Following a phase characterized by economic growth and the implementation of state-run social programmes, Brazil and Paraguay (like many other countries across South America) currently face multiple crises. In the wake of two “quasi-coups” which saw the removal of leaders in Brazil (2016) and Paraguay (2012), both countries now find themselves in a period of upheaval: right-wing conservative governments and an increasingly politicized judiciary lack political legitimacy, while the resurgence of evangelical and reactionary Catholic forces threatens women’s and LGBTIQ* rights. Brazil and Paraguay’s economic models, both based on the export of natural resources and unprocessed agricultural products, have also been thrown into crisis. For one thing, the social and environmental impacts caused by mining, fossil fuel extraction and industrial agriculture are becoming increasingly visible: soils and water are polluted, erosion has increased, and the food sovereignty of large parts of the rural population is under threat, constituting a major factor behind rural-urban migration. All of this has garnered growing international criticism. On the other hand, the end of the resource boom revealed the inherent flaws of the extractivist model, as its dependency on the global market prices of natural resources plunged the region into a deep economic crisis. Governments have responded with austerity policies and measures to increase labour market flexibility. The recession, rising unemployment rates and cutbacks in public services have hit the politically, socially and economically marginalized segments of the population hardest: children and young people, women, indigenous peoples and Brazil’s Afro-Brazilian population.
At the same time, opposition from all levels of society to the predominant economic, political and social model continues to mount. The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung lends its support to these processes of resistance, fostering spaces to assess the situation and promotes the development of alternatives.
The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brazil and Paraguay Office
Director: Torge Löding
Fundação Rosa Luxemburgo
Escritório regional São Paulo
Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 36
05428-000 São Paulo SP
+55 11 3796 9901
Contact persons at the RLS headquarters in Berlin:
Advisor: Ferdinand Muggenthaler
Project manager: Birte Keller (temporarily replacing Verona Wunderlich)