Brazil

Six months ago, if someone were to ask any Brazilian about the possibility of a massive protest happening in 100 cities in Brazil, the idea would most certainly have been met with laughter.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met with governors and mayors on Monday to discuss the Pacto Nacional (National Pact), a package of reforms to improve public services that would respond to the wave of nationwide protests in Brazil over the past three weeks.

Top stories this week: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff responds to national protests; U.S. Senate votes on immigration reform; Colombian coca farmers clash with police; Uruguay upholds abortion; Judicial leaders meet in Bolivia; Ecuador considers asylum request.

Rio is an example of how different levels of power may work together to address serious problems. For the first time in years, the city, state and federal governments are allied to promote change and to prepare Rio for the future.

The real depreciated to a four-year low (R$2.1815 per U.S. dollar) on  Tuesday as protests against corruption and bad governance continued to swell in the streets of 12 Brazilian cities. The real has declined 9 percent since March forcing the Central Bank to take action to reduce inflationary pressure.

“The love ran out. It’s going to turn into Turkey here,” chanted thousands of protestors as they moved down Rio Branco Avenue in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, closing the downtown’s main thoroughfare to traffic as three police helicopters swam overhead.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Venezuela’s CNE confirms April’s presidential election results; President Humala arrives in the United States; U.S. senators visit Guantánamo prison; Brazil’s FUNAI director resigns amid Indigenous protests; Nicaraguan Congress expected to vote on building a canal.

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