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2018 Retrospective – Part I Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, History, Sports, Vocabulary

If 2017 was the ano (year) of uncertainties, then in 2018 we were able to obtain many answers – sometimes undesired ones – to our doubts. During the course of events that defined this year, scandals, losses, protests and a lot of turmoil, Brazil underwent a series of mudanças (changes) that perhaps only the year of 2019 will tell us the outcome. In the meantime, here is our 2018 retrospective with the top episodes that made the headlines in our país (country). I wish you all a great year!

A greve dos Caminhoneiros | The truck drivers’ strike

The country literally parou (stopped) in May during the diesel crisis when protesters shut down the estradas (roads) nationwide demanding a redução nos preços (price decrease). As a result, a shortage in supplies such as food, oil and medicines brought the country to a complete halt while negotiations with o governo (the government) were underway. Meanwhile, the prices of combustível (fuel) started to rise reaching almost R$10 per liter (as opposed to its usual R$4). Airports had to cancel flights, schools and universities suspended classes and most services were not functioning properly. After a few days, um acordo (an agreement) was eventually reached between both parties and the roadblocks were removed. Although the impact on the economy was huge, a great share of the population supported the trucker’s rights to take a stand and express their dissatisfaction.

O assassinato de Marielle Franco | The murder of Marielle Franco

The Rio de Janeiro impoverished comunidades (communities) mourned when 5th most voted vereadora (councilwoman) in the cidade (city) of Rio de Janeiro met a tragic ending. Marielle Franco and her driver were shot in a car soon after the politician delivered a speech in an event nearby. Speculations around the case suggest that Franco’s outspoken and relentless stance against gender violence and police brutality might have led to her assassination by members of the opposition. Anger and indignation brought thousands to the ruas (streets) that day to protest the activist’s brutal morte (death). However, the crime remains unsolved. What we do know is that Marielle Franco’s murder was an attack on democracy itself.

Councilwoman Marielle Franco (photo by Mídia Ninja [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

A copa do Mundo | The World Cup

Yes, so we did perdemos (lose) to Belgium in June and ended up not bringing the World Cup home from Russia, but the event did bring a lot of alegria (joy) to many Brazilians. Gathering with amigos (friends) for some beer and barbecue while watching the matches and supporting our team was certainly entertaining, even if it just meant making fun of Brazilian soccer star Neymar for his famous quedas (falls) across the campo (field). France was eventually the champion, but since we hosted the previous tournament back in 2014, expectations were high and Brazil did perform well in the majority of jogos (matches), so at least there is some hope for the next one four years from now!

Torcedores do Brasil na Rússia (photo by Brateevsky [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons)

As eleições | The Elections

After the World Cup excitement wore off, it was time for voters to decide on the nation’s future in October  Polarization is quite possibly the best word to describe this year’s politics in Brazil, as the controversial far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro rose to prominence and ended up being chosen as our country’s next president with around 55% of votes. This marked the end of the Worker’s Party (PT) nearly treze (13) years in power and has been considered by many as a conservative shift. Nevertheless, the process was a particularly turbulent one, with the Rejection of Lula’s candidacy and the stabbing of Bolsonaro while campaigning, about which we will read more in the following post.

Semana que vem tem mais! There is more to come next week! Feliz ano novo a todos! Happy New Year to all!

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