Political Profile of Brazil
Brazil’s overall strength as a state is in question because of political corruption. There is a lot of inequality and high poverty rates that are hampering the nation. The state has been attempting to rid the country of corruption but it has proven difficult especially in the past decade. Brazil’s government is tightly connected to its economy in several ways and their legislative and judiciary system are also extremely important. The most important issue is facing is the racial social and economic inequalities that still exists.
Brazil is the only Latin American nation that derives its language and culture from Portugal and currently has a population of around 200 million citizens. It first gained its independence in 1822 when the state peacefully broke its colonial ties it had previously held with Portugal. The state then transitioned into a monarchial system for several decades followed by a transition to a democratic system in 1889. However, this installment of democracy did not last long. Long periods of authoritarian rule along with military regimes took control of the government causing internal instability until the modern day Brazilian constitution was adopted in 1988 giving the country its first democracy in decades. There are also several important divisions in the country that are caused by race and ethnicity. Historically African-Brazilians have earned less income than other races living within Brazil. African-Brazilians also suffer from higher poverty rates and homicide rates. Also, the discrepancy in wealth between the Northern part of the country and the Southern part of the country is stunning. In 1985, the southeast accounted for 70% of the countries’ industrial production and 58% of the countries’ total GDP. This inequality is astounding because it means that the Northern part of the country is very poor unlike the economic booming south. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Per-capita gross domestic product of Brazil in 2011 is 11,900. As of 2011, this would put Brazil as 101st globally in total GDP. Also, Brazil has a very high UN Human Development Index. They score as a 0.718 which is very high for a Latin American country. As of 2008, Brazil also scores a 2 in the Freedom House scores for Political Rights and Civil Liberties. This means the state has great freedom and allows many liberties. Brazil’s overall strength as a state is in question is because of its political corruption as recent as 2011 which puts the countries’ overall legitimacy in question. Scandal has been present in this country for several decades most notably in 1992 involving President Fernando Collor de Mello. He was found guilty of having personal expenses paid for through an illegal peddling scheme. Brazil’s political infrastructure has been plagued recently by political corruption scandals as well. Illegal actions such as vote-buying, bribery, and overall abuse of power such as raising job salaries for favored citizens have all been found within the Brazilian government in the past few years. Although corruption is still an issue today, President Rousseff has made several strides to improve the situation. She has promoted an “ethical cleansing” campaign which has directly been implemented in the efforts of fighting political corruption. The results of this campaign have yet to be seen however because it was put into place in 2011 shortly after five of Rousseff’s cabinet members were ousted due to corruption scandals of their own. Another cause of Brazil’s questionable strength as a state is because of poor internal sovereignty. A blatant characteristic of this weakness is the strength and prevalence of crime and drug cartels. So far in 2012, it has been reported by Reporters without Borders that 3 reporters have been killed in connection with their work in Brazil. That is the fourth most of any country in the world...
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