Forced eviction of squatted land sparks ‘urban war scenes’

For the eight years, over 6,000 people squatted on an abandoned chunk of land called Pinheirinho, in the city of Sao José dos Campos, 80 kilometres east of Sao Paolo, Brazil. On Sunday, security forces launched a surprise eviction operation, prompting furious residents to fight back. Read more…

Detainees forced to kiss on camera

Although the following video has been circulating on the Brazilian Web for several months, it has only recently come to the attention of authorities and human rights groups. It shows two handcuffed men in what appears to be a police station, forced to repeatedly kiss each other on the mouth as men in uniform stand jeering nearby. Read more and watch the video…

In wake of disaster, rush of citizen solidarity helps flood-hit communities

The violent mudslides that killed at least 739 people in the Serrano Mountain region near Rio di Janeiro on January 12 are considered the deadliest natural catastrophe on record in Brazil. But our Observer says some good came out of the crisis through the spontaneous show of solidarity in the aftermath of the disaster. Read more and watch the video...

Close-up shot: Police take back Rio gangland

Police launched a massive anti-drug raid in the Rio di Janeiro shantytown of Vila Cruzeiro on Thursday, wrapping up five days of violent clashes between police and drug dealers that left at least 25 dead. Our Observers on the ground followed the operation and sent us their accounts, photos and videos. Read more…

Lula da Silva 'endangered' alleged adulteress with asylum gesture

An Iranian woman who may be stoned to death for adultery charges has attracted worldwide attention, including that of Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva. Will it help her? Quite the opposite, one of our Tehran Observers explains. Read more...


Can cable cars cut crime in Rio’s favelas?

After trying in vain to bring down the rampant crime rate in Brazil's favelas by imposing a heavy police presence, president Lula da Silva is now taking an entirely different approach. His new plan is to build cable cars. Read more...


“Sex bracelets”, a harmless craze or a dangerous game?

"Sex bracelets" are the latest craze amongst Brazilian teenagers. A successor to friendship bracelets, each of these cheap coloured wristbands relates to a type of sexual activity. While it was initially supposed to be a bit of fun, for one teenage girl, the game turned into a nightmare. Read more...


Amateur images of Rio de Janeiro's floods

At least 100 people were killed in floods and landslides in Rio de Janeiro this Tuesday, many died when mudslides buried parts of the city's hillside slums. Ordinary Brazilians took pictures of the catastrophe and posted them online. Read more...


Priest and altar boy video sparks sex abuse investigation

A Brazilian priest is under police investigation after a video of him having sex with an altar boy was sent to the country's national TV network and broadcast in a report. The author is allegedly one of the priest's victims, a 21-year-old who says he filmed the video secretly after he was abused by the priest for nine years.