Blog Archives - Brazilian News

OXI: The New drug?

Oxi kills in just one year

By Marta Takeda and Camila Brito

                Our article was based on two articles published on the website of BBC News – “Brazil sees spread of Amazon ‘crack cocaine’ oxi”, by Paulo Cabral, and BBC Brasil – “Entenda o que é o Oxi e como a droga se espalhou pelo Brasil”, by Camila Costa.

                We compared the structure of both articles and from this comparison we can see how they were organized.

                According to the article on BBC News, “In the dark alleys of cities in the Brazilian Amazon, the smell of burned plastic and fuel is in the air, coming from small groups of people smoking under the cover of night .”

                The  article on BBC News is more about the social effects of the drug (how drugs destroy the lives of users) than the physical effects in contrast with the article in Portuguese, whose structure is made through questions and answers, including the opinion of experts.
Police say they are seeing more oxi on the streets.
The Oxi appeared in several states, as a cheap alternative to crack cocaine.
                The first reports of consumption of oxy were recorded in Northern Brazil. Experts and researchers say the drug began to enter the country across the border with Bolivia – which is the third largest producer of cocaine in the world, according to the UN.

                What is the Oxy? What is its composition?

                Oxy is considered a new drug to the media. However, it is considered by experts a cheaper and much more toxic variation than crack cocaine, cocaine based paste combined with easy access to chemicals like kerosene, gasoline, lime or solvents. Because of this highly toxic composition, it is more lethal than crack. Oxy can be used with ordinary cigarette and marijuana cigarette, but is usually smoked in homemade pipes, the same way crack is consumed.

                The toxicity of this drug reduces the user’s life by 20% compared to crack users – who live five to six years, while at least 30 % of crack users may be dead after a year of use.

                According to psychiatrist Pablo Roig, director of the Greenwood Rehabilitation Clinic ,  SP, Oxi releases dark smoke to be consumed and usually leaves a brown residue similar to the effect of rust on metal. So the drug was called “Oxy”, short for oxidation.


                The person may feel different sensations, which can range from pleasure and relief from anxiety and paranoia.

                Helena Lima, Psychologist, says “For the description of users, we know that Oxy is effective between seven and nine seconds from the time when it is inhaled."
"We say that Oxy is homemade because of its production, but, in biochemical terms, it is very complex and sophisticated, so very harmful.", she says.

                Once in the body, that combination of substances of Oxy can cause serious injuries from the kidneys to the mouth. Prolonged use increases the chances of diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, kidney and gastrointestinal problems – which are burdened by high amounts of toxins resulting from the chemical combination of the drug.

                How does Oxy come to Brazil?

                According to the UN, we know that Oxy comes to Brazil through Bolivia. There are reports that the use of Oxy began in Acre and Pará 20 years ago and  has spread across the country over the past seven years.

                One of the first Brazilian studies mentioned that Oxy was investigated by the psychologist and public health expert, Helena Lima, Acre, in 2003. Lima also says that “…the structural problem of the growth of Oxy is out control of chemical inputs. The ease of access to these substances occurs throughout the country. "

                This drug has spread through the users, from hand to hand, but there may be drug dealers and police officials involved in the distribution.

                The director of DENARC, Walter Gíldice, reckons that there is a possibility that drug dealing organizations are directly linked to the proliferation of Oxy.

                What is being done to avoid the proliferation of the drug?

           Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) is conducting a field survey on Oxy in Brazil, requested by the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), an agency under the Ministry of Justice.

                According to Helena Lima, research is essential to understand how the drug is being produced and who is being reached in each region. The lawyer and former national drug secretary, Walter Maierovich, says that, in addition to campaigns that warn about the dangers of drugs, you must do a more severe control over the sale of chemicals most commonly employed, such as lime and solvents.

                Oxi is a devastating drug because it contains heavy chemical substances. It is necessary to control the access to these substances in commerce and also to launch campaigns to warn all the people about this highly toxic and terrible drug.



Violent video games cause violent behavior: truth or myth?

By Vinícius de Moraes and Henrique Nicodemo 

            It has been in discussion for years if violent games can cause a negative change in the players' behavior. After countless complaints about this issue, many negative commentaries have gained strength among kids' and teenagers' worried parents. Meanwhile, people concerned about the fact that this affirmation could be nothing more than a myth decided to make an experiment.

            Two articles were used as reference (a Brazilian one and another from The United Kingdom). The articles used, respectively, were “A Influência dos Jogos Eletrônicos Violentos nos Adolescentes”, which brings us some results  of the experiment, and “Video games are good for children – EU report”. Both articles show clearly why the behavior change affirmation is a myth.

            In the Brazilian article, twenty students between fifteen and eighteen years old were monitored and showed no negative reactions by playing violent games. And there are some comments that can be exposed:”For the educator Lynn Alves, author of the book Game Over, video games and violence, where players take on the games contained violence to reality, the desire to kill already existed with only the pretext, the motivation for the act”.

            In order to add another comment, a psychologist gives his opinion:

            “Psychologist Márcio Roberto Regis adds that there are many variables in the complex life history of the individual that can generate violent behavior such as, for example, the absence of a family education, paternal absence (which represents the law), use of drugs, bad influences of friends, trivialization of violence, among others. (ATLASPICO, 2009)”.

            The British article mentions that “there is no firm proof that playing them has an automatic negative impact on children's behavior, for example by causing aggression, said the report from the committee on the internal market and consumer protection”. It also added that "video games can stimulate learning of facts and skills such as strategic thinking, creativity, cooperation and innovative thinking, which are important skills in the information society."

            There was only one case registered in this article that points to a violent behavior which caused a death: “Last year the mother of Stefan Pakeerah, a 14-year-old boy from Leicester who was murdered by a 17-year old wielding a knife and a claw hammer, claimed her son's killer was influenced by the computer game Manhunt in which players earn points for stealth killings”.

            The group members share the same opinion of the pedagogue and the psychologist: the game itself, even though violent, is not the cause for the violent behavior, but a motivation. Of course, there are rare situations in which a kid can cause a murder just by playing a violent game (like GTA, or Manhunt), but in those cases, the parents of the kid have to realize what his son is playing. They have to be involved in his leisure (and nevertheless, they have to teach him the difference between the real and the virtual world, showing rules of acquaintanceship).


Brazil: A Country For Everybody (Except If You're Poor)  

Violations of basic human rights are happening in Rio de Janeiro preparations for the Olympic Games

By Bruno Gomes and Lisiane Bauer

            The preparations for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games are taking place in the city – there is a lot to be done and a minimal part of the structure is ready. The Games will happen only in five years from now, but the government has already begun to work on the infrastructure – maybe trying to avoid the same problems that are happening in the work for the 2014 World Cup (which is really late).

            In a general view, there is nothing wrong with that. The politicians are working together, the plan is being followed without any scandal... A true miracle. However, a report from Amnesty International showed that it is too good to be real. The poor people who live in the favelas are being evicted with an irrelevant governmental help. According to Amnesty International, the State is using the police power (which should protect them) and the violence to get these people out of the way. 

         A BBC report (“Rio Olympics: Favela poor evicted as city spruced up”, 06/30/2011) shows that the problem is even bigger: it says that at least one thousand people were expelled from their homes and that they only got R$ 8,000 from the State (a ridiculous amount which does not allow the buying of a new house). It is clearly a total violation of the human rights and a fresh chapter on the unpaired class struggle that has happened in Brazil since forever. 

Rock in Rio

Guns N’ Roses presentation rises comments, but not the way it used to be.

By Murilo Quevedo; Vitor Fernandes

On the last September weekend and on the October’s first, in Rio de Janeiro, the earliest edition of Rock in Rio took place. It counted with artists like Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Shakira and Guns N’ Roses among others.

Axl Rose’s band finished the concert on October 2nd and their presentation was criticized worldwide. The magazines all around the world have recently reported Axl’s bad habits, saying that ‘the history of delays and irregularities of the band and the tension that comes with the constant risk of Axl's tantrum served as a warning’, and this time it was not different. Not only the Brazilian press, but also foreign press reported Axl’s performance as unstable because of several reasons. It was too long, started late and the band played unknown songs. He got on the stage wearing a bizarre, fluorescent slicker jacket and appeared stiff. He opened the presentation playing “Chinese Democracy”, a song of the newest album.

The rain was present all over the concert, which did not annoy Axl at all, but most of the public was not sharing his mood and went away before the concert’s end.  

The Guns N’ Roses lead singer, who has not been able to reach his songs’ originals tones for some time now, also mistook the lyrics, for his performance declined, says the foreign press.

The band also came into the stage one hour and a half later causing the festival organizer, Roberto Medina, to claim in the national press for their “lack of commitment”. Guns n’ Roses defended themselves saying, “Guns N' Roses would like to set the record straight on Rock in Rio. The festival's inadequate production and the downpour of rain delayed the event”, which was published in

Unlike the Brazilian press which published details of this presentation and the audience reaction, the international media outlets only published short notes about Axl’s bad performance.


Chevron and the oil spill

The national and the international vision

Oil slick caused by the Chevron’s leak.
By Daniela Bernardino and Évelyn Souza
  December, 6, 2011

According to Brazilian and American articles the oil spill caused by the U.S. Company Chevron is much bigger than the firm had announced before. 
RIO DE JANEIRO- In November , the Brazilian authorities detected an oil spot in the ocean, caused by an oil leak of Chevron Company, which is an American firm that explores, produces and transports oil and natural gas to more than one hundred countries, in  Frade field, located  in the country’s southwestern coast. At first, the company announced that the spill involved 400 to 650 barrels of oil. However, according to Agência do Brasil and the American newspaper New York Times, the leak is much bigger then the company has announced before: “The spot is very large and is still bubbling out the oil-cracking” said the Environment State Secretary Carlos Minc, when he visited the place.

According to The New York Times, Chevron is under intense scrutiny and the officials can be sued by the Brazilian government if they are found guilty of violating environmental contamination laws. Moreover, their situation can be worse because of their omitting about the size of the stain. However, the Brazilian article about the oil spill published in Agência do Brasil says nothing about the possible punishments that the company may suffer.

Both news reports say that this accident will serve as a warning to Brazil when it explores the “pre-salt” discoveries. This offshore discovery, according to the two articles will emerge Brazil, in 2020, as the world’s fourth-largest oil producer after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

While The New York Times says that Chevron had achieved “a substantial reduction” (according to The National Petroleum Agency), the Agência Brasil just affirms the big size of the accident. The other fail was the geological study of the bottom, which did not detect a hole.

According to Agência Brasil, until now, Chevron still does not know how much oil there is exactly in the Frade field. On the other hand, The New York Times says Chevron’s estimates are, perhaps, around 10 times smaller than that seems to be, which is extended 918 square miles, approximately, according to John Amos, the president of an American environmental preservation group.


New York Times:

Agencia Brasil:



Rock in Rio, one of the biggest music festivals in the world, divided the opinions of Brazilian and international sites about its organization and production. The event occurred a few months ago in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

By Audria Mesquita and Flávia Pires

Rock in Rio is considered one of the most important music festivals in the world. This event that unites recognized singers from many countries had its first edition in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1985, and after that, other cities also hosted the festival: Lisbon (Portugal) and Madri (Spain). This year, Rock in Rio came back to its original location. The event occurred from September 23 to October 2 exciting the city and putting it on focus. Analyzing the coverage of the event made by articles written to different interlocutors, we found different ways of seeing the same festival.

There is a positive point of view about Rock in Rio festival in the article written by Kim Dumo a few days before the event, titled Rock in Rio is here on the site The Rio Times[1]. Kim Dumo commented that there were over 700,000 sold tickets to the festival and the city of Rio de Janeiro was prepared to get fans from all over the world. Besides the international attractions, the event would also prestige Brazilian singers and they would play on the main stage named "Palco Mundo" (World Stage) promoting the music and Brazilian culture.  There is information provided by Secretariat of Tourism of the City of Rio de Janeiro (Riotur) about the importance of the event to the local economy, including the creation of new jobs:

“According to the Secretariat of Tourism of the City of Rio de Janeiro (Riotur), the event brought about R$461 million directly into the local economy, with a huge multiplier effect. Reports also suggest that more than 10,000 jobs have been created directly and indirectly during the event.”

Other positive point in the article was about  transportation especially for the days of the festival avoiding potential problems of traffic jams.

The report was made by a foreigner and it was evident throughout the text that he had a good impression of Rock in Rio. He referred to the spectacle as an epic event of music in the world.

In the article Rock in Rio não deixa história memorável/Rock in Rio does not let memorable history, published in a Brazilian newsletter (Estadão)[2], written by Jotabê Medeiros, the critic did not have good comments or conclusions to do about this event. According to him, Rock in Rio was very good concerning economical aspects (the money circled and the jobs created), but, when it comes to the main interest, the music, it was not so good.

Besides the bad critics about the creativity of the artists, this page from Brazil shows an evaluation table with the best and the worst in Rock in Rio. Differently from the article written to foreigners "Rock in Rio is here", the Brazilian site exposed the "dark side" of the event.  The worst things, according to the critics:

♪ Too many people in the same place

♪ Traffic jam in the exit

♪ Sewage spills on the heavy metal day

♪ Lack of boldness in programming

♪ Poor organization and queues on the first day

Both articles presented to the readers different points of view about The Rock in Rio Festival. The article written in English aimed to the foreigners and presented a more optimistic perspective of the Event, given its importance as a showcase to the music worldwide. On the other hand, the one that was written in Portuguese had several bad comments and negative aspects associated to the event. This may have happened because Brazilian people tend not to value what is produced in our country and, at the same time, we do not allow ourselves to see the good things we make. Well, a great festival like "Rock in Rio" will always have mistakes and points to improve, however the positive points need to be highlighted too. There is an agreement in both articles: the increase of the number of jobs in the city of Rio de Janeiro because of the event. The English article was written some days before the festival and the Brazilian article was written some days after it, so that can be a determinant reason for the differences between the points of view.



Police Restrain Students at the University of São Paulo

By Sthefanny Saldanha and Ricardo Sabadini

Two thousand eleven has been the year of student demonstrations. It has been happening in Egypt, Chile and even here, in Brazil. Divergences on the causes of USP invasion have been noticed by the population – or, at least, they should have been noticed. The common media is using the television, the newspaper, the internet and every means of communication to tell people that the USP invasion is because the students want to use marijuana in the university and do not want the police around so they can feel free do to it. The students and the teachers say that the invasion is because the policemen are using their power to treat people in an abusive way. During this article, we will point these two points of view based on a Brazilian newspaper, Brasil de Fato, and on an English article about the subject found on the website

On October 27th, around 6:00 pm, three students were approached by the military policemen in the parking lot of the Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH), at USP. These students had their documents confiscated and their car was searched because the policemen claimed they were keeping marijuana with them. According to the newspaper BRASIL DE FATO, this was not the first time the PM entered the campus to quell the students. The following was written on the newspaper’s web page:

It is a further demonstration of the policy of repression that has been imposed by the University Rector, John Grandino Rodas, investigated for corruption by prosecutors. The rector, who was not elected by the university community, has a broad form of repression of students and social movements.

While the Brazilian newspaper reported the situation in the students’ perspective, used a tone of distance trying to convince the reader that the police force in the campus was necessary due to the crimes that were happening at the University:

The police had originally been brought to the leafy site in September, after a student was murdered during an armed robbery. Another was shot during a robbery in October. Violence flared last month after police arrested three students who were caught smoking marijuana on campus and police vehicles were damaged by protesters supporting the suspects. Days later, other groups of students demonstrated in support of the police.

We have two different perspectives. At no time in the the real facts that had incited the students to react the way they did were mentioned, and, on the other hand, in the Brasil de Fato’s web article the whole operation is described.

Violence in the campus, military police brutality, police vehicles damaged, a group of students arrested, threats and verbal abuse, assault with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and batons. At the end of all, a polemical comment of the governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alkimin, crowned the whole situation: “Some USP students needed a lesson about democracy”, he said.

That same day, the state government authorized the action of 400 men in riot gear, armor, helicopters and military police to effect the repossession of the building, but without establishing a dialogue with the protesters.

Geraldo Alkimin was invited by USP students to teach them about democracy several times. In the end of a parade organized by the students to protest the situation, they were in a big debate about democracy made by teachers and students and the governor again. He did not show up.



The main character of Elite Squad 1 and 2 is judged by a Brazilian and a foreigner’s report

by Bernardo Taborda, Jonathan Silva
and Otávio Barradas

In “Elite Squad 2: now we have another enemy”, Captain Nascimento gradually renounces his old methods and joins calls for a more law-abiding approach towards tackling crime.

Most Brazilians have this idea on how people from other countries see ours: parties, beaches, criminality and monkeys. So, it is easy to realize what kind of movie is most known outside our country: since we do not have too many movies about parties, beaches and monkeys, we are known for our crime movies. But let us think before starting to get angry with the image they have about us: it is our fault.

In December 2010, a report was published in the BBC’s webpage about Elite Squad 2, a Brazilian movie. Why that choice? Because the film has been seen by more than 11 million cinema-goers. These cinema-goers are our people, Brazilians, who make the success of the movie and, consequently, make its success outside Brazil. The BBC’s article shows us a special point of view about Captain Nascimento in the first movie of the series, “a police officer with a self-righteous approach to crime-fighting”, who “had no qualms about torturing and murdering drug traffickers in his struggle against organized crime in the favelas”. So, after the explanation about the character, the report says that this man became a role model for us, Brazilians, and it is true. However, in the second film, “Elite Squad 2: now we have another enemy”, the character changes and “gradually renounces his old methods and joins calls for a more law-abiding approach towards tackling crime”.

The same point of view is seen in a Brazilian article from the website UOL. According to the report, now Captain Nascimento “is no longer the violent and full of convictions policeman (such as his idea that the middle class’ drug users are guilty of the civil war in Brazilian major cities) and becomes an observer of the country’s society (which he calls, appropriately so generic, “the System”)”.

Then, if someone expected to see a prejudiced point of view about Elite Squad, linking the plot with Brazil’s reality, they might have been surprised. What we see is an article which analyzes the movie and just the movie. Moreover, the BBC’s report acknowledges the film’s greatness without criticizing our country. Brazil is more than criminality, and we also make great movies, whether they are about crime or not.


The UPPs and the new Rio de Janeiro

The slums in Rio: a neverending problem for Brazil.

By Paulo Guilherme Pilotti Duarte and Rodrigo Motta

            Since the 60s de city of Rio de Janeiro has been recognized by its natural beauties and, mostly, by the lack of security - and the inventive new ways of robberies that are born in the city such as "arrastões", flash kidnappings and all other kinds of crimes. In despite of the huge amount of cultural choices, great beaches and carnival, the tourism was getting down year by year, due to the security problems.

            Thinking of that, in 2008 the Brazilian government started a new kind of violence combat, the UPPs (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora or in English, Peacemaker Police Unity) which was responsible for performing a cleaning in the most dangerous slums of RJ. The first UPPs were in the small slums, starting with an operation to restore de trust in Rio de Janeiro's police (which had long been discredited among the population because of the corruption and the violence abuse by the PM) and fighting against the militias (paramilitary groups formed mainly by retired and off-duty policemen) and drug gangs who ruled the locals.

            After the small slums were pacified by the BOPE in 2010, the Brazilian government took a major step in fighting the crime in RJ when they occupied Complexo do Alemão (the biggest drug sales point in RJ formed by a cluster of dozen smaller slums that together are home for more than 160.000 people) in a conjunct effort between BOPE and the Brazilian army. This area will be under the UPP command until 2012 (the army is still there today).

            Complexo do Alemão operation was a success and now, in November 2011, BOPE and the army have another challenge to deal with: pacify Rocinha slum (the biggest slum in the world) and recover the control of this region from the hands of the drug dealer "Nem" (Antonio Francisco Bomfim Lopes), who was, since 2005, the "big boss" in Rocinha. He was already arrested when he was trying to escape in a black Toyota (he was trying to escape in the trunk of the car and he offered R$1M to the policemen, which is approximately U$570,000). The capture of the main drug dealer from Rocinha makes things very easy to the police - when compared with other UPPs operations, especially when compared with the Complexo do Alemão operation - the expectation of a bloodbath in Rocinha never confirmed and, even with the promise of fight and resistance made by "Nem", the implementation of UPPs in Rocinha was calmer when compared with the previous operation.

            But even with the calm operation in Rocinha, BOPE and all the policemen involved in the task have to act quickly to capture the other smaller drug dealers who are still in the slum – because the fight for power can start at any time – and to avoid not only the fight for power and a new drug dealer ascension in Rocinha but also the risk of killing bystanders during the operation.

The UPPs problems

              Despite the success of the UPPs in the slums, they still have a lot of problems to deal with. The corruption of some policemen, the resistance of drug dealers who still hide in the pacified slums and the resistance of some portions of the population who do not trust the police become very difficult obstacles to transpose.

            Also, the army, which intends to occupy the slum for just six months while training the freshman policemen on their new activity, will now remain in the slums until 2012 – BOPE and a big portion of the slum population are resistant to that – probably because of the years of authority abuses from the corrupt police forces and the militias who have dominated the local area for years. Complaints about police charging fees from the dwellers - around R$50 mil - and the corruption among policemen in the communities of Coroa, Fallet e Fogueteiros resulted in the removal, on September 11, of the UPP commander, Captain Elton Costa, and his sub commander, the lieutenant Rafael Medeiros. Also, on September 5, the UPP headquarter, located in Cidade de Deus, was attacked with rocks by the locals as a reprimand for the complaints of corruption among the policemen.

            Moreover, the problem of corruption is still there - the cases are decreasing but the problem still persists until today - and the dwellers of Rocinha and Alemão are still reporting some abuses from the police force, and that is a big problem to the government.

The light at the end of tunnel
              "The UPP did not solve all the Rio de Janeiro's problems" said major Eliezer de Oliveira, the coordinator of the UPP program. And he is right. In fact the UPP program is part of a bigger plan from the Brazilian government to pacify the slums in RJ.

            Despite the problems with corruption and force abuses, the UPPs are a success in restoring the peace and order in a region known by the high rates of crimes - specially homicides and drug traffic - and in bringing back the pride to be a dweller in that poor region of RJ.

            The biggest triumph within the UPPs has been the considerably lower criminal rates since the UPPs are occupying the slums. The ISP (Instituto de Segurança Pública, in English, Public Security Institute) has disclosed some new rates for the violence in the communities where the UPPs are installed - there have been six homicides in 2011 until now in comparison with 32 homicides in 2010.


Conflicts at University

When students and rectory do not have a common opinion about the directions of the biggest university of Brazil, the chaos dominates

By Caroline Nunes da Silveira Corrêa
November 2011.

Since last October, University of São Paulo has been one of the most commented subjects on the news, and it is not about common things, as vestibular. The presence of the  police in the campus creates a great polemic and starts discussions about things that happened at the university. On one hand, students are favorable toward the Military Police’s retreat from the place and the end of the agreement between them and the university. On the other hand, there are people who want to keep the police there because they have been worried about the security since a student was shot and died.

A lot of protests have happened since the beginning of the confrontations between the police and students, which started with the detention of three people caught carrying weed on Oct 27. On the same night, students decided to go to the FFLCH (Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas) building to protest against the police. According to the students, they want to remove the police from the campus not exactly to have freedom to use drugs: this was just what triggered the complaints about the agressivity of the police.

On Nov 2, some students of Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas and some servers decided to occupy the rectory building. It caused the cancellation of classes and a lot of problems with the university services. When the police decided to remove the students, on Nov 8, after conflicts and depredation, an assembly decided to start a strike.

With this entire situation, a lot of problems inside the university came out. The lack of communication between students and rector creates difficulties to make an agreement about what to do concerning the police.