• 'We are rewriting the textbooks': first dives to Amazon coral reef stun scientists

    Scientists have discovered the river reef is far bigger, and more important, than first thought – a biodiversity hotspot on a par with the Great Barrier Reef. Now they face a race to protect it from big oilThere is a flickering, bright glimmer of sky as the two-person submarine descends beneath the muddy equatorial waters to a place no human has ever seen – a vast, complex coral reef at the mouth of the world’s greatest river.Thirty metres under the murky plume of the sediment-
  • Brazil's forgotten state: oil and agribusiness threaten Amapá forests – in pictures

    Pristine Amazon rainforest and conservation areas are being rapidly opened up to dams, gold mining and soya plantations in Brazil’s least developed stateRead more: Amazon’s final frontier under threat from oil and soya Continue reading...
  • Amazon rainforest's final frontier in Brazil under threat from oil and soya | John Vidal

    In Brazil’s least developed state, Amapá, locals fear that government plans to increase soya and oil production will destroy the area – and their livelihoods
    Oil and agribusiness threaten Amapá forests – in picturesCelso Carlos has made a modest living for 10 years growing manioc and coconuts and rearing poultry on a few hectares of lowland in Brazil’s northern Amazon.But three years ago, out of the blue, Carlos was told by an Amapá state judge that h
  • Samba troupe's political plan for Rio carnival ignites firestorm with farm lobby

    A samba school’s decision to focus on indigenous people and deforestation at this year’s carnival has caused anger among agribusinesses in BrazilIt is close to midnight in Rio de Janeiro’s north zone, and hundreds of city-dwellers are marching around a hangar-like building, chanting solidarity with distant indigenous tribes and their fight to conserve the rainforest from hydroelectric dams and agribusiness.“Sacred garden discovered by the white man, the heart of my Brazil
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  • Childcare companies using profits to subsidise fees in low-income areas

    Nursery providers in Nairobi are helping to train childminders, while in Bogotá and São Paulo they are using wealthier communities to subsidise feesNairobi’s slums are packed with daycares, but the businesses are difficult to spot. Childminders often keep their unmarked doors shut, perhaps for fear of passersby seeing what goes on inside – young children crammed into tiny, dusty huts for hours on end with poor sanitation, inadequate food and little interaction.
  • Brazil’s corruption scandal spreads across South America

    An investigation into a construction firm sparks allegations of bribes from Panama to PeruThe fallout from a massive bribery scandal that helped to bring down a Brazilian president is spreading across Latin America, threatening to engulf leaders from Panama to Peru.The workings of a secret “bribery department” at the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht that suborned government officials around the world for years are being exposed by investigators. Meticulous schemes of gra
  • Mossack Fonseca: Panama Papers law firm bosses refused bail

    Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, who founded firm at centre of data leak, held as part of investigation into Lava Jato scandalThe heads of the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal have been refused bail following their arrest by police in Panama.Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca were taken into custody on Thursday as part of an apparently coordinated swoop by prosecutors across Latin America investigating the massive Brazilian Lava Jato scandal. Related: Mo
  • Panama Papers: Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca refused bail

    Founders of law firm at centre of Panama Papers scandal had been arrested as part of investigation into Brazil’s Lavo Jato scandalThe heads of the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal have been refused bail following their arrest by police in Panama.Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca were taken into custody on Thursday as part of an apparently coordinated swoop by prosecutors across Latin America investigating the massive Brazilian Lava Jato scandal. Related: Mossa
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  • Lawlessness on the streets of Brazil – in pictures

    Brazil’s south-eastern state of Espirito Santo is grappling with a strike by police that has resulted in a week of violence which has left more than 120 people dead – a toll six times the homicide rate in the state last year. Security duties have now been transferred to the military in an attempt to resolve the crisis.Continue reading...
  • Brazil state of Espírito Santo charges 700 striking police with revolt

    State security official: ‘We will ensure that the rule of law is preserved’Death toll in police pay strike rises to 122Authorities in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo have indicted more than 700 striking military police officers as the federal government sent in more troops in an effort to end a week of violent anarchy that has left more than 120 people dead.The public safety director, André Garcia, said on Friday that 703 officers had been charged with the “
  • Rio 2016 Olympic venues abandoned and derelict six months after Games – video

    Olympic venues used during Rio 2016 last summer lie in disrepair with extensive damage, just six months after the end of the Games. The famous old football stadium the Maracanã has been unused for months with its pitch currently unfit for play and many of its seats ripped out. Swimming and aquatics venues have been abandoned meanwhile as the gold course is struggling to survive Rio Olympic venues already falling into a state of disrepairContinue reading...
  • Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca founders arrested over bribery scandal

    Juergen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca taken into custody following probe into law firm’s role in creating companies linked to corruption in BrazilThe founders of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, were arrested in Panama City on Thursday as the country’s attorney general launched a probe into their alleged connections with Brazil’s sprawling Lava Jato corruption scandal.
    Juergen Mossack and his colleague Ramon Fonseca, a former adviser to Pana
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  • Peru ex-president Alejandro Toledo faces arrest on bribery charges

    International arrest warrant issued for 70-year-old Toledo over claims he took bribes from construction giant OdebrechtA judge in Peru has ordered the arrest of ex-president Alejandro Toledo while prosecutors prepare criminal charges against the former leader for allegedly receiving $20m in bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in return for granting a lucrative contract to build a transoceanic highway between Brazil and the Peruvian coast.Judge Richard Concepcion ordered 18 mon
  • Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca offices raided over Odebrecht bribery scandal

    Attorney general’s office in Panama accuses law firm of creating companies linked to Lava Jato corruption investigationPanamanian prosecutors raided the offices of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal, seeking possible links to Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht, the attorney general’s office said on Thursday.“Raid of offices of law firm that created limited liability companies in Brazil linked to #LavaJato #PanamaPapers,” the atto
  • Brazil army takes over state's security as 100 killed amid police strike

    Police union reports 101 homicides, more than six times state’s average daily rate last year, as schools, businesses, and public transportation closeMore than 100 people have been reported killed, with schools and businesses closed and public transportation at a standstill, as a six-day strike by police in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo showed no signs of abating on Thursday. Chaos and anarchy spurred by the strike continued in the coastal state to the north of Rio de Janeiro
  • Brazil authorities request troops as violence continues amid police strike

    After state police began striking in a pay dispute last weekend, there have been more than 80 reported deaths in the small coastal state of Espírito SantoAuthorities in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo have requested more federal troops to stem a crime wave, amid an ongoing police strike that in five days has led to more than 80 reported deaths. The death toll, if confirmed, would be roughly six times the state’s comparable homicide rate from last year. Related: Brazil g
  • The populist bishop and the Apprentice host: meet Brazil's new megacity mayors

    A multimillionaire reality TV star and an evangelical bishop might seem worlds apart. But the surprise new populist mayors of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both signal a rejection of traditional leaders by cities mired in economic crisisAt 9.10am on a recent Saturday, the new mayor of São Paulo was already hard at work in overalls, goggles and a hard hat, methodically painting a rusty bus stop metallic grey as photographers swarmed around him.Since assuming office on 1 January, Jo&a
  • Brazil sends 200 troops to control lethal violence sparked by police strike

    As many as 50 people have died in crimewave, according to local reportsEspirito Santo police stopped work over pay dispute amid worst recessionBrazil’s president has ordered 200 troops to the south-eastern state of Espírito Santo, where a police strike in recent days sparked a wave of violence including what is already believed to be dozens of murders. The law enforcement stoppage in a state struggling with a budget shortfall is the latest example of how depleted public finances, am
  • Fun in the sun at Rio de Janeiro's piscinão – in pictures

    In a city known for its fashionable natural beaches and world-class surf, bathers at one watering hole in the northern suburbs take pride in the exact opposite – the laid-back atmosphere of a giant artificial pond Continue reading...
  • Brazil on high alert as yellow fever threatens major cities

    Health ministry ramps up vaccination campaign but cautions against ‘disinformation’, as disease spreads to areas where it is not normally foundBrazil has ramped up an emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign as the worst outbreak in decades spreads towards major population centres, killing dozens of people and decimating wild monkey populations.
    The uptick comes exactly a year after the Zika virus – another mosquito-borne disease – was declared a global health emergenc
  • Beauty and destruction: the Amazon rainforest – in pictures

    The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest, but in the last 40 years at least 20% of it has been destroyed. The Amazon basin covers nine countries in South America, with 60% of it in Brazil, and for a decade local photographer Rodrigo Baleia has documented the beauty and destruction of the region from above Continue reading...
  • Brazil's former richest man sought by police in vast corruption inquiry

    Eike Batista, businessman who made and lost billion-dollar fortune, accused of paying bribes to Rio de Janeiro state governorBrazilian police have issued an arrest warrant for a businessman famous for amassing and then losing a multibillion-dollar fortune, the latest person caught up in a wide-ranging corruption investigation roiling Latin America’s largest country.Federal police were working with Interpol to locate Eike Batista, who may be in New York. Batista’s lawyer Fernando Mart
  • No mechanical issues in plane crash that killed judge in Brazil corruption scandal

    Flight recordings suggested there was no equipment malfunction, fuelling intense speculation over the cause of the incident that killed Teori ZavasckiBrazil supreme court justice overseeing vast corruption case dies in plane crash
    The plane crash that killed the supreme court justice at the centre of Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal was not caused by mechanical problems, according to a preliminary analysis of flight recordings that will further fuel already intense speculation over the
  • Chapecoense play first game since air disaster – video

    Brazilian football team Chapecoense played champions Palmeiras on Sunday in their first match since an air disaster claimed the lives of 71 people, including 19 players and 24 other club members. The match, which finished 2-2, was attended by around 20,000 fans, with tributes paid to those who lost their livesChapecoense draw with champions Palmeiras in first match since air disasterContinue reading...
  • Chapecoense draw with champions Palmeiras in first match since air disaster

    • Emotional scenes as club return to action in friendly fixture
    • 19 players were among those killed in November’s disasterChapecoense drew 2-2 against the Brazilian champions, Palmeiras, in their first match since the air disaster in November in which 19 players and 24 other club members were among those who died.Around 20,000 fans attended the friendly fixture at the club’s Arena Condá stadium in Chapeco to pay tribute to the 71 people killed when the plane carryin
  • Brazil supreme court justice overseeing vast corruption case dies in plane crash

    Teori Zavascki was on a small plane that crashed into the sea off the coastTiming of plane crash is likely to raise questions of possible foul play
    The supreme court justice presiding over Brazil’s biggest corruption case has died after the small plane he was travelling in crashed into the sea off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, according to local authorities. Related: Brazil's anti-corruption prosecutor: graft is 'endemic. It has spread like cancer'Continue reading...
  • Brazil police fire rubber bullets in fresh uprising at massacre prison

    TV images show police using teargas and helicopters at Alcacuz prisonViolence between gangs in penitentiaries has claimed 140 lives this yearHundreds of inmates from rival drug gangs have clashed inside a Brazilian prison where 26 inmates were killed in the latest of an ongoing series of bloody uprisings, television images showed.Police fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters into the yard of the Alcacuz prison in north-eastern Brazil as helicopters buzzed overhead. Prisoners erected makeshif
  • A can of Spam is less dangerous these days | Brief letters

    Red meat cancer link | Charges against Lula | Robots as people | Ring pull safety | Peanut butter on WeetabixNaomi Elster writes: “There isn’t currently any strong evidence that eating too much red meat causes cancer”, before noting that Cancer Research UK is a “reliable source … for advice and support” (The truth about cancer diets, G2, 16 January). However, responding to the WHO’s October 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer report which c
  • Brazil sees renewed violence at prison where 26 were killed over the weekend

    The riot at Alcaçuz prison is the latest in a spate of violence that has left 140 dead in two weeks, as rival drug gangs battle for control over trafficking routesA new uprising has broken out at a prison in north-eastern Brazil where 26 inmates were killed by a rival gang faction over the weekend, authorities said on Monday.“A Swat team is there at this exact moment. Our men are entering the prison now to get control of the situation,” said Eduardo Franco, head of communicati
  • At least 30 inmates killed in Brazil prison riot as gang war death toll rises

    Drug gang invaded Alcaçuz prison where rivals were on SaturdayAbout 140 people have died in violence since beginning of the yearAt least 30 inmates were killed in a Brazilian prison riot that broke out on Saturday, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said, adding to chaos in a penitentiary system in which about 140 inmates have died in gang warfare since the start of the year.Related: Trail of slaughter in prisons shocks Brazilians as gang war explodesContinue reading...
  • Standing in solidarity with Brazil’s Lula | Letters

    After the undemocratic removal of Dilma Rousseff as president of Brazil (Report, 24 December) via an illegitimate process that saw 62 senators overturn the votes of 54 million, there has been an unprecedented defamation campaign against former president Lula. This “trial by media” is an attempt to keep Lula from participating in the political process. As a highly popular figure as a result of reforms that lifted millions from poverty, Lula is considered a possible candidate in the 20
  • Nazi doctor Josef Mengele's bones used in Brazil forensic medicine courses

    Students in São Paulo are examining remains of man known for medical experiments on Jews at Auschwitz to uncover mysteries of his life on the runFor more than 30 years, the bones of Josef Mengele, the German doctor who conducted horrific experiments on thousands of Jews at Auschwitz, lay unclaimed inside a blue plastic bag in São Paulo’s Legal Medical Institute.Dr Daniel Romero Muñoz, who led the team that identified Mengele’s remains in 1985, saw an opportunity
  • Trail of slaughter in prisons shocks Brazilians as gang war explodes

    ‘Brazil is getting out of control’ warns police investigator after a series of horrific massacres by rival drug gangs sweeps the country’s penitentiariesThe men on the prison roof laughed as they raised a hand-painted flag emblazoned with the initials of two of Brazil’s most dangerous drug gangs. In the yard below, other gang-members hacked the heads off prisoners from a rival mafia faction and lined them up in a row.The horrific scenes were filmed on a mobile phone durin
  • Brazil ordered to pay $5m to workers formerly enslaved on cattle ranch

    Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules Brazil failed to prevent modern slavery, over workers rescued in official raids between 1988 and 2000The government of Brazil has been ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to pay $5m (£4.1m) to 128 former farm workers who were enslaved on a Brazilian farm between 1988-2000. Brazil is the first country to be fined for failing to prevent slavery within its borders by the court, the legal arm of the Organisation of American States (OAS
  • Brazil prison riot leaves at least four dead

    Violence in Manaus jail follows deaths of almost 100 inmates in two recent prison uprisings linked to escalating gang war A prison uprising in northern Brazil has left at least four dead, adding to the gang-related violence in Brazil’s penitentiary system that has claimed the lives of almost 100 inmates. The latest violence took place at the Desembargador Raimundo Vidal Pessoa jail in Manaus, Amazonas, according to the government penitentiary agency in the state. Continue reading...
  • At least 30 inmates killed and mutilated in Brazil prison

    Images emerge of a pile of corpses, some missing limbs and heads, after fight between drug gangsAt least 30 prisoners have been murdered in a jail in the far north of Brazil, marking a worsening security situation in Brazil as rival drug gangs fight for control of the lucrative drug trade.Media in Roraima state carried shocking images of a pile of mutilated corpses, some missing limbs and heads, and even a heart, on a bloodstained corridor floor of the prison in Boa Vista, the state capital. Mut
  • Dozens of inmates killed in Brazil prison riot

    Clashes in Roraima’s largest prison follow similar incident in nearby state in which 56 inmates were killedAt least 33 inmates have been killed in a riot at a prison in the Amazon region of Brazil, officials have said.The incident occurred five days after 56 inmates were killed in a nearby state in the country’s worst prison massacre for more than two decades. Continue reading...
  • Millions under a mattress: US agents find $20m in cash after fraud raid

    Prosecutors say they recovered money from a Massachusetts apartment after breaking up $5bn fraud network that marketed a fake internet phone service About $20m was seized from under a mattress in a Massachusetts apartment after a Brazilian man was arrested for laundering money linked to a multi-billion dollar global fraud.Federal prosecutors in Boston charged Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, with conspiring to commit money laundering in a case connected to the investigation of TelexFree Inc, which
  • Coffee from Rainforest Alliance farms in Brazil linked to exploited workers

    Certification schemes criticised for failing to spot labour rights violations on farms in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producerSerious labour rights violations have taken place at Brazilian farms linked to some of the largest international coffee certification systems, including Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, according to an investigation by Repórter Brasil.The report by the civil society organisation, published this week, found that monitoring systems at so-called sustainable c
  • Dozens killed in gang violence at Brazilian jail

    Decapitated bodies thrown over prison wall in Manaus after clash between prisoners aligned with rival drug gangsAround 60 people have been killed in a jail riot sparked by a war between rival drug gangs in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus.The head of security for Amazonas state, Sergio Fontes, said the death toll could rise as authorities got a clearer idea of the scale of the violence. Continue reading...
  • Brazil's men helped to become better fathers to reduce gender violence

    A project that promotes men’s involvement in childcare is changing attitudes with the aim of promoting equality and protecting women and girlsGetting men to be active fathers may not seem the most obvious way to tackle gender-based violence. But, according to Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo, which engages men and boys in ending violence against women and girls, policies that encourage men to do more unpaid care work are a vital part of achieving gender equality.“To us, it se
  • Can Latin America avoid the global vortex in 2017?

    After a year of disaster for the left, isolation and weak strategic importance could turn out to be blessings for the region A lurch towards the political right looks set to reshape the Americas in 2017 after a year that ended with the death of Cuba’s communist revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro,and the imminent presidency of Donald Trump.That seismic shift has toppled the Workers’ party in Brazil, weakened Peronists in Argentina, threatened Mexico with a wall and seen growing proble
  • Greek envoy's wife and two men detained in Rio de Janeiro over his death

    Police will recommend charges of homicide against suspects, one of whom is officer reported to have confessed to killing
    Authorities in Brazil believe that the Greek ambassador who went missing on 26 December has been killed and have named his Brazilian wife, a police officer and another man as suspects in the case. Local police have said that the officer, who was romantically involved with the diplomat’s wife, has confessed to the killing at her direction. The third man, believed to be th
  • Rio: Greek ambassador's wife and two men detained over his death

    Police recommend charges of homicide against three suspects, after body believed to be Kyriakos Amiridis found in burnt-out carAuthorities in Brazil believe that the Greek ambassador who went missing on 26 December has been killed and have named his Brazilian wife, a police officer and another man as suspects in the case.Police have detained the suspects and recommended charges against all three for homicide, said Adilson Palacio, a spokesman for the Rio homicide division. He said that the indic
  • Brazil police name Greek ambassador's wife as suspect over his death

    Officers question Françoise Oliveira as local media say body found in burnt-out car identified as envoy Kyriakos AmiridisAuthorities in Brazil believe that the Greek ambassador, who went missing last week, has been killed, and have named his Brazilian wife, a police officer and two others as suspects in the case.Brazil’s TV Globo reported that police had identified the body found in a burnt-out car near a main road as that of Kyriakos Amiridis, 59, who was reported missing by his wi
  • Body found in burnt-out car in Rio 'believed to be Greek ambassador'

    Kyriakos Amiridis last seen on Monday and licence plates on the car match his rental vehicle, according to reportsBrazilian police suspect a body discovered inside a charred vehicle in Rio de Janeiro is Greece’s ambassador to Brazil who went missing three days ago, it has been reported. A police spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on the report by TV channel Globo.Continue reading...
  • Another, more beautiful America is rising. Trump will be resisted | Rebecca Solnit

    American people will stand up for ideals of humanity, from lawyers and tech workers to the Californian senateThe time when you don’t need hope is when your hopes have been fulfilled. Hope is for when you don’t have what you need and for when things are not OK. It is the belief that liberation might be possible that motivates you to make it more possible, and pursuing hope even when it doesn’t lead to the ultimate goal can generate changes that matter along the way, including in
  • View from the favelas: 'The situation of instability haunts the lives of thousands' | Michel Silva

    In this diary entry, Michel Silva says mismanagement and corruption in Rio de Janeiro are behind an economic crisis and cuts that will hit the poorest hardestLeia este artigo na lingua original
    When I published my first article in the Guardian in August 2015, I warned readers that Rio de Janeiro was not ready for another mega-event. Two months after the 2016 Games, the state government of Rio de Janeiro announced a set of measures to balance the public accounts. According to the governor, Luiz F
  • A visão das favelas: 'A instabilidade no Rio assombra a vida de milhares de pessoas' | Michel Silva

    No nosso diário da vida na Rocinha, Michel Silva diz que má gestão e corrupção estão por trás da crise económica e cortes públicosRead this in EnglishQuando publiquei meu primeiro artigo no The Guardian, em agosto de 2015, alertei aos leitores de que o Rio de Janeiro não estava preparado para outro megaevento. Dois meses após os Jogos Olímpicos de 2016, o governo do estado do Rio de Janeiro anunciou um conjunto d
  • View from the favelas: Developments in Rio masked the bleak reality | Thaís Cavalcante

    In her diary entry from Maré after the Olympics in Rio, Thaís Cavalcante reports on improvements that have stalled since the city left the global spotlightLeia este artigo na lingua originalThe impact of the Olympic Games on the lives of residents of the 16 favelas of the Maré complex has passed, but it has left its mark. The same goes for those who visited the city of Rio de Janeiro and came across shocking everyday scenes that are hard to forget. The past few months have f

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