The recently released Free Software Assessment Report 2012 shows the opinion, assessment and preferences of more than 5,000 people from Spain and Latin America. The study published in its fourth edition is promoted by PortalProgramas and supported by a number of experts and collaborators [es]. The report aims to contribute to a better understanding, use and dissemination of free software in Latin America. The summary of the study can be accessed online [es] and more information can be found on the report's conclusions for 2012 [es].
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Brazil
Respecting the soil is fundemental to us. It is where we get our food from and how we will provide for our children
Suelia explains [fr] how the agroecology approach (bringing ecological principles to bear in agroecosystems) has helped many in her community grow a sustainable business model by diversifying their products and therefore letting the soil rest. Thee programme is also suported by french NGO CCFD-terre solidaire.
Deep Brazil blog, from the journalist Regina Scharf, provides valuable resources about Brazil in the English language. She recently published one more list of books in English related to Brazil, its culture and people, and earlier this year she published a Brazil Blog List featuring 60 websites about the country for anglophone readers.
Brazilian investigative journalism website Pública reports [pt] on documents leaked by WikiLeaks on the plight of the request for land of the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá. A cable from 2009 reveals disdain by local authorities from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul towards Guarani-Kaiowá's demands for the demarcation of the lands that farmers have cultivated for decades.
Rio Real blog wrote about the launch of Pense Livre (Think Free) [pt] in September 2012, a network to urge a rethink of Brazil’s drug policy. The author stresses that drug decriminalization would remap Rio de Janeiro, and links to an interview [pt] to Pedro Abramovay, a lawyer and law professor who advocates for changes in the Brazilian anti-drug policy.
Brazilian bloggers and even mainstream media are reacting to a letter by an indigenous Guarani Kaiowá community that claims to have lost all hope, promising a mass resistance to death of 170 men, women and children, if an eviction order goes forward. Global Voices reported in 2011 and 2010 on ongoing violence against the Guarani-Kaiowá.
On the aftermath of Brazilian municipal elections that took place on October 7, 2012, the Facebook page Quem suja agora vai sujar depois (Who messes now will mess afterwards) [pt] shares photos and videos showing electoral propaganda waste in streets across the country.
A peaceful demonstration in front of the City Hall of Porto Alegre, Brazil, on October 4, ended with police brutality and teargas on the protesters, Sul21 reports [pt] (with photos and videos). Students were dancing in protest against the privatization of several public spaces around the city sponsored by Coca Cola company.
InfoAmazonia is a platform that brings together organizations and journalists from nine countries of one of the most biodiverse areas in the world to freely provide news and reports of the endangered Amazon region. The website maps deforestation, fires, oil and mining, and calls for public participation through the submission of data and stories.
The progressive Bill of Rights for Internet users in Brazil, the Marco Civil da Internet, which was expected to be voted in Congress today, September 19, 2012, ended up being cancelled for the third time since June. The vote was postponed until after the elections in October, inform Twitter users under the hashtags #MarcoCivil and #MarcoCivilJa (Bill of Rights now).
Moms, students, working professionals and women from all walks of life are the driving force behind a gender revolution that has made huge contributions to our region’s prosperity.
In Americas Quarterly, João Pedro Azevedo and Louise J. Cord write about how Latin American women are driving the region's prosperity.
The Project 5X Favela (5 Times Slum), which aims to give a voice to young filmmakers living in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, is now addressing the pacification process in Rio's slums. Their new documentary, 5X Pacification, intends to portray the impact of police units presence in the daily lives of dwellers.
After crowdsourced research on fires in São Paulo's slums and informal settlements, known as favelas, Patrícia Cornils and a group of São Paulo citizens are mapping the fires at a site called “Fogo no Barraco” which translates as “Shanty on Fire”. The site also reveals dramatic increases in land value near fire incidents.
Recently a number of devastating fires in São Paulo slums [Pt], where land values have sky-rocketed of late, have left thousands homeless. Over 1,100 people were left homeless after the last fire. Some São Paulo residents are using a public spreadsheet to crowdsource data and analyze the phenomenon over the past eight years.
A community page on Facebook, Língua Portuguesa: Uma Língua Global? (Portuguese Language: A Global Language?) [pt], provides a diversity of materials to promote the debate about the expansion of Portuguese language and its consequences. Several critical issues on the policies of this language of around 200 million speakers are addressed, such as minority languages, multilinguism and linguistic colonialism.
Diário de Classe [pt], a Facebook page created by Isadora Faber, a 13 year-old from Santa Catarina, Brazil, has already gathered more than 176,000 “likes”. Aiming to “show the truth about public schools”, Isadora shares photos that show the repairs needed in her own school and reports on other general problems.
An online petition [pt] demands the suspension of the order of eviction of Quilombo Rio dos Macacos, one of the oldest slave descendent communities in Brazil. A Technical Identification and Delimitation Report from the National Institute of Colonisation and Agrarian Reform (Incra) determined that the territory belongs to the quilombola community, but in early August, 2012, a judge ordered the eviction, favouring the Navy's claim for the land.
Instituto Socioambiental informs [pt] that despite a judge order to halt [pt] construction work in Belo Monte, the company responsible for the construction of the dam, Norte Energia, continues its work, claiming that it hasn't been officially notified. Last Friday, August 17, 2012, netizen Simone Gomes had reported on Facebook that the works on the dam continued.
The film Belo Monte, Announcement of a War was recently launched in the Internet. It is the result of a collective effort that involved the independent producer, Cinedelia, and a crowdfunding campaign mobilized by Catarse. The film shows the reactions of indigenous people, inhabitants of Altamira, Pará, Brazil, and activists against the construction of the hydroelectric of Belo Monte, the most controversial work of the federal government nowadays.
Togolese Preacher Woegna Yao Koufoualesse was caught at the Accra International Airport with 4.2 kg of Cocaine in a flight from Sao Paulo, Afrique Infos reports [fr]. The drugs were hidden inside caramel lollipops; Koufoualesse argued that he did not know about the cocaine and that the lollipops were to be sold to help build a church.
Few months ahead of municipal elections in Brazil, the campaign Quem sujou agora, vai sujar depois [Who litters now, will litter afterwards] aims to raise awareness on how political candidates make Brazilian towns dirty during election campaigns. The project's page on Facebook [pt] gathers denouncing photos and videos sent by netizens, cartoons and discussions regarding political sign regulation.
The Observatório do Direito à Comunicação, website of communication rights in Brazil, reports that [pt] the Board of Social Communication, elected by National Congress on July 17, is under criticism as the list of candidates was concealed and voting session was unannounced. Board members analyze, report and make recommendations on radio and televion programs, concession and media conglomerates.
The Blog da Saúde [Health Blog] announced [pt] the Ministry of Health's partnership with Facebook to encourage organ donation by members of the largest social network in the world. “The Minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, and the Vice President of Facebook for Latin America, Alexandre Hohagen, will launch, next Monday (30th), a new profile feature for Facebook users which aims to encourage organ donation in the country [pt].”
On the blog No que tange, Maycon Lopes shares [pt] his experiences of being a homosexual in Brazil, where homophobia “motivates terrible killings”, and compares to situations he faced while living in Portugal for a year: “Portuguese society isn't violent [...] however gays aren't so on sight”. He felt an “apparent invisibility” of LGBT in the country.