After a prison riot threatened their partners’ lives, these two Brazilian women relied on each other for support

NÍSIA FLORESTA, Brazil — It was late afternoon, and visiting hours at Alcaçuz Federal Penitentiary had just come to an end. Cecilia* was at home when her phone started buzzing nonstop. It wasn’t her day to visit Junior*, her boyfriend of eight years. He was serving time at Alcaçuz, the maximum-security prison in Brazil’s Rio Grande […]

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Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use and ban sale of organic produce in major supermarkets

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Every morning at 6:30, Joaquim dos Santos walks across his farm in Parelheiros, a rural neighborhood that feels out of place deep in the southern part of this crowded metropolis. His best sellers are root vegetables. Ginger, yams, purple sweet potatoes, carrots and a yellow root known as mandioquinha dot his […]

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In Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, one trauma center has become known as the war hospital

NOVA IGUAÇU, Brazil — One man lay sprawled out in the back of a Brazilian military police officer’s pickup truck, the back of his T-shirt soaked with blood and pierced by bullets. The blood-smeared body of another man pressed against him. Blood leaked through the truck’s closed tailgate, dripping onto the pavement. “We need some […]

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At the busiest airport in South America, a cat-and-mouse game to catch cocaine smugglers

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — The gray carry-on glides along the conveyor belt toward the X-ray machine. It’s almost midnight at Guarulhos International Airport, just outside São Paulo, and the suitcase and its owner, a bald Nigerian man in jeans and a T-shirt, are first in line at Terminal 2 security for the 2:30 a.m. flight […]

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Protesters against inequality occupied vacant land in Brazil. Now they’re a mini-city of 8,000 families

SÃO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil — The first 500 arrived at sunrise. They trooped past the handful of homes on their left, up the dusty hill at the end of the street and through the single row of sparse trees to the vacant lot, plastic tarps folded under their arms and wooden posts in hand. […]

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Months after a prison massacre in Brazil, inmates’ families are still searching for answers — and bodies

NATAL, Brazil — Guilherme Figueiredo da Silva knew he was going to die. In a phone call from the Alcacuz State Penitentiary, where the 36-year-old was serving a sentence for a drug conviction, he told his father that a rebellion was being planned but that authorities were doing nothing to prevent it. Two days later, […]

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Desperation is driving an indigenous tribe in Venezuela to make the trek into Brazil

MANAUS, Brazil — Bergassio Quiñonez knew he had to get his family out of Venezuela when his wife and two young daughters went without eating for four days. Their home in Mariusa National Park, where Quiñonez and his family lived with about 600 other indigenous Warao people, was quickly becoming uninhabitable. Salt water was moving […]

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