000 police officers took part in a joint operation to dismantle a paedophile ring that operated across 24 states nationwide. Investigations were led by the National Secretary for Public Safety (SENASP) -  a federal body within the ministry of justice - and backed by US and European officials. Police tracked more than 150,000 shared files containing explicit and disturbing images that were mainly accessed through the deep web. Dozens of computers, hard drives, mobile phones and other storage devices were seized during the operation. Over 100 people, including former police officers and civil servants, were detained mainly in Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Goias. This was one of the biggest operations against paedophilia in Latin America.

Amazon deforestation drops by 16 percent

The Brazilian government have stated that Amazon deforestation is down by 16 percent in the year to July 2017 compared to the previous 12 months. Environment Minister Jose Sarney Filho said that according to satellite data, 6,624 square kilometres of forest were destroyed, down from 7,893 square kilometres in 2015/16. He cited stiffer controls and more agents on the ground, but the figure is still above Brazil's climate change target.  There was an outcry in August when President Temer signed a decree allowing mining in parts of the reserve, but a court blocked the move, and the government revoked it in September. Mr Sarney Filho said that whilst the drop was welcome, a change of attitude was needed for more lasting change.  Paul Barreto, a senior researcher for non profit Amazon Institute Imazon, told Reuters news agency that the economic recession and a drop in livestock prices were probably the reason for the decline.  Ranchers clearing the forrest for their cattle is a major contributor to deforestation.

President Temer survives vote on latest charges

On 18 October, a Chamber of Deputies committee rejected charges of obstruction of justice and involvement in a criminal organization against President Temer in the case involving JBS, the worlds' biggest meat processing company.  The committee's recommendations will be considered by all 513 deputies next week, but it is expected that they will also reject the charges.  This would stop Temer from being tried by the Supreme Federal Tribunal. In a statement as part of a plea-bargain, Joesley Batista, one of the shareholders of JBS, had accused Temer of agreeing to make payments to a potential witness.  Temer denies any wrongdoing, and his lawyers maintain that the case against him is based on an illicit recording.  Temer survived a further charge of corruption in August relating to a  payment of over $11m dollars from JBS.

Former Olympic chief charged in 2016 Games investigation

Brazilian prosecutors have charged the former head of the national Olympics committee (COB), Carlos Nuzman, along with five other people on corruption charges.  The charges relate to an investigation into alleged bribery surrounding Rio de Janeiro's successful bid host the 2016 games. Nuzman was provisionally suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 5 October was charged with racketeering, money laundering and violating currency laws.  He is accused of arranging bribes to get the IOC to pick Rio as host of the 2016 Games.  He has denied any wrongdoing.  Rio was awarded the Games in 2009 over Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.  Nuzman resigned as head of the COB last week, saying that he wanted to devote his time to his legal defence.

One killed in Greenpeace light aircraft crash

One person has been killed and four others sustained injuries when an amphibian light aircraft used by Greenpeace overturned while trying to land on the Rio Negro river in the norther state of Amazonas. The four survivors were rescued by the crew of a nearby vessel, who also righted the plane to prevent it sinking. The other passenger was found to have died and is thought to be a 29-year-old Swedish woman. Greenpeace said in a statement that the organization was focused on aiding victims and their families and collaborating with authorities in the investigation of the crash, which will be conducted by the Brazilian airforce.

Batista brothers face insider trading trial

The Federal court in Brazil has confirmed that brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, who are the controlling shareholders in Brazil's largest meatpacking firm JBS, will face trial for alleged insider trading. They are accused of selling JBS shares at a premium in the weeks before revealing damaging information about their company which caused the shares to plummet, and trading to be temporarily suspended. Prosecutors estimate that they saved $44m by selling the shares before entering into a plea deal with investigators. The case has attracted huge attention because amongst the material provided was that they bribed top-ranking officials, and included a recording of President Michel Temer apparently admitting that he paid hush money to a politician. The plea deal offered the brothers immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, but they were arrested in September for alleged insider trading.

Three injured as shooting breaks out at a park in Nova Iguacu, Rio

Three people have been injured when a violent shooting broke out at an amusement park in Nova Iguacu, Rio's Metropolitan area. According to Globo, the shootout erupted on Thursday evening when hundreds of people were gathered to celebrate a national bank holiday. Reports suggest that criminals and police officers engaged in clashes while authorities were investigating an express-kidnap that happened nearby. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim's vehicle was tracked as criminals ordered him to drive to ATMs across the region.

Three shot dead in armed attack in Duque de Caxias, Rio

Three people have been killed and three others were injured in a fresh armed attack at a bar in Duque de Caxias, Rio's Metropolitan area. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when four heavily armed men opened fire on a crowded establishment in Nossa Senhora do Carmo neighbourhood. The incident came days after two people died and six others were injured in a shooting at another bar also in Duque de Caxias. According to the police, the area is the subject of an ongoing dispute between a local militia and criminal faction.

Clandestine grave discovered in Maua, Sao Paulo

Police officers within the State Department of Criminal Investigation (DEIC) have discovered a clandestine grave in Maua, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. Investigators recovered four bodies on Sunday morning in a remote area of the Jardim Itaussu neighbourhood. Preliminary police reports suggest that the notorious First Capital Commando (PCC) is behind the crime, while local authorities believe that the deaths were gang-related. The PCC widely operate in the outskirts of Sao Paulo and across several other Brazilian states through its affiliates. In August, two burned bodies were recovered at a woodland area in Gravatai, in southern Rio Grande do Sul.

Woman abducted and raped during robbery in Sao Paulo

A 48-year-old woman has been robbed and raped after leaving a car park in western Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Friday evening moments after the victim left a luxurious shopping centre in the affluent Jardins neighbourhood. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, the criminal impersonated a Federal Police office before he approached the victim and ordered her to stop the vehicle. The victim was held for nearly three hours, while the assailant forced her to withdraw money from an ATM machine in central Sao Paulo.

Dozens detained in massive anti-drugs bust in Santa Catarina

Nearly 60 people have been detained in a massive anti-drugs operation in southern Brazil. Federal Police (PF) officers were investigating four groups involved in the shipment of cocaine from ports in Santa Catarina to Europe and the US, for more than a year. Arrest warrants were also issued in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco and Paraiba, where customs officers, lorry drivers and prominent businessmen were detained. Investigations started in Denmark after more than 320kg of cocaine from Navegantes port were seized back in 2015. It has been reported that more than 10 tonnes of cocaine were already seized both in Brazil and across Europe.

Military returns to Rio's Rocinha community amid fresh crackdown

The armed forces have returned to southern Rio's Rocinha community in a fresh crackdown to detain drug-traffickers linked to an ongoing territorial dispute involving two rival criminal factions. Globo reported that soldiers and the police arrived at the community on Tuesday morning, a day after the bodyguard of Rocinha's drug-lord alias 'Rogerio 157' was detained in Nova Iguacu, Rio's Metropolitan area. Shootings were reported in the area on Monday as the police and military presence intensified. Last week, nearly 1,000 soldiers occupied Rocinha after violent clashes broke out when a rival drug-trafficking group attempted to take over the community. It is widely advisable to avoid the area and its' surroundings due to the potential risk of armed confrontations.

Criminals blow up bank in northern Rio

A shooting broke out after armed criminals blew up a bank in northern Rio. According to police reports, nearly a dozen assailants raided a Santander branch in Ramos neighbourhood in the early hours of Saturday. The whole bank's facade was destroyed when a powerful blast struck the building. No casualties were reported. Criminals in Rio often employ explosives in bank heists. In April, a similar attack completely destroyed a Caixa Economica bank in the affluent neighbourhood of Ipanema.

Cryptocurrency businessman kidnapped in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais

A 27-year-old businessman has been kidnapped in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais. Two armed criminals targeted the victim in the Mansoes Aeroporto neighbourhood while he and some delegates were returning to the airport after a conference in a hotel in the nearby Tibery neighbourhood. Reports revealed that the victim was forced into another vehicle, where he was tortured and forced to reveal his bank pin code. The victim was known for being a proficient expert in the use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It was revealed that he had recently garnered a significant profit after investing in Bitcoin, information that was often disclosed at his public lectures.

Several killed in nursery arson attack in Minas Gerais

At least six children have been killed and dozens of others were wounded when a man set a nursery on fire in northern Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. The attack happened on Thursday morning at a nursery in Janauba, where a man stormed a classroom and set it on fire after throwing fuel towards the children and himself. Globo reported that the man was the nursery's security guard who was currently suspended. He succumbed to his wounds hours after the attack along with a 43-year-old teacher.

Police detains Olympic committee chief amid vote-buying probe

The President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), Carlos Arthur Nuzman, has been detained over links to a massive vote-buying bribery scheme for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Federal Police officers raided his residence in an exclusive neighbourhood in southern Rio after a judge accused Nuzman of hiding key assets amid the Operation 'Unfair Play', which is linked to the notorious 'Car Wash' investigations. He is mainly accused of intermediate payments to high-level officials within the International Olympic Committee (COI) on the election of Rio as the 2016 Olympic Games host. According to federal prosecutors, the scheme was largely led by former Rio's Governor Sergio Cabral who is already jailed for other corruption-related crimes.

PGR urges minister to reject request to return inmates to state prisons

Brazil's Attorney General (PGR) Raquel Dodge has requested the Supreme Court minister, Alexandre de Moraes, to reject a request to return jailed drug-lords back to their home states. The Federal Public Defender (DPU) demanded the measure to be applied to inmates jailed in federal prison for more than two years. The DPU claimed that the inmates' attempt to be reintegrated are being hindered by the isolation along with the violation of their civil rights. Defense Minister Raul Jungmann and the president of the lower house of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, condemned the request. Concerns mainly regarded the return of highly dangerous criminals, such as Fernandinho Beira Mar and alias 'Nem', to state prisons in Rio.

Police rescue kidnapped businesswoman in Mongagua, Sao Paulo

A businesswoman and her employee have been kidnapped in the coastal town of Mongagua, Sao Paulo. Both victims were taken when armed criminals raided the company's premises. Preliminary reports revealed that they were initially taken to a flat as criminals failed to withdraw money with the victim's credit cards. The assailants then called the businesswoman's husband to demand a ransom of $10k for the release of both hostages. Five people were later detained when the police ambushed the suspects during the ransom collection at an undisclosed location.

Strong winds affect thousands in Rio Grande do Sul

Thousands of people were affected as severe weather conditions hit the Rio Grande do Sul state on Sunday. Reports said that winds reaching up to 100km/h ravaged most areas in the central and northern regions of the state, where more than 200,000 people are still facing power cuts and hundreds of houses were damaged. In Ijui, a 65-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his car, while a 28-year-old woman died in Sapiranga after she was hit by a loose electrical wire. The most affected areas were Montenegro, Capao do Cipo, Cruz Alta, Rio Pardo Valley and Julio de Castilhos.

Armed forces to end Rocinha community siege

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann has ordered the withdrawal of the armed forces amid the siege of the Rocinha community in southern Rio. Jungmann said that the whole military contingent will leave the area as "the Rocinha is already stabilised" and "the presence of almost 1,000 soldiers in the community is currently unnecessary." For nearly a week the Brazilian armed forces have occupied Rio's largest favela after a violent conflict between rival criminals factions broke out. Special police operations continued on Thursday in the Complexo da Mare, where shootings erupted when officers sought to capture Rocinha's drug-lord alias 'Rogerio 157', who fled to the Mare after reportedly brokering an alliance with the notorious Red Commando gang.

Heavily armed criminals attack fast-food restaurant in northern Rio

Heavily armed men attacked a fast-food chain in northern Rio over a reportedly disagreement with the store's employees. According to Globo, the assailants headed to a McDonald's restaurant in Bonsucesso and demanded that staff give away more than 40 meals. Criminals left the scene after staff members refused the request. Moments later, they returned to the store and sprayed it with bullets, forcing customers and staff to seek refuge behind the counter. No casualties were reported. Police believe that a well-known drug-trafficker that operates in the neighbouring Adeus community is behind the attack.

Driving school instructor and student abducted in Brumado, Bahia

A driving school instructor and her student were abducted when four armed men raided their vehicle in Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. According to the police, the incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in Brumado. Reports suggest that both victims were taken to a neighbouring city, where criminals robbed a supermarket. Two suspects were detained and another injured when the police engaged in a shootout. The incident came just weeks after a family was kidnapped near Eunapolis, when returning from the beach resort of Porto Seguro.

Criminals briefly abduct priest in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo

A priest has been briefly abducted after three armed criminals approached his vehicle in Guarulhos, outskirts of Sao Paulo. The victim was attacked on Sunday evening while handing over donations in the region. Before being released on the Jardim Brasil neighbourhood, criminals took his credit cards and belongings. Two suspects were detained for the crime.

Six youngsters shot dead near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte

Six youngsters have been executed after heavily armed criminals stormed a party near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. According to the Civil Police, the victims were all shot in the head during the raid in the Extremoz area. It remains unclear if the victims were engaged in illicit activities, while preliminary investigations suspect a potential link to an ongoing conflict between the notorious First Capital Commando (PCC) and a regional criminal organisation. Rio Grande do Norte presents one of the highest homicide rates in Brazil. So far in 2017, more than a dozen mass shootings have taken place across the state.

President Temer revokes controversial Amazon mining law

President Michel Temer has revoked his controversial decree which planned to allow mining at the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a vast mineral-rich territory in the eastern Amazon roughly the size of Denmark. The decree was already halted by a federal court right after Temer's decree was signed into law. Temer's retraction comes after the decision triggered a wave of outrage from activists and the international community, which claimed the move would be highly harmful towards the environment. Renca also houses several indigenous communities, while it is believed that thousands of clandestine mining companies already operate in the region.

Thousands protest against 'gay cure bill' in Sao Paulo

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Sao Paulo to protest against a federal court ruling which allows psychological treatment to reverse sexual orientation. Protesters marched along the Paulista Avenue on Saturday evening, days after a judge in the Federal District approved the bill which was popularly labelled as the 'gay cure bill'. Federal Judge Waldemar de Carvalho claimed that his decision is being misinterpreted as it is intended to provide open access to gay individuals that seek professional assistance for issues regarding their sexuality. The Federal Council of Psychology - which declared the practice as illegal back in 1999 - rejected the rule and said that the organisation will appeal the decision.

Massive wildfire breaks out at Serra da Bocaina National Park

A massive wildfire broke out at the Serra da Bocaina National Park, located along the state borders between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Emergency services were deployed to the area after more than 1,200 hectares of land were consumed across six days. Local authorities believe that the fire was intentionally caused. Officials informed that the blazes were already fully contained, but the area between Bananal and Sao Jose do Barreiro remain under alert due to dry weather conditions.

Tensions remain high due to clashes at Rio's Rocinha community

Nearly 1,000 soldiers from all branches of the armed forces and police officers have been deployed to occupy southern Rio's Rocinha community after intense clashes broke out last week. Following a request of Rio's state government, federal troops were sent to the community on Friday to put a halt on the ongoing gunfight involving rival criminal factions. Dozens of high-calibre rifles were already seized along with a cache of ammunition and explosives. Special operations units are also carrying out daily raids across the community, while it's feared that the violence will spread to northern Rio's communities controlled by drug-trafficking groups. It has been widely advised to avoid the area as security forces are blocking access to the region.

Army soldiers to be deployed in Rio's Rocinha community

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann has authorised the deployment of additional Brazilian Army soldiers to Rio's Rocinha community. The decision came after Rio's Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao requested the federal government to send the armed forces to the area, which has recently faced a spate of violence due to clashes involving rival criminals factions. Intense shooting has been reported across the community since early Friday morning. It is highly advised to avoid the area around the community due to the increased risk of potential clashes between criminals and security forces.

Brazilian meat imports banned in Hong Kong

The Chinese authorities have banned Brazilian meat imports in Hong Kong after a batch of meat was found to have fake health certificates. The meat in question - 200 tonnes of chicken feet and animal organs - was allegedly claimed to be suitable for human consumption. Further inspections found that the exporter - believed to be a company called 'Brupet' - had been selling the meat under fake health documents which failed to specify that the meat was only suitable for animal consumption. The incident comes after China banned all meat products from Brazil in March 2017 amid a widespread meat scandal which uncovered that 21 Brazilian companies were bribing health inspectors to falsify documents and certificates for spoiled and contaminated meat. According to reports, the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong has issued a formal complaint to the Brazilian authorities as investigations are launched.

Supreme Court to send Temer's graft probe to lower house

Supreme Court ministers have voted to send charges against President Michel Temer to the lower house of Congress. Temer was charged last week with racketeering and obstruction of justice by former attorney general Rodrigo Janot. Brazilian legislation rules that a majority of at least two-thirds of the 513-member house is necessary to approve Temer's indictment. This is the second time charges against the president have been sent to the lower house of Congress. In August, Temer survived a vote after he was accused of receiving bribes from the Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS.

Armed criminals kidnap lawyer in Porto Alegre

A 43-year-old lawyer has been kidnapped after four armed criminals ambushed her vehicle in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. The incident happened on Monday afternoon in the Tristeza neighbourhood, in the southern area of the state capital. Police reports revealed that the victim was attacked and taken to withdraw money from ATMs across the city. A witness alerted the police, who deployed a special operation unit which engaged in a high-speed pursuit. All criminals were detained and the victim - who was also the wife of a police colonel - was released unharmed.

Businesswoman kidnapped in Teresina, Piaui

A local businesswoman has been the target of an express-kidnapping in Teresina, north-eastern Brazil's Piaui state. The attack happened on Monday afternoon just moments after the victim left a Santander bank branch in the eastern area of the city. According to local media, criminals stole more than 30k reais ($9.5k), her vehicle, and a number of credit cards. Reports suggest that the victim was later released in Teresina's rural area of Soinho. The incident came several months after a medical doctor was also kidnapped in Teresina.

Former President Lula da Silva charged with corruption in auto sector

A federal judge in Brasilia has charged former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with passive corruption after he allegedly received six million reais (nearly $2m) in bribes from the automotive industry executives. Lula is being accused of facilitating the issue of a decree aimed to extend public incentives in the sector. His former chief of staff, Gilberto Carvalho, is also being charged along with five other influential lobbyists. Lula is currently facing seven cases of corruption, including money laundering and racketeering.

British explorer shot dead in deep Brazilian Amazon

A 43-year-old British explorer has been shot dead during a presumed robbery attempt in the deep Brazilian Amazon. According to the Civilian Police, Emma Kelty was shot dead when low-scale drug-traffickers attempted to rob her when she was camping at the isolated Boeiro island, near Lauro Sodre community. Kelty had previously sent a distress signal from an area between the towns of Coari and Codajas while going down the Solimoes River, where her body was thrown and is still to be found. Two minors were arrested for the crime and four other suspects are still on the run. Kelty was a headteacher in London and quit her job to become an explorer. She was in the Amazon as part of a 4,000-mile solo paddling expedition.

Violent shootings break out at Rio's Rocinha community

Intense shootings have been reported after dozens of heavily armed criminals attempted to invade the Rocinha community in southern Rio. According to the police, criminals from other areas in Rio raided the community over the weekend during an attempt to take over territory currently held by a rival criminal faction. The incident forced several detachments of the Special Operations Command (COE) to launch a massive operation in the area. Authorities are investigating if the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Commando (PCC) is linked to the raid, while another line of investigation indicates that the invasion was ordered by jailed drug-lord 'Nem' - whose criminal group previously held the area.

Stray bullet hits journalist in the head in Pernambuco

A journalist is in a coma after he was shot by a stray bullet in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. Alexandre Farias was hit in the head after he left his home in Caruaru late night on Saturday. Preliminary reports suggest that Farias was collaterally shot when criminals opened fire from a stolen vehicle in the Alto do Moura neighbourhood. According to the police, five criminals were involved in the robbery. North-eastern Brazil presents one of the highest homicide rates in the country, as robberies are often violent and deadly.

Raquel Dodge sworn in as Brazil's new Attorney General

Raquel Dodge has been sworn into office as the new Republic's General Attorney (PGR). In a brief ceremony, Dodge vowed to support the cooperation among both houses of Congress and the Public Ministry (MPF) to ensure justice and secure the country's stabilisation. President Michel Temer nominated Dodge in late-July to replace former PGR Rodrigo Janot. Relations between Temer and Janot recently deteriorated after the former PGR filed charges against the president, including racketeering and obstruction of justice. Among other responsibilities, the role Dodge is taking over will grant her massive influence over the country's notorious 'Car Wash' investigations and the bribery scandals linked to the construction conglomerate Odebrecht and J&F Investimentos.

Attorney General charges Temer with racketeering

Brazil's Attorney General has filed charges against President Michel Temer and several other senior politicians for racketeering and obstruction of justice. Following a lengthy investigation led by the Federal Police (PF) and plea bargain testimonies, Janot concluded that the group was involved in a massive bribery scheme linked to state-owned companies and government institutions. Janot also requested the withdrawal of the plea bargain with  J&F Investimentos' Batista brothers. It is believed that the accused pocketed up to R$587m ($188m) through the leadership of Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

Shootings reported during massive police operation in Rio

A number of shootings have been reported in the early hours of Thursday morning as the police launched a massive operation across Rio. Several communities within the Complexo da Mare are being raided as part of the fulfilment of more than 60 arrest warrants. Police presence has been reported along the Avenida Brasil, while further operations are also being simultaneously carried out in Valenca and Barra do Pirai, southern Rio. Due to the ongoing operations and potential risk of stray bullets, drivers have been advised to avoid the Yellow Line (Linha Amarela) - one of the main routes from Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) to Barra da Tijuca and other western locations.

Federal Police detains another JBS top executive

The Federal police have arrested another board member of the meat-packing giant JBS. Wesley Batista was detained a day after his brother Joesley Batista. Both had signed a plea bargain last May, which implicated a number of high-profile politicians - including President Michel Temer. Wesley is being accused of insider trading as JBS's stocks significantly rose after he disclosed the signing of the plea bargain - which is believed to be compromised by both arrests. On the same day, Brazilian politics were shaken after the Supreme Court ruled that Attorney General Rodrigo Janot should continue his corruption case against Temer. Rio's Former Governor Anthony Garotinho was detained in a separate corruption case, while former President Lula da Silva was interrogated by a federal judge.

President Michel Temer to face new corruption probe

A Supreme Federal Court (STF) judge, Luis Roberto Barroso, has ruled the opening of a new corruption inquiry implicating President Michel Temer and his close aide, Rodrigo Rocha Loures. In this probe, Temer and Rocha Loures are accused of corruption and money laundering linked to a proposed presidential decree amendment to benefit port operations at the Rodrimar company. The request was made in June by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot, who said that the case is not linked to the ongoing 'Car Wash' investigations. In a statement, Temer said that: "We have reached the point where they try to convict people without even hearing them. (...) Reputations are shattered in conversations founded on clandestine actions." Due to Temer's political immunity, the final process still has to pass through a number of phases, including the approval of the Congress' lower house.

Four killed after car is sprayed with bullets in Rio

Four people have been killed after a vehicle was sprayed with bullets on the streets of Campo Grande, western Rio. The incident was reported in the early hours of Tuesday morning along the Monteiro road, near the neighbourhood's central area. It remains unclear if the incident is gang-related.

Prosecutors investigate reports of massacred Amazon tribe

Federal prosecutors are investigating reports of the killing of around 10 natives part of an uncontacted indigenous tribe in the Amazon. Amazonas state prosecutor Pablo Luz Beltrand confirmed that an investigation was launched but no further details were released. Investigations started when the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) filed a complaint after reports of gold miners bragging about the killings at a bar near the Colombian border. It is believed that the incident happened about a month ago. Amazon indigenous communities are long threatened in the region, mainly due to the fierce advance of clandestine mining and forestry companies in protected areas.

Family briefly abducted during car-jacking in Bahia

Three people have been briefly abducted after armed criminals ambushed their vehicle in Bahia. The family was attacked along the BR-101 highway, near the urban area of Eunapolis, in the early hours of Saturday morning. The incident happened while they were returning to Minas Gerais from their holiday in Arraial D'Ajuda, near Porto Seguro. Local media reported that their vehicle and belongings were taken before they were released near an intersection.

Meat-packing billionaire arrested in Sao Paulo

Supreme Court Minister Edson Fachin has ordered the arrest of Joesley Batista, the head of the giant meat-packing company JBS. Fachin followed a request of Attorney General Rodrigo Janot over allegations that Batista hid key evidence part of a plea bargain agreement. Accusations came after Batistas' lawyers reportedly handed an incriminating tape to prosecutors. Batista was detained along with J&F Investimentos - JBS's owner - executive Ricardo Saud during a joint operation of the Federal Police and Public Ministry in Sao Paulo. JBS is part of a massive bribery scandal which recently implicated President Michel Temer and hundreds of high-profile politicians.

Former minister accuses Lula of receiving bribes

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been implicated for receiving millionaire bribes from the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht. Lula's former finance minister, Antonio Palocci, said on Wednesday that the former president has accepted illegal money to buy terrains for his own Lula Institute and to reportedly finance his departure from office through the collection of more than R$300m ($97m). The accusation came on the same day that Attorney General Rodrigo Janot charged Lula and his ally, former President Dilma Rousseff, in a corruption case.

Millions in cash seized during raid on former minister's flat

Federal Police (PF) officers have raided the residence of former minister Geddel Vieira Lima in Salvador, Bahia. The raid came as part of the 'Operation Lost Treasure' which led to the seizure of more than R$51m ($16m) in cash. Lima was President Michel Temer's Government Minister and one of his closest allies but resigned last November over corruption allegations. He was put under house arrest in July for obstructing corruption investigations linked to the state-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal.

Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff charged in corruption case

Former Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff have been formally charged on Tuesday over accusations of money laundering, corruption and forming a criminal organisation. Attorney General Rodrigo Janot - who is set to stand down in mid-September - said that Lula, Dilma and six other Workers' Party (PT) politicians committed a number of violations involving the state-owned petrol company Petrobras. Dilma was impeached back in 2016 for breaking budgetary laws, while Lula is currently appealing a previous corruption conviction.

Police probe alleged vote-buying scheme for 2016 Olympics

As part of a new phase of the 'Car Wash' investigations, the Federal Police (PF) and the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) executed a search warrant at the residence of Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB). Nuzman is accused of direct involvement in an international bribery scheme aimed at buying the vote to elect Rio as the 2016 Olympic Games host. According to reports, third-party companies are accused of paying officials of the International Olympic Committee with money from a Caribbean-based account linked to Former Rio's Governor Sergio Cabral. Investigations started nearly nine months ago in conjunction with French authorities.

Ten criminals killed during police operation in Sao Paulo

At least 10 criminals have been shot dead during a police operation in Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Sunday evening when the Civilian Police special unit GARRA engaged in a fierce confrontation with burglars. Five criminals were shot dead at the scene, while the remaining were killed in the surrounding roads of the Morumbi neighbourhood. The operation happened while criminals were raiding a house in the area. According to the police, the group was already under investigation for its involvement in more than 20 burglaries across affluent residential areas in Morumbi, Jardim Europa, Cotia and Barueri.

Eight-year-old boy shot in the head during criminal raid in Rio

An eight-year-old boy has been shot in the head during a large scale plunder - locally known as 'arrastao' - in one of the main avenues in Duque de Caxias, Rio's Metropolitan area. Renan dos Santos Macedo was in the backseat of his fathers' car when armed criminals opened fire in their direction on the Gomes Freire Avenue in Gramacho. At least five shots were fired towards the vehicle when the victims' father attempted to escape the raid.

Police sergeant shot dead in Camboriu, Santa Catarina

A police sergeant has been shot dead after armed criminals opened fire in Camboriu, Santa Catarina. Local media reported that Edson Abilio Alves was in the Tabuleiro neighbourhood on Wednesday evening when he was attacked and killed. Alves was the fourth police officer to be brutally killed during August in Santa Catarina. Last week, a 43-year-old off-duty police officer was shot dead inside a shop in Joinville.

Criminals target police stations and vehicles in Santa Catarina

At least 10 attacks were reported in Santa Catarina state overnight on Thursday when criminals raided buildings, vehicles and offices belonging to the police. In the state capital Florianopolis, a police station in the Monte Verde neighbourhood was targeted with gunshots. Similar attacks were also reported in Balneario Rincao, Balneario Arroio do Silva and Balneario Gaivota. Several police vehicles were set on fire in Camboriu, Criciuma, Navegantes and Sao Jose. It remains unclear which criminal faction is behind the attacks, while authorities raised security alert in the state.

Federal Court halts decree to allow mining at Amazon reserve

A federal court in Brasilia has suspended a government decree that allows private mining companies to operate across the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a vast mineral-rich territory in the eastern Amazon roughly the size of Denmark. Judge Rolando Spanholo suspended the act which was approved last week and signed into law by President Michel Temer. The decree triggered outrage from the opposition and environmentalists who claimed the move was highly harmful to the environment and would lead to potential land conflicts as the region houses a number of indigenous communities.

Police shoots dead criminals during kidnap attempt in Rio

Three people of the same family have been briefly kidnapped in Jacarepagua, western Rio. Reports suggest that the victims, who were originally from Sao Paulo, went to Rio visit two friends. The incident happened when two armed criminals ambushed the group after they left a restaurant in Jacarepagua. They were subsequently taken and the abductors demanded a payment of 300k reais ($95k) ransom. Both kidnappers were shot dead when a violent shooting erupted after a patrolling police officer asked to search their vehicle. Investigations later suggested that both of the victims' friends were involved in plotting their abduction.

Several killed after ferry overturns in Salvador, Bahia

At least 22 people have been killed when a ferry overturned in Salvador, Bahia. According to reports, the vessel was transporting around 130 people along the Salvador-Mar Grande passage on the All Saints Bay. The accident happened moments after the vessel left the port of Vera Cruz on Thursday morning. The death toll was confirmed by the Brazilian Navy, which is cooperating with the emergency services to rescue stranded passengers. Ferry services had only recently been resumed after high waves and strong winds forced several routes to be suspended.

Government to allow mining in vast Amazon reserve

President Michel Temer has issued a decree that allows private mining companies of operating in the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a mineral-rich territory in the Amazon about twice the size of Wales. According to a statement, the government confirmed that indigenous and some conservation areas within the territory will remain protected. The measure to extend mining operations in the region was initially put forward by the Mining and Energy Ministry in the attempt to fuel economic growth. However, critics fear that such operations may lead to irreversible environmental damages along with potential land conflicts.

Bank manager's family taken during robbery in Sao Paulo

A 39-year-old bank manager has been held hostage along with her family after armed criminals stormed her residence in Sao Paulo. According to reports, the criminals ordered the victim to withdraw 300k reais ($95k) from the safe of a Banco do Brasil branch in Dois Corregos, near Bauru. Moments later after the payment, her husband and daughter were taken to the rural area of Rio Claro and released unharmed. Kidnaps targeting prominent individuals in small towns in Brazil are recurrent, mainly due to the absence or poor police presence.

Several killed as passenger boat sinks in Para

At least 19 people have been killed when a passenger boat sank on Tuesday evening in Para, northern Brazil. It is believed that up to 70 people were travelling from Santarem to Vitoria do Xingu when the vessel sank near Ponte Grande do Xingu, an isolated rural community located between Porto de Moz and Senador Jose Porfirio. It remains unclear what caused the crash. State authorities stated that the boat was being illegally operated and warned passengers to be aware of clandestine boat trips in Para.

Centre-right Democrats to launch 2018 presidential bid

The president of the lower house of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, announced on Monday that his centre-right Democrats (DEM) party will introduce a presidential candidate ahead of the 2018 elections. Maia confirmed that he is not running for president, but the move comes amid an attempt to end Brazil's political polarisation between the left-wing Workers' Party (PT) and the Brazilian Social Democrats (PSDB).

Armed criminals target vehicles in northern Rio

At least 10 vehicles have been reportedly targeted along the Grajau-Jacararepagua highway in northern Rio. According to Globo, the raid happened in the early hours of Tuesday when four armed men blocked the roads and robbed drivers. Large scale plunders - known locally as 'arrastao' - are common in the area. Last week, a vehicle was stolen when criminals erected a roadblock along the same highway.

Two business owners kidnapped in Campinas, Sao Paulo

Two business owners were kidnapped on Saturday morning in Campinas, Sao Paulo. Police reports suggest that three armed criminals ambushed them in the Sousas district when the assailants deliberately drove towards the victims' vehicle. An off-duty officer witnessed the crime and warned local authorities, which killed one of the suspects after a police pursuit. Both victims were later rescued from a shelter in Hortolandia. According to Globo, a 19-year-old criminal was arrested along with a minor.

Authorities investigate foreign-based firms linked to Car Wash scandal

Brazilian authorities announced on Friday the expansion of the Car Wash investigations, one of the country's most notorious anti-corruption operations. According to a statement, prosecutors will now include the US-based company, Sergeant Marine, due to accusations of paying $500k in bribes to acquire a dozen millionaire contracts with the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Furthermore, six Greek shipping companies - linked to Greece's honorary council in Rio - are also being investigated for illegal contracts reaching up to $500m. Both cases are linked to former Workers' Party (PT) politician Candido Vaccarezza, who was recently arrested along with two other executives.

Businessman's son kidnapped in Ponta Pora, Mato Grosso do Sul

A 12-year-old boy has been targeted in an express kidnapping in the bordering city of Ponta Pora, Mato Grosso do Sul. Pedro Urbieta de Souza, the son of a prominent local businessman, was abducted in the city's central area when two masked men ambushed his driver. Reports suggest that Pedro was released near the Paraguayan border hours later, after the payment of an undisclosed amount. Criminal groups widely operate in Ponta Ponta, which shares an unmonitored border with Pedro Juan Caballero in Paraguay.

Ministry of justice aide kidnapped in Brasilia

A Ministry of Justice aide has been targeted in an express kidnapping in Brasilia. Local media reported that the victim was targeted on Tuesday evening near her vehicle parked in the capital's Asa Sul neighbourhood. She was then taken to Aguas Lindas, Goias, where criminals used her credit card at a shopping centre's ATM. Two hours later the victim was released on the BR-070 national highway. The abduction came several days after a 55-year-old Ministry of Culture civil servant was killed during a robbery attempt in the Asa Norte area.

Businessman killed during robbery attempt in Sao Paulo

A 48-year-old businessman has been killed during a robbery attempt near Guarulhos, Sao Paulo. Silvio Leite and his wife were on a petrol station along the BR-381 national highway when three armed men approached them on Wednesday evening. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the victim was killed when he was run over by another vehicle after reacting to the robbery. Leite was in the city on business and was attacked while heading back home to Pouso Alegre, Minas Gerais.

Four killed in violent police chase in Maceio, Alagoas

Four criminals have been shot dead during a violent police chase in Maceio, Alagoas. Preliminary reports suggest that tensions escalated when suspected robbers fled the scene after noticing the police presence. A high-speed chase took place in the Tabuleiro neighbourhood, where fierce shootings broke out on Wednesday morning. A pedestrian and a motorcyclist were injured when the assailants ran over them during the pursuit. The incident came days after four criminals were killed during a kidnap attempt in Barra de Sao Miguel.

Three bodies recovered on the streets of Sao Conrado, Rio

Three people have been found dead on the streets of southern Rio. The incident was reported in the early hours of Monday morning when three bodies were recovered along the Gavea Road - one of the main access routes to the Rocinha community - in Sao Conrado. The police launched an investigation, while it remains unclear what caused the deaths and who is behind the suspected attack.

Children taken as criminals raid school van in Niteroi, Rio

Two three-year-old children were reported missing when a school van was stolen in Niteroi, Rio's Metropolitan Region. Reports suggest that seven heavily armed criminals targeted the vehicle while it was heading to a primary school in Sao Goncalo on Friday morning. Both victims and the van were later recovered at the Morro do Pereirinha community after a strong police operation was launched in the nearby Morro da Coreia.

Councilman kidnapped in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul

A councilman and his assistant were kidnapped overnight on Thursday in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Moises Barbosa was attacked near his assistant's residence in southern Porto Alegre. Both were tied up and put inside a car's boot before being held in captivity. According to the victims, the assailants robbed their vehicle and rushed to ATMs to withdraw money from stolen credit cards. Reports revealed that they were released in an isolated wood area in Lomba do Pinheiro. Four criminals were later arrested when the police raided a house in the eastern part of the city.

Four killed in police shooting in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul

Four criminals have been shot dead after a fierce shooting broke out in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. The incident happened on Thursday evening when police officers were attacked on the Santa Teresa neighbourhood. The area is known for high criminality rates linked to ongoing disputes between rival drug-trafficking groups.

Couple briefly kidnapped at car park in Sao Paulo

Kidnappers targeted a young couple on Tuesday evening in Sao Paulo. Reports suggest that both victims were briefly kidnapped when armed criminals approached them in a car park in Pinheiros. A bystander witnessed the attack and warned the police, who moments later located the victims in a car along Morumbi Avenue. One suspect was injured and arrested when a shooting broke out. In June, state authorities revealed a surge in the number of express-kidnaps reported in Sao Paulo.

Four shot dead during kidnap attempt in Alagoas

Four criminals have been gunned down when police officers suppressed a kidnap attempt in Alagoas, north-eastern Brazil. The incident was reported on Tuesday evening when special operations officers approached four armed suspects who were planning to kidnap a supermarket manager in Barra de Sao Miguel. A violent shootout erupted after a police pursuit, where four criminals were wounded and later succumbed to their wounds.

Police officer killed in car theft attempt in Rio

A 39-year-old police officer has been shot dead during a car theft attempt in Rio. Silvio Silva was shot in the head several times when armed criminals attempted to steal his vehicle in the Padre Miguel neighbourhood on Wednesday evening. Reports suggest that Silva was off-duty and was attacked when leaving his wife's birthday party. The incident happened just days after a police sergeant was shot dead in the neighbouring area of Realengo. So far in 2017, 95 police officers have been killed across Rio.

Temer accuses Attorney General of violating legal limits

President Michel Temer's lawyers have asked the Supreme Court (STF) to withdraw Attorney General Rodrigo Janot from leading investigations - involving the president - over claims that he is biased. Janot is being accused of exceeding his constitutional and legal limits after he filed charges against Temer for involvement in widespread bribery schemes linked to the meatpacking giant JBS. Despite Temer's charges being halted at the STF after he survived a congressional vote, Janot is expected to file a second charge before his departure in mid-September - Janot is being replaced by Temer's appointee Raquel Dodge.

Thousands deployed in massive military operation in Rio

More than 3,500 police officers and soldiers have been deployed across Rio amid a massive joint operation to tackle drug-trafficking and cargo theft in the city. The Operation Onerat involved officers from federal and state police along with soldiers of the National Force and the Armed Forces. The main focus of the operation was on the Complexo do Lins community, northern Rio. At least 18 people were arrested and one man was killed during a shooting. The move comes after Defence Minister Raul Jungmann announced new measures to tackle criminality across Rio involving direct efforts of intelligence work and inter-agency cooperation.

British tourist shot after mistakenly driving into a Rio's slum

A 46-year-old British tourist has been shot after she mistakenly drove into a slum near the popular seaside resort of Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro. The victim was travelling on Sunday with her three children and husband when she reportedly entered the Agua Santa - Holy Water - community to look for water. According to reports, she was shot twice when armed men ordered her to leave the area. Rio's slums are often integrated with most commercial and touristic areas across the state. It is recommended to carefully plan routes - including GPS navigation - prior to departure to avoid entering gang-ridden communities.

Criminals explode bank in Rio Grande do Norte

Several people were held hostage after armed criminals exploded a bank in Rio Grande do Norte. According to the police, at least three strong blasts and intense shootings were reported in the early hours of Thursday in Parazinho. Criminals used hostages to erect roadblocks around the branch while they carried out the heist. Explosives are often used on attacks targeting banks across Brazil, which usually occur in isolated towns due to an extremely limited police presence.

President Temer survives lower house vote on graft charges

The report which accused President Michel Temer of passive corruption has been rejected by Brazil's lower house of Congress. Wednesday's vote was based on accusations that Temer was involved in a bribery scheme linked to the Brazilian company JBS. From 492 votes, 263 deputies voted in favour to reject the report compiled by the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ). However, Temer may still be investigated as the accusation will remain halted at the Supreme Court until he completes his mandate in December 2018. The result is likely to trigger a series of demonstrations across major Brazilian cities, while Temer also vowed to push forward his controversial reforms.

Protests erupt as lower house votes on Temer accusations

Nationwide protests broke out on Wednesday morning as the lower house of Congress discusses and vote on President Michel Temer's corruption allegations. Temer was indicted last month over his involvement in bribery schemes linked to the Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS. The process will proceed to the Supreme Court if at least two-thirds of the 513-member house vote against the indictment.

Drivers erect roadblocks nationwide against fuel price hike

Lorry drivers nationwide have blocked a number of federal and state roads to protest against the hike in fuel prices. Demonstrators set up roadblocks on Tuesday morning after the government announced a significant increase in the fuel taxation. The move comes as the government aims to garner extra R$10bn to invest in social and government programmes amid Brazil's hampering austerity levels.

Eight killed in violent road crash in Barbacena, Minas Gerais

Eight people have been killed and six others were injured in a road crash in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. The accident happened on Sunday evening along the BR-040 federal highway near Barbacena. The collision happened when a car crashed into a bicycle and crossed to the other lane, where it collided with a van belonging to a local social group. Road accidents in Brazil often lead to a high number of casualties, mainly due to poor road conditions and reckless driving.

Minister expects criminal retaliation over new security approach

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann has revealed new measures to fight hampering criminality levels in Rio. Jungmann said that he will take a step away from intense police presence in Rio's areas of risk and opt for an alternative approach involving the direct efforts of intelligence personnel and inter-agency cooperation. He also underlined the fact that the move will likely trigger a series of retaliatory attacks from gangs through armed incursions across Rio's urban areas.

Six inmates killed in violent prison riot in Jussara, Goias

At least six inmates have died when a violent prison riot broke out on Wednesday evening in Goias, central Brazil. According to the police, the incident happened when criminals attacked the guards and set a detention facility on fire in Jussara. Eight inmates are believed to have escaped from the prison, while the authorities are investigating what motivated the incident. Riots in Brazilian prisons are usually triggered by clashes between rival criminals factions and, in most cases, violence spread to the cities through deadly retaliatory attacks.

Criminals target cash-in-transit vehicle in Maranhao

At least five heavily armed criminals attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle in the rural area of Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when guards were ambushed along a road near Bom Jesus das Selvas. According to the police, the assailants used explosives to open the vehicle before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. Cash-in-transit vehicles and ATMs are often targeted in Brazil's isolated rural areas, mainly due to the lack of police patrolling units.

Taxi drivers stage anti-Uber protest in Rio

Hundreds of taxi drivers took to the streets on Thursday morning to protest against app-based transport services in Rio. Demonstrators drove across major roads across the city, while a brief roadblock was erected on the access to Santos Dumond Airport (SDU) where protesters set a barricade on fire. The move comes in a renewed attempt to pressure the government to regulate Uber and Cabify operations in the city.

Mayor assassinated in drive-by shooting in Tucurui, Para

The mayor of Tucurui, northern Brazil's Para state, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday afternoon. Jones William was visiting the city's airport construction site when two suspects on a motorcycle opened fire at him and his assistant. A special team was deployed from the state capital Belem to Tucurui to investigate the murder and reinforce security in the area. This is the third mayor killed in Para since 2016.

Armed Forces to be deployed ahead of Amazonas elections

President Michel Temer has authorised the deployment of the Armed Forces to beef up security ahead of regional elections in Amazonas, northern Brazil. Elections for state governor are scheduled to take place on 06 August, several months after Former Amazonas Governor Jose Melo was ousted from office due to electoral irregularities. Security is expected to be reinforced around voting sites in major cities such as the state capital Manaus, Itacotiara and Parintins.

Five-year-old girl shot dead in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul

A five-year-old girl has been shot dead after being hit by a stray bullet in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul. The victim was inside her home in the Simoes Lopes neighbourhood when she was hit in the chest. Emergency services rushed to the scene, but she succumbed to her wounds moments later at the hospital. According to the police, the incident happened after criminals opened fire during a retaliatory attack.

Police officer's death sparks protests in Rio

A 46-year-old police officer has been killed when a shooting broke out on Sunday in southern Rio. Police Sergeant Hudson Silva Araujo was shot when patrolling the Morro do Vidigal community, a popular touristic hub located near Sao Conrado and Leblon. An operation was launched in the area, where three suspects were identified. Dozens of police officers' relatives took to the streets on Monday to protest the deaths of more than 90 police officers killed in Rio since the start of 2017.

Thousands march to support former president Lula da Silva

Thousands of protesters marched on the streets of Sao Paulo to support Brazil's Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Supporters gathered on Thursday evening along the Avenida Paulista, near Sao Paulo's Arts Museum (MASP). Minor rallies also took place in Belo Horizonte, Rio, Porto Alegre and Fortaleza. The demonstration was endorsed by the opposition Workers' Party (PT) and several syndicates. The march was called after a federal judge froze Lula's assets and sentenced him to spend almost 10 years in prison over his involvement in a bribery scheme.

Lawyer kidnapped in Araguaina, Tocantins

A 27-year-old criminal lawyer was briefly kidnapped on Tuesday afternoon in Tocantins, northern Brazil. Ludmila Borges was leaving her office in Araguaina when a suspect approached her and requested an appointment. Once inside the office, she was attacked and drugged before being abducted. Locals found the victim with her hands and legs tied near her vehicle, which was abandoned along the TO-416 road near Riachinho. A police investigation was launched, while the Brazil's Lawyers Organisation (OAB) condemned the attack.

Doctor kidnapped near Rio's Federal University

A medical doctor has been the victim of an express-kidnapping near Rio's Federal University (UFRJ) in Ilha do Fundao. Five armed criminals approached the victim in the city's university quarter on Wednesday afternoon, where he was taken from his car and dragged to another vehicle before being robbed and later released. In March, four students were kidnapped for nearly three hours in the same area, where criminals forced them to withdraw money and make purchases on their credit cards.

Federal judge freezes Lula da Silva's assets

A ruling from a federal judge has frozen the assets belonging to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The decision to freeze Lula's properties and cars - believed to account for around $4.3m - will serve as a guarantee regarding financial damages caused by the corruption scandal involving the state-owned Petrobras. Lula da Silva was sentenced last week to nine-and-half years in prison for receiving bribes from the Brazilian engineering company OAS.

Police officer killed in attack on UPP base in Rio

A police officer has been killed and another injured when criminals attacked a Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) in northern Rio. Bruno Santos de Azevedo was killed when heavily armed men, presumedly from the Mangueira community, near the Maracana Stadium, stormed the UPP Telegrafo base on Monday morning. Special operations officers were deployed to the area, where intense shootings broke out. So far in 2017, nearly 90 police officers have been killed in Rio.

Robbery attempt triggers violent shooting in Rio

Dozens of people were forced to abandon their vehicles and seek cover during a violent shootout in Rio. Preliminary reports suggest that criminals attempted to carry out a large-scale robbery along the Linha Vermelha (Red Line) on Sunday evening. Shooting erupted when the police rushed to the area near the Complexo da Mare community and clashed with heavily armed criminals. Shootouts often occur around several areas of the Red Line, usually during police operations or clashes between rival criminals factions.

Congressional committee rejects President corruption trial

A congressional committee has rejected a report which recommended President Michel Temer to be tried by the Supreme Court on corruption charges. Temer is being accused of receiving bribes from executives of the meatpacking firm JBS. This is a non-binding vote, as the final decision is scheduled to be settled in the lower house of Congress in early August. The accusations come after a presidential aide was arrested last May in Brasilia with a suitcase full of cash believed to be a share of payments destined to Temer.

Football supporter stabbed to death in Sao Paulo

A 38-year-old football fan has been killed in clashes with rival supporters in Sao Paulo. The incident happened overnight on Wednesday after Palmeiras received Corinthians at Allianz Parque Stadium. Leandro de Paula Zanho was stabbed during an altercation with a group of Corinthians supporters in Barra Funda neighbourhood. The incident came days after another football fan was shot dead in a violent post-match incident in Rio.

Former President Lula da Silva convicted of corruption

Former President Luis Inacio Lula da SIlva has been convicted of corruption and money laundering amid the 'Car Wash' investigations. A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Lula was condemned to serve up to nine-and-half years in prison for his involvement in a widespread bribery scheme involving the construction company OAS and the state-owned petrol company Petrobras. Meanwhile, Lula will remain free due to a pending appeal. After the decision, hundreds of Lula supporters stormed the Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo, while further protests are expected across major Brazilian cities.

Protests expected as Senate approves labour reforms bill

Senators have approved the final phase of the controversial labour reforms bill. After a tense 22-hour session, the bill garnered 50 votes in favour and 26 against - one Senator abstained. The new legislation will now head to be sanctioned by President Michel Temer. Most of the bill's points regard collective agreements, benefits, holidays and syndical contributions. Fresh protests are expected nationwide as demonstrators claim that such measures will reduce job security and labour rights.

Campesino leader shot dead in Rio Maria, Para

A prominent campesino leader has been assassinated in Para, northern Brazil. According to police reports and the NGO Justica Global, Rosenildo Pereira Almeida was killed in a drive-by shooting near Rio Maria, where he was reportedly hidden after receiving continuous death threats. Almeida was the leader of the occupation to Fazenda Santa Lucia in Pau D'Arco, where 10 landless settlers were killed during clashes with the police in late-May.

Criminals kidnap bank treasurer in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

A treasurer of the state-owned Caixa Economica Federal bank has been kidnapped along with her family in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. According to the Federal Police (PF), the victim, her husband and two daughters were abducted in Copacabana neighbourhood on Monday. Preliminary investigations suggest that criminals aimed to get access to her branch's safe as an exchange to her family's release. The action was later suppressed and the victims released near Sete Lagos, outskirts of Belo Horizonte.

Football fan killed during violent clashes in Rio

A 27-year-old man has been killed and three others sustained gun wounds when rival football supporters clashed after a derby match in Rio. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon just moments after a match between Vasco da Gama and Flamengo for the national championship. Clashes spread into the streets outside the stadium in Sao Cristovao, where the victim was shot in the chest when a gunfight broke out. Preliminary reports revealed that violence escalated when home-team supporters exploded homemade rockets at the Sao Januario pitch after Vasco lost the match. 

Man found dead after kidnap in Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais

A 44-year-old farmer has been kidnapped and killed in Minas Gerais, south-western Brazil. Cleiton Fernandes Silva was abducted when three armed men approached his residence in Ituiutaba on Wednesday morning. Silva's body was found a day later in an abandoned area in Campina Verde. The police are following several lines of investigation, while the kidnapping motives remain unclear. People linked to the agricultural business in the Brazilian countryside are often targetted in kidnappings and violent robberies.

Robberies reported along Rio's Tijuca Park trails

Local authorities have reported that dozens of people have been attacked in a recent wave of robberies at the Tijuca National Park in Rio. The Park's 3.8-kilometre trail between Parque Lage and Corcovado recently faced a surge in the number of robberies targeting tourists. Last week, a Polish man was injured after reacting to a robbery attempt, just days after another tourist couple was targeted on the same route. It is advised to remain vigilant at all times and to avoid carrying valuables along Rio's numerous trails. In the event of an attack - do not react, as criminals are often armed and may resort to violence.

Four killed during robbery at religious centre in Pernambuco

Four people were killed and eight others were injured during a robbery attempt on a religious centre in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. According to the police, criminals headed to the centre in the outskirts of Recife and opened fire at the end of a meeting on Wednesday evening. Among the casualties is a police officer who responded to the robbery. North-eastern Brazil presents one of the highest homicide rates in the country, as robberies are often violent and deadly.

Young girl shot dead during violent standoff in Rio

A 10-year-old girl was killed on Tuesday after she was hit by a stray bullet in Rio. Vanessa Santos was shot during an armed standoff between criminals and the Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) at the Complexo do Lins community, northern Rio. The incident happened days after a pregnant woman was collaterally shot in the stomach - severely injuring her unborn baby - during a fierce gunfight in Duque de Caxias. Shootings in Rio's favelas are common and often lead to a high number of collateral casualties. 

Four killed in small plane crash near Boa Vista, Roraima

Four people were killed on Monday when a single-engine plane crashed in Roraima, northern Brazil. Authorities reported that the plane was carrying out services for the Environmental Brazilian Institute (IBAMA) near Boa Vista area when it crashed during take off. The plane was operated by Paramazonia, which recorded a similar incident weeks ago near Roraima's Catrimani River.

Former minister arrested for obstructing investigations

Former minister Geddel Vieira Lima was arrested on Monday over alleged irregularities involving the state-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal. Lima is suspected of disrupting the investigations in a previous Federal Police (PF) operation regarding the illegal release of public funds to private corporations, including to the J&S Investimentos - the former chief of which recently cut a plea bargain which led to President Michel Temer's criminal charges last week. Lima was Temer's Government Minister and one of his closest allies, but resigned last November over corruption allegations.

Most wanted drug kingpin arrested in Sorriso, Mato Grosso

The Federal Police (PF) has arrested Luiz Carlos da Rocha, one of the most wanted drug traffickers in South America. Rocha, also known as 'White Head', was arrested in Sorriso, Mato Grosso state, after spending nearly 30 years as a fugitive. Rocha headed one of the biggest international cocaine trade syndicates in South America and was one of the main drug suppliers to violent domestic criminal groups. His arrest came as part of the Operation Spectrum, which also targeted 19 other suspects and led to the seizure of more than US$10 million in assets. 

Hundreds march against favela violence in Rio

Hundreds of people stormed the streets of Copacabana Beach to protest against violence in Rio's favelas. Demonstrators marched through the main strip of the city's southern area to demand that authorities tackle the increasing wave of deadly shootings in Rio's communities, often blamed on daily police raids. The march was called after a 76-year-old woman was killed along with her daughter in a police shooting in Morro da Mangueira community. Rights groups previously raised concerns of extra-judicial killings in Rio's most neglected areas, where violent shoot-outs also lead to a high number of collateral casualties.

Police launch massive anti-corruption operation in Sao Goncalo, Rio

Brazil's Civil Police launched a massive anti-corruption crackdown on military police officers and drug traffickers in Rio. The operation labelled 'Calabar' mobilised more than 600 officers to fulfil nearly 200 arrest warrants. Most of the warrants are targeted at military police officers from a station in Sao Goncalo, Rio's Metropolitan Area. The operation, endorsed by the Public Ministry, came after a plea bargain by one of the officers involved in the scheme, which demanded bribes from local drug traffickers.

Unions call nationwide strike against labour reforms

Several workers' syndicates have called a nationwide strike against President Michel Temer's labour and pension reforms on Friday. Teachers, bankers and oil workers are confirmed to take part in the mobilisation. Most state capitals will face demonstrations during the whole day. In Rio, demonstrators are expected to gather in Centro neighbourhood near the Candelaria Church at 17:00, local time, while in Sao Paulo, demonstrators will gather near the MASP in Paulista Avenue. The move comes one day after a Senate working group approved a key phase on the labour reforms bill.

Senate working group approve labour reform bill

The controversial labour reform bill has passed another phase after being approved by a Senate working group on Wednesday. The proposed bill will now head to its last voting phase at the Senate. The bill was overwhelmingly approved in April in the lower house of Congress, which sparked a wave of nationwide protests. Most of the bill's points regard collective agreements, benefits and holidays - reforms which the government claims are necessary to ease the country's deep economic crisis and ensure better juridical guarantees to both workers and employers. 

Raquel Dodge nominated Brazil's next General Attorney

President Michel Temer nominated Raquel Dodge as the new Republic's General Attorney (PGR). The decision was officially announced on Thursday after an internal vote in the Republic Attorney National Association (ANPR), where Dodge was the second most voted. Usually, the president chooses the first name on a list of the three most voted candidates. Dodge is replacing Rodrigo Janot, who is set to end his term in September. The nomination came just days after the PGR indicted Temer for corruption at the Supreme Federal Court (STF).

Police report increase on express kidnappings

A significant increase in the number of express kidnappings - where the victim is held for a short period of time - has been reported in Sao Paulo. State authorities told Globo News that most victims are attacked when they are distracted, often while leaving their homes or vehicles. Criminals often force their victims to withdraw money from ATMs and steal their credit cards. The police said that such incidents became recurrent due to the surge of emerging criminal factions in Sao Paulo. It is advised to remain vigilant at all times, especially near ATMs and isolated areas in the city.

Prosecutor to indict President Michel Temer for corruption

The Republic's General Prosecutor (PGR) is set to indict President Michel Temer for corruption. PGR's chief Rodrigo Janot will present to the Supreme Federal Court (STF) a request to investigate Temer's involvement with bribery schemes linked to the Brazilian meat producer JBS. Temer has been implicated in JBS's former chief Joesley Batista plea bargain. He is also being accused of abuse of power and justice obstruction along with his special aide Rodrigo Rocha Loures. The indictment first has to be approved by the lower house of Congress before proceeding to the STF. The move comes just days after Temer was cleared in an electoral campaign trial.

Former finance minister sentenced to 12 years in prison

Brazil's Former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci has been sentenced to 12 years in prison amid the 'Car Wash' investigations. Palocci was charged with corruption and money laundering regarding widespread bribery schemes linked to the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht. He was a minister to both Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva administrations. Twelve others were also sentenced by federal judge Sergio Moro, including Odebrecht's former president Marcelo Odebrecht, who was sentenced to 10 years due to a plea bargain.

US suspend all fresh beef imports from Brazil

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday a temporary ban on all Brazilian beef imports. The measure came after the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) refused entry to a staggering 11 percent of Brazilian beef shipments into the country due to sanitary concerns - the usual rate is one percent. In March, several countries worldwide also suspended Brazilian beef imports after the Federal Police launched the Operation Weak Flesh, which revealed irregularities in sanitary certificates issued in six Brazilian states.

Paraguayan police warn of potential PCC attack in Mato Grosso do Sul

Paraguayan authorities warned the Brazilian police of a potential attack to be carried out by members of the First Capital Commando (PCC) group. In a communique, Paraguayan authorities revealed that the PCC is carrying out recruitment in Paraguay to launch a major operation to target an undisclosed Banco do Brasil branch in Ponta Pora or Dourados, both located in Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul state. The alert comes just months after suspected PCC militants stole $30m from a cash-in-transit company in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Shooting break out at Sao Luiz International Airport, Maranhao

A postal worker has been injured when two armed criminals robbed a post office in Maranhao, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened on Thursday morning when the assailants raided the store located at Sao Luiz International Airport (SLZ). A shooting broke out when police officers approached the assailants, who fled the scene just moments later. North-eastern Brazilian states present a very high rate of criminality, where most robberies tend to be violent.

Deadly road crash kills at least 21 in Espirito Santo

At least 21 people have been killed when several vehicles collided in Espirito Santo, south-western Brazil. The accident happened in the early hours of Thursday when a loaded lorry, a passenger bus and two other vehicles crashed along the BR-101 highway near Guarapari. Most victims burnt to death after the bus caught on fire. Traffic police fear that the death toll is likely to increase. Bus accidents in Brazil often lead to a high number of casualties, mainly due to poor road safety regulations and reckless driving.

Uber driver shot dead during robbery in Sao Paulo

A driver of the app-based taxi service Uber has been shot dead during a car theft in Sao Paulo. Alan Teixeira da Silva was shot dead on Monday evening when two armed men approached his vehicle in the Jardim Brasil neighbourhood. Both suspects fled the scene in the victim's vehicle. Successive attacks on Uber drivers have been reported in Brazil's major urban centres, especially at night.

Priest briefly taken during car theft in Setiba, Espirito Santo

A 59-year-old priest has been briefly kidnapped during a car theft in Espirito Santo, south-eastern Brazil. The attack happened in the city of Guarapari on Tuesday afternoon when three criminals approached the victim while he was heading to his vehicle. He was taken for several minutes before being released on the outskirts of Setiba area.

Nearly a dozen killed in bus crash near Salinas, Minas Gerais

At least 11 people have been killed and 19 others injured when a bus crashed in Minas Gerais, south-western Brazil. The accident happened in the early hours of Monday on the BR-251 highway near Salinas. Emergency services revealed that the bus drove off the road and overturned. The motives of the crash remain unknown. Road accidents in Brazil involving buses often lead to a high number of casualties, mainly due to poor road conditions and reckless driving.

Police launch anti-drugs operation in western Rio

More than 160 officers took part in a police operation to arrest drug traffickers in western Rio. Intense shootings were reported on Monday afternoon when the military police stormed the Rola and Antares community in Santa Cruz. The operation comes just days after three buses were set on fire after residents took to the streets to protest the deaths of three suspects during another operation in Antares.

At least nine passengers killed in bus crash in Piaui

At least nine people have been killed and 18 others injured after a tourist bus crashed in Piaui, north-eastern Brazil. The accident happened on the BR-135 highway in the early hours of Saturday morning when the bus was en route to Sao Paulo. According to preliminary reports, the vehicle overturned whilst turning a sharp corner. Bus accidents in Brazil often lead to a number of casualties, mainly due to poor road conditions and a lack of safety regulations.

Six killed in car crash in Tocantins

Six people have been killed after a car and an ambulance collided in Tocantins state, northern Brazil. The accident happened on Saturday afternoon when both vehicles were travelling in opposite directions along the TO-020 highway between the state capital Palmas and Aparecida do Rio Negro. All of the victims were burnt to death after both vehicles caught on fire. Accidents in Brazilian regional highways often occur mainly due to poorly maintained roads and reckless driving.

Four injured in violent shooting in Santos, Sao Paulo

Four people have been injured in a violent standoff between police officers and criminals in Santos, Sao Paulo. The shooting broke out on Sunday afternoon when police officers were called to the Zona Noroeste area. Among the victims are three people and a police officer with non-life threatening injuries. The incident came just hours before 15 criminals set a bus on fire in the Vila Nova neighbourhood.

Man killed by stray bullet in western Rio

A 53-year-old man has been killed after he was hit by a stray bullet in western Rio. The victim was on his way back from a local church when clashes between rival factions broke out in the Bateau Mouche community. The incident happened just hours after a prison guard was also shot dead in northern Rio.

Hundreds of weapons stolen from courthouse in Diadema, Sao Paulo

Nearly 400 weapons have been stolen from a local courthouse in Diadema, Sao Paulo's Metropolitan region. Police revealed that nearly a dozen criminals stormed the building on Saturday evening, holding three security guards hostage. All of the weapons stolen were pieces of evidence in ongoing court cases. 

Police sergeant shot dead during robbery in Rio

A 55-year-old police sergeant has been shot dead during a car theft in Rio. Nilton Oliveira was off-duty when criminals approached him on Thursday evening in the Braz de Pina neighbourhood, Rio's northern area. Reports suggest that the victim reacted to the robbery before being shot at least a dozen times. Almost 80 police officers have already been killed in Rio since the start of the year.

Criminals explode ATM machine at city council, Goias

A powerful blast took place when criminals exploded an ATM machine in Goias, central Brazil. According to the police, shootings were also reported as at least six criminals stormed the Guapo's city council in the early hours of Friday. The incident comes less than a month after assailants blew up a house to release inmates from a nearby prison.

Three banks exploded by robbers in Rio Grande do Sul

At least nine blasts have been reported during a violent bank robbery in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. More than a dozen assailants stormed the streets of Encruzilhada do Sul to target three bank branches with explosives. Reports revealed that residents were ordered to form a human barrier during the raids. No one was injured despite two hostages being briefly taken during the escape. Small villages in Brazil are often the target of heavily armed criminals, mainly due to the lack of police presence.

Criminals set buses on fire in Salvador, Bahia

Criminals set two buses ablaze on Wednesday evening in Salvador, north-eastern Brazil's Bahia state. Preliminary reports suggest that the incident was a retaliation for the death of 15-year-old, who was killed after being released from prison. The victim was previously arrested for robbing passengers in the Ribeira neighbourhood. North-eastern Brazilian states present a very high homicide rate, usually linked to gang confrontation.

Three police officers injured in attack on UPP in Rio

Three police officers have been injured when criminals attacked a police station in central Rio. The attack happened in the early hours of Tuesday when assailants targeted a Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) on Morro da Providencia. The Police Special Operations Batallion (BOPE) was deployed to rescue the injured officers. The incident comes days after a violent shootout broke out on Morro da Providencia during a BOPE operation.

Temer cleared on electoral campaign trial

President Michel Temer has been cleared of accusations of irregularities in his 2014 presidential campaign, which he ran as VP along impeached President Dilma Rousseff. The Brazilian Electoral High Court (TSE) ruled on Friday in favour of Temer, claiming that there was no substantial evidence linking his campaign with bribery schemes. 

Police scrap drug addicts settlement in central Sao Paulo

Brazilan police have cleared the Cracolandia, an illegal drug addicts settlement in central Sao Paulo. The controversial operation was ordered by Sao Paulo's Mayor Joao Doria on Sunday. Social workers blame the government's approach of forcing crack users to head to rehabilitation centres. In recent months, tensions have been high after a massive operation was launched to clear the area around Princesa Isabel Square.

Protesters set bus on fire to erect roadblock in Rio

A bus was set on fire when residents erected roadblocks along the Avenida Brasil on Wednesday evening in Rio. The protest happened in Rio's northern area of Guadalupe community. Unconfirmed reports reveal that the demonstration was triggered by the death of a young man during a police operation earlier in the day. 

Five killed and several injured in bar shooting in Belem, Para

At least five people have been killed and nearly a dozen others injured in a bar shooting in Belem, northern Brazil's Para state. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in the Condor neighbourhood during a televised football match. Preliminary reports suggest that eight masked men stormed the crowded bar and opened fire. Joint investigations were launched to assess the motives for the attack, which remains unclear if it was gang-related.

Former minister arrested over stadium bribery scheme

Henrique Eduardo Alves, former tourism minister in the Michel Temer and Dilma Rousseff administrations, has been preventively arrested in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. Alves, who is an accomplice of former House speaker Eduardo Cunha, is accused of receiving bribes from investigated companies during the construction of the 2014 World Cup stadia. He stepped down from office in June last year after being named in the plea bargain of Transpetro's former president Sergio Machado.

High Court resumes trial on Dilma-Temer presidential campaign

The Electoral High Court (TSE) will resume on Tuesday in Brasilia the trial regarding alleged irregularities in President Michel Temer and impeached Dilma Rousseff 2014 presidential campaign. Both are facing accusations linked to a bribery scheme aimed to fund their campaign. The document was compiled by the opposition Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB), who seek to scrap the elections results over allegations of abuse of political and economic power. If they are found guilty, Dilma could lose her political powers, while Temer could be ousted from the presidency.

Thousands affected as heavy rains hit southern Brazil

Thousands of people have been affected as heavy rains hit southern Brazil. In Rio Grande do Sul state, 52 cities are under a state of emergency. More than 4,000 people were evacuated due to floods in locations along the Uruguay River. The BR-472 highway remains blocked while the bordering areas with Argentina were highly affected. In the neighbouring Santa Catarina state, 88 cities are under alert with 10,000 people were affected by the heavy downpour. Severe weather is expected to continue during the week across the region.

President special aide jailed in Brasilia

President Michel Temer's special aide Rodrigo Rocha Loures has been preventively jailed on Saturday. The prison was ordered by the Republic's Federal Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot and accepted by Supreme Court Minister Edson Fachin. Rocha Loures is blamed of handling a bag with R$500,000 ($154,000) on behalf of President Temer amid a 20-year contracted bribery scheme linked to the Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS.

Seven inmates killed at youth facility in Lagoa Seca, Paraiba

Seven inmates have been killed after a prison riot broke out in Paraiba, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened overnight on Saturday when nearly a dozen inmates managed to flee the Garoto Padre Otavio Santos youth facility in Lagoa Seca, near Campina Grande. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, the situation escalated when inmates stormed a rival faction ward. Violence in the Brazilian penitentiary system is recurrent. Since January, hundreds were already killed in several prison riots across the country triggered by rival criminal groups' confrontation.

State authorities warn over blood-sucking bats in Salvador, Bahia

Residents and tourists are being advised of risks linked to bites of blood-sucking bats in Salvador, Brazil's north-eastern Bahia state. The warning came after 40 rabies cases were reported and a 46-year-old farmer died in Bahia's countryside. It is highly advised to have rabies vaccines up to date when heading to risk areas. Also, to sleep with all windows shut during the night and seek immediate medical assistance if bitten.

Massive weapons cache seized at Rio's air cargo terminal

Dozens of high-calibre assault rifles have been seized at Rio's International Airport (GIG) from a shipment prevenient from Miami. Most weapons were AK-47 guns that were hidden inside pool heaters at the airport's cargo terminal. The weapons, which were reportedly acquired legally in the US, were believed to be directed to several drug-trafficking groups in Rio.

Meat-packing giant to pay massive fine over corruption scandal

The meat-packing giant JBS is set to pay a record fine reaching up to $3.2bn as part of a leniency deal linked to two corruption investigations. The fine was established by federal prosecutors who allowed JBS's owner, J&F Holdings, to pay within 25 years. The total fine value may increase over changes based on inflation rates. The scandal came ashore amid a plea bargain with J&F owners, Joesley and Wesley Batista, regarding the leak of an audio tape implying President Michel Temer.

Five killed in armed attack in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo

Five people have been killed and three others have been injured when criminals opened fire on a bar in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo. According to Estadao, at least 20 shots were fired during the attack. The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday in the Sao Joao neighbourhood, near Guarulhos International Airport (GRU). It remains unclear if the incident is gang-related.

Widespread flooding kills six

At least six people have been killed in widespread flooding throughout the north-eastern Alagoas and Pernambuco areas. Heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding and has also heightened the risk of landslides, prompting over 40,000 people to evacuate their homes and relocate to safer areas.

Ten killed in police-settler clashes

Ten people have been killed in clashes between settlers and police in the northern state of Para.  The Para Public Safety Department said nine men and a woman died after settlers opened fire on police in Santa Lucia, although the Pastoral Land Commission of the Catholic Church said the clash was sparked when officers tried to carry out forced evictions.  Last year more than 60 people were killed in similar land disputes in Brazil.

Violent anti-government protests hit Brasilia

Violent protests erupted in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, on Wednesday against President Michel Temer.  The army was deployed after protesters set fire to the ministry of agriculture and damaged other government buildings, leading to clashes between troops and the protesters.  One person was shot by a rubber bullet and seriously wounded, while another was hurt trying to throw an explosive device at riot police.  An estimated 35,000 people joined the rally in the capital to demand Temer's resignation and to call for fresh elections.

Presidential aide detained in World Cup stadium probe

A presidential aide has been detained in connection with the ongoing World Cup stadium probe. Tadeu Filippelli - special adviser to President Temer - has been arrested along with two others and is being held in police custody for questioning in relation to investigations into the overbilling in the construction of the 2014 World Cup stadium. It's believed that the overbilling was a product of bribery and corruption. 

Protesters rally against President Temer

Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Sunday to call for President Michel Temer to step down.  Unions, opposition groups and activists led the nationwide rallies after the supreme court opened an investigation into claims he endorsed hush money paid to a jailed lawmaker.  On Monday Temer told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper: "I will not resign. Oust me if you want, but if I stepped down, I would be admitting guilt." Temer has only been in office for a year following the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. 

Scores arrested in counter-narcotics operation

Around 40 people have been arrested in a massive counter-narcotics operations in Sao Paulo.  More than 900 police, many of them armed, carried out raids in the area known as 'cracolandia', where crack cocaine is widely sold.  The city's centre-right Mayor Joao Doria said the operation will be followed by redevelopment near the Luz train station.  "Crackland doesn't exist any more and it won't come back. The government won't allow it," said Mr Doria

Nationwide protests expected to take place

Nationwide protests are expected to take place over the next few weeks. The ongoing 'Car Wash' corruption scandal investigations have fuelled a widespread public disillusionment with the ruling government. Until recently, President Michel Temer was not attached to the investigations; however, recent allegations have blackened Temer's name, prompting rallies throughout the country calling for his resign over the scandal. Severe traffic disruption should be expected in most main towns and cities - particularly, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro.

President Michel Temer denies bribery allegations

The Brazilian president, Michel Temer, has denied allegations that he authorised bribes sent to a possible witness involved in the 'Car Wash' corruption inquiries. A significant portion of the government cabinet is involved in the investigations surrounding the large-scale corruption scandal. Temer has been accused of approving illicit payments to Eduardo Cunha - a former politician who may have been an incriminating key witness in the ongoing case and was jailed earlier this year for money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion. The allegations against the president have sparked protests in Brasilia and Sao Paulo calling for his resignation.

Police launch corruption probe in Agriculture Ministry

Brazilian federal police have launched an investigation into alleged corruption at the Agriculture Ministry.  Minister Blario Maggi said any officials implicated in the investigation would be "removed immediately".  Police said 36 search-and-seizure warrants have been issued in the states of Tocantins, Pará, São Paulo and Pernambuco, while 10 unnamed people would be arrested.  The probe is linked to the 'Weak Flesh' investigation, during which meat packaging companies were accused of making illegal payments to food sanitation inspectors.

Former President Lula da Silva reveal intentions to run for 2018 elections

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced on Wednesday intentions to run for the 2018 presidential elections. The Workers' Party (PT) leader called a rally in Curitiba, southern Brazil, after a five-hour hearing at a federal court on alleged corruption charges. Thousands of supporters gathered at Curitiba's Santos Andrade square along with impeached president Dilma Rousseff. Lula da Silva also blamed President Michel Temer's government for the country's current economic situation.

Former President Lula da Silva to appear in court

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to appear in court in Curitiba, southern Brazil, as he faces five corruption charges under the 'Car Wash' investigations. He is facing judge Sergio Moro on Wednesday, who is the main figure on the anti-corruption crackdown that sentenced several other senior politicians. Pro and anti-Lula protests are expected to take place in the city, while security measures were heightened ahead of his hearing.

Venezuelan indigenous tribes flee to Brazil amid political crisis

State authorities in the Brazilian Amazon declared a social emergency after hundreds of indigenous people fled across the border from Venezuela. More than 400 Warao natives fled northern Venezuela's Orinoco Delta region amid the country's current political situation. Hundreds also migrated to northern Brazil's Roraima state. Due to Venezuela's economic and political crisis, thousands are fleeing the country to neighbouring nations.

Vehicles set ablaze during robbery in Rio Grande do Sul

A violent robbery targeting a cash-in-transit vehicle took place on Monday afternoon in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. The incident happened near Caxias do Sul along the BR-116 highway, where heavily armed criminals opened fire on the guards. Two civilians have been collaterally hit during the shooting, while the cash-in-transit truck was destroyed and two other vehicles set on fire.

Gang targeting tourists dismantled in Copacabana, Rio

A gang targeting tourists has been dismantled by the Civil Police in Rio. The group operated along the touristic Copacabana beach and opportunistically targeted distracted tourists posing as beach sellers. Most robberies involved several criminals who would distract the victims while others robbed their belongings. The action is not limited to the beach and also may target visitors along pedestrian areas.  It is advised to be aware of the surroundings at all times and never react to robbery attempts, as robbers may be armed.

Petrobras top executives detained under Car Wash investigations

Two top former executives of the state-owned oil company Petrobras have been detained on Thursday under the Car Wash investigations. Marcio de Almeida Ferreira and Mauricio de Oliveira Guedes are being accused of taking more than R$100m ($31m) in bribes. Investigators revealed that more executives are implicated through phone taps and other evidence. The main accusation is against Ferreira, who attempted to launder millions from an off-shore account in the Bahamas.

Eight arrested over planning terror attack in Rio's 2016 Olympics

Eight Brazilian nationals have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison over a terrorist plot during Rio's 2016 Olympic Games. A court in Curitiba convicted the men for online recruitment and promoting terrorism through videos published by the Islamic State (IS). The plot included a potential attack on foreign nationals and other minorities during the games. 

Five killed during police operation in Rio

Five people were killed during a police operation on Thursday at Rio's Complexo do Alemao community. According to the authorities, four criminals and a civilian were killed in the stand-off. Several high-calibre weapons and a significant amount of drugs were also seized. The operation was led by the Police Special Operations Unit (BOPE) after criminals attacked Police Pacifying Units (UPP) in the area.

Three shot during kidnap attempt near Recife, Pernambuco

Three people have been shot after a kidnap attempt ended up in armed clashes near Recife, Brazil's north-eastern Pernambuco state. The incident happened as two criminals abducted a 56-year-old man in Cabo de Santo Agostinho. Both suspects and the victim were shot during a police pursuit near Portezinha area. The incident comes weeks after another victim was targeted in an express-kidnapping in Olinda.

Criminals explode two banks in Tamandare, Pernambuco

Two bank branches have been completely destroyed as criminals unleashed terror on the streets of Tamandare, Brazil's north-eastern Pernambuco state. According to the police, nearly 20 criminals in two vehicles raided the banks overnight on Tuesday. Both vehicles were found abandoned at a beach, where the suspects fled the scene on a motorboat. Since the start of 2017, Pernambuco experienced several attacks to banks and ATMs involving explosives.

Criminals set eight vehicles on fire in Rio

Eight vehicles - mostly buses - were set ablaze in separate locations across Rio on Tuesday. Traffic around the Avenida Brasil and Linha Vermelha (Red Line) had been heavily disrupted as major access roads were blocked. According to Globo, the attacks came after a rival criminal faction invaded the Cidade Alta community in northern Rio. The action triggered a police operation, which led to the arrest of 26 people.


A dozen natives injured amid land dispute in Maranhao

Over a dozen indigenous men have been severely injured when farmers reportedly attacked them in Maranhao state, north-eastern Brazil. The group, part of the Gamela community, was targeted by armed ranchers on Sunday, days after occupying land they claim as their territory in Viana. Dictatorial-era territorial disputes often lead to violence between indigenous communities and large landowners. Last week, protests escalated as natives gathered around the Congress in Brasilia to demand land rights protection in the Amazon.

Ongoing general strike affects major urban areas nationwide

All 25 Brazilian states and the Federal District are experiencing severe disruptions due to an ongoing general strike. Road blockades, limited public transport services and widespread clashes have been reported in major Brazilian cities. Airports are also facing disruptions. Flights information should be acquired from the respective airline or INFRAERO. It is advised to remain vigilant and be aware that protests may suddenly become violent. The general strike comes as the government announced reforms to the country's pension plan. 

Thousands to protest retirement reform bill nationwide

Widespread protests are scheduled to take place nationwide on Friday 28 April. Muti-sector syndicates, workers and associations are endorsing a general strike against the government's retirement reform plans. In Rio, protests are set to gather along Copacabana, while in Sao Paulo demonstrators will gather around the Largo da Batata. Severe disruptions on public transports and traffic are expected. On Wednesday the Congress lower house approved the first step of the labour reform bill aimed to tackle Brazil's deep recession.

Lower house approves controversial labour reform bill

Brazil's lower house of Congress approved on Wednesday the first draft on the labour reforms proposed by President Michel Temer's government to ease the country's deep economic crisis. Most points regard collective agreements, benefits and holidays. The bill comes before the vote on the controversial pension's reform bill, which triggered nationwide protests led by public servants.

Youngster killed during protest in Morro do Alemao, Rio

A 16-year-old has been killed during a protest in the Morro do Alemao community in Rio. The victim was shot when the police raided the Nova Brasilia area to suppress demonstrators gathered to protest the death of another youngster. On Monday, a 13-year-old was killed by a stray bullet during a shooting between criminals and a Nova Brasilia Police Pacification Unit (UPP).

Driver targeted in express-kidnapping in Santos, Sao Paulo

A 63-year-old driver has been targeted in an express kidnapping - when the victim is held for a short period of time - in Santos, Sao Paulo. The victim is a driver for an app-based service and was targeted by a criminal posing as a passenger near a mall in Aparecida neighbourhood. The victim was taken to Nova Cintra community where he was robbed and locked in the car's boot. The police were suspicious of the vehicle and engaged in a car chase followed by intense shootings. The victim told Globo, that the criminal proclaimed to be a member of the First Capital Comando (PCC).

Protests escalate as natives gather in Brasilia

Thousands of indigenous people gathered around the Congress in Brasilia to demand government protection of land rights in the Amazon. The protest, which started peacefully, escalated following an alleged security perimeter breach. Clashes erupted forcing the police to fire tear gas and rubber bullets while protesters responded with spears and arrows. The demonstration came amid the Indigenous Week, where indigenous tribes claim land-rights guarantees concerning the industrial and agricultural industry.

Fierce clashes erupt as police installs tower in Rio's community

Three people were killed and five others were injured in less than four days as Brazilian authorities attempted to erect a surveillance tower in Rio's Alemao community. Streets across the community remain empty due to fierce clashes between the police and criminals. Since February, Alemao has been facing increasing violence after the authorities invaded three houses to form provisory police bases. 

Federal Police target Paraguayan robbery suspects in Parana

The Federal Police (PF) targeted eight suspects linked to the millionaire robbery at a cash-in-transit company in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. An operation launched on Tuesday led to the death of three suspects and the arrest of five others. Most arrests took place across western Parana's Itaipulandia and Santa Helena, while shootings erupted in Sao Miguel do Iguacu. It is believed that 50 criminals took part in Monday's cross-border attack, where a police officer was killed and $40m was stolen.

Nine rural workers assassinated in Mato Grosso

Nine rural workers have been slaughtered during a massacre in Mato Grosso, western Brazil. Local police told Globo that the victims were assassinated by masked men at a rural settlement in Colniza. Authorities believe the attacks were motived by land disputes, which are recurrent due to the region's ongoing agrarian conflicts involving rural workers and large land-owners.

Strong explosion ravages bank in Ipanema, Rio

A bank has been blown up by criminals in the early hours of Friday morning in southern Rio. The incident happened at a Caixa Economica bank branch near Nossa Senhora da Paz Square in Ipanema. The branch was completely destroyed by a powerful blast as criminals fled the scene before the police arrived. The incident comes just days after three banks were hit by explosions in Rio's Metropolitan area.

Criminals briefly abduct couple in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba

A couple were targeted in a kidnapping attempt while walking along the beach in Joao Pessoa in Brazil's north-eastern Paraiba state. Two armed criminals approached the victims and ordered them to hand over keys to their car. Both were put in the vehicle's boot but were released later when the car was abandoned in Quadramares neighbourhood. Criminality in north-eastern Brazil is recurrent and presents higher rates compared with other regions' urban centres.

Buses set ablaze during unrest in Fortaleza, Ceara

Two dozen vehicles - 17 buses and seven cars - were set ablaze on Wednesday across the streets of Fortaleza, Brazil's north-eastern Ceara state. Two police stations and a bank were also targeted as violence spread through Fortaleza's Metropolitan area. At a crime scene, assailants left a note demanding inmate transfers from prisons in Ceara. Since the beginning of 2017, criminal gangs operating in and outside prisons have spread violence across northern and north-eastern Brazil's major urban areas.

Shooting breaks out in robbery attempt in Rio

Criminals and police officers engaged in a shootout in Rio's Centro neighbourhood. The incident happened on Tuesday morning when at least four criminals attempted to rob a vehicle on Presidente Vargas Avenue and were approached by police officers. A bus was hit by at least two bullets. Despite no casualties being reported, shootings between the police and criminals often lead to stray bullet victims.

Businessman kidnapped and killed in Cacapava, Sao Paulo

A 47-year-old businessman has been kidnapped and killed following a suspect robbery attempt in Cacapava, Sao Paulo. According to the police, five heavily armed men stormed a countryside residence on Sunday evening and held the victim's family hostage before abducting him. The victim's body was found one day later with signs of torture in a field near the town.

Thousands protest pension reform bill in Brasilia

Thousands of police officers gathered outside the National Congress to protest President Michel Temer's pension reform bill. Protests escalated as dozens of people stormed the Congress and clashed with guards, leading to six arrests. The controversial bill is part of the government austerity measures aimed at easing the country's deep recession.

Scores arrested in Comando crackdown in Mato Grosso do Sul

Dozens of people have been arrested in a massive operation targeting the First Capital Comando (PCC) in Mato Grosso do Sul, south-western Brazil. Military police special forces targeted suspects mainly associated with drug trafficking, assassinations and kidnappings. The PCC is known for operating inside Brazilian prisons and spreading violence across major urban areas during territorial disputes with rival gangs.

Three banks targeted by robbers in Rio's metropolitan area

Three banks have been raided by criminals over the weekend across Rio's Metropolitan area. Criminals used explosives to blow up ATMs in Sao Joao de Meriti and Sao Cristovao, while in Vila Isabel at least 15 heavily armed men exploded a bank and engaged in fierce shootings with the police. No casualties were reported in the raids. The attacks come amid a surge in bank robberies using explosives in Rio's Metropolitan Area.

Elderly woman injured by stray bullet in Rio

A 78-year-old woman has been injured by a stray bullet during a shooting in Rio. The elderly woman was at a party when patrolling officers part of the Police Pacification Units (UPP) were attacked by criminals overnight on Sunday. Collateral casualties often occur when police officers and criminal groups engage in armed clashes in Rio's communities. 

Buses set ablaze as shooting triggers protest in Nova Iguacu, Rio

Three people have been injured, including a 20-month-old baby, in a shootout between police officers and criminals in Nova Iguacu, Rio's Metropolitan area. The shootout erupted on Friday evening when the police were warned of six heavily armed men in the region. The action triggered protests in the area, where seven buses were set ablaze by residents in the Madureira Road.

Supreme Court reveals World Cup stadium irregularities

Brazil's Supreme Court has revealed that alleged irregularities took place in the construction bid of 2014 World Cup stadiums. The revelations came amid a plea bargain testimony given by former Odebrecht executives as part of their settlement. Among the claims are the overpricing on the construction and renovation of six stadiums. Odebrecht's revelations have already implicated several high-level politicians since its president, Marcelo Odebrecht, was charged with corruption in 2015.

Couple targeted in express kidnapping in Jundiai, Sao Paulo

A couple has been targeted in an express kidnapping - when the victim is held for a short amount of time - in Jundiai, Sao Paulo. Three armed men targeted the couple and forced them to withdraw money from several ATMs across the city. The incident came after another couple was targeted on Friday in the nearby city of Piracicaba in a similar attack involving a car-jacking attempt.

Buses set ablaze and UPP station attacked in Rio

A station belonging to the Police Pacification Unit (UPP) has been attacked by gunshots in the Manguinhos community, Rio de Janeiro. The raid happened on Tuesday afternoon when armed criminals opened fire at the police station while, moments later, two buses were set ablaze. Preliminary information suggests that the attack happened as a retaliation to a previous police raid which arrested eight criminals in the area.

Peruvian couple abducted in robbery attempt in Sao Paulo

A Peruvian couple has been kidnapped and tortured during a robbery attempt in Sao Paulo. The victims were approached by armed men in the Penha neighbourhood, where they worked at a textile factory. Both were taken to an isolated warehouse and asked to reveal the location of the factory's safe. The factory's owner warned the police, who rushed to the scene and arrested three suspects.

Five inmates killed in Sinop prison riot, Mato Grosso

Five inmates were killed during a prison rebellion on Tuesday afternoon in Mato Grosso, western Brazil. Police officers headed to the prison in Sinop after clashes erupted while guards were carrying out cell inspections. It remains unclear if the confrontation was caused by disputes between rival factions. In early 2017 scores were killed in separate prison riots, where violence spread through the streets of Manaus, Boa Vista and Natal.

Eight cabinet members implicated in corruption probe

Eight members of President Michel Temer's cabinet are under investigation regarding allegations of receiving bribes and illegal donations from the construction conglomerate Odebrecht. The corruption probe ordered by Justice Edson Fachin also named dozens of lawmakers including the head of both congress houses and former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Couple kidnapped in car theft attempt in Mato Grosso do Sul

A couple was abducted on Monday evening from the streets of Mato Grosso do Sul, south-western Brazil. Three armed men approached the victim while they were leaving a pizzeria in Campo Grande. Criminals stole their pick-up truck and kidnapped the victims for more than seven hours. Police reports suggest the men were presumedly part of the First Capital Comando (PCC) and aimed to take the vehicle across the border to Paraguay.

Criminals raid home and kidnap businessman in Alagoas

A 24-year-old businessman was kidnapped when criminals stormed his residence in Alagoas, north-eastern Brazil. Henrique Ramos de Oliveira was severely beaten before being taken from his house in Sao Miguel dos Milagres. Preliminary investigations suggest that three men were responsible for the attack, while Oliveira remains missing. 

Criminals open fire on police station in Nova Iguacu, Rio

Two police officers were severely injured after criminals opened fire on a police station in Nova Iguacu, Rio's Metropolitan area. According to the authorities, six heavily armed men on motorcycles attacked the building located in Vila Belga neighbourhood. The incident came just moments after a police officer was shot during a robbery attempt in the Realengo area.

Police officer killed and four injured in Rio shooting

A police officer was killed and four other people were injured on Sunday when criminals attacked a patrol unit in Rio. The incident happened in the Sao Joao community where two suspects were approached during a police patrol. Since the start of 2017, 51 police officers have been killed in Rio.

Woman killed after mall kidnap in Contagem, Minas Gerais

A 39-year-old woman was killed after being kidnapped in Minas Gerais, south-western Brazil. The victim was abducted on Friday while working at a shopping centre in Contagem, near Belo Horizonte. According to the police, she was robbed and later killed by the criminals. Her body was found one day later near the national highway BR-040 in the Agua Branca neighbourhood. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the abduction.

Man robbed and kidnapped in Sinop, Mato Grosso

Heavily armed criminals kidnap a 26-year-old man in Mato Grosso, western Brazil. The victim was approached by three men in the northern area of Sinop, where he was taken to an undisclosed location on Friday evening. The assailants ordered him to withdraw money from several ATMs across the city before taking him to the Boa Esperanca neighbourhood. According to the police, the victim managed to flee captivity.

Man targeted in express kidnapping in Olinda, Pernambuco

A 43-year-old man has been abducted following a robbery attempt in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. The man was approached by three armed men near a supermarket on Saturday afternoon in Olinda, near Recife. The victim was taken for nearly three hours and released in the Limoeiro neighbourhood. 'Express kidnappings' usually occur when criminals rob their victims and order them to withdraw large amounts of money from local ATMs.

Ministry of health confirms 200 Yellow Fever deaths since outbreak

Brazil's ministry of health revealed on Friday that since the Yellow Fever outbreak started in December, more than 600 cases were confirmed along with 200 deaths. Most of the deaths and cases were recorded in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo states. The main risk areas are located in the countryside, where a vaccine is recommended at least 10 days prior departure.

Armed men storm school during police pursuit in Rio

Armed men stormed a primary school in Rio's northern area during a police pursuit on Wednesday afternoon. The incident happened in the Sao Cristovao neighbourhood forcing more than 400 children to be evacuated to a safe location inside the building. During a police search, the assailants robbed a vehicle and fled the scene. The incident comes just days after a 13-year-old was killed by a stray bullet at a school in Rio's Acari neighbourhood.

Supreme Court ban strike rights for security forces

Brazil's Federal Supreme Court (STF) has declared that the right for strike actions led by members and employees linked to security forces as unconstitutional. Judges revealed that police and fire services are essential to maintaining the country's order and remain of high public interest. In February, more than 130 people were killed when the streets of Vitoria, Espirito Santo, were left unguarded during a police strike.

WHO warn of spread of Yellow Fever to urban areas

The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed the risk of the further spread of Yellow Fever to urban areas along the Brazilian Atlantic coast. According to the report, several areas in Bahia state, including urban areas of Salvador, remain on alert. The warning also includes the urban areas of Campinas, Sao Paulo state, and the whole state of Rio de Janeiro, including its urban areas. The WHO has advised those travelling to risk areas to vaccinate at least 10 days prior to departure.

Three police officers killed in shootings in Rio

Three police officers were killed in separate incidents across Rio's Metropolitan area on Tuesday. The attacks happened when the police were carrying out operations in the municipalities of Japeri, Belford Roxo and Queimados, located north of the city. Since the start of 2017, 50 police officers have been assassinated in Rio.

Woman killed by stray bullet near Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul

A woman was killed by a stray bullet on Tuesday morning when criminals sprayed a vehicle with bullets near Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state. The 35-year-old victim was killed at a bus stop when a man and his 17-year-old son were targeted in Canoas. The motives of the attack remain unknown, but a preliminary investigation revealed that the man was previously targeted last year.

Nine killed in separate incidents in Sao Paulo

Two separate incidents across Sao Paulo have led to the death of nine people on Tuesday evening. In Campo Limpo neighbourhood, three people were killed and another person was injured in a drive-by shooting. Hours later, six people were shot dead when criminals raided a bar in the Jacana neighbourhood. It remains unclear if the crime was gang-related as the police launched an investigation to assess the motives of the attacks.

Buses set on fire to protest girl's death in Salvador, Bahia

Two buses were set on fire and traffic was blocked in Salvador, north-eastern Brazil's Bahia, during a protest on Monday evening. Demonstrators blocked the Paralela Avenue to protest the death of a seven-year-old killed by a stray bullet in Pernambues neighbourhood. The victim was reportedly killed during a police operation to target five armed suspects in the area.

Man killed at mall shooting in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo

Three people were shot when an armed criminal stormed a mall in Vila Velha, south-eastern Brazil's Espirito Santo state. The incident happened on Wednesday evening when the assailant raided the Boulevard Shopping's food court. Preliminary reports revealed that a 33-year-old man was killed after being shot at least 19 times and two others were collaterally injured. The shooting motives remain unknown.

Thousands march nationwide against economic reform

Thousands of protesters stormed the streets across Brazil to demonstrate against pension and economic reforms proposed by President Michel Temer's administration. Social movements endorsed the march against the outsourcing of some government jobs and reforms regarding pensions. The move comes as Temer aims to ease the burden on the country's two-year economic recession.

Former congress speaker sentenced to 15 years

Brazil's former lower congress house speaker, Eduardo Cunha, has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in prison. Cunha was sentenced for his involvement in bribery schemes reaching up to US$1.5 million, concerning contracts linked to the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Cunha was arrested in October as part of the 'Car Wash' investigations. 

School girl killed by stray bullet triggers protests in Rio

Protests were triggered after a 13-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet in Rio. Dozens of people blocked the roads across Acari neighbourhood on Thursday evening. According to the authorities, the girl was killed as criminals and the police engaged in a shootout near the school. As roads were blocked and protests escalated, criminals raided vehicles stuck in traffic along the Brasil Avenue. 

Six dead and scores injured in bus crash in Alagoas

At least six people have been killed and 45 others have been injured when two school buses collided in Alagoas, north-eastern Brazil. The accident happened along the AL-110 road near Junqueiro on Thursday, when nearly 70 students were coming from separate school trips to and from Arapiraca. Accidents involving buses in Brazil's state roads are common - due to poor conditions and reckless driving - and often lead to a high number of casualties.

President Michel Temer's 2014 campaign under investigation

Judges of the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) are set to initiate proceedings regarding alleged funding irregularities in President Michel Temer's electoral campaign in 2014. The ticket - in which Temer ran as Dilma Rousseff's VP - is implicated to have received illegal funds from the Odebrecht during the campaign. The process may force Temer to step down from office.

Two buses raided by criminals in Rio

Two passenger buses were raided on Wednesday evening by criminals in Rio. Both attacks happened on the President Dutra road in Sao Joao de Meriti. More than 30 people were robbed, while all suspects were later arrested. Large scale robberies on Rio's buses often occurs, especially at night.

Rio's Legislative Assembly President targeted in Car Wash investigations

Rio's Legislative Assembly President Jorge Picciani was brought in for questioning after being implied in the long-running Car Wash investigations. Picciani and five other members of the state audit office were part of the warrants issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ). In total, there are more than 43 warrants concerning the illegal payment of delayed public contracts. 

State of emergency extended due to drought in Rio Grande do Norte

More than 150 cities in Rio Grande do Norte, north-eastern Brazil, had their state of emergency extended for an additional six-month period. The announcement was made on Thursday for the eighth time since the state was hit by a widespread drought. Water shortages and the state's agricultural activities have been highly affected, where overall damages are expected to reach nearly R$ 4 billion (US$ 1.3 billion).

Landless' Movement activist shot dead at hospital in Para

A senior member of the Brazilian Landless' Movement (MST) has been assassinated when armed criminals stormed a hospital in Para state, northern Brazil. Local authorities told Folha that five armed men raided the hospital overnight on Monday. The attack happened while Waldomiro Costa Pereira was recovering from gunshot wounds - from a previous attack on his farm - at the Parauapebas General Hospital. 

Dozens held hostage during bus robbery in Rio

More than 30 passengers were held hostage during the robbery of a bus in Rio. The raid happened on Tuesday morning when an armed criminal stormed a bus on the bridge connecting to Niteroi. Police and emergency services rushed to the scene while the stalemate lasted for nearly one hour. The robber was later arrested and taken for questioning along with the bus driver and some passengers.

WHO recommends yellow fever vaccine in Rio and Sao Paulo states

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that travellers in rural areas in the states of Rio and Sao Paulo get yellow fever vaccinations. The warning does not apply to major urban areas of the states - such as the capitals. The recommendation comes just days after one person died in Rio's countryside. The areas of most concern are the ones bordering Minas Gerais state, where the outbreak initially took place.

Police officer assassinated in Japeri, Rio de Janeiro

An off-duty police officer has been killed when ambushed by criminals in Rio's metropolitan area. Police reports revealed that Ely Barbosa was shot at least six times on Monday morning when heading to his relatives home in Japeri's Santa Amelia community. The assassination comes after another police officer was killed in the Engenho de Dentro area after reacting to a robbery on Saturday.

Heavy rains trigger flooding and landslides in Santos, Sao Paulo

Strong rains triggered flooding and landslides over the weekend across Santos's metropolitan area, Sao Paulo. At least eight cities were affected after heavy downpours blocked roads and trapped residents along the coastal areas. No casualties have been reported so far; however, widespread damage forced the deployment of Civil Defense officers as the weather alert was heightened. 

Girl killed during shooting in Salvador, Bahia

A six-year-old girl has been shot dead during a shooting in Salvador, north-eastern Brazil's Bahia state. The incident happened on Friday evening in the Sao Caetano neighbourhood when the victim was hit by a stray bullet. On Saturday morning, protests erupted along the BR-324 road over the girl's death. Authorities are investigating the shooting, which took place during a police operation in the area. 

Uber driver stabbed during car-jacking in Santos, Sao Paulo

An Uber driver has been severely beaten during a car-jacking in Santos, Sao Paulo. The driver was ambushed while taking two customers to the city's central area. Police reports suggest the victim was stabbed several times before the criminals took his car, which was later located in Praia Grande. Three suspects were arrested. Successive attacks on Uber drivers have been reported in Brazil's major urban centres, especially at night. 

Seven men shot in renewed attack in Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro

Three men were killed and four others injured when criminals stormed a house in Sao Goncalo, Rio's metropolitan area. The incident was reported on Friday morning when armed men raided a residence in the Abacatao community in Boa Vista. The motives for the attack were not yet disclosed by the authorities. The attack comes just days after four victims were gunned down in Sao Goncalo's Lindo Parque neighbourhood.

Shootings erupt as criminals raid bank in Sao Paulo state

Several explosions were reported after criminals raided a bank branch overnight in Aguai, Sao Paulo state. At least 10 assailants stormed the small village - located in the state's countryside - to target the bank's safe. A police car was sprayed with bullets as criminals fled the scene. The incident happened just days after a similar attack took place in the nearby village of Jarinu.

Massive operation targets fake sanitary certificates scheme

A massive nationwide police operation has taken place this morning into a corruption scheme involving regional branches of the Ministry of Agriculture. Hundreds of Federal Police (PF) officers took part in the operation to fulfil more than 300 warrants, including the prison of regional chiefs of the Ministry of Agriculture in Parana, Goias and Minas Gerais states. The action came after a two-year-long investigation led by the PF over bribery from slaughterhouses to acquire fake sanitary certificates for modified meat.

One killed and three injured in shootout in Sao Paulo

One person has been killed and three others have been injured during a shooting on Wednesday afternoon in Sao Paulo. According to the authorities, the incident was triggered during a high-speed pursuit of robbers in Roosevelt Square in the city centre. 

Ministry confirms hundreds of yellow fever cases in Minas Gerais

Brazil's Health Ministry confirmed nearly 400 yellow fever cases - including 134 deaths - across the country. Most cases were confirmed in Minas Gerais, while the neighbouring Espirito Santo state confirmed 89 cases. Rio de Janeiro state confirmed on Wednesday the first death caused by the disease in the rural area of Casimirio de Abreu. Travellers heading to vulnerable areas are advised to take the vaccination at least 10 days before departure. 

Prosecutor targets dozens in Car Wash investigations

Brazil's Supreme Court has been asked by the country's general prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, to open investigations to 83 Brazilian top politicians - whose names are yet to be revealed. The request comes amid the 'Car Wash' investigations, which initially involved bribery schemes at the state-owned Petrobras and later spread to the construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

Protests and strikes to take place across major Brazilian cities

Widespread protests are expected on Wednesday across major Brazilian cities during a national general strike day against labour and retirement reforms. In Sao Paulo and Rio, public transport services will suffer severe disruptions as workers have engaged in a 24-hour strike. In Brasilia, social movements and workers' syndicates are set to march through the streets of the capital. The main complaints are against President Michel Temer's retirement reforms.

Man killed in bus robbery in Feira de Santana, Bahia

A 56-year-old has been shot dead during an attempted robbery of a bus in the Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil. The vehicle was raided by three armed criminals who opened fire inside a public bus in the Sobradinho neighbourhood in Feira de Santana. The victim, who was an off-duty police officer, was shot multiple times. Three suspects were arrested. Feira de Santana has one of the highest murder rates in Brazil.

Five killed in nightclub shooting in Mossoro, Rio Grande do Norte

Five people have been killed and five others have been injured when criminals stormed a night club in Rio Grande do Norte, north-eastern Brazil. The attack happened on Saturday evening when four armed men raided the club in Mossoro's Bela Vista neighbourhood. The police are investigating if the incident is gang-related. North-eastern Brazil presents one of the highest homicide rates in the country, often triggered by territorial disputes and rows between criminal factions.

Heavily armed men explode bank safe near Sao Paulo

Heavily armed men have unleashed fear during an attack to a bank in Jarinu - a small village located between Sao Paulo and Campinas. The attack happened overnight on Sunday when criminals raided the branch and exploded the safe. Shooting erupted, while at least four criminals fled the scene. Explosive attacks on banks usually occur overnight - bank branches located in metropolitan areas of major cities are particularly targeted. 

Four men shot dead in Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro

Four men were shot dead on Saturday during a stand-off with criminals in Rio's metropolitan area. The incident happened as the victims tried to retrieve a stolen motorcycle in Lindo Parque neighbourhood in Sao Goncalo. When holding the assailants, another heavily armed group approached them and opened fire. Among the casualties was a police officer, who was attending a children's party with the victims.

Two killed in heavy storms in Rio Grande do Sul

Thousands of people were affected after heavy storms ravaged southern Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state on Sunday. The most affected area was Sao Francisco de Paula near the state's capital Porto Alegre. Two people were killed and scores injured as 500 houses were destroyed. On Sunday, the meteorological authority issued an orange alert to the state.

Women protest against President Temer's government

Thousands of women joined protests against Brazil's president, Michael Temer, after he made a speech to mark International Women's Day on Wednesday.  Temer praised his wife Marcela and other women in his life for everything they do "in the house, in the home and for their children," sparking allegations that his speech was sexist and presented an archaic view of women's role in society.  Other groups of rural workers also protested against the continued austerity measures imposed by the current government.

Dozens of homes ravaged by a massive fire in Sao Paulo

At least 50 homes have been consumed by the flames after a fire broke out in a Sao Paulo slum on Thursday morning. The incident happened in the densely populated Paraisopolis neighbourhood in the southern Sao Paulo city. Local authorities are investigating the motives of the fires, which are often triggered by poorly insulated electric systems and wires.

Uber driver killed in robbery attempt in Rio

A 27-year-old driver for the app-based taxi service Uber has been killed in Rio. The victim was taking a customer to the Andarai neighbourhood on Wednesday morning when two armed men on a motorcycle opened fire at him. This is the second Uber driver to be killed in 2017.

Dozens of protesters block streets in central Sao Paulo

Dozens of militants part of the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST) staged a protest on the streets of central Sao Paulo on Thursday morning. A massive traffic jam was caused when protesters blocked the Avenida do Estado with burnt tires. According to Globo, demonstrators are protesting against the government's housing policies.

Demonstrators and police officers clash in Sao Paulo

Clashes between residents and the police erupted on the streets of Sao Paulo on Wednesday evening. Several roads in Vila Prudente neighbourhood were blocked as demonstrators threw stones at the police. Preliminary investigations suggest that the protest was triggered after a six-year-old girl was injured by a stray bullet during a police operation.

Criminals explode bank branches near Recife, Pernambuco

Heavily armed criminals unleashed terror on the streets of Cabo de Santo Agostinho in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. According to Globo, criminals blew up two banks and opened fire on a nearby municipal police station overnight on Thursday. The incident came just days after criminals erected blockades across the state capital Recife, to target a cash-in-transit headquarters.

Heavy rains trigger emergency across Para state

Over a dozen regions in Brazil's northern state of Para are on alert after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides. The most affected areas are in Trairao, where thousands were affected due to national highway BR-163 blockade - more than 4,000 lorry drivers remain stuck in a 50km traffic jam caused by muddy conditions. Civil defence authorities and the state government have launched a task force to support the most affected areas.

Four tourists attacked after mistakenly driving into a Rio's slum

Four tourists were attacked when driving towards a slum (a favela) in Rio. According to Globo, the incident happened on Monday afternoon when they mistakenly drove into the Morro dos Prazeres community in Santa Teresa, while en route to the Christ the Redeemer landmark. A 42-year-old woman was severely after being hit in the stomach. Favelas are often integrated with the most commercial and touristic areas of the city. It is recommended to carefully plan routes prior to departure to avoid entering gang-ridden communities.

Five dead and dozens injured in Goiania prison riot

At least five inmates have been killed and 35 others have been injured in a renewed riot in Brazilian prisons. The clashes erupted on Thursday afternoon in a prison in Goiania, Goias state. According to the authorities, the motives which caused the confrontation have not been revealed. Since the start of 2017, several prison riots in Brazil resulted in dozens of deaths. In most cases, violence spread to the cities through deadly retaliatory attacks between rival criminal factions.

Buses set ablaze in series of attacks in Manaus, Amazonas

At least five buses have been set ablaze in a series of attacks in Manaus, Amazonas state. The incidents were reported between Wednesday and Thursday evening when criminals unleashed terror in the state capital. According to the authorities, no passengers were injured. Since the deadly riots in Manaus's prison in early-January, violence in the city has suffered a significant increase.

Violent clashes erupt during operation in Sao Paulo

Violent clashes were triggered during a police operation in Sao Paulo. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when the authorities detained two suspects in the area known as 'Crackland'. The area was stormed by more than 300 people who clashed with the police. Two news photographers and five firefighters were injured. Crackland is an area in central Sao Paulo dominated by drug-users.

Senate confirms new Supreme Court minister

Alexandre de Moraes was widely approved through a senate vote on Wednesday as minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF). Moraes was nominated by President Michel Temer to fill in the seat left by Teori Zavascki, who died in a plane crash in late-January. Similar to his predecessor, Moraes will be the rapporteur for the 'Car Wash' investigations.

Foreign minister hands over resignation

Brazil's Foreign Minister Jose Serra handed over his resignation on Wednesday evening. According to a letter given to President Michel Temer, Serra is stepping down due to health issues. Serra had been in the post since May, when Temer assumed the presidency after Dilma Rousseff's impeachment.

Car-jacking attempt leads to shooting in Rio

A car-jacking attempt on Wednesday led to a high speed pursuit and a shootout in Rio. The incident was initiated in the Flamengo neighbourhood when a woman was ambushed by at least four armed men. The criminals were approached by the officers when heading to the central area of the city, where the shooting broke out. Police patrols in Rio have been intensified over the recent operations to protect commercial areas.

Protesters block road in Sao Paulo causing massive traffic jam

Dozens of protesters temporarily blocked one of the main roads in Sao Paulo on Wednesday morning. The Avenida do Estado faced a massive traffic jam when demonstrators burned tires and blocked drivers. According to Globo, the demonstration was called due to alleged irregularities at a popular market in Sao Paulo and also against the construction of a commercial centre in the area. 

Over a dozen killed after police officer death near Natal

At least 15 people have been assassinated in similar circumstances near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state. All incidents happened in the last 48 hours in Ceara-Mirim after a 42-year-old police sergeant was shot dead on Monday at a snack-bar. An investigation was launched in order to assess if the deaths are in some instances related to extra-judicial killings. Violence in Natal's metropolitan area remains high since a deadly prison riot took place in mid-January.

Violent bank robbery triggers shootings in Rio Grande do Norte

A violent bank robbery took place in Rio Grande do Norte state, north-eastern Brazil, after 15 men raided a branch in the early hours of Wednesday. The safe of the bank located in Santana do Matos was blown up with explosives, while criminals engaged in a shootout with the police. No one was injured; however, two security guards were taken as hostages. Criminality in Rio Grande Norte recently broke out over deadly prison riots in the capital Natal.

Criminals unleash terror on the streets of Recife, Pernambuco

Dozens of criminals have unleashed terror on the streets of Recife, Brazil's north-eastern Pernambuco state, after targeting a cash-in-transit headquarters with explosives overnight on Tuesday. According to preliminary investigations, heavily armed men formed at least five blockades across the city by setting several vehicles on fire. The police have launched a massive search operation as the criminals remain at large and are feared to have invaded residences and businesses. 

Protests erupt as state assembly votes to sell Rio's water company

As the state legislative assembly (Alerj) voted to sell shares on the state sewage and water company (CEDAE), protests erupted on the streets of Rio, where 18 people were arrested. Rio has been facing a deep economic crisis and the privatisation of state-owned companies is one of the first steps to pay long overdue civil servants salaries.

Dozens of cities remain on Yellow Fever alert in Minas Gerais

Dozens of cities in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil, remain on alert after a recent Yellow Fever outbreak. At least 60 cities - most of them located across the eastern region - remain vulnerable to potential infections. The announcement was made on Monday via the Federal government - who reported 220 cases and 78 confirmed deaths. Most infections occur in the dense forest areas of the state, as in the urban centre the risk of infection remains extremely low. The government recommends visitors and tourists to get themselves vaccinated against Yellow Fever before heading to vulnerable areas.

Wildfire breaks out at national park in Sergipe

A wildfire broke out at the Serra de Itabaiana National Park in Sergipe, north-eastern Brazil. The authorities were alerted on Sunday afternoon and proceeded with the fire extinction on Monday. The national reserve houses several endangered species and the Falcon Park, a popular touristic destination in Sergipe. The region is known for being very dry and may not experience rainfall for months at a time, especially during the Summer.

Police officers stage protest at Rio's International Airport

Dozens of police officers have staged a protest in Rio's International Airport. The demonstrators gathered at the Galeao-Tom Jobim Airport's arrivals gate with signs written in English warning of a potential strike during the carnival. They claim that salaries and benefits are long overdue and working conditions remain poor. In early-February the neighbouring state of Espirito Santo faced a deep security crisis after police officers launched a week-long strike.

Seven-year-old killed by stray bullet in Rio

A seven-year-old girl has been killed by a stray bullet in Rio. According to the authorities, the victim was playing outside her home on Wednesday evening in the Mare community. Sources told Globo that the shooting was triggered by clashes between rival criminal factions. This is the second victim killed by a stray bullet in less than two days in Rio's Metropolitan area.

Thousands of protesters march on the streets of Sao Paulo

Thousands of protesters linked to the Landless Workers Movement (MST) marched on the streets of Sao Paulo to demand improvement to social housing programmes. The march was carried out along the city's Paulista Avenue and nearby roads on Wednesday afternoon. The MST blame President Michel Temer's administration of neglecting social programmes established by former president Dilma Rouseff and previous Workers' Party (PT) administration.

Buses set ablaze in retaliatory attack in Belo Horizonte

At least ten buses have been set alight by criminals in Belo Horizonte, south-eastern Brazil's Minas Gerais state. No casualties were reported in the arson attacks which started on Sunday and continued until Monday evening. The authorities believe that some of the attacks were motivated over the recent police crackdown on regional drug-trafficking gangs. 

Football fan killed as rival supporters clash in Rio

A 28-year-old football supporter was killed amid clashes between rival teams in Rio. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon at a match for the state championship. Witnesses told BBC that shots were fired outside the Nilton Santos stadium, also known as Engenhao. Local news reported that lack of police officers was the main reason the confrontation escalated. Clashes during football matches between major teams often occur and may turn violent.

Police officers relatives stage protest in Rio

Dozens of police units across Rio faced a widespread protest staged by police officers relatives on Sunday. Hundreds of demonstrators, mainly women, blocked the deployment of patrol cars to demand safer working conditions. Last week, the government feared the strike in the neighbouring Espirito Santo state to spread to Rio; however, emergency meetings were held to suppress any attempt. State security secretary confirmed that no operations were affected by the demonstration.

Riot police clash with protesters in Rio

A peaceful protest against the privatisation of the State Water and Sewage Company turned violent after protesters attempted to raid Rio's legislative assembly. Riot police cordoned off the building on Thursday afternoon, while protesters threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks at the authorities. The situation escalated when police officers fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators. Since the start of 2016, several protests have taken place around the assembly over government austerity measures.

Rio's state governor ordered to step down over electoral scandal

Rio's state governor Luiz Fernando Pezao and his deputy, Francisco Dornelles, were ordered to stand down over irregularities in their electoral campaign. The order was issued by Rio's electoral court which has accused Pezao of offering state contracts to finance his 2014 re-election campaign. According to the government spokesperson, both will initiate an appeal process. Rio has been facing a severe budgetary and political crisis, leading to several protests and strikes led by civil servants and police officers over delayed payments.

Deep security crisis engulfs Espirito Santo state

As Brazil's south-eastern state of Espirito Santo faces a deep public security crisis, further protests and violence have spread across the state's major urban areas. The situation arose as military police officers went on strike to demand better salaries. In the capital Vitoria, protesters - mainly relatives of police personnel - have demanded more security in the city and its metropolitan area. The army has been deployed to the streets that have been without any police presence or security for five consecutive days. The wave of violence and protests is likely to continue throughout the next few days.

Criminals unleash wave of robberies in Vitoria, Espirito Santo

A wave of robberies and car-jackings have been reported in Espirito Santo state, south-eastern Brazil, over the weekend. Amateur footage released by Globo shows armed criminals attacking drivers and pedestrians across the Metropolitan area of Vitoria in broad day-light. In response to this, the ministry of justice has ordered the deployment of 200 National Force soldiers that are set to get to the region on 13 February. Criminality on the streets of Vitoria remains high due to the visible absence of security forces.

Paraguayan bus raided by armed robbers in Parana

A Paraguayan passenger bus was ambushed by armed criminals in Sertanopolis, Parana state, southern Brazil. The long-haul bus service from Asuncion, Paraguay, was heading to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo with 60 passengers, including several children. Reports show that the vehicle was raided by five armed men in the early hours of Sunday. According to the news outlet Hoy, this is not the first case a Paraguayan bus of the same company - Nuestra Senora de Asuncion (NSA) - is targeted on Brazilian roads. 

Eight men slaughtered at home in Porto Seguro, Bahia

Eight men have been killed at a residence in Porto Seguro, Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened on Sunday evening when nine heavily armed men opened fire on the house located in the Porto Alegre I neighbourhood. According to the authorities the criminals approached the house in a pick-up truck and fled the scene after the shooting. No further details were revealed as the police reinforced patrol in the area to hunt for suspects.

Uber driver killed during robbery attempt in Rio

A 25-year-old driver of the app-based transport service, Uber, has been killed amid a robbery attempt in Rio. The incident happened on Sunday evening in the Tijuca neighbourhood as three armed criminals attacked the vehicle. Tijuca is located in the northern area of the city, where one day before, in the Vila Isabel neighbourhood, a man was killed during another robbery.

Senate and lower house of Congress elect their new leaders

Rodrigo Maia was elected president of Brazil's lower house of Congress after gathering 293 votes on Thursday. He has been in the post since July, when Eduardo Cunha had to step down due to corruption allegations. Also, on Wednesday, the long-time ally to President Michel Temer, Eunicio Oliveira, was elected president of the Senate after receiving 61 votes out of 81, to replace Renan Calheiros. Oliveira holds the budgetary responsibility and is set to face several challenges regarding labour reforms, criminality and government corruption.

Colombian border reinforced over FARC guerillas recruitment by criminals

Officials stated on Tuesday that the Colombian and Brazilian government are working together to tackle organised criminals recruiting renegaded members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which are currently under a demobilisation process. Border control has been reinforced with the additional deployment of military and police personnel. Both ministers of defence met in Manaus, Amazonas state, on Tuesday to discuss further security cooperation. The Colombian government expects that over 6,000 FARC members will not adhere to the plan.

Territorial clashes lead to dozens of deaths in Acre state during January

Recent reports revealed that in January 2017, nearly 40 people were assassinated in Brazil's north-eastern Acre state. Most of the incidents happened across the state's capital Rio Branco. In December, the local police chief told Globo that the high homicide rates in the state is generated by territorial disputes between organised criminal factions. Acre borders Amazonas state, where a prison riot in early-January triggered by criminal groups led to the death of 60 inmates.

Violence escalates during anti-austerity protest in Rio

Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered in front of Rio's Legislative Assembly (Alerj) to protest against recent government austerity measures. The protest happened on Tuesday afternoon as the Alerj resumed its works after a recess. The situation escalated when protesters attempted to break the police barrier around the building. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters - who responded by throwing stones and setting an empty bus on fire. Most of the protesters were public servants and police officers that have gone months without full-salary payment.

Faction leaders transferred to Rondonia after deadly riots

Criminal faction leaders who led the prison massacres in northern Brazil's Rio Grande do Norte and Roraima state, have been transferred to a high-security federal prison in Rondonia state, also in northern Brazil. The transfer was completed on Tuesday evening in the state capital Porto Velho through a massive operation led by the Federal Police (PF). Nearly 100 inmates were killed in the deadly prison riots triggered by rival gangs inside three prisons in early January.

Five criminals killed in police shootout in Tocantins

Five homicide suspects have been gunned down by the police amid a shooting in Tocantins, northern Brazil. The incident erupted on Tuesday evening when the military police was warned of the assailants' presence on the central area of the state capital Palmas. The criminals were suspected of killing a man hours earlier on a northern neighbourhood of the city. Similar to other Brazilian state capitals, assassinations - mainly connected to drug-trafficking - often occur in Palmas.

Thousands stung by jellyfish along Parana's coast

More than 25,000 cases of people being stung by jellyfish were reported in the first 40 days of Summer along Parana state coast, southern Brazil. The announcement was made on Monday by the state government that confirmed a 172 percent increase compared with 2016. Pontal do Parana, Matinhos and Guaratura are the areas where most incidents were recorded. In the event of being stung, it is advised to wash the area exclusively with sea water or vinegar, avoiding scrubbing and contact with any other liquid. Symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting or respiratory issues may be experienced. In such cases, the victim should seek immediate medical assistance. 

Couple wounded in robbery attempt in Rio

A couple has been wounded by gunshots during a robbery attempt in Rio. The victims, one of the them an off-duty police officer, were targeted while shopping in the Tijuca neighbourhood on Monday evening. According to the authorities, the assailants fled on a motorcycle towards the city centre. Robbery attempts in Rio are recurrent and usually happen during the night. While shopping or withdrawing money from ATMs, it is paramount to remain vigilant of the surroundings.

Six yellow fever deaths recorded in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo State Health Secretary (SES) announced on Monday that six people were killed amid the recent yellow fever outbreak. According to the SES, two of the cases were caused in the state, while the remaining were contracted on trips to infected areas in the neighbouring Minas Gerais state. The most common symptoms are head aches, fever, vomits and muscle pain. Travellers are advised to take yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days prior to departure to risk areas - especially eastern Minas Gerais, northern Espirito Santo and southern Bahia states.

Houses of congress set to face leadership elections

Brazil's lower house of congress and the Senate are set to held elections on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. In the congress' lower house, current president Rodrigo Maia is expected to be re-elected for another two-year term, while in the senate, Renan Calheiros is set to be replaced by social-democrat Eunicio Oliveira. Both posts hold significant political influence in Brazilian politics as both chambers' heads are in line for an eventual presidential succession. 

Buses set ablaze in retaliatory attack in Maceio

Two buses have been set ablaze following simultaneous action in two suburban neighbourhoods in Maceio, Alagoas state, north-eastern Brazil. According to the authorities, both vehicles were raided on Wednesday evening by armed criminals, who aimed to rob the passengers in the Vergel and Ponta Grossa areas. Despite the damages, no casualties have been reported. The Public Safety Secretariat (SSP) believes the attack was a retaliation after a gang leader was killed amid a police operation. 

Billionaire's house raided amid Car Wash investigations in Rio

Amid the 'Car Wash' investigations, the Rio residence of the Brazilian billionaire, Eike Batista, has been raided by the Federal authorities on Thursday morning. Batista is accused of being a beneficiary of a big Brazilian corruption scheme involving the issuing of fraudulent environmental licenses to several of his companies, namely the EBX group. According to his lawyer, Batista is currently travelling - but he assured that he will voluntarily comply with the authorities. This is the second major operation in Rio, where Batista's brother and the wife of former governor Sergio Cabral were also arrested.

Federal district declares emergency over severe water crisis

The government of Federal District has declared a six-month state of emergency over a severe water crisis in the region. The measure was announced on Wednesday and is set to gather central government funds in order to tackle the situation, which is expected to affect more than 1.8 million people. Local authorities will also set caps on water consumption while the emergency lasts. The situation was first noticed as the water volume in the Descobertos dam suffered a decrease of 20 percent due to low rainfall and sudden population increase.

Violent riot triggers massive escape at prison in São Paulo

A violent riot has led to a massive escape at a prison in Bauru, São Paulo state, south-eastern Brazil. The military police said that nearly 80 fugitives had been re-arrested, although dozens more are believed to be hiding in a remote part of the prison known as CPP3. Brazil has been facing a severe prison system crisis in recent weeks, with hundreds of prisoners killed in violent gang-related brawls.

Woman stabbed in robbery at mall's car park in Rio

A woman has been stabbed during a robbery at a mall's car park in Rio de Janeiro. The incident took place on Saturday afternoon at the Madureira Shopping Centre. Reports state that the victim was with two other women when they were attacked after they parked the vehicle. According to the police the vehicle was taken, along with a large sum of money and a computer. The military police advises potential targets, usually women, to remain vigilant when heading to their vehicle and to take the minimum time possible to leave the facilities.

Five shot as criminals raid cash-in-transit vehicle in João Pessoa

At least five people have been shot as criminals have raided a cash-in-transit vehicle in Paraíba state, north-eastern Brazil. Preliminary information has revealed that the robbers, on a motorcycle and in a car, approached the vehicle at a supermarket in the state capital João Pessoa. Two of the security guards have been severely injured, with one of the them succumbing to his wounds when taken to the local hospital. Previous attacks targeting cash-in-transit vehicles in Paraíba often escalate to extreme levels of violence with explosions and shootings.

Man killed amid robbery attempt in São Paulo

One man has been killed in a robbery attempt in São Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. The victim was coming back from church on Sunday evening when his family car was approached by armed robbers on motorcycles. The incident happened on the Itaquera neighbourhood when the victims were near a garage. Witnesses said that a standoff between the robbers and the victim took place before one of the assailants open fire. Robbers in major Brazilian urban centres often target their victims at night as they wait to attack their targets usually near garages and car parks.

Health secretary confirms 25 Yellow Fever deaths in Minas Gerais

The state health secretariat (SES) has confirmed 25 deaths amid the ongoing Yellow Fever outbreak in Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. Most of the confirmed cases have been concentrated across the eastern region of the state. The health authority has also underlined 272 suspected cases - 47 of which are already confirmed. Most infections occur in the dense forest areas of the state, as in the urban centre the risk of infection remains extremely low. The government recommends visitors and tourists to get themselves vaccinated against Yellow Fever before heading to vulnerable areas.

Robbers open fire on Uber driver in São Paulo

An Uber cab driver has been shot in the neck following a robbery attempt in São Paulo. The authorities revealed that the driver was attacked on Thursday evening in Pinheiro neighbourhood, where he was ambushed by another vehicle and shot after attempting to escape. The victim was taken to the local hospital and remains in stable condition. Attacks to public transportation services are prone to happen in some São Paulo's neighbourhoods, especially at night.

Car Wash rapporteur killed on plane crash in Paraty

The rapporteur of the Car Wash investigations has been killed in a plane crash in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro state. Teori Zavascki was the minister for the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and was deeply involved in the judgement of the corruption scandal involving senior members of the government. The 68-year-old minister was killed along with three others as their plane crashed on Thursday afternoon near the Ilha Rasa. The Federal Police (PF) has launched an investigation to assess the reasons of the accident.

Hundreds of soldiers deployed in Natal amid violence wave

Over 1,200 soldiers are set to be deployed on the streets of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state, amid the ongoing wave of violence in the Brazilian north-eastern city. The move was ordered by President Michel Temer and it is expected to last until the end of January. Natal has been haunted by criminality since a deadly prison riot broke out in a prison in the city's outskirts. The additional security personnel will mainly be present around the city's main roads, touristic areas and at the international airport.

Uruguay's Police raises concerns over violence near border

The Uruguayan authorities have raised concerns over recent incidents along the Brazilian border. Reports released by the police have stated that in the last week of 2016, at least seven people were killed in Chuy amid gang-related crimes. Despite cooperation between Santana do Livramento and Rivera police forces, the authorities warned that cargo vehicles are extremely vulnerable as the area is known to be widely used for the smuggling of counterfeited goods and drugs from Paraguay and Colombia.

Bank branches attacked by armed criminals in Pernambuco

A renewed attack targeting bank branches has taken place in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. According to the authorities, at least 15 heavily armed men opened fire and exploded two banks in Amaraji on Thursday morning. A family vehicle was hit during the shootout, however no one was injured. Several attacks on banks have already taken place across Pernambuco in 2017. In the first few days of the years, the education secretariat, in the state capital Recife, was raided by criminals that exploded an ATM machine within the building.

Violence erupts across the streets of Natal

Violence has erupted across the streets of Natal, north-eastern Brazil Rio Grande do Norte state. Several shootings were reported on Wednesday night, including attacks on police stations. More than 400,000 people were affected when major bus companies suspended their services after at least 14 buses - most of them in private parking - were set alight. The incident - likely ordered from inside prisons by faction leaders - comes days after a deadly riot broke out at the Alcaçuz prison. 

Shootings erupt amid robbery attempt at mall in Rio

Criminals have engaged in armed confrontation with the police following a robbery attempt to a jewelry shop at a mall in Rio. The incident happened on Wednesday morning at the Ilha Plaza mall in northern Rio's Ilha do Governador. At least three robbers were involved in the attack that involved several hostages. No one was injured as the police arrested two assailants, while another fled the scene in a stolen car. Since the start of the year, two other robberies targeting jewelry shops took place in Rio's Tijuca and Botafogo neighbourhoods.

Clashes erupt as police station is attacked in central São Paulo

Dozens of people have engaged in clashes with the police in central São Paulo. The incident happened in the area popularly known as Cracolândia after a police station was attacked by drug-users. Riot police officers were deployed to the scene and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the aggressors. Several local stores were looted and destroyed as the confrontation spread across nearby roads. Cracolândia is an area in central São Paulo located around the Duque de Caxias and Rio Branco Avenues and is known for the high influx of drug-trafficking, especially crack cocaine.

Dozens suspected dead from Yellow Fever, Minas Gerais

Dozens of Yellow Fever cases have been reported across Minas Gerais state in south-eastern Brazil. According to the State Health Secretariat (SES) at least 133 cases of Yellow Fever have been reported, and 38 deaths are suspected to have been caused by the disease. The whole area of eastern Minas Gerais border with Espírito Santo state is under a state of emergency due to fears of a potential outbreak. The SES recommends travellers and tourists to get themselves vaccinated against Yellow Fever before heading to vulnerable areas.

Renewed prison riot kills 26 in Rio Grande do Norte

A renewed prison riot has led to the death of 26 inmates in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state, north-eastern Brazil. Reports show that the riot was initiated on Saturday afternoon due to an alleged gang-related confrontation. Dozens of prisoners were severely injured during the riot, which ended amid intervention of the police special forces detachment on Sunday afternoon. President Michel Temer raised concerns over the current prison system crisis in northern Brazil, as this is the third prison riot in less than a month.

Former president Lula da Silva shows intentions to run for office in 2018

Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva has announced intentions to run for office ahead of the 2018 presidential elections. On Wednesday, Lula said in a speech at the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) convention in Salvador, Bahia State, that: "Be prepared, if necessary, I will be candidate again". Despite not being an official Workers' Party (PT) candidate, the left-wing MST's president said that "Lula is a permanent candidate for the poor Brazilian people". Lula still holds five accusations amid the 'Car Wash' investigations, as the PT is reportedly waiting clearance from the Supreme Court to allow him to run for office.

Hundreds march against bus fares hike in São Paulo

Hundreds of sympathisers of the Free Fare Movement - Movimento Passe Livre (MPL) - have marched on the streets of central São Paulo city to protest against the recent bus fares hike. The demonstrators gathered at the Praça do Ciclista on Thursday afternoon to show their discontent over recent public transportation policies proposed by the state government. Reports state that during the protest two bank branches were vandalised as the police presence in the area was almost nonexistent. The MLP has previously led several protests regarding the fares on public transportation in São Paulo.

Wildfires ravage Pantanal region near Bolivian border

A 48-hour-long wildfire has spread across the bordering area of Puerto Quijarro, eastern Bolivia. The local governor of the Bolivian province of Santa Cruz told El Diario that the Brazilian Army and the armed forces attempted to put off the fire, however by 11:00 PM, local time, the fire was still spreading. Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire was caused by a lightning storm and escalated due to the hot weather in the area. Brazilian authorities added that the source of the fire has remained active since the start of the week, and visibility in the area is hindered by large smoke clouds in Corumbá city, Mato Grosso do Sul state.

Passenger buses raided by dozens of criminals in Rio

At least two passenger buses have been raided by dozens of criminals amid a large scale plunder in Rio's Vila Isabel neighbourhood. Footage has been released by Globo showing that the assailants, mostly of them minors, stormed the vehicles to rob their passengers while stuck in a traffic jam on Wednesday afternoon. More than 40 people have been arrested as the police arrived to the scene moments later. Large scale plunder, locally known as 'arrastão', usually happens during rush hour across public transportation networks and beaches.

Speedboat raided by armed men in Rio

A stationary speedboat has been raided by criminals in southern Rio's Urca neighbourhood. Seven people were on the boat in Praia Vermelha when three armed men on a kayak approached them and ordered the pilot to take the vehicle to the shore. At least three heavily armed men were waiting to steal the passengers' documents and other possessions. Local witnesses said that such incidents are very unusual in the area, which is mainly used for recreational purposes by tourists and residents.

One killed in assassination, Goiás

A 27-year-old has been killed in an ambush in the Goiás State, Central Brazil. The incident took place on Tuesday, in the Carla Cristina neighbourhood in Goiania. According to the authorities, the vehicle was sprayed with nearly 90 bullets after being approached by two vehicles. Preliminary investigations suspect the victim was targeted in a retaliation assassination by a drug-trafficker, however the claims were not confirmed. Recent reports show that Carla Cristina has been haunted by the presence of criminal gangs. Residents state that robberies often take place during the early hours of the day.

Authorities warn over suspected fish toxin cases in Bahia

The state health secretary has revealed that 52 cases of a mysterious virus have been reported in the Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil. Most of the cases have taken place in the state capital Salvador, where 50 people have been taken to the hospital after experiencing acute muscular pain. Health specialists have told Globo that kidney failure, causing symptoms of black urine, were also reported in some cases. Investigations led by health authorities are following the assumption that the virus may be connected to fish meat, as most of the patients have ingested cooked salt water fish - mainly Badejo and Olho de Boi. Those experiencing symptoms involving muscle ache or joint pain, have been advised to seek medical assistance.

Venezuelan border reopens after full suspension

Brazil's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the border with Venezuela partially has reopened following the full suspension ordered by the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The statement has revealed that the crossing between the Pacaraima, Roraima state, and the Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairén has been re-established. Maduro ordered the border closure with Brazil and Colombia to prevent the smuggling of 100 bolivares notes to Brazil, especially from criminal groups operating along the border, as the government ordered its retrieval from circulation.

Youth secretariat resigns over controversial prison riot remarks

The government Youth Secretariat Bruno Julio has handed over his resignation to President Michel Temer after his controversial remarks over the recent wave of prison massacres in northern Brazil. Julio was highly criticised after praising the killings in Amazonas and Roraima states in an interview with the news outlet, O Globo. He said that “There should be more killings (of prisoners), there should be a massacre every week". The recent massacres caused by gang disputes - reported since the start of 2017 - have already led to nearly 100 deaths within Brazilian prisons.

Tourist group targeted by robbers at Park in Rio

A group of 20 people have been attacked by armed robbers at the touristic Tijuca's National Park in Rio. The incident was reported on Sunday, when the group was following a trail and was attacked by three men. According to the police, one of the victims was injured with a knife and remains in a stable condition. Despite the reinforcement of police presence along the park's main trails, it is essential to remain vigilant during the visit as sporadic attacks targeting large groups may occur.

American tourists attacked by armed robber in Rio de Janeiro

Two American nationals were attacked during an attempted robbery in Rio de Janeiro. The incident happened as both victims were heading to their apartment in the Ipanema neighbourhood on Monday morning. They were approached by an armed youngster on a bicycle who demanded that they hand over their possessions. The assailant opened fire four times before one of the victims held him until the police arrived. Despite the reinforced police presence in Rio's tourist destinations, occasional robberies may be carried out by armed criminals.

Scores killed in prison riot in Roraima

Another prison massacre has led to the death of 33 inmates in Brazil's northern state of Roraima. The prison riot happened in the early hours of Friday at the Monte Cristo prison in Boa Vista. The special forces of the military police was deployed to the area to control the situation as family members of the inmates stormed the gates of the building. The prison warden told local news that he suspected the attack was orchestrated by militants of the subversive criminal group First Capital's Comando (PCC), which was involved in a gang dispute in October at the same prison, where 10 people died. The incident comes days after 60 inmates were killed at a prison massacre in the neighbouring state of Amazonas. 

Rio's health secretary issues renewed warnings for chikungunya virus

Rio's health secretary has renewed concerns over the propagation of the mosquito-borne disease, chikungunya. Carlos Eduardo de Mattos stated on Monday that researchers revealed a surge of the virus. He claimed that nearly half of the city - three million people - are vulnerable to contracting the virus during the summer. The chikungunya virus is carried by the same mosquito that transmits the dengue and zika viruses: the Aedes aegypt mosquito. Chikungunya is not as severe as dengue fever, however it may initially cause mild symptoms such as pain in the joints, feet, fingers and ankles along with headaches and rashes.

Police officer shot dead at mall robbery in Rio

A police officer has been killed and two other people have been injured in a shooting at a mall in Rio. The incident happened on Wednesday evening when four armed men stormed a jewelry shop located in the Tijuca Off Shopping mall, in the northern area of the city. According to the police, the officer was working as a security guard and was shot at least seven times on the chest. Since the start of the year, four police officers have already been killed in Rio. A similar incident took place in April 2015 when criminals stormed the same mall and killed a 49-year-old woman during a robbery of a jewelry shop.

Tourist killed after entering slum in Santa Catarina

A 38-year-old tourist has been shot dead as she mistakenly entered a neighbourhood controlled by criminals in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil. The incident took place on the early hours of Sunday when Daniela de Oliveira Soares followed a GPS coordination heading to the Paraquara community. The authorities arrested a 17-year-old suspect of killing the Brazilian tourist. Local residents have complained over the lack of security in the area - which is controlled mostly by teenager criminals involved in drug-trafficking. The Paraquara community is located near popular beaches and touristic destinations in Florianópolis. 

Low intensity earthquake hits northern Brazil

The north-eastern Brazilian states of Maranhão e Piauí have been struck by a rare low-intensity earthquake. Emergency authorities are investigating the damages caused by the 4.7-magnitude quake which struck on Tuesday afternoon. The earthquake's epicentre was located in the town of Belágua - where the main concerns were the old structures and buildings across the town and state, along with the region's fragile soil. The authorities did not exclude the possibility of aftershocks, but ensured the population that there is no major risk. Due to its location in the middle of the South American tectonic plate, the Brazilian territory is rarely hit by strong earthquakes.

Several killed in bus crash in Paraná state

A bus crash has led to the death of at least 10 people in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. According to the Federal Transport Police (PRF), the incident took place in the early hours of Tuesday on the federal highway BR-158, near Campo Mourão, as the bus was en route from Foz do Iguaçu to Maringá. The conditions of some Paraná's roads are often poor and the risk of accidents is enhanced by reckless driving. Accidents involving coaches often occur during the night due to the lack of clear traffic road signalisation. 

Sixty dead in Manaus prison riot

At least 60 people have been killed in a prison riot in the northern city of Manaus.  The 17-hour uprising started on Sunday afternoon at the Anísio Jobim Prison Complex.  The prisoners took 12 guards hostage and a number of other inmates escaped.  "What happened in Compaj is another chapter of the war that drug trafficking imposes in this country and shows that this problem cannot be faced only by [Brazilian] states," said Sergio Fontes, head of public security for Amazonas.

Over a dozen killed in family massacre in São Paulo

Over a dozen people of the same family were slaughtered during New Year's Eve celebrations in Campinas, São Paulo state. The incident took place in the Prost de Souza neighbourhood, where the assailant's ex-wife lived. Reports state that the shooter stormed the house and opened fire on the occupants and killed himself afterwards. Three people were also injured during the attack that, according to the authorities, was due to a judicial dispute over their son's guardianship.

Greek Ambassador found dead in Rio de Janeiro

The burnt body of the Greek Ambassador to Brazil, Kyriakos Amiridis, has been found inside his vehicle in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Initial investigations suggest that the ambassador was shot dead at his home in Nova Iguaçu and taken to a nearby road where he had his rented car set alight. The police states that the ambassador's wife, Françoise Amiridis, and a police officer were involved in the crime. The authorities believe that both suspects were having an affair and were assisted in the crime by the officer's cousin. Reports show that Françoise reported the disappearance of Kyriakos one day before the body was found. The Greek police and the Brazilian Foreign Office are following the investigations.

Shootings erupt cash-in-transit vehicles is targeted in São Paulo

On 22 December, heavily armed men attempted to rob several cash-in-transit vehicles in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo state. The incident was reported when criminals raided a supermarket while ATM machines were being replenished. Dozens of police officers were deployed to the area and engaged into shootings with the criminals, where three people were injured. During the morning, an ATM machine was blown up by a different gang in the Palestina area. As the police arrived at the scene, the criminals stormed a wedding party and took dozens of hostages. São José do Rio Preto has been facing a surge in criminal activity, with robberies of local businesses and banks suffering a significant increase.

Construction giant Odebrecht agrees to pay record US$2.6 billion fine

The US Department of Justice has announced that the Brazilian construction giant, Odebrecht, has agreed to pay a fine of nearly US$2.6 billion over bribery charges in the US, Brazil and Switzerland. The company is deeply involved in the 'Car Wash' operations that also includes the corruption scandals on Brazil's state-owned Petrobrás. The consecutive bribes were aimed at the establishment of construction contracts in several countries in the Americas.

Shooting between rival factions breaks out in central Rio

Suspect clashes between rival factions have spread fear among the residents of central Rio city. Witnesses have told Globo that an intense shoot out has been ongoing since Wednesday, in the Morro dos Prazeres community located in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood. The authorities have revealed that no police operation was taking place in the area. The Morro dos Prazeres community is the same place where an Italian tourist was shot dead as he mistakenly entered the area.

Three officers attacked on deadly ambush in Paraná

On 21 December, a prison guard was shot dead and two others were wounded when armed criminals ambushed a police convoy in Londrina, Paraná state, southern Brazil. The fatality occurred when special operations police officers were attacked by at least three heavily armed assailants near the Ouro Branco neighbourhood. The police launched a manhunt to track down the attackers and determine the motives for the attack. Southern Londrina area is known for being of the most dangerous regions of the city, where drug gangs operate extensively.

Rio's health secretary raises concerns over Chikungunya outbreak

The health secretary of Rio de Janeiro has raised concerns over the increased cases of the Chikungunya virus. The virus is transmitted by the same mosquito - aedes aegypti - that transmits the Zika and Dengue. Since January, nearly 15,000 suspected cases have been reported in Rio with 10 deaths, while in 2015 only 105 suspected cases were reported. The Chikungunya is not as severe as the dengue, however it may initially cause mild symptoms such as pain in the joints, feet, fingers and ankles along with headaches and hash.

Colombian doctor shot in car theft attempt in Rio

A Colombian doctor has been shot during a car theft attempt in Rio. Luiz Alejandro Vargas was injured as an armed criminal approached him near the Carlos Chagas Hospital in Marechal Hermes neighbourhood on Tuesday morning. An eyewitness told Globo that the victim retaliated to the car theft and was shot moments before the criminal fled the scene. Marechal Hermes is located near the Pavuna neighbouhood, one of the Rio's northern areas with the highest rates of car thefts.

Hundreds protest over austerity measures in Porto Alegre

On 19 December, civil servants of Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul engaged in fierce clashes with police officers. The incident happened amid a protest near the state's assembly building in Porto Alegre, where the government was scheduled to vote on 22 financial measures. The authorities fired tear gas at the demonstrators and were also forced to deploy the mounted unit to disperse the crowd. Among the measures to be voted on are the extinction of nine state foundations linked to science and culture; and changes on public servants' payment. The move comes as the state's governor declared a state of financial emergency in late November.

Eight-year-old hit in the head by stray bullet in Natal

A eight-year-old child has been shot on the head by a stray bullet in Rio Grande do Norte, north-eastern Brazil. According to the victim's relatives, he was shot on Monday afternoon while playing in his backyard in the Redinha neighbourhood, Natal. The boy was taken to the local hospital where he remains in a stable condition. Natal has one of the highest homicide rates in the country, as shootings often take place in the city's northern area.

Closed border with Venezuela extended until early January

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has announced that the borders with Brazil and Colombia will remain shut until 2 January. The move comes as the government aims to avoid large amount of currency leaving the country in the hands of both Colombian and Brazilian criminal groups. This is the second time the border closure has been extended amid the current retrieval from circulation of 100 bolívares notes. Due to the logistical challenge on retrieving the currency it is likely the border closure will suffer further extensions.

Dozens of criminals trigger panic in central Recife

At least 30 people have been arrested following a large scale plunder attempt, or locally known as 'arrastão', in Pernambuco state, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened in central Recife on Sunday evening, when dozens of youngsters unleashed panic on a popular touristic area of the city. The joint operation was carried out by Navy soldiers and the police forces. Local business owners told Globo that similar incidents have become common in the Marco Zero area, leading bars and restaurants to close earlier due to the increasing wave of robberies and violence.

One civilian wounded as shootings brake out across Rio

Four shootings across Rio's northern and southern region have been reported over the weekend. The main incident was in Copacabana as the Pacifying Police Unite (UPP) engaged in clashes with criminals in the Pavão-Pavãozinho community. One woman was injured as the shootout broke out on Saturday evening, when the UPP was following a drug-related incident. The authorities also reported shootings in Leme, Tijuca and Penha community. Police operations in Rio and gang confrontations may trigger widespread shootouts, increasing the risk of casualties caused by stray bullets on the surrounding areas.

Venezuelan border to remain shut for 72 hours

On 15 December, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced the extension of the border closure with Brazil and Colombia. Maduro said that both borders will remain shut for another 72-hour period while the country removes the 100 bolívares bank notes from circulation. The move started on 12 November, when the government decided to close the borders in order to avoid currency to be taken abroad by both Colombian and Brazilian criminal groups.

Restaurant owner shot dead on robbery attempt in Bahia

On 15 December, a restaurant owner was shot dead after reacting to a robbery in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil. The robbery took place at a restaurant-hotel on the national BR-116 road. According to the authorities, three men stormed the place posing as costumers when they opened fire on the victim. The victim's family members said that the restaurant was robbed several times on previous occasions. Vitória da Conquista presents one of the highest homicide rates in Brazil, often caused by armed robberies and assassinations.

Workers' party accused of irregularities on 2014 presidential candidacy

The Brazilian High Electoral Court (TSE) announced that the public attorney and the Federal Police (PF) encountered irregularities in the presidential candidacy of Workers' Party (PT) Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer in the 2014 elections. The document was compiled by the opposition Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB), who seek to scrap the elections results over allegations of abuse of political and economic power. Impeached Dilma Rousseff and president Michel Temer won the 2014 elections by a slim margin against PSDB's Aécio Neves, who is behind the accusations.

Uber driver assassinated in Rio de Janeiro

A driver of the app-based company Uber has been murdered in Rio de Janeiro. The 31-year-old man was killed in the early hours of Saturday in Rio's western area of Campo Grande.  According to the victim's relatives, he went to work during the afternoon and was reported missing after going out with some of his colleagues to a bar. Previous attacks in Campo Grande involved robberies and retaliation of presumed militia stationed in nearby communities.

President's special adviser resigns amid corruption allegations

President Michel Temer's special adviser stepped down from his post after being implicated in the recent revelations made by Cláudio Melo Filho, the former director of the Odebrecht construction company. José Yunes handed in his resignation days after his office was accused of receiving nearly R$ 4 million from the company. Yunes said in the statement that his resignation was offered in order to "preserve his dignity". The accusations made by Melo FIlho have already implicated several high-profile politicians, including Temer and the president of the senate, Renan Callheiros. The investigations into the 'Car Wash' corruption scandal are being conducted by the Republic's general attorney and the Federal Police.

Protests as constitutional amendment is approved by the Senate

On 13 December, the constitutional amendment proposal (PEC) was approved by the Brazilian Senate. The senators voted for a second time - a necessary step when dealing with a change to the constitution - to approve the PEC-55 that aims to establish a cap on public spending for the next 20 years. 53 senators voted in favour, while 16 were against the proposal. With the second approval, the Senate is now set to debate changes on the legislation text. During the vote, thousands of people stormed the streets of major Brazilian cities in a renewed wave of widespread protests that are likely to continue during the week.

Authorities prepare to renewed anti-austerity protests in Rio

Days before the voting on the austerity measures to be imposed in Rio, the military police have been planning new security measures to avoid a renewed wave of violent protests. The austerity measures aim to postpone the salary's rise to 2020 - previously expected in 2017 - and the increase in welfare contributions by civil servants. The authorities expect a high number of protesters to storm the streets near Rio's legislative assembly (Alerj) on 14 November. The police previously experienced violent demonstrations during the draft of the proposals, which came after the government declared a state of financial emergency in June.

Michel Temer implied by whistleblower on corruption scandal

Several senior high-level politicians have been implicated in the latest accusations made amid the 'Car Wash' investigations. A former director of the construction company Odebrecht, Cláudio Melo Filho, denounced more than 30 political figures in an 82-page document explaining the methods used by the company's president Marcelo Odebrecht to hand over money to influential deputies and senators. Among the accused are President Michel Temer and the Senate president Renan Calheiros. Days after the accusations, Temer ordered an emergency meeting in order to assess the impact on the country's political stability after the revelations.

Rio's metropolitan line shut down due to shooting

On 12 December, one of the main metro lines in Rio's central area was shut down after a shooting broke out. The line that connects Honório Gurgel to Deodoro, part of the metropolitan line of Belford Roxo, had its services suspended by the railway authorities over security concerns. This is not the first time the system has had to be suspended over a shooting incident. In October, a police operation in the Morro da Providência community in central Rio led to the temporary closure of the line, also affecting nearby road traffic.

Italian tourist killed in Rio favela

An Italian tourist has been killed in a favela in the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro.  Roberto Bardella was shot in the head in the Morro dos Prazeres favela on Thursday, while his travelling companion and fellow Italian Rino Polato was found unharmed.  The pair were travelling through South America on motorcycles and police believe a GPS device led them into the favela by mistake.

Dozens injured on renewed protest in Rio's parliament

On 7 December, at least 30 people were injured when a renewed wave of protests broke out in Rio de Janeiro. The violent demonstration, carried out majorly by civil servants, took place during the morning in front of Rio's state parliament, Alerj. The situation escalated as over 500 riot police officers clashed with the crowd by firing tear gas and pepper spray. The protesters, who have not received their payment for months, demanded the liquidation of late salaries. Rio has been through a rough economic crisis - as have other Brazilian states - where the government declared state of financial calamity in June, deepening cuts to salaries, social programmes and public spending.

Special operations police officers killed by hitman in Piauí

At least five people have been arrested over the assassination of a police officer in Teresina, Piauí state, northern Brazil. The 32-year-old officer was part of the special operations detachment of the state police. Claudemir Sousa was shot dead on the evening of 6 December as he left the gym on the Saci neighbourhood. The authorities believe that the attack was targeted, as one of the suspects was being investigated as part of a hit-man network. Preliminary investigations revealed that a suspect airport worker paid nearly R$ 20,000 to have Sousa executed.

Bank robbers arrested during shootout in Bahia

On 3 December, a group of bank robbers were arrested in Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil, after breaching a police checkpoint. The criminals were arrested in the remote area of São Féliz do Coribe, a western part of the state, after they engaged in a firefight with the police. Four assailants were arrested and 42 explosives and a considerable amount of equipment were seized. One of the suspects was from the state capital Salvador, where he aimed to carry out robberies, and the others from Feira de Santana.

Governor of Minas Gerais to declare state of financial emergency

The governor of Brazil's south-eastern state of Minas Gerais has requested the federal government to declare a state of financial emergency. The request will be voted on in Brasilia on Wednesday, 8 December. According to the governor, Fernando Pimentel, the state is passing through a severe financial crisis, where a deep cut in public spending has affected the payment of civil servants and the maintenance of essential public services. Minas Gerais is the third Brazilian state to declare a state of financial emergency since President Michel Temer was sworn into office.

Health secretary confirms first death caused by Chikungunya

The health secretary has confirmed the first death caused by the insect-borne disease Chikungunya in Brazil's Federal District. The victim was killed in July, however the cause of death has only been confirmed recently. The victim was a 66-year-old man who went to the hospital in Brasilia after feeling abdominal pain. The man also had records of other conditions such as hypertension and heart disease. Since the start of 2016, over 160 cases were reported in the Federal District. The symptoms of the Chikungunya are similar to the those of the Dengue fever, however they are more acute and the disease has a significantly low death risk.

Thousands storm major Brazilian cities to protest against anti-corruption bill

Amid the approval of the anti-corruption package, at least 14 Brazilian states had their capitals stormed by protesters that came to the streets in support of the 'Car Wash' operation, which investigates the corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil company Petrobrás. The demonstration took over the cities' main roads, which remained blocked on Sunday afternoon. Major Brazilian cities have been experiencing a wave of protests since President Michel Temer took office. The recent demonstrations were triggered both by the anti-corruption bill that rules an amnesty to politicians that received illicit funds during the elections, and the approval of the PEC-55 - a constitutional project that set a cap on public expending during the following 20 years.

Criminals attack police station and set bus on fire in Natal

Two attacks carried out by armed criminals have taken place on Sunday in Rio Grande do Norte, north-eastern Brazil. The first attack happened at a police station in the state's capital Natal, when the assailants opened fire at a police vehicle. In the nearby location of Panamirim, a bus was set ablaze after criminals stormed the vehicle and forced the passengers out. The seven assailants have been identified as criminals of a local faction which has claimed responsibility for the attack. The widespread wave of violence in Rio Grande do Norte has forced the deployment of military, navy and air-force personnel to assist regional forces on the streets across the state.

Three arrested over kidnapping of family in Campinas

Three suspected kidnappers have been arrested on Thursday evening in Campinas, São Paulo, over the abduction of the family of a regional Samsung manager. The manager for the multi-national company and his family were kidnapped on Wednesday near their house in Pedreira. The criminals demanded a ransom worth nearly R$9 million (US$2,6 million) in cargo, which the victim had to collect from the company's warehouse. The police were alerted by his co-workers and his family was released moments later near a rural area of Conchal. The authorities believe that the kidnappers were part of an active gang in the Campinas area.

Thousands protest over controversial legislation approval in Brasilia

On 30 November, both houses of the Senate approved the controversial constitutional proposal to limit public spending for the next 20 years. With 61 votes in favour and 14 against, the piece of legislation known as the PEC-55 is set to proceed to a second vote. Another contested law was also approved in the same session over the proposed anti-corruption package, which garnered an overwhelming 450 votes in favour. Meanwhile, at the doors of the Congress in Brasilia, over 10,000 protesters stormed the streets to protest over the approval of PEC-55. Demonstrators set several vehicles on fire and shut down one of the main surrounding roads. As the situation escalated, clashes between the riot police and the protesters were reported.

Woman killed by stray bullet in Fortaleza

On 26 November, a woman was killed by a stray bullet in Fortaleza, Ceará state, north-eastern Brazil. The incident happened in the Vila Velha neighbourhood, when two armed assailants opened fire at another man. The woman was taken to the local hospital, where she died of her wounds. The incident happened one day after a 34-year-old prison guard was shot dead in the Bom Jardim neighbourhood when coming back from church. Recent data revealed that Fortaleza is the most dangerous city among the 26 state capitals in Brazil, reporting a homicide rate of 61 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Football team's plane crashes in north-western Colombia

On 28 November, at least 75 people were killed in a plane crash near Medellín, north-western Colombia. The plane was coming from São Paulo, Brazil, through the central Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. According to the authorities, the plane reported an electrical fault to air traffic control and lost contact at around 22:15 local time, in the Colombian mountainous region between La Ceja and Abejorral, Antioquia department. The flight was carrying the whole delegation of a Brazilian first division football team to the final of a major South-American tournament. 

Thousands march against the federal government in São Paulo

Thousands of members of social movements took to the streets of São Paulo on Sunday afternoon. The protesters marched through the Avenida Paulista to demonstrate against new government measures regarding the establishment of limits on public spending. The group also demanded that president Michel Temer steps down and urged for fresh elections. The action was triggered by the new government's proposal to give amnesty to members of the government involved in corruption scandals during election campaigns.

Dozens of robbers shut down main avenue in Rio

Over a dozen robbers shut down one of Rio's busiest roads in order to carry out a 'arrastão' - a swarm attack. The incident happened at the end of the afternoon on Sunday near the Guadalupe area of the city. Witnesses told Globo that the Avenida Brasil is a very dangerous area of the city, where robberies and other crimes often take place. Such attacks often occur in busy avenues, boulevards, and beaches;, however, criminals have expanded the technique to roads and attacks on cars.



Secretary Office minister steps down after involvement in scandal

On 25 November, the Minister Chief of the Secretary Office of Government Geddel Vieira Lima, handed over his resignation to President Michel Temer. Geddel is stepping down from office after being implicated in the investigations carried out by the Federal Police (PF). The former Minister of Culture, Marcelo Calero, told the PF that Geddel was pressuring him on the issuing of a construction license for a luxurious apartment in Salvador, north-eastern Brazil - where Gebbel allegedly has an apartment. Geddel is the sixth minister to step down since Temer became president in August.

Dozens of doctors march in São Paulo over delayed grants

On 24 November, dozens of doctors marched through the streets of southern São Paulo city to demand a new adjustment on benefits. The demonstrators marched from the Morumbi Stadium towards the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the headquarters of the state government. The march was endorsed by several hospitals and clinics across the city who demand that the governor, Geraldo Alckmin, authorises the payment of delayed grants that were agreed to be established in March.

Five shot in separate incidents in northern São Paulo

On 24 November, one person was killed and four others injured in separate shootings in São Paulo. The incidents happened near the Freguesia do Ó neighbourhood, in the northern area of the city. In the first attack, a teenager was attacked by a shooter on a motorcycle and died of his wounds after being taken to the local hospital. Moments later, a similar attack injured four people on the Humberto Gomes Maia avenue. All the victims were later taken to the hospital. Recent data revealed that shootings in the area are not very common, reporting one of the lowest rates on homicides compared with other areas in southern São Paulo.

Cases of sexual harassment increase in São Paulo's metro

The number of cases of sexual harassment against women in São Paulo's public transport services suffered an increase of 26 percent in 2016. The data was provided to GloboNews and revealed that 141 cases of harassment were reported in trains and metro stations operated by São Paulo's Metropolitan Train Company (CPTM). Cases of sexual harassment, mainly targeting women, are very common in São Paulo. The assailants are rarely prosecuted due to the lack of evidence or witnesses willing to report the incident to the authorities.

Rio Grande do Sul state declares deep financial crisis

On 22 November, the local government of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, declared state of financial emergency. The announcement made by the state's governor, José Ivo Sartori, stated that local authorities are allowed and urged to use exceptional measures to manage public services. The move comes as the government revealed an increase in public spending in education, security and health, but has not been able to pay civil servants. Rio Grande do Sul is the second state to announce the measure. In June, the state of Rio de Janeiro announced that the local government was facing a severe financial crisis ahead of the Olympic Games.

Three injured by stray bullets in Rio

On 23 November, three people were critically wounded in separate incidents in Rio. All the victims were injured by stray bullets in the northern and central areas of the city. In Rio Comprido, a woman was shot on the neck while at her house in the Morro do Fallet. Witnesses told Globo that shootings were reported in the area for unknown reasons. Hours later in the Complexo do Lins, two youngsters were shot during an alleged operation by the police special forces - BOPE - in the Cachoeira Grande community. Casualties caused by stray bullets in Rio are common, especially during police operations or gang confrontations.

Two men killed at pizzeria in northern Rio

On 23 November, two men were shot dead by unknown assailants riding a motorcycle as they were sat at a pizzeria in Rio's northern area of Grajaú. Both victims were taken to the local hospital but died from their wounds. One of the victims is a retired military police officer, who was working as a security guard. The motives for the attack remain unclear. According to a local witness, the region is known for some sporadic cases of robberies, but assassinations rarely occur.

Two men killed by criminal duo in Rio

Two men - father and son - have been shot dead in front of their home in Nova Iguaçu, metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. The attack happened as two heavily armed men targeted the victims near their house in the Camari neighbourhood. Reports have shown that both of them worked as civil servants on a local council. Nova Iguaçu has one of the highest homicide rates in Rio's metropolitan region and across the state.

Dozens of lawyers arrested over gang involvement in São Paulo

On 22 November, at least 41 people were arrested over involvement with a criminal group that operates from inside prisons in São Paulo after the state prosecutor's office and the police launched a joint operation in 20 different locations across the state. Most of the suspects are lawyers who, police allege, managed financial records of the criminal faction and revealed names and home addresses of prison guards. The operation started in May 2015, after guards from two maximum security prisons intercepted letters intended to some of the lawyers.

Four police officers killed in helicopter crash during operation in Rio

On 19 November, a police helicopter has crashed during an operation in the Cidade de Deus community in western Rio, killing four police officers. The following day, operations in the area continued, with two suspects being arrested and several weapons seized. The authorities revealed that the helicopter was not bullet-proof and its occupants were very experienced officers. An investigation into the crash is underway. Police operations across Rio's slums often result in shootings, where deaths caused by stray bullets often occur.

Couple assassinated in Curitiba, Paraná state

On 17 November, two people were shot dead at the Japão square in the Água Verde neighbourhood, Curitiba, Paraná state, southern Brazil. According to the police, the victims were attacked from a moving vehicle. Preliminary investigations suggest that the attack was an act of revenge but this has not been officially confirmed. Curitiba reports one of the highest murder rates in southern Brazil, where most of the cases are drug-related or personal revenge attacks.

Thousands block state road on protest in Pará

Over 5,000 public school teachers shut down the PA-140 state road in Pará, north-eastern Brazil. The authorities told Globo that the demonstrators were protesting over the cut to their benefits and grants. The incident happened near the village of Concórdia do Pará, north-eastern area of the state. There has been a widespread wave of protests over federal and state government cuts to education where, besides blocking roads, students and teachers are occupying schools and universities to demand more funds.

Three buses set ablaze in northern Rio

On 17 November, three buses were set on fire when rival factions of a criminal gang clashed on the Cidade Alta community in Cordovil neighbourhood, northern Rio. Several roads, including the main access road to the community on the Avenida Brasil,  were blocked after the assailants set the buses on fire. The Cidade Alta community is located very close to roads leading to Rio's International Airport, Galeão. Confrontation between criminal groups may expand beyond the suburban areas of the city. So far during 2016, more the 34 buses have been attacked and set ablaze in Rio.

Former Rio governor arrested amid 'Car Wash' investigations

The Federal Police (PF) launched a coordinated operation in Rio de Janeiro and Paraná states amid investigations of the 'Car Wash' corruption scandal. The former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, was arrested on 17 November under suspicion of diverting over R$ 220 million in public infrastructures contracts. Nine others were also arrested, including several former secretaries. The multi-state task-force enforced 52 search warrants and a number of arrests. Cabral was detained one day after another former governor, Anthony Garotinho was arrested. The 'Car Wash' investigations have been targeting several senior government officials and prominent business owners involved in irregular bidding processes and corruption related to the state-owned oil company Petrobrás.

Dozens protest over local killed by police in Belo Horizonte

Dozens of protesters staged a protest on the streets of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais state, south-eastern Brazil. The demonstrators set tyres on fire and blocked the Carlos Luz Avenue, near the bus terminal, in the Sumaré neighbourhood. According to the news channel Globo, the action was triggered after one of the inhabitants of the area was shot dead during a police operation. Sumaré is a slum located in north-eastern Belo Horizonte and is often raided by the police as some criminal gangs carry out robberies and car thefts in the community.

Five criminals raid passenger bus in Manaus

Five criminals, three men and two women, stormed a passenger bus in northern area of Manaus, Amazonas state. The incident happened at the Toquato Tapajós Avenue, where one of the criminals pointed a gun at the driver while the other assailants robbed the passengers. On 13 November, another driver was stabbed to death while working on the eastern area of the city. Dozens of bus drivers and workers staged a brief protest over the wave of insecurity in Manaus, which has reported over 2,700 robberies to buses in 2016 so far.

Mozambican student found dead at apartment in Mossoró

On 14 November, a Mozambican national was found dead at an apartment complex in Mossoró in Pernambuco state, north-eastern Brazil. Geraldo Monteiro Silvério was a student of the Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido (UFERSA) and was found with wounds to his head and body. The police launched an investigation to assess the causes and motives behind the death. The student is believed to have been living in Mossoró for at least one year.

Hundreds protest over federal reforms in Cuiabá

On 15 November, around 500 people from multiple workers' syndicates stated a protests in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso state, central Brazil. The demonstrators gathered at the Ipiranga square to protest against the new work and education reforms proposed by the federal government. According to a syndicate leader, Robinson Cireira, the act is against the proposed changes made by president Michel Temer, which are claimed to hinder the workers' rights. The constitutional amendment known as the PEC 241, and later at the Senate as PEC 55, aims to create a expense caps on education and other sectors. The law, which headed to the main chamber of the Senate for voting, has been generating a wave of protests across major Brazilian cities.

Four dead in separate incidents in São Luís

Four homicides were reported in the early hours of 12 November, in the outskirts of São Luís in Maranhão State, north-eastern Brazil. The incidents took place in separate locations across the city's Metropolitan region. A 30-year-old man was stabbed to death in the Alemanha neighbourhood by a wanted man following an argument. A similar attack took place in the Vila Janaína area, where Márcio Viegas was found dead after an alleged stabbing. In the Vila Bacanga neighbourhood, another case involving a shooting led to the death of Dipson Duarte. Also, reports showed that an unidentified woman was found burned to death in the Vassoral area. São Luís, as in most major north-eastern Brazilian cities, often reports one of the highest assassination rates in the country.

Six homicides reported over the weekend in Feira de Santana

Six people were killed over the weekend in separate incidents in Feira de Santana, Bahia state, north-eastern Brazil. The first incident happened in the Centro neighbourhood, where two people were shot dead on 12 November. The same day, a 16-year-old was shot near a deserted area in the Queimadinha area. Moments later, in the Maria Quitéria district, a 50-year-old man was found dead near a local football field. On 13 November, Joilson Lucena was shot multiple times in the Campo Limpo area, and later that day, a woman was assassinated with two shots to the head at a bar in Expansão do Feira IX neighbourhood. The homicide unit of the police is investigating the motives of all the murders. According to the authorities, 11 people have been killed in November so far, and 310 during the year in Feira de Santana.

Four bank branches exploded overnight in Parana

Overnight on 13-14 November, four bank branches were exploded by a criminal gang in Terra Rica, south Brazil's Parana state. The blasts were reported in several areas of the town, located on the north-western region of the state. According to the authorities, the attack was similar to the explosions reported in early August in the same town, where the assailants opened fire indiscriminately against the police. Heavily armed criminal gangs often attack bank branches overnight across Brazil, usually using explosives to blast their way in.

Four men found dead inside a car in Porto Alegre

On 9 November, four decapitated bodies were found inside a stolen car in Rio Grand do Sul, southern Brazil. The victims were found in the Salomé neighbourhood in Alvorada, a metropolitan region of Porto Alegre. Preliminary investigations led to the conclusion that the deaths were part of a revenge attack carried out by a rival gang. In recent months, Porto Alegre has been haunted by a widespread wave of brutal crimes carried out by organised criminal groups operating in the region. 

Hundreds of taxi drivers stage protest against Uber in Brasilia

Hundreds of taxi drivers have staged a protest against Uber - an app-based transport service - and their operations in the country. The demonstration in the capital Brasilia aimed to pressure Brazil's Congress to approve the proposed federal motion that forbids Uber from operating in the country. The protesters headed towards the National Congress building and disrupted traffic on the area. The rally was peaceful, however protests against Uber across the world tend to escalate quickly.

Protesters invade state assembly in Rio

On 8 November, a group of protesters stormed Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly (Alerj) to demonstrate against the government's recent austerity measures. Several people raided the facilities of the Alerj and occupied part of the building for nearly three hours. The demonstration comes as the government announced several cuts to public services, which has been affecting the payment of salaries to civil servants. The measures also include the suspension of the salary's increase and the end of key social programmes. The protest started in front of the building during the morning, where hundreds of people and syndicates attended the demonstration.

Federal government freezes Rio accounts over debt payment

The Federal government ordered the bank accounts of Rio de Janeiro state to be frozen over failing of debt payments. Official sources says that Rio state owes the federal government over $53m. The state has been facing a deep economical crisis even since before the Olympic Games, when the governor Luiz Fernando Pezão declared state of financial emergency. The move comes as Pezão announced austerity measures in the state on Friday, which may affect the payment of civil servants, increase in taxes and the price of public transport.

Criminal gangs engage in confrontation in Rio

On 6 November, a fierce clash between rival gangs took place in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. Over the course of the night, an intense confrontation between criminal groups led to the deployment of the military police to the Pimba, Santo Cristo and Palmeirinha communities, in the Fonseca neighbourhood. The three neighbouring communities are known areas of rival gangs, which often clash over territorial claims. Despite not targeting civilians directly, the risk of casualties caused by stray bullets is significant in the surrounding areas.

Taxi driver assassinated during robbery attempt in Sao Paulo

A taxi-driver has been shot dead by two assailants in an eastern area of São Paulo. The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon when Claudio Francisco da Silva was approached by two armed men during an attempt to take his vehicle. The victim was shot in the stomach and taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. This is the fifth assassination of a taxi driver in São Paulo during 2016.

Hundreds protest over constitutional ammendment in Brasilia

On 31 October, more than 300 students from the University of Brasilia (UnB) launched a protest against the new Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC 241) that was approved by the lower house of Congress in the previous week. The UnB students occupied the chancellery building to demonstrate against the PEC 241, which aims to introduce a public expenses cap for the next 20 years. The police fears that the protest may spread to other parts of the university and disrupt the institutions' operations. Over ten public institutions in Brasilia are still occupied by students as the same movement spread across the country.

Suspect drug-trafficker death triggers protests in southern Rio

A protest broke out following a police operation in the Chapéu Mangueira community of the Leme neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, in which an alleged drug trafficker was killed. The protest took place at the main entrance to the community, with the local population destroying two police cars and throwing stones at the armed officers. The operation came after a tip-off regarding a wanted drug-trafficker hidden in the community area of Igrejinha. Locals have repeatedly blamed the police for the ongoing violence in the community.

Man shot dead by armed gunmen in Manaus

On 1 November, an unknown man has been shot dead in the eastern area of Manaus, Amazonas state. According to the authorities, the victim was near his girlfriend's house in São José neighbouhood when he was approached by armed gunmen, who shot him at least ten times, killing him instantly. The police have launched an investigation into the killing, although it has been hampered by an unwillingness from eyewitnesses to disclose any information for fear of retaliation from criminal gangs. 

Woman's car sprayed with bullets in western Rio

On 1 November, a 37-year-old woman was killed when she was caught in a cross-fire in the Morro do Banco community, in western Rio de Janeiro. According to the homicide division of the police, her car was hit with at least 17 high calibre bullets. The victim was caught in the middle of a firefight between police and gunmen, who were trying to rob establishments in the area. The police are investigating whether the attack was an attempt by the gunmen to steal her car to flee the scene. Shootings around the Morro do Banco area are common, with rival gangs often engaging in shootouts over territorial disputes.

Twenty killed and a dozen injured on road accident in Parana

On 31 October, at least 20 people have been killed and 11 others were injured on a road accident in southern Brazil. The crash took place on Parana state road PR-323 near the Cafezal do Sul city, when a bus carrying hospital patients collided with a lorry. According to the authorities, 19 of the victims trapped inside the bus were burned to death. Accidents in some isolated Brazilian roads are common due to the poor road conditions and lack of investment. It is highly advisable that drivers use, when possible, toll roads that are often monitored and on better conditions.

Seven dead in riot at youth prison in Caruaru, Pernambuco state

On 31 October, seven inmates were killed in a riot at a youth prison in Caruaru, Pernambuco state. The victims were between 14 and 18 years old, and six of them were burnt to death. Police deployed tear gas to control the riot, and inmates set part of the building on fire. Police are investigating the causes of the riot, but it believed to be sparked by clashes between rival gangs in the overcrowded prison, in which 205 inmates are living in a facility with a capacity for 90. 

Brazilian evangelist Marcelo Crivella elected mayor of Rio de Janeiro

On 31 October, a Brazilian evangelical pastor, Marcelo Crivella, was elected as the mayor of Rio de Janeiro in the second round of municipal elections. He beat his opponent, left-wing Marcelo Freixo, by a margin of 20 percentage points. Observers state that his victory was helped by voter anger over a second year of economic recession and the fallout from a huge political corruption scandal. 

Bank robbers target ATM with explosives at mall in Sao Paulo

Over a dozen assailants stormed a commercial centre in the western area of Sao Paulo during an attempt to rob two ATM machines. The incident took place at the Itapevi Center complex during the early hours on Thursday while the stores were still closed. Two security guards were attacked and the branch of a bank located inside the building was completely destroyed by explosives.

Woman killed by stray bullet in Rio

At approximately 17:30 local time on 26 October, a 21-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet in Rio de Janeiro. The incident took place during the afternoon when Bruna Lace de Freitas was at her house in Engenho da Rainha, in the northern part of the city. She died in hospital after being hit in the face by the stray round. Reports from the victim's family state that the shot was fired during a confrontation between the police and criminals in a nearby slum. This is the second death in the area caused by a stray bullet in less than 24 hours.

Eight inmates die in Enio dos Santos Prison riot in Porto Velho

On 17 October, eight inmates died of smoke inhalation when other prisoners set fire to their mattresses in the Enio dos Santos prison in Porto Velho. Reports claim that the unrest occurred when a gang leader was transferred to the prison, which is controlled by a rival gang. Brazilian authorities have regained control of the facility and have begun an investigation into the incident. 

Prison gang clashes leave 25 dead

At least 25 inmates have been killed in clashes at a prison in northern Brazil.  Seven of the victims were beheaded and six others burned to death at the Agricola de Monte Cristo prison in Boa Vista in Roraima state.  The Roraima state secretary of justice, Uziel Castro, said 100 visitors were briefly taken hostage during the riot.  Around 1,400 inmates are currently in the prison, which has a capacity of 740.

Former Finance Minister arrested in connection with Petrobras corruption scandal

Former Brazilian Finance Minister Antonio Palocci has been arrested in connection with the long-running Petrobras corruption scandal. Prosecutors' allege that Palocci had maintained a "criminal relationship" with officials at the Odebrecht construction firm. They accused him of facilitating contracts with Petrobras and helping the group get credit from a state bank in return for donations to the governing Workers' Party. 

Former Finance Minister arrested in connection with Petrobras corruption scandal

On 22 September, Brazilian police arrested former Finance Minister Guido Mantega in connection with the high-profile Petrobras corruption scandal. His arrest comes two days after former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was put on trial for accepting bribes. Police have reportedly executed warrants for eight arrests and 32 'search and seiz' operations in five states and the capital of Brasilia. 

Former president Lula to stand trial for corruption

On 20 September, a federal judge ruled that former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will stand trial for corruption and will face charges of accepting 3.7 million Brazilian reais (1.14 million USD) in bribes connected to a kickback probe at Petrobras, the state-run oil company. Judge Sergio Moro stated that Lula was a "direct beneficiary" of bribes from one of the engineering and construction firms at the heart of the scandal, and so must stand trial. Lula's wife, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva; OAS Chief Executive Jose Aldemario Pinheiro; Paulo Okamotto, the president of the Lula Institute, and four others will also stand trial. Lula has denied the charges. 

Ex-president and wife charged in Petrobras corruption scandal

On 14 September, former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his wife and six others were charged with corruption relating to their alleged ties to a scandal involving state owned oil and gas company Petrobras. Da Silva has been described as the leader of a kickback scandal that cost the company up to 12.6 billion USD. Da Silva and his wife are accused of accepting bribes in return for awarding overpriced construction contracts to certain companies. Some of this finance is believed to have been used to finance election campaigns. The allegations are denied by da Silva, with his lawyers citing a lack of evidence. 

Ex-speaker expelled from Congress and charged with corruption

On 13 September, the Brazilian Congress voted 450 to 10 to strip Eduardo Cunha, the ex-speaker of the house, of his seat in Congress. The decision was made when it was discovered that Cunha had lied about secret Swiss bank accounts and took bribes from various companies. The Supreme Court charged Cunha with corruption and banned him from politics for eight years. They also stripped him of his Congressional prerogatives, meaning that he no longer has immunity and now faces arrest. Cunha has denied all the allegations and has threatened to take down other politicians if he is prosecuted. 

Anti-Temer rally held in Sao Paulo

Thousands of people joined a rally against Brazil's interim president, Michel Temer, in Sao Paulo on Thursday.  The protest began in Largo do Batata in the west of the city and headed towards Temer's home in Alto de Pinheiros.  Along with calling for Temer's resignation, the protesters also called for new presidential elections in the wake of the impeachment of former president, Dilma Rousseff.

Two suspected terror supporters arrested in Sao Paulo

On 6 September, Brazilian police arrested two people for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terror group on social media. The identities of the suspects, arrested in Sao Paulo, have not been released. The arrests occurred one day before the start of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Thousands take part in renewed impeachment protests in Sao Paulo

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Sao Paulo amid renewed protests over the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. The demonstration took place across the weekend in the major roads of the city centre, where violence escalated when a group of assailants disrupted the peaceful march. Authorities fired water cannons and launched stun grenades in order to disperse the crowd. The protest was comprised of at least 30 social movements under the flag of the Brazilian People's Front, which has been carrying out protesst during the last few days against the senate's decision on ousting Dilma Rousseff from office.

Leftist Latin American ambassadors recalled after impeachment vote

The impeachment of former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has placed the country in a regional diplomatic crisis. After the announcement of Rousseff's impeachment, the South American leftist governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador recalled their ambassadors as sign of protest against the alleged coup. In a TV speech, the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, said that: "This coup d'etat isn't just against Dilma. It is against Latin America and the Caribbean. It is against us (...), This is an attack against the popular, progressive, leftist movement." Despite not recalling its ambassador, the government of El Salvador also stated its criticism over the decision.

Dilma Rousseff ousted in Senate's final impeachment vote

The process of impeachment against Dilma Rousseff was formalized on Tuesday after voting at the Senate. Rousseff was found guilty over breaking the country's budgetary laws. 61 senators voted in favour of her deposition, while 20 others voted against it. Despite her deposition, the vote to take away her political rights, such as forbid her to run for or hold public offices in the next eight years, had failed. Her former vice-president, Michel Temer, was installed as the country's new Chief of State right after the results were known. He is set to hold office until 2018, when general elections are scheduled to take place.

Hundreds protest impeachment vote in Sao Paulo

Following the ousting of the former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, hundreds of people stormed the streets of Sao Paulo to protest against the impeachment vote on Tuesday. The demonstration came as part of a series of protests prior to the senate's vote on finding Dilma Rousseff guilty of violation of the budgetary legislation. Several police cars, buses and banks were attacked with stones during clashes between the protesters and the police, who fired several rounds of tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. The impeachment of Dilma Rousseff is expected to generate further unrest in the following weeks across the country. It is highly recommended to keep away from large gatherings and political demonstrations, as the volatility of such protests may generate an instant violent escalation.

One criminal killed during robbery attempt in Rio

A robbery attempt in the Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro left one dead and two injured on Thursday night. Four armed men opened fire on a vehicle, where one of the occupants was an undercover police officer. During the attempted robbery, the officer opened fire on the assailants. One was injured, and another died of his wounds while fleeing down a secondary road. During the incident, the police officer was accompanied by his wife, who sustained a gun wound after being shot in the leg. At the same time in a nearby road a man was shot in the back during a robbery of a taxi.

Scores arrested over international drug-trafficking in southern Brazil

An anti-drug operation launched by the Civil police of Rio Grande do Sul state led to the detention of 33 people connected to international drug-trafficking. More than 400 police officers from multiple agencies took part in the 10-month-long investigation led by the Narcotics Division of the State Department (DENARC). The gang, accused of trafficking ecstasy and other synthetic drugs from Europe through the borders with Uruguay and Paraguay, also operated in other southern and south-eastern areas of Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul.

Police officers protest over working conditions in Federal District

Civil police officers staged a protest in the country's capital, Brasilia, to demand better salaries and benefits along with more funding for new equipment. The demonstration came after the Federal District Civil police were promised 300 new vehicles, but when they arrived, most of them came damaged or had missing parts. The demonstration comes as part of an ongoing strike, where most of the police stations in the state have been only offering basic services since June. The civil police is Brazil's main agency assigned to carry forensic and criminals investigations.

Taxi drivers stage protest to demand more security in Piaui

Dozens of taxi drivers staged a protest on the streets of Teresina, Brazil's north-eastern state of Piaui, to demand more security over the violent wave of robberies and attacks on public transports. The protest was triggered by the death of Pedro Manoel de Oliveira Neto, a taxi driver who was shot dead during a robbery attempt on Monday. According to police sources, the incident happened as two men entered the taxi and were followed by a suspected vehicle. Between 2015 and 2016, four taxi drivers were killed in the region, which raised several concerns regarding the safety of the professionals and their respective passengers.

Criminal attacks in Acre continue for sixth consecutive night

On 22 August, a wave of attacks carried out by criminal gangs in the northwestern state of Acre continued for the sixth consecutive night. Over the past six nights, criminals have carried out 45 attacks, including home invasions and arson attempts against both vehicles and public buildings. Police have reportedly arrested 12 people suspected to have been involved in acts of vandalism over the weekend. The wave of attacks is believed to have been triggered by the killing of a local burglar, who was shot in a confrontation with police. A 300 strong police force continues to monitor the streets at night, in an attempt to prevent attacks, and the army continues to patrol federal highways.

Renewed wave of violence hits Acre state

After police officers shot dead a 18-year-old assailant in Acre's capital Rio Branco, at least nine criminal incidents were reported across Brazil's north-western state on Thursday. The retaliation from local criminal gangs took place in several cities of the state, with Rio Branco being the most affected. At least six school buses and four lorries were set on fire in the city. Over 370 members from several government agencies were deployed to the area to suppress the violent criminal wave.

Thousands protest against interim president in Sao Paulo

Thousands of people staged a protest against interim President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo. Over 5,000 protesters demanded housing benefits and criticised government policies that they claim to hinder workers' rights. The demonstration took place near the Corinthians Arena football stadium, moments before the Olympic Games semi-final match between Germany and Nigeria. The protest was organized by the People Without Fear Front, a group of activist entities aimed to fight against corruption and inequality.

Landless Workers' Movement stage protest across Pernambuco

Members of the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) carried out a series of demonstrations across several highways in Pernambuco state, north-eastern Brazil. Authorities announced that the protesters set fire to tyres and blocked the roads at multiple points in Caruaru, Goiana, Moreno and Sao Lourenço da Mata. A senior member of the MST told Globo that the protesters demand Brazil's interim President Michel Temer to step down and call for the return of Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended amid the impeachment process due to be completed until the end of the month.

National Force soldier dies of gunshot wounds in Rio

A soldier from the National Force has died in Hospital Salgado Filho in Rio de Janeiro of gunshot wounds.  Helio Viera Andrade was shot along with another National Force soldier in the Complexo da Mare favela in the north of the city earlier this week.  They had entered Vila do Joao by mistake while driving to the Avenue Brazil.  The country's Justice Minister, Alexandre de Moraes, said: "I want to express my feelings to the family of the soldier Helio Vieira, who suffered a cowardly attack, and unfortunately died today as a result of injuries."

Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Rio de Janeiro

Taxi drivers in Rio de Janeiro are planning a demonstration against the ride-sharing company Uber on Friday.  The US Consulate General's office warned of transport delays for visitors to venues in the Barra Olympic Park, where the protest is expected to take place.  In April police clashed with taxi drivers in the city when they held a similar protest against Uber.

Senate approves special commision report

After the impeachment special commission approved a document linking President Dilma Rousseff to crimes of responsibility, Brazil's Senate approved the report on Tuesday with 59 votes out of 81. With the approval of the report, the next step to be taken is the final Senate vote. Meanwhile, all the documents produced by the impeachment special commission will be handed to the High Court judge Ricardo Lewandowski, who will set a date for the trial. If the final vote is approved with at least 54 votes, Dilma will be impeached and the interim President Michel Temer will assume the mandate until the end of the term.

International press bus attacked in western Rio

A bus carrying members of the international press and the Olympic Committee was attacked on Tuesday night in Rio's western area of Curicica. The police officer on board stated that the vehicle was attacked with stones while heading towards the Barra Olympic Park, leaving two passengers slightly injured by broken glass. Some passengers claimed to have heard gunshots, however the police are still examining the vehicle. The police and the military both have an increased presence in the area during the games.

Dilma Rousseff closer to impeachment after report approval

President Dilma Rousseff is one step closer to impeachment after the special senate's commission approved a new report on Thursday. The document released by Senator Antonio Anastasia was based on the statement of 44 witnesses and the analysis of 171 files. The preliminary investigation links Dilma to the infringement of the budget laws, violating the constitution through the manipulation of budget figures to minimize the impact of the country's deficit. The report was approved with 14 votes to five, and now heads to a vote on Tuesday, where the majority of the 81 senators need to approve the document.

Fresh wave of protests in Rio ahead of the Olympic Games

As the Olympic torch relay reaches its final destination, a fresh wave of public unrest has taken place in Duque de Caxias in Rio's metropolitan area. The incident was triggered when a Brazilian musician carrying the torch interrupted the ceremony to protest against interim President Michel Temer. Several people from the State Syndicate for Education Workers (SEPE) also staged a protest by throwing stones at the authorities, who responded by firing rubber bullets, pepper spray, and stun grenades. A 10-year-old girl was hit by a rubber bullet on the leg and taken to the local hospital. Recently, the Olympic torch relay was suspended after dozens of people protested in Niteroi over better public services and the payment of outstanding civil servants' salaries.

Police commissioner shot during operation in Rio

A police commissioner sustained gun wounds after being shot during a security operation in northern Rio de Janeiro.  Over 450 police officers, from several special detachments of the civil and military police, took part in Tuesday's raids in the Complexo do Alemao area. The Complexo do Alemao is one of the most volatile regions in northern Rio, and where for the last few weeks shootings have been reported on a daily basis.

Criminals unleash wave of violence in Rio Grande do Norte

An intense wave of violence was reported in Brazil's northern state of Rio Grande do Norte during the weekend. The unrest was created by members of a criminal gang, who set fire to dozens of buses and opened fire at government buildings. Official sources stated that the situation was triggered by the announcement of the installation of cell-phone signal blockers at the Parnamirim prison, along with the decision to transfer some of the gang's leaders from the state's main jail to a federal prison. At least 65 people were arrested on Friday on suspicion of involvement in acts of violence and vandalism. Interim President Michel Temer authorised the deployment of 1,000 soldiers and 200 marines to restore order in the state.

Lula faces trial on obstruction charges

Brazil's former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will go on trial to face charges of obstruction of justice in connection to the scandal at state-owned oil giant Petrobras.  Lula and six others are accused of hampering Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato), which is investigating mass fraud at Petrobras.  Lula's successor and fellow Workers' Party member, Dilma Rousseff, is currently suspended from office pending an impeachment trial.

Lula files UNHRC motion against 'Car Wash' judge

The office of former Brazilian President Lula da Silva confirmed on Thursday that his lawyers have filed a motion with the UN Human Rights Council over his judicial persecution amid the 'Car Wash' investigations. Both of his lawyers, Cristiano Zanin and Geoffrey Robertson, said that the judge responsible for the investigations, Sergio Moro, and his team of prosecutors are committing abuses of power against the former Workers' Party leader and violating the International Convention to Civil and Political Rights. Lula is among several senior Brazilian politicians who are under investigation in Brazil's largest ever corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobrás.

Chinese tourists robbed in southern Rio

Days ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, three Chinese nationals were robbed in the southern district of Gloria on Thursday. According to the police, the criminals took over $10k and several thousand in Brazilian currency, along with the victim's passports and cellphones. Robbery incidents involving tourists and Olympic athletes has become a major issue in Rio. On Wednesday an Australian broadcasting crew were targeted by robbers while filming on Copacabana beach.

Olympic torch relay interrupted by protesters in Rio

Several protesters interrupted the Olympic torch relay in two separate incidents in Angra dos Reis and Japuiba in central Rio de Janeiro.  The demonstrations were related to the closure of an emergency service unit, the suspension of public transport services and the delay of public servants' salaries. Protesters and the military police engaged in clashes on both occasions, triggering the security forces to fire rubber bullets and stun grenades. One wounded child was taken to the local hospital for treatment. The incident comes one week before the start of Rio's Olympic Games, which has been the focus of multiple demonstrations across the city.

New Zealand athlete kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro

A New Zealand athlete claims he was the victim of an express kidnapping in Rio de Janeiro.  Jason Lee, a jiu-jitsu athlete, said men dressed in military police uniforms abducted him and forced him to withdraw money from two ATMs. “I was threatened with arrest if I did not get in their private car and accompany them to two ATMs to withdraw a large sum of money for a bribe." said Lee.  The incident comes on the eve of the Olympic Games, which begin in the city on 5 August.

Relative of F1 chief kidnapped in Sao Paulo

The mother-in-law of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has been kidnapped in Sao Paulo.  Aparecida Schunck, 67, was abducted on Friday night and her kidnappers are reported to be demanding a ransom of $36.5m.  Mr Ecclestone,85, is worth an estimated $3bn and married Brazilian Fabiana Flosi in 2012.

Security forces arrest terror cell in Brazil

Brazil's security forces have arrested 10 people suspected of planning to commit acts of terrorism during the Olympic Games.  The suspects, all Brazilian citizens, were spread across the southern state of Parana and were connected via social media, according to Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes.  "Those involved participated in an online group denominated 'the defenders of Sharia' and were planning to acquire weapons to commit crimes in Brazil and even overseas," Moraes told a news conference. "It was an absolutely amateur cell, with no preparation at all, a disorganized cell".

Masked protesters gather at state assembly in Rio

Several masked protesters staged a demonstration in front of Rio de Janeiro's state assembly as it was holding the vote on next years' budget. Security guards used pepper spray to prevent the demonstrators from entering the building.  Riot police were also deployed to the scene, triggering further civil unrest, with protesters setting trash bins on fire and throwing pavement stones at the authorities.

Increased security at Olympic airport in Rio

Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has warned people to arrive at Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont airport early after increased security measures caused long delays.  From Monday travellers on internal flights are subject to the same strict guidelines as international travellers.  ANAC said the measures weren't connected to the upcoming Olympics, although Brazilian authorities said they would increase security in the country after last week's attack in Nice.  The Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo also reported similar delays on Monday.

Man dies after being hit by stray bullet in Rio

A 37-year-old man has died after being shot in Rio's northern area. Felipe Galdino da Silva was with his friends at a square in the Caju neighbourhood when he was hit by a stray bullet. Felipe was rushed to the local hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds. Eyewitnesses say that the shots were fired from a black vehicle passing near the square, however police reports state that the gunfire was the result of a gang confrontation. Over the last 72 hours five people have been killed by stray bullets across Rio. 

France warned of terror plot against Olympic team

The head of French military intelligence said "partner agencies" have warned of a planned terror attack against the French team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  A spokesman for Brazil’s institutional security cabinet said: “We were not the source of information and the Brazilian intelligence agency (Abin) was not officially informed either of this matter.” No further details were given about the nature of the plot.

Police officer wounded in Rio shooting

A police officer was wounded in a shooting in a northern region of Rio de Janeiro. Fabio Alves was riding his motorcycle through the Furquim Mendes neighbourhood when he was shot by an unknown man. The incident occurred in the same area where days earlier a 38-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet. Security concerns have been raised ahead the Olympic games to be held in Rio de Janeiro next month, where more than 60 police officers have already been killed in 2016

Brazil's lower house speaker resigns

Brazil's lower house speaker handed in his resignation on Thursday. Eduardo Cunha, one of the main figures behind the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, said that his resignation is due to the instability in the lower house of Congress caused by the interim government. He also said: “It is well known that the house is brainless,” describing his treatment as cruel and inhuman. Cunha had his political rights suspended by the Supreme Court after being accused of involvement in the 'Car Wash' corruption scandal.

Family car sprayed with bullets in Rio

A family car was sprayed with bullets at a shopping centre car park in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro late on Wednesday. At least 14 shots were fired at the vehicle, killing a 41-year-old man and severely injuring a 30-year-old woman. A child was on the back seat but survived the attack unharmed. There is still no information about what motivated the crime.

Police officer killed by robbers in Sao Paulo

A police officer was shot dead during a robbery on a security and cash-in-transit company in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo. According to local residents, at least 20 heavily armed men in 10 vehicles attacked the facility and destroyed two electricity boxes, causing power cuts in nearly 2,000 homes. During their escape the assailants opened fire on two patrol officers, fatally wounding one of them. The area has been isolated while the authorities investigate the incident.

Rio de Janeiro police issue warning to tourists

Police in Rio de Janeiro have warned tourists arriving for the Olympic Games that they may not be safe in the city.  Off-duty officers held a banner at Galeao International Airport on Monday which said: "Welcome to Hell".  "Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe,” the sign read.  Hundreds of officers also held a protest at the state assembly in the city over unpaid wages.

Former planning minister arrested in Brasilia

Brazil's former planning minister was arrested on Thursday on corruption allegations. The Federal Police (PF) arrested Paulo Bernardo, former Worker's Party Minister of Planning and Communications between 2005 and 2015, under the Operation Custo Brasil. The operation is a branch of the 'Car Wash' investigation led by the PF and the Prosecutor's Office. He is accused of receiving bribes totalling nearly $30m between 2010 and 2015.

Federal police dismantle corruption network

An operation led by Brazil's Federal Police (PF) dismantled a corruption network accused of money laundering in Goias and Pernambuco states. Officers under 'Operation Turbulence' seized several assets, including helicopters, vessels, airplanes and bank accounts belonging to the suspects. The network is also linked to the acquisition of the plane which transported the presidential candidate Eduardo Santos and crashed in August 2014 during his campaign. The operation is also related to the 'Car Wash' investigations involving the state-run oil company Petrobrás, Brazil's biggest ever corruption scandal.

Australian Paralympian robbed at gunpoint in Rio

An Australian Paralympian and a team official have been robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.  Liesl Tesch and team physiotherapist Sarah Ross were confronted by two men with guns near their team hotel on Sunday.  Australian Sailing said the pair were “unharmed, but understandably shaken”, while the Australian Olympic Committee has said Rio must improve security in the city.

Rio governor declares state of financial emergency

Rio de Janeiro's governor has declared a state of financial emergency and requested federal support, just weeks before the city is due to host the Olympic Games.  The decision has been taken as the city faces "a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management," said the state's official gazette.  Interim President Michel Temer has promised significant financial help, with Interim Governor Francisco Dornelle blaming the crisis on a tax shortfall.

Tourists attacked by criminals in Rio

A Brazilian couple had their car sprayed with bullets after mistakenly entering a favela in Rio de Janeiro. According to the police at least 10 gunmen attacked the tourists, who were looking for a snack-bar near Vila do João, Complexo da Maré, in the north of the city. The woman was hit in the leg by the bullets, while another person travelling by bus was hit in the arms. Attacks against tourists are common across Rio's slums as Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) aim to secure most of the areas ahead of the Olympic Games, which are to be held in the city in August.

Tourism minister resigns amid corruption scandal

Brazil's tourism minister, Henrique Eduardo Alves, has resigned after he was accused of corruption by Sergio Machado, the former head of state-run shipping company Transpetro.  Alves handed his resignation to interim President Michel Temer over claims that he solicited $450k in political campaign funds between 2008 and 2014.  Alves is the third minister to step down over links to Operation Car Wash, Brazil's largest ever corruption scandal, since Temer took office as interim president last month.

Committee votes to strip Cunha of seat in Congress

Brazil's congressional ethics committee has voted to strip lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha of his seat in Congress.  "We are facing the biggest scandal this body has ever ruled on," said ethics council rapporteur Marcos Rogerio.  Cunha, who was already suspended over allegations of fraud and money laundering, is regarded as the architect of the current impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff.  Cunha denies any wrongdoing, although if he loses his seat he will also lose his partial immunity from prosecution.

Brazilian athlete shot in Rio robbery

A Brazilian athlete has been shot and seriously wounded during an attempted robbery in Rio de Janeiro.  Anna Paula Cotta, 27, is a member of Brazil's navy and a competitive shooter, although she failed to qualify for the upcoming Olympics, which are to be held in the city.  Cotta was driving in a northern suburb of the city when she was attacked on Thursday morning.  She has been transported to the Marcilio Dias hospital and is reported to be in a critical condition.

Buses set on fire by criminals in Sao Paulo

Two buses were attacked in the southern Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on Monday. According to police the vehicles were set on fire by unknown men during the evening and left in the middle of an avenue in the east of the city. The authorities are still investigating the incident, where no casualties were reported. No motive has been established for the attack; however the practice is commonly carried out by members of the First Command of the Capital (PCC), Brazilians largest criminal organization.

Transparency minister to resign after leaked recordings

Brazil's transparency ministry resigned on Monday after leaked recordings appeared to show him trying to disrupt corruption investigations. Fabiano Silveira was heard advising Senate President Renan Calheiros on how to avoid investigators from Operation Carwash, which is looking into fraud and corruption in the state-run oil company Petrobras. The incident comes one week after Planning Minister Romero Juca stepped down after the release of another recording, in which he discussed ways to remove President Dilma Rousseff and bury the Petrobras investigation.


Scientists call for Olympics postponement over Zika

A group of more than 100 scientists have signed an open letter urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the Zika virus outbreak.  "An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic," said the group in a letter to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO.  Both the WHO and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have rejected the calls and say the event will go ahead as planned.

Gang rape sparks outrage in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian police are searching for at least 30 people suspected of involvement in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro.  The incident sparked nationwide outrage after video of the attack was published on social media.  Hundreds of people joined protests in Rio on Friday, while interim President Michel Temer called an emergency meeting, saying: "It is absurd that in the 21st Century we should have to live with barbaric crimes such as this."

Planning Minister to step aside after corruption allegations

Brazil's Planning Minister Romero Juca has stepped aside from his position after allegations of justice obstruction. Juca has been accused of obstructing the 'Car Wash' investigations, one of the biggest-ever corruption scandals in Brazil. He was one of the key members of Brazil's new interim government led by Michel Temer. The news comes one day after the journal Folha de São Paulo published tape recordings where he discussed creating a "political pact" with former Senator Sergio Machado to remove president Dilma Rousseff from office and bury the Petrobras scandal.

Thousands protest over Ministry of Culture dissolution

Thousands of people stormed public buildings across major Brazilians cities over the government's decision to dissolve the Ministry of Culture. The change comes under the new policies implemented by the interim President Michel Temer, which aims to transfer functions from culture to the tutelage of the Ministry of Education. Demonstrators also took the opportunity to protest against the interim government, which some consider to be the result of an orchestrated coup.

Man shot dead at restaurant in Rio Grande do Norte

A 24-year-old man has been shot dead in Mossoro in the north-eastern state of Rio Grande do Norte. Two other people were also injured after two gunmen stormed a restaurant near the town's airport. In comparison with other Brazilian regions, north-eastern cities have been recording high numbers of violent crimes.

Hundreds march against interim President

Hundreds of people have stormed the main streets of Sao Paulo to protest against the interim president, Michel Temer. The demonstrators claimed the new government lacked legitimacy and Dilma Rousseff's removal from office was unlawful. The protest was organised by unions and social movements in what is likely to be the start of a bigger wave of protests. Dilma has been suspended from office for up to 180 days until the investigations concerning her impeachment process are processed by the Brazilian higher house of congress.

President suspended from office after senate vote

The Brazilian Senate has approved the opening of the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff. She has been suspended and her VP, Michel Temer, will be the interim president while she faces the impeachment trial after the vote passed with 55 in favour and 22 against. The case against Dilma, which can take up to 180 days, is now being investigated by the Senate.

Impeachment row sparks fresh protests

Supporters of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff have taken to the streets to protest against the impeachment process against her.  Demonstrations organised by the Brazil People's Front were held in 13 states and the Federal District on Tuesday, causing widespread disruption to transport networks.  The organisers said the impeachment process represents a "coup d'etat against Brazil and the Brazilian people, as well as a lack of respect for the citizen's vote." The latest mass protests come ahead of a Senate vote on whether to start the impeachment process against Dilma, which would lead to her suspension.

Hundreds evacuated over bomb threat in Brasilia

Agents from the Special Operations of the Military Police and the Fire Department were deployed on Wednesday after a bomb threat was made against the Ministry of Agriculture buildings in Brasilia. According to police the security services received an anonymous phone-call claiming the presence of two bombs within the ministry's facilities. Over 450 people who were working in the building were evacuated before the police carried out a search.  No device has been found.

Brazilian drug kingpin arrested in Rio

Agents from the special unit of Rio de Janeio's police (CORE) have arrested a key drug-trafficker in Manguinhos in the north of the city. The operation targeted Thomas Bruno Dantas, known as 'the Mongol',  who is suspected of killing a police officer in Ilha do Governador in April, 2015. He is also suspected of leading drug operations in the Manguinhos and Jacaré favelas. One police officer was slightly wounded by a gun shot during the operation. Clashes between the police and drug-traffickers occur in Rio's slums on a daily basis.

Drug kingpin arrested in Ribeirao Preto

The Brazilian Federal Police (PF) arrested a major Colombian drug trafficker on Thursday. According to the PF, Eduardo Fernando Giraldo Cardoza has links with the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). The operation began when his wife crossed the Brazilian border in Tabatinga, Amazon, and headed directly to his location in Ribeirao Preto in the state of Sao Paulo. Cardoza is wanted by the Colombian authorities and the US government, who issued a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. 

Officer injured during clashes with drug traffickers in Rio

One police officer was injured after intense clashes between the military police and drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. The incident led to the temporary closure of the Grajau-Jacarepagua highway in the northern area of the city. According to sources of the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), the officers were traveling towards the Complexo do Lins community when they spotted armed assailants. Clashes between the UPP and drug traffickers are common in Rio and many incidents result in collateral civilian casualties.

Newly opened bike path collapses in Rio de Janeiro

A newly opened bike path has collapsed in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, leaving at least two people dead and several others missing.  A 50m section of the path fell into the sea between the Leblon and Sao Conrado neighbourhoods.  The cycleway was opened in January ahead of the Rio Olympics, which are due to be held in the city later this year.

President loses impeachment vote

Brazil's lower house has voted in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff after a lengthy debate in the capital, Brasilia.  Tens of thousands of people gathered in the city to watch the televised vote, which passed with the required two-thirds majority.  The motion will now go to the Senate, which could lead to Dilma's suspension pending a trial.  The ruling Workers' Party has condemned the proceedings and vowed to defend her "in the streets".

Progressive Party quits coalition government

The Progressive Party (PP) stepped down from President Dilma Rousseff's coalition on Tuesday. PP's president, Senator Ciro Nogueira, announced that the party will formally leave the government and called on all of its 47 MPs to vote in favour of President Rousseff's impeachment. The move comes after the main allied party, PMDB, also quit the coalition. To be impeached, at least 342 members (two-thirds) of the 513 members of the lower house must support the move, with voting scheduled for Sunday. Demonstrations are expected across the countries' major cities after the outcome of the vote is announced.

President Rousseff loses impeachment vote

A committee in Brazil has voted in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff.  The 65-member congressional committee voted 38 to 27 to recommend the motion over claims that Dilma manipulated government accounts ahead of the 2014 elections. The issue has been highly divisive in Brazil and further mass pro and anti-government rallies are planned across the country.

Man sets himself on fire outside presidential palace

An unidentified man has suffered severe burns after self-immolating outside Brazil's presidential palace in the capital, Brasilia.  The victim was taken to the Asa Norte Regional Hospital after suffering burns on 85-90 percent of his body.  One of the firefighters said the man uttered words about religion, although the motivation behind the incident is unclear.

Thousands protest over salaries and working conditions in Rio

Workers from more than 30 public sectors in Rio de Janeiro have gone on strike, leaving the city without several key services. Among the 8,000 demonstrators were teachers, doctors, police officers and lawyers. The protesters are demanding better working conditions as well as the payment of overdue salaries. The state government claims that it requires additional federal funding in order to pay the outstanding salaries.

Fake police officers kidnap businessman in Sao Paulo

A group of criminals disguised as police officers faked a roadblock in order to kidnap a businessman on Wednesday. Three people seized the victim in the eastern Sao Paulo neighbourhood of Vila Alpina before taking him to his house, where he was kept hostage along with his wife and niece while the assailants robbed the premises. According to the authorities the criminals were monitoring the victim's routine for three months. The police managed to arrest two members of the group, who have carried out similar attacks in the past.

Impeachment proceedings begin against VP Michel Temer

The Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered the lower house of Congress to start impeachment proceedings against Vice President Michel Temer. The proceedings against Temer were previously filed in December over allegations of the manipulation of government accounts to hide a growing deficit. The ruling by judge Marco Aurelio Mello joins the one already in place against President Dilma Rousseff, which raises the possibility that both the president and vice-president could be deposed from office. Temer's party, PMDB, recently quit the coalition government.

Two kidnappers shot dead by police in Rio

Two suspected kidnappers were shot dead and a third wounded in a confrontation with police in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.  The assailants had abducted a 25-year-old woman in the centre of the city before they were stopped by police on Avenida Brasil in Bangu.  The victims was taken to hospital after suffering gunshot wounds during the gunfight, while there were major traffic delays in the area after Avenida Brasil was closed for several hours.

Hundreds of taxi drivers protest against Uber

Around 300 taxi drivers gathered in central Rio de Janeiro on Friday to protest against Uber, an app-based competitor. Clashes with the police erupted in some areas of the city when the authorities tried to clear the protesters. Last September the city's mayor Eduardo Paes passed legislation banning Uber and similar companies from operating in the city; however, this was rescinded when the company appealed in court.

Thousands rally in support of president Dilma Rousseff

Thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil in support of President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday evening. The pro-government supporters were marching against the calls for the impeachment of the Brazilian Chief of State. The Federal Police estimated that more than 130,000 people, including many worker union leaders and sympathizers of the Brazilian Worker's Party, joined the action in several Brazilian cities. The Brazilian government has been damaged by a severe political crisis, when deteriorated further when the PMDB party withdrew from the coalition government last week.

H1N1 virus kills 46 over two months

At least 46 people have been killed in an outbreak of Type A of the H1N1 virus in Brazil.  More than 300 cases of the virus - better known as swine flu - have been recorded in 2016, up from 141 in all of 2015.  The large majority of the cases have been reported in the Sao Paulo region, while there have also been fatalities in Rio de Janeiro. The outbreak comes as the country is battling the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to neurological problems and a surge in microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.

Coalition partner quits government

Brazil's largest party announced that it was withdrawing from President Dilma Rousseff's governing coalition on Tuesday,  The move by the Brazilian Democratic Movement party (PMDB) significantly increases the chances of defections by other parties, while also raising the chances that Rouseff will lose an impeachment vote.  “We’re going to try to change the country. The economic and social crisis is very serious,” senator Romero Juca, the PMDB’s first vice-president said at a party meeting in the capital, Brasilia.

Thousands protest after release of audio recordings

Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in major Brazilian cities after judge Sergio Moro, responsible for the two-year-old case "Lava Jato", released over 50 audio recordings of President Dilma Russeff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The demonstrators are angry at Lula's nomination as chief of staff, which they believe was arranged to allow him to escape prosecution on money laundering and fraud charges. This comes after massive protests on Sunday, when millions gathered across Brazil demanding President Russeff's impeachment.

Former president set to accept ministerial post

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to accept a cabinet position in President Dilma Rousseff's government.  The appointment would provide Lula with legal protection following his arrest last week in a money laundering inquiry.  He would be immune to prosecution by the federal courts, and he could only be tried by the country's Supreme Court.

Twenty dead in Sao Paulo landslides and flooding

At least 20 people have been killed in flooding and landslides in and around the southern city of Sao Paulo.  The city's fire department said on Sunday that 18 of the victims were killed in mudslides and two people died in flooding.  President Dilma Rousseff flew over the affected areas on Saturday and promised that the government would make emergency funds available to those affected.  The torrential rain came after the region experienced the worst drought in more than 80 years, leading to water shortages in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Mass anti-government rallies held across Brazil

More than a million people took part in anti-government protests across Brazil on Sunday as pressure mounts on President Dilma Rousseff.  The largest rally was held in Sao Paulo, where an estimated 450,000 people gathered to call on Rousseff to step down amid the ongoing corruption scandal.  Other mass rallies were held in Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and the capital, Brasilia, while smaller events were held across Brazil's 26 states.  The Democratic Movement Party, the largest party in Rousseff's ruling coalition, has said it will vote next month on its relationship with the government.

Twelve dead in Sao Paulo flooding

At least 12 people have been killed after heavy rain caused flooding in the south-western city of Sao Paulo on Friday.  Several people are still missing in the most severely affected parts of Francisco Morato and Mairopora.  The rain caused disruption to traffic traffic, train services and caused the closure of the city's biggest airport, Guarulhos, for six hours. Floods in Sao Paulo are common events due to the city's deficient drainage system.

Former Brazilian President detained in Sao Bernardo

The residences of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo were raided on Friday by federal police agents. Lula was detained and brought in for questioning over the state-owned oil company Petrobras corruption scandal, while officers also raided the headquarters of his institute in nearby Sao Paulo.  The Federal police inquiry, knows as Operation Car Wash, has already led to the arrests of dozens of executives and politicians on corruption and money laundering charges.

Microcefalia outbreak in north-eastern Brazil

The microcefalia outbreak in north-eastern Brazil is affecting many tourists that were planning to spend their Carnival holidays in the region. There are 401 cases of microcefalia confirmed in the region. To minimize the contagion, the Brazilian Armed Forces were deployed to help identify and eliminate the main sources of the outbreak.

Army deployed to help in fight against Zika virus

Brazil has deployed more than 200,000 soldiers to help in the fight against the Zika virus.  Troops are going house to house to distribute leaflets and dispense advice about the mosquito-borne disease, which has been linked to birth defects in thousands of babies.  Health Minister Marcelo Castro said the troops would be sent out on 13 February.

Inmates blow up wall in mass breakout

A group of 40 inmates have used explosives to destroy a prison wall as part of a mass breakout in Recife on Sunday.  The majority of the prisoners were captured after a manhunt, although two were killed, one wounded and one other remains at large.  Earlier in the week 53 inmates escaped from the nearby Professor Barreto Campelo prison.

Zika Virus outbreak in Brazil

The Australian DFA has released travel advice warning of an outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. It is a mosquito-borne disease that shares similarities with dengue. Although the disease rarely requires hospitalisation, the DFA advises pregnant women to be extremely cautious, as infection can result in babies being born with cognitive impairment. 

President Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment

The speaker of the lower house of Brazil's congress has opened impeachment proceedings against the country's president, Dilma Rousseff.  Two-thirds of the members must approve the process for it to go ahead, and Ms Rousseff said she was confident the motion would be rejected.  Opposition parties have accused the president of violating Brazil's fiscal laws in managing last year's budget, while she is already under pressure over the Petrobras corruption scandal, in which she is directly implicated.

Truck drivers block highways across Brazil

Hundreds of independent truck drivers are carrying out an anti-government protest by blocking a number of highways across the country.  According to the Federal Highway Police the protesters have created roadblocks in Santa Catarina, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Tocantins, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco and Goiás.  The truckers are demanding a reduction in the price of fuel and a unified nationwide wage, while others have been calling for President Dilma Rousseff to face impeachment over the ongoing Petrobras scandal.

Dozens feared dead after dam bursts in Minas Gerais

More than 40 people are feared missing and presumed dead after a dam burst in Minas Gerais state.  The dam ruptured on Thursday afternoon, sending a torrent of mud and waste water from an iron ore mine down the valley to town of Bento Rodrigues. Around 600 people have been evacuated to higher ground as rescue operations continue to assess the extent of the damage.  "The number of missing is going to surpass 40 but that is not official," Adao Severino Junior, fire chief in the city of Mariana, told the AFP.

Five killed in Rio de Janeiro

Five people have been found dead in two separate shootings in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  Three bodies were found at the entrance of a favela in Niteroi, to the east of Rio, following a clash between rival drug trafficking gangs on Monday night.  A shooting in the centre of the city left two other people dead.  Both incidents come less than a year before the city hosts the 2016 Olympic Games.

Police arrested over Sao Paulo killings

Nine police officers have been arrested in connection with a series of killings in Greater Sao Paulo that left 19 people dead.  The suspects, who worked for both the military police and the civil guard, are accused of carrying out a killing spree on 13 August across 10 locations in Osasco and Barueri.  Investigators believe the killings were revenge for the fatal shooting of an officer a week earlier.

Former Workers' Party treasurer jailed in Petrobras scandal

The former treasurer of Brazil's governing Workers' Party has been jailed for 15 years for his role in the Petreobras scandal.  Joao Vaccari Neto was found guilty on corruption and money laundering charges, while a former director at the state oil giant was also sentenced.  Vaccari was the Workers' Party treasurer until April and is the closest person to President Dilma Rousseff to be jailed in the case.

SP downgrades Brazil's credit rating to junk

Standard & Poor has downgraded its investment-grade rating for Brazil to junk.  S&P said it had taken the decision after President Dilma Rousseff sent congress a budget for 2016 with a primary deficit of 30.5 billion reais ($8 billion).  The agency said the investigations of corruption allegations against political figures had contributed to the political and economic uncertainty.

Fifteen killed in Paraty bus crash

At least 15 people have been killed in a bus crash near Paraty. Another 30 people have been injured in the accident. Some of the survivors were airlifted to local hospitals. The bus was travelling to a nearby beach popular with tourists when it overturned. The stretch of road where the accident happened is notoriously dangerous. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident. 

Death of indigenous leader sparks unrest in Brazil

Tensions over land ownership are increasing in Brazil following the death of an indigenous leader.  Simao Vihalva, 24, was shot dead in the state of Matto Grosso do Sul over the weekend following clashes between farmers and members of the Guarani-Kaiowa community. Federal troops have been sent to restore order in the area.

Two killed in Petrobras explosion in Espirito Santo

On August 26, two workers were killed when a Petrobras fuel tank exploded at the Port of Tubarão, Espirito Santo state. The incident occurred as workers were carrying out planned maintenance on the heating unit. Local firefighters brought the blaze under control, and the fire service has said that the fire is of no immediate risk to anyone in the area. Petrobras has vowed to investigate the cause of the explosion and to help the victims' families. This is the third fatal accident at a Petrobras facility in Espirito Santo this year.

Protesters call for President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests across Brazil calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Support for Ms Rousseff has fallen to single-digit figures in recent polls. Many voters have accused her of failing to stamp out corruption and blame her for the economy's worst slump in 25 years. Marchers took over Copacabana beach in Rio and also demonstrated outside congress in the capital Brasilia. Police in Sao Paulo said about 350,000 took part in the protests in the city.

Twenty killed, seven wounded in overnight murders in Sao Paulo

Twenty people were killed and seven wounded overnight in the greater Sao Paulo areas of Osasco and Barueri. The homicides occurred separately between 20.30 (August 13) and 01.30 (August 14) and all in the same manner; armed hooded men firing at victims and fleeing the scene. The biggest killing occurred in a bar in the Munhoz Junior neighbourhood in Osasco, where ten people were gunned down.

Activists occupy finance ministry in Brasilia

Around 1,000 activists from the MST Landless Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra) occupied the finance ministry in Brasilia on Monday.  The MST were protesting against the austerity policies of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, which include public spending cuts and tax rises. “The austerity threatens to paralyze agrarian reform even more and end the government’s political commitment to settle 120,000 (peasants) who are waiting for land,” said Alexandre Conceicao, a member of the MST coordinating body.

Surge of violence leaves 35 dead in Manaus

At least 35 people have been killed in a wave of violence in the Brazilian city of Manaus.  Several of the killings occurred simultaneously following the deadly shooting of a police officer outside a bank.  Officials are investigating if the spike in deaths was gang related or caused by officers avenging the death of their colleague.

Investigation launched over killing of Brazilian journalist

Brazilian authorities say an investigation has begun into the killing of journalist Evany Jose Metzker.  Police discovered Mr Metzker's decapitated body in a ditch near the town of Padre Paraiso following an anonymous tip-off on Monday.    He had been investigating drug trafficking, corruption and a child prostitution ring, leading to suspicion that he was killed for his reporting. His wife, Hilma Chaves Silva Borges, said: “I think that the motive, given the barbarity of his murder, was because he hit on something."

Gun violence rises in Brazil

A new study into violence in Brazil said more than 42,000 were shot dead in 2012, the highest figures since 2003.  The report, which was put together by UNESCO, the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLASCO) and the Brazilian government, said that the north-eastern state of Alagoas had the highest number of killings with 55 deaths per 100,000 residents.  The Brazilian Congress is currently debating a new bill which would limit access to firearms in the country.

Violent clashes during teachers' protest in Curitiba

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