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Analysis and Comment (13)

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is seeking a second term in office when the country returns to the polls this weekend. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is seeking a second term in office when the country returns to the polls this weekend. EPA/Sebastiao Moreira

Brazilians split over choice of two very different government paths

The final run-off of the Brazilian presidential elections, to be held this weekend, represent a decisive moment for Latin America’s largest nation. No matter who wins, will the newly elected government…
The World Cup may be safe in German hands, but the legacy the tournament will leave in Brazil might be contested for some time. The World Cup may be safe in German hands, but the legacy the tournament will leave in Brazil might be contested for some time. EPA/Srdjan Suki

Cultural and political legacies of the World Cup: where to now?

The losing World Cup teams and fans are licking their wounds, while newly crowned world champions Germany will celebrate for at least the next four years. However, the world has already started to ask…
Latin America won’t be a continent of injustice, corruption and poverty but the spiritual home of the beautiful game. Latin America won’t be a continent of injustice, corruption and poverty but the spiritual home of the beautiful game. Felipe Trueba/EPA

The World Cup illusion will soothe South America again … for a while

It’s June 25, 1978, and a six-year-old Irish boy is watching TV. What he sees that night will remain with him forever. Argentina won the football World Cup on home soil – the last time the event was held…
In preparing for the World Cup, Brazilian police have embarked on a process of cleaning up the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, known as favelas. In preparing for the World Cup, Brazilian police have embarked on a process of cleaning up the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, known as favelas. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Brazil’s World Cup preparations showcase ‘celebration capitalism’

Brazil is famous for many things: samba, football and beaches, but also its favelas, the poor neighbourhoods that encircle its cities. These areas are often on invaded lands in middle and upper-class neighbourhoods…
Similar protests to those that rocked Brazil during 2013 will no doubt re-appear during the World Cup, as many locals aim to increase their social and political rights. Similar protests to those that rocked Brazil during 2013 will no doubt re-appear during the World Cup, as many locals aim to increase their social and political rights. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Will the World Cup leave a positive legacy in Brazil?

During last year’s Confederations Cup football tournament in Brazil, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the country’s streets to demand change. Protests that started with a clear opposition…
The swollen Fitzroy River in Queensland, Australia, where heavy rains in early 2011 led to extraordinary regrowth with a global impact. The swollen Fitzroy River in Queensland, Australia, where heavy rains in early 2011 led to extraordinary regrowth with a global impact. Capt. W. M. & Tatters/Flickr

Record rains made Australia a giant green global carbon sink

Record-breaking rains triggered so much new growth across Australia that the continent turned into a giant green carbon sink to rival tropical rainforests including the Amazon, our new research shows…
Chile has returned former president Michelle Bachelet to office for her second, non-consecutive term. What’s ahead for the Latin American nation? Chile has returned former president Michelle Bachelet to office for her second, non-consecutive term. What’s ahead for the Latin American nation? EPA/Felipe Trueba

Bachelet returns in Chile: turn left and proceed with caution

It’s a case of back to the future in Chile after voters returned former president Michelle Bachelet to that position at the weekend. In a country that doesn’t allow the president to serve two consecutive…
Peru is now the world’s leading producer of coca leaves, used in cocaine. Should this mark a new shift in the War on Drugs? Peru is now the world’s leading producer of coca leaves, used in cocaine. Should this mark a new shift in the War on Drugs? Julyinireland

Supply and demand: the changing nature of the War on Drugs

The United Nations has recently announced that Peru has taken over Colombia as the largest producer of illegal coca leaves, the base for the drug cocaine. This comes as Brazil becomes the second biggest…
It will soon be legal to grow, sell and smoke cannabis in Uruguay. It will soon be legal to grow, sell and smoke cannabis in Uruguay. Cuau Guerra

What Uruguay’s legal weed means for the war on drugs

Uruguay is set to become the first country to legalise marijuana use, cultivation and possession following a century of often authoritarian prohibition laws across the globe. In a landmark vote on President…
Mourners accompany the remains of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez through the streets of Caracas. Mourners accompany the remains of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez through the streets of Caracas. EPA/David Fernandez

In death, Chavez is more alive than ever in Latin America

The recent death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez from cancer comes as no great surprise. The former military leader had rarely been seen in the public eye since December last year when he travelled…
We might pay more for cocaine in Australia but the social and economic costs of its use reach beyond our shores. We might pay more for cocaine in Australia but the social and economic costs of its use reach beyond our shores. Corbis

The true cost of cocaine

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Australians are now the world’s eighth highest per capita users of cocaine. Cocaine use within the wealthier echelons of society is so unremarkable…
The political tumult in Paraguay will have significant ramifications for future economic engagement between South American countries and Australia. The political tumult in Paraguay will have significant ramifications for future economic engagement between South American countries and Australia. AAP

Paraguay’s ‘coup’ puts a dent in Australian-South American trade dreams

World Cup qualifiers in South America are renowned for their ferocity. For Uruguayans, there is more at stake than national pride. Even a “friendly” against Argentina or Brazil is a chance for revenge…
As Hugo Chávez’s health deteriorates, how will he guarantee his political future? As Hugo Chávez’s health deteriorates, how will he guarantee his political future? EPA/Marcelo Garcia

Venezuela: taking stock of Chavez’s physical and political health

Just eight months after being treated in Cuba for cancer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was back in Cuba again last month to have another tumor removed from the same area. Despite his illness, Chávez…