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Country profile for Brazil

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

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Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk)
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

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Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

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

Since June 2013 there have been increasing outbreaks of social unrest across Brazil, particularly in the major cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Recife and Belo Horizonte. Most of the initial protests were organised by the ‘Free Fare Movement’, an advocacy group which demanded free universal public transport; however, the demonstrations later expanded to include other grievances - such as the costs of hosting the 2014 Fifa World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Many of the mass rallies resulted in violent clashes with security forces, largely due to the presence of the ‘Black Blocs’ anarchist group who hijacked various peaceful protests. After the World Cup ended the scale and frequency of the protests reduced, although since 2015 large anti-government rallies have been held over Brazil's failing economy and allegations of corruption at the state-owned oil company Petrobras and the widespread bribery scandal involving the construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

Dozens of senior politicians, including members of the Workers' Party (PT), have been investigated or arrested as part of Operation Car Wash, while the former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, lost his latest appeal after he was sentenced to just under 10 years in prison for his involvement in bribery schemes. In late-2015 an impeachment process was started against President Dilma Rousseff over allegations that she manipulated the federal budgets ahead of the 2014 elections, which she narrowly won. In May 2016 Dilma was suspended for up to 180 days while the Brazilian Senate considered the evidence against her. On 31 August 2016, the former vice-president, Michel Temer, became Brazil’s president after the Senate found Dilma guilty of the charges against her. The impeachment sparked further social unrest across the country and even caused a diplomatic crisis with Brazil’s left-wing neighbours, who recalled their ambassadors in protest. 

Temer’s presidency was quickly engulfed in controversy after a two-year investigation unveiled a series of irregularities in Brazil’s ministry of agriculture. The operation, dubbed Weak Flesh, targeted the suspected fraudulent certification of inferior quality meat and poultry produced by the meat-packing giant JBS SA, a subsidiary of J&F Investimentos. The investigations paved the way to further allegations, leading to the arrest of a presidential special aide after he was caught handling a bag with nearly $154k, claimed to payment in a bribery scheme between Temer and J&F executive Joesley Baptista. The Republic’s General Prosecutor (PGR) indicted Temer for corruption – accusation which will proceed if it passes a vote in the lower house of Congress in August.

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. In June 2017 three police officers were injured when criminals targeted a UPP base on Morro da Providencia. A month later, a police officer was killed during an armed attack at the UPP Telegrafo base in northern Rio. 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. 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.

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 are 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-west border with Colombia where militants and paramilitary groups widely operate.

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, 2011more than 900 people were killed by flooding and mudslides during heavy rains in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state.

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

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

More than 200 people have been wounded during violent clashes between police and teachers in the Brazilian city of Curitiba.  Police fired tear gas at the protesters as they approached the legislative assembly for the state of Parana. "We have opened the city council building for people injured (in the protests). It looks like a war zone," Curitiba Mayor Gustavo Fruet said on Twitter. The teachers were protesting against changes to their pensions.

Deadly landslide hits Salvador in north-eastern Brazil

At least 14 people have been killed in landslides in the north-eastern city of Salvador in Bahia state.  Local authorities said a storm triggered two major landslides which hit the residential areas of San Martin and Bom Jua. Torrential rains had saturated the area throughout the early hours of the morning and have continued to hamper rescue efforts.

Dengue fever cases increase in 2015

The Pan American Health Organization said that the number of dengue fever cases in Brazil reached 460,000 by the end of March, while 132 deaths have also been recorded in 2015.  According to the Brazil Ministry of Health the Sau Paulo region was the most severely affected by the outbreak, while Parana and Goias also had large number of cases.  Government workers have been going around the neighbourhoods of Sao Paulo to warn people about how to avoid the mosquito-borne disease.

Eight killed in Sao Paulo football shooting

Eight people have been killed in a shooting at the Corinthians football club in Sao Paulo.  Members of the fan group Pavilhao 9 were preparing banners for a match when three gunmen stormed in.  Local police said the killings were likely to be related to drug-trafficking.

Workers' Party treasurer arrested over Petrobras scandal

The treasurer of Brazil's ruling Workers' Party, Joao Vaccari Neto, has been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into corruption at oil giant Petrobras.  Vaccari has stepped down from his post after he was arrested at his home in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.  More than 40 politicians are being investigated over the affair, which has sparked widespread public anger and led to several mass anti-government protests in recent months.

Hundreds of thousands join anti-government protests

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined anti-government demonstrations in cities across Brazil.  The unrest is the latest outbreak of public anger over the massive corruption scandal at the state-run Petrobas oil company and the alleged involvement of the governing Worker's Party.  The opposition say much of the corruption took place when President Dilma Rousseff was the head of the company.

Mass anti-government rally held in Brazil

Almost one million people joined anti-government rallies across Brazil on Sunday to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.  The public anger has been caused by a corruption scandal in the state oil firm, Petrobras, which the opposition say the president must have known about as the former head of the company.  The largest rally was held in the city of Sao Paulo, where around 200,000 people marched on Avenida Paulista.

Brazil's attorney general calls for Petrobras probe

Brazil's attorney general has called for a probe into alleged corruption involving the state-run oil firm Petrobras.  Rodrigo Janot called on the Supreme Court to investigate 54 people, including a large number of high-ranking politicians from the ruling Workers Party (PT), over claims that senior political and business figures received financial kickbacks in return for overpriced contracts.  

Thirteen suspected robbers killed in police shoot out

Brazilian police have killed at least 13 suspected armed robbers in the Brazilian city of Salvador.  Officers said they received a tip-off that a gang of 30 men were planning to rob a bank in the city.  When the officers arrived at the scene the suspects opened fire on the police, said the Bahia state headquarters of the military police.

Brazilian surfer shot dead by off-duty police officer

A professional Brazilian surfer has been shot dead by an off-duty police officer near the southern city of Florianopolis.  Ricardo dos Santos, 24, was shot three times outside his home following an altercation with the officer at Guarda do Embau.  A military policeman, Luiz Paulo Mota Brentano, was arrested in connection with shooting along with his 17-year-old brother.

Off-duty police officer kills nine in Belem revenge attack

An off-duty police officer has been accused of killing nine people in the northern city of Belem in revenge attacks.  The killings took place just hours after a police officer, Antonio Marcos da Silve Figueiredo, was shot dead outside his house by three unknown gunmen. “All of the murders are under investigation, and if there is any evidence that police officers were involved, they will be investigated and held responsible,” said Walrimar Sousa, a spokesman for the state Civil Police in Belem.

Guards taken hostage during prison riot in southern Brazil

At least 12 prison guards and several inmates have been taken hostage during rioting at a jail in southern Brazil.  At least eight people have been wounded during the unrest, including six men who were thrown from the roof of the facility in Guarapuava.  Local media reported that the uprising started when a group of 40 inmates over-powered their guards during work detail.

Gunman takes hotel employee hostage in Brasilia

A gunman took an employee hostage at hotel in Brazil's capital Brasilia on Monday before surrendering to police.  The assailant carried out the attack on the 13th floor of the Saint Peter hotel, forcing the victim to wear an explosive vest.  Police said the gunman made a number of demands, including some of a political nature, with local reports suggesting he was a former candidate in municipal elections.

Federal troops deployed to contain violence in Maranhao

Brazil's Ministry of Justice has authorized the deployment of federal troops to the north-eastern state of Maranhao.  The troops will be sent to the city of Sao Luis where dozens of attacks have been reported on public buses and at least 13 people have been arrested.  According to local authorities the violence has been organised by criminal groups inside Pedrinhas prison, of the most violent penitentiaries in the region.

Rio police arrested over extortion links

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro have arrested 22 police officers over alleged involvement in a bribery and extortion racket.  Six high-ranking officers - including special operations chief Col. Alexandre Fontenelles Ribeiro - were among those arrested.  The officers are accused of demanding payments from local shopkeepers, taxi drivers and bus companies.

Prison riot leaves four dead in Cascavel

At least four inmates have been killed during a prison riot in the southern city of Cascavel.  The spokeswoman for the Justice Secretariat of the state of Parana, Maria Carle, said that two prisoners had been decapitated while two others had been thrown off the roof of a cell block.  The unrest started when inmates managed to overpower prison warders before ransacking the jail and setting fire to parts of it.

Two dead as overpass collapses in Belo Horizonte

At least two people have been killed and 19 others wounded after an unfinished overpass collapsed in the city of Belo Horizonte.  The concrete bridge fell on to traffic on the road below, crushing the front of a commuter bus along with several other vehicles.  The construction was part of a network of bus lanes that was due to be completed for the 2014 World Cup, but had not been finished on time.

Three dead in Rio de Janeiro favela shoot-out

Three people have been killed in a shoot-out in one of Rio de Janeiro's largest favelas.  Two local youths and a police officer died in the incident in the Complexo do Alemao, which occurred as members of the Police Pacifying Unit were patrolling the streets.

Protest turns violent in Sao Paulo

A protest in Sao Paulo turned violent on Thursday night, leading to clashes between police and demonstrators.  The unrest began peacefully, with over 1,200 people taking part in a march by the Free Fare Movement to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a successful effore to prevent a transit fare hike.

Anti-World Cup protests as tournament begins

Protests have been reported in several World Cup host cities as the tournament got underway in Sao Paulo on Friday night.  Police fired tear gas at demonstrators outside the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo after they threw rocks at the stadium.  Several people were also wounded in scuffles in the capital, Rio de Janeiro, with Amnesty International accusing the police of using excessive force.

Police clash with metro workers in Sao Paulo

Brazilian riot police have clashed with subway workers during an ongoing transport strike in Sao Paulo.  The police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of more than 3,000 protesters, while across the city a third of metro stations were closed - causing more than 200km of traffic jams across the city.

Homeless march against World Cup in Sao Paolo

Thousands of homeless people have taken part in a march in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paolo, calling on the government to provide more low-income housing.  The protesters say the money spent on hosting the World Cup, which starts in the city next week, should have been spent on social care.  Meanwhile the city's subway workers have announced an open-ended strike after negotiations on a salary increase fell through.

Anti-World Cup protesters clash with police in Brasilia

Brazilian riot police have fired tear gas at anti-World Cup protesters in the capital, Brasilia.  More than 1,000 people joined the demonstration near the Mane Garrincha National Stadium to complain about the costs of hosting the event.  A group of indigenous protesters, who were demanding land rights at Congress, also joined the rally.

Police hold one-day strike over pay

Thousands of civil police officers have walked out as part of a one-day strike in at least 14 Brazilian states.  The industrial action is the latest in a series of police strikes over pay and conditions, and come less than a month before the start of the World Cup.

Prisoners take 122 hostages during Sergipe riot

Prisoners at a jail in the north-eastern state of Sergipe took 122 people hostage during a riot on Saturday.  A spokesman for the facility, Sandra Melo, said negotiations were ongoing to secure the hostages release, many of whom were visitors to the Advogado Jacinto Filho prison near Aracaju city.

Anti-World Cup protests hit Brazil

Further protests against the 2014 World Cup have been held across Brazil, with demonstrations reported in at least 12 cities.  In Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro riot police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, with some protesters setting up roadblocks and throwing rocks at the police.  The latest unrest coincided with a police strike in the north-eastern city of Recife, sparking a wave of robberies and looting.

Police call 24-hour strike over pay and conditions

Brazilian police have called a countrywide 24-hour strike over pay and conditions, threatening to continue their protests during the World Cup which starts next month.  The police union leader Andre Vax de Mello called on the government to increase pay in line with inflation, saying hundreds of officers leave the force every year due to low wages.

Another night of violent protests hit Rio

Violent protests have erupted in Rio de Janeiro over another alleged incident of police brutality.  Residents from the Pavao-Pavaozinho favela rallied in the tourist area of Copacabana, setting fire to barricades and clashing with Brazilian riot police.  One person was shot dead during the unrest on Tuesday evening and a 12-year-old boy was also wounded.  The protesters blame the police for the death of a dancer who was found dead in the area, claiming the authorities had mistaken him for a drug trafficker.

Protesters take to streets over police deaths

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Rio de Janeiro to protest against the deaths of two young men in incidents involving the police.  On Friday 17-year-old Emanoel Gomes died when his motorbike hit an armoured police vehicle, while on Saturday 21-year-old Anderson Santos Silva was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between police and gang members.  The protesters set fire to four buses and several other vehicles during the unrest.

Troops sent to restore order in Bahia state

Brazil's government has sent 2,500 army troops to restore order in the north-eastern state of Bahia after police went on strike over pay.  Local shops and supermarkets in the state capital, Salvador, have been looted and public transport has been severely reduced over safety concerns.

Riots as police clear Rio de Janeiro favela

Violent clashes have erupted in Rio de Janeiro after heavily-armed police officers stormed a favela in the city during an operation to evict squatters.  More than 1,500 officers took part in the dawn raid on Saturday, which comes two months before Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup.  Some residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Security forces reclaim Rio de Janeiro favela

Brazilian security forces have occupied one of the main favelas in Rio de Janeiro as part of an effort to eradicate drug-related violence ahead of this year's World Cup.  No shots were fired as a combination of riot police and troops secured the Mare favela, home to more than 130,000 people and located next to the city's international airport.

Hundreds protest World Cup spending in Sao Paolo

Hundreds of people have clashed with Brazilian riot police in Sao Paolo during a protest against the $11 billion that the government is spending on the 2014 World Cup, which begins in June.  Military police said that 230 people were arrested during the clashes, and that five police officers and two protesters were wounded.  Elsewhere in the city a 34-year-old Santos fan died after he was attacked by rival Sao Paolo fans following a match between the two teams on Sunday night.

Two journalists shot dead in separate attacks

Two Brazilian journalists have been shot dead in separate incidents in the past four days.  Pedro Palma, who was investigating local corruption, was shot dead by two people on a motorbike in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Miguel Pedrera on 13 February.  On Sunday a cameraman for a regional TV channel, Jose Lacerda da Silva, was shot dead outside a supermarket in Mossoro.

Public transport protest turns violent in Rio

Riot police have clashed with protesters at Rio de Janeiro's Central Station, leaving several people wounded - including a photo-journalist from Band TV who was hit by an explosive device.  The demonstrators are angry at increasing transport costs in the city, and come a week after Rio's mayor announced a 9% increase in train and bus fares.

Police find three bodies of missing men in Amazon

Police in Brazil have found the bodies of three men on a Tenharim indigenous reserve in the north-western state of Amazonas.  The remains of the three contractors, who had been missing since mid-December, were discovered along a stretch of the Trans-Amazonian Highway.  Last week police arrested five Tenharim men on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering the outsiders, although the tribal group have denied any involvement.

Anti-World Cup protesters clash with police in Sao Paolo

More than 100 people were arrested on Saturday after protesters clashed with riot police in the city of Sao Paolo.  Around 2,500 demonstrators took to the streets to protest against Brazil's hosting of the 2014 World Cup, which begins in June.  Smaller demonstrations were also held in several other Brazilian cities.

Priest shot dead at Belo Horizonte church

An evangelical priest has been shot dead at his church in the city of Belo Horizonte.  Police said Charles Vidal de Souza died when two gunmen opened fire inside the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God before fleeing in a car.

Dozens killed in Brazil flooding

At least 40 people have been killed and around 70,000 displaced by flooding in south-eastern Brazil.  Troops have been deployed to reach the areas cut off by the floods, which have been caused by days of torrential rain in the states of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais.

Stadium workers go on strike in Manaus

Construction workers at the World Cup stadium in Manaus have gone on strike, a day after one of their colleagues fell 115 feet to his death at the site.  The 1,800 workers are demanding improved safety conditions, saying that they have been put under increasing pressure to complete the project - which is already well behind schedule.

Work suspended after death at World Cup stadium

Work has been suspended at one of Brazil's World Cup stadiums after a construction worker fell 115 feet to his death.  Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, 22, died when a support cable snapped in the Arena Amazonia stadium in the city of Manaus.  The state's public prosecutor's office demanded that work be halted until the contractors presented a detailed report on the site's safety conditions.

Three people wounded in football riots

Three people have been seriously wounded after rival football fans clashed in southern Brazil.  The game between Vasco da Gama and Atletico Paranese was stopped after an hour when the fighting erupted in the stadium in Joinville.  The violence raises further concerns about Brazil's ability to host the 2014 World Cup and the safety of travelling supporters.

Two killed after crane collapses at World Cup stadium

Two construction workers have been killed after a crane collapsed at a football stadium in the city of Sao Paolo.  The stadium is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup finals and the accident occurs amid increasing pressure on the Brazilian government to meet a Fifa deadline to have all of the tournament stadiums completed by the end of December.

Soccerex cancelled in Rio over security concerns

Organisers from Soccerex have cancelled their flagship football conference in Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over civil unrest in the city.  The cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to be held in the city's iconic Maracana stadium, is a further blow to the Brazilian government as fears grow over its ability to host next summer's World Cup.

Former footballer decapitated in Rio de Janeiro

The severed head of a retired Brazilian footballer has been discovered by his wife in the Realengo area of Rio de Janeiro.  João Rodrigo Santo Silva, who retired two years ago, was kidnapped outside the shop he owned last Monday.  His wife Geisa, who works as a social worker for the city's Police Pacification Unit, found his head in a backpack which had been left on their front door step on Tuesday morning.

Sao Paolo bus station attacked during protest

A bus station has been attacked in the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo after a demonstration over public transport costs turned violent.  Hundred of masked protesters, reportedly members of the Black Bloc anarchist group, clashed with riot police, resulting in at least six arrests.

Troops deployed ahead of controversial oil field auction

The Brazilian government have deployed more than 1,000 troops around a hotel in Rio de Janeiro ahead of a controversial auction for drilling rights in the huge Libra oil field.  President Dilma Rousseff personally ordered security to be increased at the hotel following a series of anti-government protests in the city.

Violence flares after teacher protests

Riot police have clashed with a small group of protesters following the latest series of marches in support of striking teachers in Brazil.  Masked members of the anarchist group Black Bloc threw petrol bombs and rocks at police in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, who responded with tear gas and percussion grenades.

Protesters disrupt FIFA visit to Cuiaba stadium

A group of around 50 protesters have stormed the Arena Pantanal stadium in the western city of Cuiaba as it was being inspected by a delegation from FIFA.  The protesters held banners criticising the cost of hosting the World Cup in 2014, calling for the money to be spent of health and education instead.

Violence erupts during teacher protests

Clashes have been reported between riot police and protesters in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.  Thousands of people joined the mass protests in support of the country's teachers, who are demanding a pay increase and improved working conditions.

Security forces storm Rio de Janeiro favelas

More than 1,000 Brazilian security officers have launched a major operation to occupy 12 favelas in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  The officers, backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters, are battling to reclaim the slum areas from drug gangs and criminals.

Brazilian police officers charged with murder

Ten Brazilian police officers have been charged with torturing and murdering a construction worker from the Rochina slum in Rio de Janeiro.  Amarildo de Souze, whose disappearance sparked violent protests in the city, has been missing since 14 July when he was arrested by members of the Pacifying Police Units (UPP).

Striking teachers clash with police in Rio

Striking school teachers have clashed with police for a second night in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  The teachers, who have been on strike for 46 days, are angry at the government's proposed pay and benefits package.

Anti-government protests break out on Independence Day

Brazilian riot-police used tear gas to disperse protesters in the Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro during Independence Day celebrations.  Around 200 anti-government protesters interrupted the traditional Seventh of September military parade, demanding improved public services.

Pope visit marred by civil unrest in Rio de Janeiro

Riot police have fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters who were demonstrating at the cost of Pope Francis' visit to the country.  The Brazilian government has spent around $53 million on the 76-year old's first foreign trip since becoming the first Latin American pontiff. 

Violence erupts during union-led strikes

Riot police have clashed with protesters in central Rio de Janeiro during a march organised by trade unionists.  Thousands of people took part in national strikes across all 27 Brazilian states, calling for improved working conditions and better public services.

Protesters clash with police during Confed Cup final

Around 5,000 protesters clashed with Brazilian riot police during the Confederations Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.  The demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and other missiles at police, who responded by firing tear gas into the crowds.  The unrest was sparked by rising public transport costs and the government's investment in major sporting events, such as the 2014 World Cup.

Protesters clash with police outside Belo Horizonte stadium

Brazilian riot police have clashed with protesters outside the Mineirao football stadium in Belo Horizonte.  Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, who had gathered during a Brazil-Uruguay Confederations Cup match.

Rio de Janeiro favela Police operation leaves at least nine dead

At least nine people have died in gun battles with drug dealers in a shanty town (favela) in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, reports say.  The battle started at the conclusion of a demonstration which then deteriorated into mass disturbances and robberies.  

Brazil sends troops to quell protest

Brazil is to send troops to five major cities to help restore order after massive protests calling for better education and transport, the justice minister says.

Protest rallies held in Brazil's major cities

More than 100,000 people have marched through cities across Brazil to protest over rising public transport prices and the cost of staging the 2014 football World Cup.

Twenty arrested in Sao Paulo protest

A protest against price rises on public transport in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo turned violent after the protesters blocked a main thoroughfare.

German tourist wounded in Rio shooting

A 26-year old German tourist was shot and seriously wounded on Friday in one of Rio de Janeiro's largest favelas.  Frank Daniel Benjamin was shot twice in the stomach in the Rochina slum in the south side of the city.

Two football fans shot dead near World Cup stadium

Two football fans have been shot dead by rival supporters outside the Arena Castelao World Cup stadium in north-eastern Brazil.  It was reported in the local media that Ceara fans sparked the unrest when they started throwing stones at Fortaleza supporters.  Brazil is preparing to host the 2014 World Cup, as well as the 2016 Olympic Games.

Police officers arrested in murder probe

Eight Brazilian military police officers have been arrested after the fatal shooting of two teenagers in Sao Paolosao was broadcast on television.  Globo TV aired CCTV footage of two armed men shooting dead two teenagers at close range, while a military police vehicle was stationed nearby.  Prosecutors say the police did not attempt to prevent the shooting or pursue the killers.

US woman sexually assaulted in Rio de Janeiro

A US woman has been raped by three men during a three hour ordeal in the Copacabana district of Rio de Janeiro.  The attackers beat the woman and tied up her companion, a French citizen, before forcing them to withdraw money at an ATM.  They were finally released at a bus station on the outskirts of the city.

Brazil Data Sheet

Population:
193.9 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity
International dialing code:
+55
International dialing prefix:
0021
Emergency services:
Police 190, Medical 192, Fire 193
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
110/220V
Climate:
Varies from tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and semi-arid
Ohter Major Cities:
Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte
Borders:
Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, French Guiana