Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brazil: Federal Police goes on strike

I have been talking extensively here about the disruption that has been caused by the Brazilian Air Traffic Controllers white strike. They do not go on strike completely, but they do delay operations so much that the whole system goes through a lot of pain. Well, as if we really needed it, the Federal Police wen on strike for 24 hours today adding insult to injury.

The Federal Police takes care of Immigration procedures at International Airports. Their way of going of strike is the same, they delay the processes of checking passengers documents so much that it becomes painful. Inspection times raise from 2 minutes under regular operation to about 15 minutes under what is called "operacao padrao". As a result lines swell and delays start to take place.

The strike is supposed to be trying to claim a salary raise that the PF Union leaders say was agreed upon previously. However, the strike is coming on a day that doubts about a Minister of the Brazilian Supreme court is being mentioned as having an involvement with the gaming mafia. This is raising suspicion about the strike itself, as the police work around the crime is on hold for now.

If you are coming to Brazil or coming back, please arm yourself with patience. Your line might take a few hours and not a few minutes. If you are going out internationally you might have to go to the airport four hours before your flight is due.


Organics Brasil and Whole Foods Market to Host, "Taste of Brazil"

Los Angeles, CA and Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil (PRWEB) April 23, 2007 -- Organics Brasil, the first nationally sponsored program to export and promote organic products from Brazil, is pleased to announce the arrival of the Organics Brasil products in 25 Whole Foods Market stores in the Southern Pacific Region which include; Southern California, Southern Nevada, and Arizona. Whole Foods Market exclusively carries Organics Brasil products in both the food and body care departments.

To celebrate the occasion, we invite you to attend, "Taste of Brazil" event at 2 of their stores, West Los Angeles and at the grand opening of their El Segundo store. These events are free and open to the public.

An exciting variety of activities are already planned for each day's events including;

  • Capoeira demonstrations

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu demonstrations

  • A variety of Brazilian music

  • A massage therapist using the Ikove product line of body creams

  • Sampling of products from Organics Brasil as well as other Brazilian products available at Whole Foods Market
Dates, Time and Location are as follows;

April 25, 2007 Wednesday, 12pm-4pm

Whole Foods Market, West Los Angeles

11666 National Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

April 26, 2007, Thursday, 12pm-4pm

Whole Foods Market, El Segundo

760 South Sepulveda Blvd

El Segundo, CA 90245

About Organics Brasil

Headquartered in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, the "Organics Brasil Project" is a result of a joint initiative between APEX-Brasil (Brazilian Export Promotion Agency) and FIEP (Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná). Organics Brasil is the first nationally sponsored program that focuses specifically on the export of organic food and products from Brazil. The Organics Brasil Project is managed by the IPD, Paraná Development Institute.

About Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic grocer. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"™ captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement.

PR/Media contact:

Organics Brasil, US
Carey Schroeder
organicsbrasilus @

Media contacts:

Whole Foods Market, West Los Angeles
Nicole Elliott
nicole.elliott @

Whole Foods Market, El Segundo

Ashley Gibbons
ashley.gibbons @


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Venezuela: Venezuelan debt up USD 1.2 billion

While President Hugo Chávez' Government announced settlement of outstanding debt with the World Bank -USD 52 million-, in parallel it has increased domestic debt.

In five months, Venezuelan domestic debt has jumped more than USD 1.2 billion, as the country has launched two issues of Bonds of the South.

In November 2006, Venezuela placed USD 1 billion in Bonds of the South, including USD 500 million in covered interest and capital titles expiring in 2017.

This year, in the second debt issue jointly with Argentina, Venezuela sold USD 750 in covered interest and capital titles expiring in 2019.

Venezuelan debt with the World Bank amounted to a mere 1 percent of overall foreign debt. Seventy-one percent of Venezuelan debt is in bonds, while the rest is with private banks, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corporation.


Monday, April 16, 2007

High poverty rates in Latin America

Latin America has still a long way to run to defeat extreme poverty. According to a report published by the World Bank, 47 million Latin Americans are still living in extreme poverty.

The 2007 Global Monitoring Report, a yearly survey conducted by the WB, said the proportion of Latin Americans living on less than USD 1 a day is decreasing "slightly from some 9 percent in 2002 to 8.6 percent in 2004, thus allowing some 700,000 people to overcome extreme poverty.

The report was disclosed by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, during a meeting with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato in Washington, stressed that Latin America and the Caribbean are "likely" to approach to the first development goal of the millennium, namely reducing poverty by half by 2015.

In Venezuela, WB said that in 2003 18.5 percent of the population lived on less than USD 1 a day.

As to the goal to make children complete at least primary school, Venezuela, just like the rest of the countries in the region, is near the goal, with 92 percent in 2005 compared to 43 percent in 1991.

While in 1991, 5 percent of Venezuelan children suffered malnutrition, in 2000-2005 it dropped to 4 percent.

Infant mortality rate in Venezuela fell from 33 per 1,000 in 1990 to 21 per 1,000 in 2005.