Michel Temer, Brazil’s acting president and chief neoliberal, is setting about the most ruthless privatization of the nation’s commons since the Portuguese colonialist first arrived.
And just as with the Portuguese, the nation’s indigenous peoples are shapping up to be the first victims of the relentless drive to turn everything public into a center of private profit.
From the Thomson Reuters Foundation:
Brazil’s interim government is moving ahead with plans for a constitutional amendment that would weaken indigenous land rights and pave the way for new plantations and dams to encroach on lands inhabited by native peoples, a United Nations official said.
Erika Yamada, a member of the U.N’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a human rights advisory body, said the proposed constitutional change would result in Brazil moving backwards on indigenous land rights.
The procedures used to identify and indigenous territories could be altered to give lawmakers more power to decide which territories belong to native peoples, she said.
“They (lawmakers) will try and move forward with changes to the constitution that would make it much harder to defend indigenous rights,” Yamada told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview this week.
“I think they will also weaken the process of authorization for large development projects with great social and environmental impact for traditional communities.”
And it’s not just the land and water of the indigenous that are marked for the auction block
Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer is studying the sale of state assets to shore up public accounts, as well as an audit of the country’s largest savings bank, said a government official with direct knowledge of the matter.
A government task force will consider selling stakes in companies such as power utility Furnas Centrais Eletricas SA and BR Distribuidora, a unit of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the oil producer known as Petrobras, said the official, who asked not to be named because the plans haven’t been made public. The intention is to help plug a near-record budget deficit and improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises.
Petrobras’s preferred shares rallied as much as 1.6 per cent on the report, after posting losses during most of the morning.
The plans are the clearest sign yet of a policy shift since the Senate’s suspension last week of President Dilma Rousseff, who had increased the role of the government and state companies in the economy.
Temer has also take the first steps to privatizing the national public broadcaster, reports teleSUR English:
Michel Temer, head of the coup government in Brazil, fired the head of the Brazil Communications Company, the public firm that manages the country’s public media outlets.
The action was rejected by the firm’s board of directors on the grounds that the law that regulates the company prohibits political interference.
“The notion that the president-director of the company should have fixed term, that does not coincide with a presidential mandates, was enshrined precisely to ensure the independence, impartiality and guiding principles of public outlets,” read a statement by the board of the Brazil Communications Company.
“The aim is to ensure autonomy from the federal government and protect the right of Brazilian society to free and public communications, which ensures the expression of diversity and plurality — foundations of a modern and democratic society,” added the statement.
The head of the company, Ricardo Melo, was appointed by democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff for a four year term earlier this month.
The coup government, however, ignored the concerns of the board.
Melo was replaced by Laerte Rimoli, who served as spokesperson for Aecio Neves, the right-wing candidate defeated by Rousseff in the 2014 presidential election. He also previously served as press officer for Eduardo Cunha, the embattled former head of the Chamber of Deputies who was recently suspended by the Supreme Court.
There’s much more, after the jump. . . Continue reading