Things That Matter

A Tough On Drugs President Just Had 86 Pounds Of Cocaine Found In One Of His Presidential Airplanes

Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, has been a very vocal and extreme anti-drug politician. So it was pretty shocking to hear that his presidential plane ended up carrying 86 pounds of cocaine across the Atlantic Ocean during an official trip. 

The cocaine was found aboard his plane while on a layover in Seville, Spain on its way to Japan for the G20 summit.

Credit: @telesurenglish / Twitter

A Brazilian airman on that aircraft was caught with the shipment on Tuesday during a brief stop in Spain en route to the Group of 20 summit in Japan.

The cocaine bust was bad enough. But it was an extraordinary embarrassment for Mr. Bolsonaro, who has exalted the integrity and professionalism of Brazil’s military.

The president called the incident “unacceptable” and said he had demanded, “severe punishment” for the service member. “We won’t tolerate this type of disrespect to our nation!” he said in a message posted on Twitter.

The drugs were found in the luggage of the service member.

Credit: @business / Twitter

Authorities in Spain said they had intercepted the cocaine when the airman, Sgt. Manoel Silva Rodrigues, stopped in the city of Seville along with an advance team supporting Mr. Bolsonaro’s trip.

Mr. Bolsonaro traveled on a separate plane that made a stop in Lisbon en route to Osaka, where G-20 leaders are convening.

Sergeant Rodrigues walked off the plane carrying a garment bag and a carry-on suitcase, law enforcement officials in Spain told the newspaper El País. When airport screeners inspected the bag, they found 37 bundles of cocaine and nothing else in the bag, according to the report.

All of this was made all the more scandalous given the President’s harsh anti-drug rhetoric.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Earlier this month, Bolsonaro enacted drug policy designed to toughen penalties for traffickers and require users to undergo rehabilitation at private or religious centers.

The new rules raise the minimum prison sentence for traffickers who lead criminal organizations from five to eight years. In addition, they reinforce the role of therapeutic communities.

Drug users in the country previously had to agree to hospital admission, but the law now allows involuntary rehabilitation upon the recommendation of a relative or public health official.

Reactions on Twitter ranged from the humorous…

I mean a tough on drugs president having to explain away drugs found on a presidential aircraft.

To, well, more humor.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

I mean stranger things have happened.

And many Brazilians reacted with anger at the news.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Many feel that their government is full of hypocrisy when it comes to so many issues and this drug bust was just the latest in a string of corruption.

While many questioned whether or not the airman was actually working alone.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

If it’s true that the street value of the drugs was more than USD $2.75 million then maybe there was some kind of organized plan.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Indigenous Tribes For Amazon Fires

Things That Matter

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Indigenous Tribes For Amazon Fires

jairmessiasbolsonaro / Instagram

President Jair Bolsonaro is blaming the indigenous community for the fires that raged in the Amazon. The fires set off international outrage as the rainforest faced unprecedented destruction by out of control fires. President Bolsonaro went against the rest of the international community during a speech to the U.N.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants the United Nations to know that indigenous people were responsible for the Amazon fires.

In a remote session opening the U.N. General Assembly, President Bolsonaro spoke at length about the indigenous communities starting the fires. He also used the speech to speak out against the criticism his administration is receiving over his environmental policies and his response to Covid. Brazil is currently the second most infected country in the world with the second highest death rate.

The Amazon has experienced increased fires since President Bolsonaro took office.

For the first seven months of 2020, 13,000 sq. km. (5,019 sq. miles) of the Brazilian rainforest have burned. This year saw the second-highest level of fires on a global scale with fires raging across the Amazon, Australia, and the West Coast of the U.S.

President Bolsonaro openly contradicted expert findings to fit his narrative.

President Bolsonaro claims that the humidity of the forest contains the fires. According to President Bolsonaro’s speech, fires in the Amazon only happen in certain areas because of how well the humidity can keep the fires in check.

“The fires practically occur in the same places, on the east side of the forest, where peasants and Indians burn their fields in already deforested areas,” Bolsonaro said.

President Bolsonaro’s speech touches on the environmental record his administration is known for.

The Bolsonaro administration has made dismantling environmental and indigenous rights since taking power. The administration has worked to limit the amount of land available to indigenous people and to open up Amazonian rainforest to miners, loggers, farmers, developers, and other uses that are damaging and contributing to the fires. Deforestation by these industries are largely to blame for the out-of-control wildfires that burned for a very long time in the Brazilian Amazon.

Activists are getting ready to fight for the indigenous community and the rainforest.

“We must denounce this political catastrophe that destroys the environment and our future,” Sonia Guajajara, head of Brazil’s main Indigenous umbrella organization, to NBC News.

READ: Under Bolsonaro, The Brazilian Amazon Has Reached Record-Breaking Levels Of Deforestation

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People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

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