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South America


Lusia Tan__ Economy

Diana Wang__ Politics & Government

Betty Liu__ Geography

Heidi Yoon__ Environment

Remy Wu__ Defense


Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country on the America continent, and plays an important role in Latin America. The capital city Brasilia, is a well-known tourist city. The Demonym of Brazil is Brazilian. Due to its history, the official language is Portuguese now. Brazil takes an important position in global economy due to its fast-paced improving national economy. Its economy is also the largest in South America. Its large agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sector

Brazil once was a colony of Portugal, trace back to 1500, Portuguese landed on the area and claim it as Portuguese crown, under the three centuries colonized by Portugal, Brazil became independent in 1822 and following republic in 1899.
Brazilian government is Federative republic with a president system. Three Braches forms the government: Executive—president (incumbent president is Dilma Rousseff since 1 January 2011 from Worker’s Party), Who is also the head of state and elected by popular vote for a single four-year term; Legislative—Senate and Chamber of Deputies; Judicial—Supreme Federal Tribunal. The currently ruling party Workers’ Party (PT) is a democratic socialist political party, and considered as the largest and the most important left-wing movements of Latin America. The tradition of switching parties makes party politics and political strength in congress unstable. However the constant horse-trading slows the fundamental reforms, in order to maintain stability and growth of Brazil. The criminal violence in Brazil is rather than political violence, personal security is hardly guaranteed even in major cities, as a reaction, president’s policies make effort in reducing inequalities. Besides, the imbalanced land distribution is another intractable violence in rural areas, especially in the Amazon, which leads an argument on developing economy and environment protection. The Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) is known as the protests groups on this issue. As founding member, Brazil supported United Nations since 1945 and has a long tradition of contributing to peacekeeping operations. At the beginning of 21st century, Brazil was a inward-looking country and did not hold an active attitude. A decade later, Brazil has built friendly relationships with other nations including developing countries, especially with its immediate neighborhood. Brazil is a member of G-77, UNASUR, UN Security Council, OAS, ALADI, UNASUL and etc.
As for the theocracy in Brazil, the Catholic Church truly played an important role in transforming from the military dictatorship to stable democratic policy in the past.1 However, after the revolution in 1889, the separation of Church and State was declared. 2Now, about three-quarters of all Brazilian belong to Roman Catholic Church.3

Brazil’s economy is the largest in South America, and “outweighs that of all other South American countries. Brazil has gained a more important status since 2003, the year when Brazil started to improve its macroeconomics stability, which meant to build up foreign reserves, reduce its debt profile through moving its debt burden to those local dominated trustable instruments.4
Even though, based on large and developing agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and service sectors, Brazil has stood out from South American Economy, and acted as a necessary role in global economy, its economy was harmed by several economic crisis, which happened after the year 2008 when the economy of the United States started to appear problems.5 However, Brazil’s economy did not crush because of it. Although, Brazil’s stock market has fluctuated frequently, because of the dwindling foreign investment’s influence, Brazil was one of the first markets starting the recovery of the economy.6
Generally speaking, Brazil’s economy is continuously developing little by little. Brazil is taking a significant position in global economy.

Environment & Influence

Although Brazil is the ninth largest energy consumer in the world7, its diverse primary energy sources produce significant amount of natural resources such as oil, hydropower, natural gas, solar power, and coal in order of the largest share. Of note, Brazil has fourteen percent of the world’s renewable fresh water thanks to the Amazon River8. Unfortunately, the Amazon is threatened by rapid pace of deforestation due to illegal logging. Moreover, there is a conflict between the people who are for development of Amazon forest and those who are against it. Supporters believe that development would help Brazil to meet the increasing needs of energy while the oppositions are worried about the ecosystem in the forest.

Responding to this problem, the Brazilian Government took full responsibility for multiple environmental problems. It actively supported the creation of the World Environment Organization (WHO), and led from the front in several conferences concerning with the environment and sustainable development. For instance, the city of Rio de Janeiro was the seat of the world environmental summit Eco-Rio 92, and was chosen by the UN to host the 2012 Rio+20 conference. Recently, at cop-16 in December 2010 in Cancun, the Brazilian Government delegation played an important role in brokering the central outcome of the conference9.
In addition, its recycle condition is better than average despite the lack of structured municipal recycling programs. Rather, waste pickers sell the waste to private recycling companies in Brazil. Its energy consumption (2012.8 kWh in 200510) is moderately matching with its hydroelectric energy production.


Brazil is recognized as an emerging world power because its regional power in Latin America is very influential. It had had a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for nine times, and it continuously holds its membership of ECOSOC since 1997 except 200411. It is also a member of many organizations such as UNCTAD, WTO, WHO, IMF, NAM, UNIDO, G4, an alliance among Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan for supporting each other’s bids for permanent seats on the Security Council and etc. Accordingly, it expands relations with its South American neighbors such as Argentina, Columbia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador with its ambition to play a greater role in regional security as it seeks a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Brazil had done thirty three peace keeping missions since 1945, the year UN was created. Its peace keepers in Haiti recently are coming back to the home after the end of mission12.
Brazil has fairly good foreign relations with many nations because of its multilateralism foreign policy. Its economic, social and political activity positively affects Asia, America, Western Europe and Middle East by targeting primary markets for exports, working together for the issues about environment and human rights, and sending peace keepers. On the other hand, it has some international disputes with Uruguay and Spain. Due to the uncontested boundary conflict between Uruguay and Brazil, smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue. In addition to that, Spain takes a negative attitude to accept political refugees from Haiti and Dominican Republic when Brazilian government tries to raise millions out of violations of basic human rights.



Barba, Mariana Della. “Brazil Amazon farmer tells of threats on her life.” BBC News: Latin America,04 July 2011. Web. 28 September 2011 < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13943409>.

  • For current news about Amazon in Brazil

BBC News. “Brazil country profile.” BBC News, 19 March 2011. Web. 28 September 2011 < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1227110.stm>.

  • General information about Brazil

  • Detailed explanation of environment

EIA. “Brazil Energy Data, Statistics, and Analysis-Oil, Gas, Electricity, Coal.” EIA, January 2011. Web. 28 September 2011 <>.

  • A well-organized work with each natural resource in detail

IndexMundi. “Brazil Environment-current issues.” IndexMundi, 12 July 2011. Web. 28 September 2011< http://www.indexmundi.com/brazil/environment_current_issues.html>.

  • Concise summary of current environmental issue

  • List of definitions of related vocabulary words

IndexMundi. “Brazil Hydroelectric Power Production and Consumption by Year.” IndexMundi.

Web. 28 September 2011


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Recycling in Brazil.” Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 18 October 2010. Web. 26 September 2011 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling_in_Brazil>.

  • General information about Brazil recycling system


BBC News: Latin America. “Brazil plans Haiti peacekeeping withdrawal, says Amorim.” BBC, 06 September 2011. Web. 28 September 2011< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14812500>.

  • Current movement of Brazilian peacekeepers

  • Several important quotations concerning with Security Council

BBC News: Latin America. “Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff urges reform at UN.” BBC, 22 September 2011. Web. 28 September 2011< http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15013666>.

  • For the understanding of Brazil’s attitude toward its position in the world

CIA-The World Factbook. “SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil.” CIA, 23 August 2011. Web. 26 September 2011 < https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html>.

  • Great explanation of international relations

  • Several other helpful information about Brazil

Global Policy Forum. “Members of the UN Economic and Social Council.”

Global Policy Forum, 2008. Web. 26 September 2011


  • A brief chart of each nation’s membership in UN Economic and Social Council yearly

IndexMundi. “Brazil Disputes.” IndexMundi, 12 July 2011. Web. 28 September 2011< http://www.indexmundi.com/brazil/disputes_international.html>.

  • Summary of disputes over boarder with Uruguay

IndexMundi. “Brazil Environment.” IndexMundi, 12 July 2011. Web. 28 September 2011< http://www.indexmundi.com/brazil/environment_international_agreements.html>.

  • The list of international agreements that Brazil signed on

Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia. “Foreign relations of Brazil.” Wikimedia Inc., 20 September 2011. Web. 26 September 2011< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Brazil>.


CIA- The World Fact Book, South America: Brazil’s Economy, Updated: August 23 2011, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html

  • Including very specific data for the economic situation of a contry

Maps of World: South America, South American Economy: Brazil Economy, Updated: unavailable, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/brazil/

  • A brief conclusion of the country’s economic development and causes

Economy Watch Content, Brazil Economy, Updated: March 15 2010, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/brazil/

  • Providing graphs that are very clear to figure out a country’s economic changes (Ex. The GDP graph of Brazil)

Government & Politics

1 World Facts Index: Brazil Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo ,Webpage, Updated: unavailable, Accessed: October 12, 2011


  • For government part

2 EDC: Brazil Political, Webpage, Updated: June 2011, Accessed: October 12, 2011


3 CIA: The world fact book: Brazil, Webpage, Updated: weekly, Accessed: October 12, 2011,


  • For political organization

4 Isacson Adam, Brazil’s Foreign Policy Awakens: Is the United State ready? Is the Brazil ready? Updated: January 01 2011, Accessed: October 12, 2011,Webpage


  • For foreign relation

1 Hewitt, W.E. Relation and the Consolidation of Democracy in Brazil: The Role of the Comunidades Eclesiais de Base (CEBs)” Updated: unavailable, Accesed:September 27.2011


2 Separation of Church and State-- The Provisional Government issued, 7 January, 1890, a de cree proclaiming the separation of Church and State.

New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia, Brazil, Updated: unavailable, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011


3 U.S.Department of State: Background Note: Brazil, Updated: March 8 2011, Webpage, Accessed: September 27,2011


4 CIA- The World Fact Book, South America: Brazil’s Economy, Updated: August 23 2011, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html

5 Maps of World: South America, South American Economy: Brazil Economy, Updated: unavailable, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/brazil/

6 Economy Watch Content, Brazil Economy, Updated: March 15 2010, Webpage, Accessed: September 27 2011, http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/brazil/

7 EIA(energy information administration), Country Analysis Briefs, http://www.eia.gov/emeu/cabs/Brazil/pdf.pdf, Last updated: January 2011, Accessed: 26 September 2011

82 Travel Document Systems, Brazil Economy, http://www.traveldocs.com/br/economy.htm, Accessed: 28 September 2011

9 Travel Document Systems, Brazil Economy, http://www.traveldocs.com/br/economy.htm, Accessed: 28 September 2011

10 Earthtrends :Energy and resoruces, Electricity: Electricy consumption per capita, http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/energy-resources/variable-574.html, Last updated: 10 January 2011, Accessed: 26 September 2011

11 Global Policy Forum, Members of the UN Economic and Social Council, Last updated: 2008, http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/104/47513.html, Accessed: 26 September 2011

12 BBC NEWS: Latin America, Brazil plans Haiti peacekeeping withdrawal, says Amorim, Published: 6 September 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14812500, Accessed: 28 September 2011

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