Brazil is South America’s most industrialized country. In recent decades, the industry has expanded with so-called growth and future industries such as pharmaceuticals and IT.
The huge supply of raw materials from the mines and agriculture laid the foundation for the country’s industrialization. The textile and food industries as well as the brewery industry have long dominated, and the processing of rubber and timber has been extensive. Heavy industry, which was originally state-owned, has attracted foreign capital. The manufacture of chemicals, machinery, cars, aircraft and weapons has increased in importance. Brazil builds oil platforms and other specialized equipment for the oil industry, as well as turbines, generators and transformers for hydropower and electricity supply.
The raw material processing has been expanded and the manufacturing industry has become increasingly advanced. The automotive industry is extensive, and the furniture industry has grown significantly. The telecom industry has success as well as the electronics and data industry, which is partly located in a special zone in Manaus in the Amazon where companies are attracted under particularly favorable conditions.
Brazil’s industry is otherwise largest in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in the southeast and together with one of the other states there, Espírito Santo, they account for a large part of the country’s GDP. São Paulo is Latin America’s largest industrial city. Campinas north of São Paulo is one of several IT centers.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Brazil. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
The Minister of Education resigns
The controversial Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub, announces that he will leave his post “within a few days” and will start a new job at the World Bank. There have been speculations that Weintraub would be fired, not least after his statements on the Supreme Court (see June 14, 2020).
Interest rates were low
17th of June
The central bank once again lowers the interest rate, now to the bottom of the list, 2.25 percent, due to the economic crisis in the Corona pandemic track. But despite the eighth cut in a row, many commercial rates are still high, often higher than before the pandemic, as banks try to protect themselves against losses due to bankruptcies. The World Bank predicts that the economy in Brazil will shrink by 8 percent in 2020.
Minister without mouth guard fined
Education Minister Abraham Weintraub receives a fine of just under SEK 4,000 for having appeared in public without oral protection. Weintraub attended one of President Bolsonaro’s many mass meetings in Brazil, where he shook hands with others and allowed himself to be photographed. Many of the participants lacked mouth protection even though there are requirements for such in the capital since April. Bolsonaro itself also often appears without mouth protection. Weintraub is controversial. He has been criticized for anti-Chinese statements that have been perceived as racist, often spelling mistakes in public documents and on Twitter, and recently called the Supreme Court judges “criminal” and said they should be imprisoned.
Governors accused of covid corruption
Two state governors are indicted for corruption linked to the purchase of medical equipment during the corona crisis. In Rio de Janeiro, the Legislative Assembly votes to initiate a process to oust Governor Wilson Witzel, and in Pará, federal police raids raids against Governor Helder Barbalho’s home and office. Both governors have been at odds with President Bolsonaro over the handling of the pandemic and quarantine rules.
HD forces the government to reverse covid statistics
The Supreme Court orders the government to re-establish a site with information on the number of deaths in covid-19, just days after the death row summaries were removed. The government has previously changed its way of reporting the statistics several times. Criticism has mainly been directed at the decision to publish only the figures for the past 24 hours. The government is accused of trying to darken the spread of the pandemic in the country. Brazil has now been without health minister for almost a month, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, and is considered one of the countries in the world where the spread is most out of control. Brazil has the second most confirmed cases of corona infection in the world, after the United States, with over 700,000 people. The number of deaths in covid-19 approaches 40,000.
“Political earthquake” when the Minister of Justice resigns
Justice and Security Minister Sergio Moro resigns following a conflict with President Jair Bolsonaro dismissing federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo. According to Moro, the president is guilty of political interference that damages his and the government’s credibility. Fun also suggests that the president interferes in the federal police’s fight against corruption. Sergio Moro has been the most popular minister of Bolsonaro’s government and his resignation is described as an “earthquake” in Brazilian politics. The message causes the stock market to collapse and the currency to fall to a record low against the dollar.
Bolsonaro participates in corona protest
President Jair Bolsonaro joins hundreds of protesters gathered outside the army headquarters in Brazil, in a protest against quarantine rules in the states due to the Corona pandemic. The protesters are calling on the army to act because of the corona management, and demand that the Congress be closed. “Military intervention with Bolsonaro”, it says on the poster. Bolsonaro speaks at the meeting about “fighting for the country” but says nothing about military intervention or closure of Congress.
The Minister of Health is being kicked
Health Minister Luis Henrique Mandetta is dismissed by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized him for urging people to hold social distance because of the corona virus. The two have been in the hat on each other for weeks. Bolsonaro has continued to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic and advocate untested treatment methods, while Mandetta has adhered to the worldwide guidelines for reducing the spread of infection. The situation became sharp when Mandetta in a TV interview called on the government to speak with one voice, which in practice was a criticism of Bolsonaro. Mandetta has strong support in popular opinion, while Bolsonaro’s popularity figures have dropped.
Bolsonaro participates in street protest
24th of May
President Jair Bolsonaro is once again attending a mass meeting with supporters in the streets of Brazil, wearing a mouthguard that will soon depart. He shakes hands and hugs people, and obviously ignores everything called social distancing. Brazil now has 350,000 confirmed cases of coronary infection and thus the second most in the world, after the United States. More than 22,000 people have been registered as deceased in covid-19.
Revealing video recording
A judge in the Supreme Court (HD) announces a video recording from a government meeting in April, where President Bolsonaro and several ministers are heard using a very crude language when they speak disdainfully about governors and HD judges, while hardly even mentioning the corona virus as spread uncontrolled in Brazil. One of the few occasions the virus is nevertheless mentioned is when the Minister of the Environment says that the government should take care during the pandemic by easing various environmental protection rules. The video recording is part of the investigation by President Bolsonaro and whether he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice when he fired the police chief in April.
New Minister of Health resigns
15th of May
Health Minister Nelson Teich resigns after less than a month on the job, due to disagreement over how the corona pandemic is handled. The predecessor was kicked by President Jair Bolsonaro (see April 16, 2020). Teich has criticized Bolsonaro’s decree, among other thingsa few days earlier who stated that gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons are “necessary” and thus have the right to remain open even where quarantine rules otherwise apply. According to Bolsonaro, it is a matter of hygiene “to get your nails painted”. Teich should also have been on a collision course with the president the use of a drug for malaria, chloroquine, to treat covid-19. Like US President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro has advocated chloroquine despite the lack of evidence that it is effective and there is a risk that it would be dangerous instead.
Bolsonaro is increasingly pressed into police investigation
The temperature rises around an investigation into obstruction of justice initiated by a judge in the Supreme Court against President Jair Bolsonaro following the dismissal of the federal police chief (see April 24, 2020). A video footage from a government meeting, in which the president is said to want to replace the police chief to stave off ongoing investigations, causes Bolsonaro to deny that he would have tried to protect family members from investigations. Bolsonaro admits that at the government meeting on April 22, he talked about his family, but said he was worried about their physical safety, not least as he himself was cut in the election (see September 2018).
Coronasmitta as early as January
Researchers have found that the corona center spread in Brazil earlier than expected. It has been confirmed that a person who died in January had covid-19, almost two months earlier than what was considered the first death on March 16. Thus, general contamination may have occurred even before the end of February, when millions of people were partying and crowding the streets. In other countries, it has also been found that infections occurred earlier than assumed.
Over 10,000 dead
Congress and the Supreme Court announce three days of official mourning as the corona pandemic has now claimed more than 10,000 people’s lives in Brazil. Over 150,000 people have been confirmed to be infected, at the same time as researchers believe the actual numbers may be 15 to 20 times greater. Congress urges Brazilians to continue to follow the recommendations of health authorities. President Jair Bolsonsaro, on the other hand, continues to oppose the injunctions and was recently seen engaging in jet skiing on a lake in the capital.
Significantly increased forest deforestation
The space agency Inpe reports that the rate of illegal logging increased by 55 percent during the first four months of the year, compared with the same period last year. The environmental movement continues to criticize President Jair Bolsonaro’s politics and rhetoric, and says it encourages illegal handling. Bolsonaro rejects the accusations and earlier this week gave the sign that the military should be deployed to try to stop the devastation.
The Minister of Economy warns of collapse
Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes warns of economic collapse within a month due to quarantine rules prevailing during the corona pandemic. According to Guedes, food shortages and “social disorder” threaten the country. The central bank has just lowered the interest rate to the record low level of 3 percent and says that “extraordinary measures” are needed to counteract the devastating effect of the pandemic on the economy. The IMF has predicted that Brazil’s GDP will shrink by just over 5 percent during the year. The central bank has cut interest rates by seven steps since July 2019, in an attempt to revive the economy that was weak even before the pandemic. The currency that is at its lowest level so far is at 5.70 real per dollar.
Bolsonaro is flushed by social media giants
Facebook and Instagram are dropping videos with President Jair Bolsonaro on the grounds that they are spreading disinformation about the corona virus. Twitter has already done the same. The three global giants in social media have guidelines on protecting public health regarding covid-19 by not approving material that contravenes public recommendations. In the video recordings that are not shown now, Bolsonaro is seen ignoring social order by close interaction with followers in the streets. The president has previously questioned figures on the number of deaths in the state of São Paulo, whose governor João Doria has criticized for the way the pandemic is being handled. The figures must not be used for political purposes, says Bolsonaro, who expressly does not believe in them. Doria is a former ally of Bolsonaro who has now become a rival and has closed business and ordered people to stay home. São Paulo is the hardest hit by corona throughout Latin America.
Churches are exempt from quarantine
President Jair Bolsonaro decides, through a decree, that churches and other places of worship are exempted from the quarantine rules that have been introduced to restrict the spread of the new corona virus. They would thus have the same special position as grocery stores and pharmacies – with the decree being stopped by a court the following day. However, the government can appeal that decision. Bolsonaro has come into conflict with governors and local rulers who have closed schools and businesses, especially in the big cities. Sixteen of the people who traveled with Bolsonaro to the United States earlier this month have now been confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus. Among them is the Minister of National Security.
Bolsonaro continues to be critical of restrictions
24th of March
President Jair Bolsonaro storms against the quarantine rules he calls “burnt-ground tactics” and has been introduced in mega cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, to prevent the spread of the corona virus that causes covid-19. According to Bolsonaro, these are misguided efforts to save lives, which instead destroy the economy. Bolsonaro calls the virus “a little flu” and accuses the media of hysteria. The stock market in São Paulo has turned upside down and the real has strengthened somewhat, in response to efforts to support the economy around the world. Brazil has the most coronary cases in Latin America: just over 2,200 confirmed infected and nearly 50 dead.
Limits are closed
The government decides to close all land borders except those towards Uruguay, and bans entry from Europe and many Pacific countries. The bans do not apply to Brazilian citizens and people with special reasons, nor to goods transport. In Rio de Janeiro, the world famous beaches are closed. On March 22, the borders to Uruguay will also be closed.
Mass protest against Bolsonaro’s crisis management
Millions of people around Brazil are participating in protests against President Bolsonaro and his way of dealing with the corona crisis. Many stand in windows or on balconies and turn pots, a common way of demonstrating in Latin America. People blink with lights by alternately switching on and off. The protest is reported to be the most widespread against Bolsonaro since he took office. Fourteen people who participated in the president’s trip to the United States earlier this month have now been found infected by the corona virus. Bolsonaro now announces in a televised speech a series of emergency measures to reduce the spread of infection, as well as a financial support package to support the economy and low-income earners. He appears surrounded by ministers in face masks.
Rescue package against economic crisis in Corona’s tracks
The government launches a rescue package of the equivalent of $ 27.5 billion as a result of the new corona virus that causes huge disruptions worldwide. The stock market in São Paulo falls by almost 14 percent and the real falls for the first time under US $ 0.20.
The president defies virus advice
President Jair Bolsonaro participates in a mass meeting with supporters and defies calls from his own health ministry to quarantine for two weeks. He also shakes hands with people and takes selfies with participants. The call for quarantine is because at least five people in a delegation who traveled with him to Florida have recently been found infected with the coronavirus that causes covid-19. Miami’s mayor whom the delegation met has also tested positive for the virus. Bolsonaro himself should not have been infected in a first test but according to current rules he should test himself again twice thereafter, 7 and 14 days later. During the visit to Florida, the company interacted with US President Donald Trump and several of his relatives.
Stock market falls, Bolsonaro triggers viruses
The stock market in São Paulo plunges by more than 12 percent, the largest fall since 1998, and shares in state-owned oil giant Petrobras fall by just over 31 percent. The cause is the same that has rocked markets around the world: the new corona virus and sharply falling oil prices. President Jair Bolsonaro, who is in Florida on a visit to his American colleague Donald Trump, says in a statement to 200 supporters that the corona threat is “exaggerated”, perhaps for “political reasons.”
Brazil calls all Venezuela diplomats home
The government calls home all of its diplomats and other expatriates from Venezuela, and orders Venezuela to bring in its personnel from Brazil. President Bolsonaro has previously called the regime in the neighboring country a dictatorship.
Stock market fall after the first corona fall
The stock market in São Paulo falls by 7 percent since Latin America’s first case of the new corona virus was detected in the city. The infected is a 61-year-old who recently visited Italy, the country that has so far reported the most cases of the virus after China. The man has been isolated in his home. Stock market crashes have been noted around the world due to the new virus.
Senator shot at police protest
Senator and former Education Minister Cid Gomes was shot dead in connection with a police demonstration in the state of Ceará. Military police have been striking and protesting for months with demands for higher wages. Gomes, who belongs to the left-wing PDT, must have been driving an excavator against a fence behind which masked military policemen entrenched themselves. He is taken to hospital and the condition is reported to be stable.
Proposal for the exploitation of the Amazon
President Jair Bolsonaro presents a contentious bill to open up indigenous areas of the Amazon for mining, agriculture and hydropower. The proposal that Bolsonaro calls “a dream” has been called “a genocide” by leaders of indigenous peoples. They have warned that government policy leads to not only genocide (genocide) but also “ethnocord” (ethnocide) and “ecomord” (ecocide). Bolsonaro notes that environmental activists will protest and says he would shut them up in the Amazon if he could, “because they like the environment so much”. Bolsonaro often talks about environmental activists being part of a foreign conspiracy.