By Raúl Zibechi, 22 September 2013. Source: La Jornada, Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff with Barack Obama in April 2012. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to postpone her visit to the United States because of the espionage that the National Security Agency (NSA) carries out in Brazil is hardly the most visible part of the geopolitical dispute that occurs in the region of South America. Before communicating the suspension of the trip, she received diverse and opposing pressures, that of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva among them, who demanded explanations from the government of Barack Obama.
In reality Rousseff had little chance of maintaining her trip to Washington after the June mobilizations that decimated her popularity and placed her government under public scrutiny. Shaking the hand of the president responsible for the espionage of her personal communications and the world’s fourth oil company, Petrobras, would have put at risk the incipient upturn of her approval levels one year before the presidential elections. Continue reading
December 4, 2012. Source: The New Zealand Herald
Photo: NZ Herald
Brazilian oil company Petrobras has handed back exploration licences it holds for deep sea oil and gas prospects in the Raukumara Basin, off East Cape, in what appears a reaction to a string of difficulties which have seen the oil giant report losses for the first time in 13 years.
Prime Minister John Key told The New Zealand Herald that the decision was “not a reflection on the capacity to undertake deep-sea drilling or the prospect of activity of that area.”
The Raukumara Basin lies in very deep water off the east coast of the North Island and has barely been explored. Petrobras contracted a seismic survey ship to undertake initial surveys of parts of the basin early last year, where it encountered stiff opposition from a protest flotilla organised by Greenpeace and a local Maori tribe, Te Whanau a Apanui.
The New Zealand Navy was despatched to ensure the seismic survey could continue.
Cross-posted from Agence France-Presse
June 13, 2012 - At the 1992 Earth Summit a grand plan was drawn up to tackle pollution in Rio’s Guanabara Bay, but 20 years on the once-pristine fishing ground is a cesspool of garbage and toxic waste.
Guanabara at one time had healthy mangroves, sandy beaches and a rich ecosystem, but decades of urbanization and deforestation have taken their toll on waters now choked full of household garbage and sewage.
Fishermen blame the dwindling fish stocks on a massive oil leak in 2000, which saw nearly one million litres of crude spew into the bay from an underwater Petrobras pipeline.