Things That Matter

This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris But Honestly It’s Kind Of Amazing

Brazilian Civil Police

Lamborghini cars are synonymous with extravagance and dreams of wealth that are unattainable for the vast majority of people. Ferraris are also a denominator of wealth and sometimes of a midlife crisis (generally “suffered” by white dudes who need to reaffirm their masculinity by driving a fancy, roaring car).

By the amount of Italian luxury cars one is able to spot in Latin America, you wouldn’t think that the region suffers from constant economic crisis and that vast segments of the population live under the poverty line. However, the fact that some individuals are willing to spend on a car more than some people make in their whole lives speaks to the deep and wide inequalities that exist in the region.

The Brazilian police just revealed that they uncovered a secret operation in which a father-son duo were actually manufacturing fakes! Yes, you read that right. If you thought that making fake Prada and Louis Vuitton handbags that look like the real deal sounded complicated, just wait until you read this story that falls under the category of magical realism.

Lamborghinis are expensive, like REALLY expensive.

If you wonder why someone would go through the trouble of making a fake luxury car, wonder no longer. An authentic Lamborghini costs no less than $200,000 USD. Just think about this: the minimum wage in Brazil is 998 reals a month, which translates into $257.5 USD. Yes, we are talking MONTHLY wage. So you can imagine what owning a Lamborghini in Brazil, even a fake one, means in terms of what some people consider important as a definer of class and social status. 

The Brazilian police made a fantastic discovery in the region of Santa Catarina.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The Brazilian police received complaints from two Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Investigations led them to  Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil famous for its beaches and nightlife , and about 840 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, where they made the arrests. 

They proudly announced the bust on social media, and guess how the cars were being sold.

Credit: PCSC_Oficial / Twitter

The Brazilian police, which is getting a boost from conservative new president Bolsonaro, proudly announced the bust on their Twitter account. As reported by Business Insider, the father-son team also used digital networks for their marketing and distribution: “The shop was offering the cars on social media for $45,000 to $60,000, which is far less than what the genuine exotic supercars cost”. 

The “company”, Autos Fibra, even had an Instagram account!

Credit: autosfibra / Instagram

Descarados! The workshop even had an Instagram account and some YouTube videos, so they were not very secretive about their operation. It makes us think of how copyright and intellectual property are legal matters, of course, but also about how the notions of originality can vary from country to country. In China, for example, making knock-offs is not necessarily seen as a bad thing, as ideas are considered communal rather than individual assets. 

They really thought this through: the level of detail in the replicas is really amazing… in a criminal kind of way.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

We are not condoning criminal activity here, but you got to appreciate the craftsmanship in making all this from scratch, from used car parts and without the original blueprints for the vehicles. Only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference at first glance. The Sun UK reports: “Upon raiding the operation, police discovered eight replicas which were in the process of being assembled. Photos captured by police show some of the motors covered in dust and wrapped in plastic covers. The crooks were even fitting fraudulent badges, seats and accessories emblazoned with the iconic Italian brands”. 


Everything was seized in the raid.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

When the police arrived they found a well-oiled (pun intended!) operation. As CNN reports: “Tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized during the raid, police said. The shop was owned by a father and son, who were both arrested and face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. The pair are thought to be the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”. According to the two men who were arrested, they were making “legal prototypes”. Yeah, sure! 

This has happened before elsewhere in the world.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The manufacture of bootleg luxury cars is not unique to Brazil. Nine years ago in 2010, a Thai man was made famous for his ability to build replica Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins. Thailand is one of the epicenters of global counterfeit of replicas of luxury goods. 

Social media soon found some humor on the story of the Brazilian fake Italian supercars.

This dude, Peter Malcolm, bluntly claims that he has a Lambo: do we believe him or is he just bluffing? 

These are some cool new words that need to enter the Oxford Dictionary!

Credit: @autotestdrivers / Twitter

This news story led to the creation of some fantastic new words. “Shamborghini” and “Fauxrrari” should definitely enter the dictionary as socially acceptable words. One thing is for certain, this duo, whose identity is concealed due to legal reasons, will go down in the history of counterfeiting as infamous legends. 

And some people lauded the father-son duo as true entrepreneurs, products of Latin American neoliberalism!

Credit: CNN / Facebook

As we said before, we do not condone this criminal activity. The car industry invests millions of dollars in the manufacturing, design and distribution of its products, and hundreds of jobs depend on it. But, as some social media users pointed out on CNN’s Facebook page, we gotta give them some credit. As one Gideon K. Langat pointed out: “They are actually offering a solution to the financially challenged with taste of class”. Well, if not being able to afford an Italian luxury supercar means being “financially challenged” then we all are, aren’t we?

BTW, an American father-son duo built a Lamborghini Aventador using a 3D printer!

Credit: mototrend.com

An American dad and his son were playing video games when they suddenly decided to build a replica of one of the cars featured in the game. As The Sun UK reports: “Sterling Backus was inspired to build the supercar after his son said he liked it when they were playing video game Forza Horizon 3. But as he didn’t have the budget to buy a brand-new Aventador, valued at more than £270,000, he decided to get creative. Despite having no experience, the physicist turned to 3D printing to build the impressive motor. Over the past 18 months, the duo have spent an hour each day painstakingly gluing each panel onto the home-made chassis”. Wow, that is what we call parental dedication. This dude deserves some sort of Father of the Decade award. 

READ: It’s Been Six Months And Brazil’s President Is On A Tear Stripping Rights Away From Every Vulnerable Community

The Amazon Is Burning And The People In Power Don’t Seem To Care

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The Amazon Is Burning And The People In Power Don’t Seem To Care

The Amazon rainforest in South America has been burning for more than two weeks. The majority of the fires are located in Brazil, but neighboring Bolivia has also been affected. Fires in this time of the year are common, but they are usually controllable and die off when rain comes. 

This year is different: climate change, experts argue, has translated into a drier summer spell, which is to blame for the severity of the fires. The incendios are also a result of human action, as they are often used as a method of clearing land for farming and industrial purposes. This time, however, things have gotten out of control. 

The Amazon, which works as our planet’s lungs, are experiencing unprecedented fires.

Credit: Instagram. @costa.vicentina.oficial

Experts argue that the massive South American rainforest provides around 20% of the world’s oxygen. As reported by The Sun, if the Amazon is threatened a process of “dieback” could be triggered. This means that the rainforest would spew carbon back into the atmosphere, speeding up climate change. British researchers have said that “If 20 per cent of Brazil’s rainforest perished it could exacerbate this process in such a way which would dry trees, leaving them unable to absorb as much carbon and making it more flammable and likely to spread fires”. So this could actually be the beginning of the end. 

So how bad is it? 

Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod

In short: pretty damn awful. There are more than 70,000 fires burning as you read this. The amount of smoke is so huge that one of Brazil’s biggest cities, Sao Paolo, has been covered by a dark cloud. The sun is nowhere to be seen. As The Economist reports: “Social-media users posted pictures of the gloom, juxtaposing the dystopian afternoon sky with fictional apocalyptic places such as Gotham City from Batman, Mordor from Lord of the Rings and “the upside down” from Stranger Things”. 

Las cosas se encuentran de la fregada, to be honest.

Credit: Twitter. @WMO

The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nation’s weather arm, tweeted about the fires Thursday: “Fires release pollutants including particulate matter & toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides  and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere”. The organization has also been updating satellite imagery of the fires which shows the extent of the damage. Half of Brazil is covered in smoke. 

The main culprits: the cattle and logging industries.

Credit: Twitter. @DaniRabaiotti

Wildfires in the Amazon are not natural events at all. They are caused by two main factors: droughts, a product of climate change, and human industrial activities. The farming industry often starts these fires (sometimes illegally) to clear land for animals to roam. The logging industry is also to blame, as an article in The Conversation explains: “These changes are exacerbated by ‘selective logging’ of specific tree species, which opens up the canopy and further dries out the understory and forest edges, which are drier than the interiors. The result: normally fire-proof rainforests become flammable”. Yes, profit is the force behind the deadly force of fire. 

And obviously environmentalists and activists are muy encabronados!

Credit: Twitter. @MuseWendi

Wildfires concern us all. They will affect the prospects of human survival on Earth for generations to come. To be honest, we should all be very upset about this. 

The whole world should be paying attention, but if you Google “Amazon Fire” this is what you get

Credit: Screenshot. Google Search. 

Seriously. Algorithmic searching does not always work best when it comes to raising awareness on important issues that concern the whole of humanity. As digital natives, we experience news events according to our own media consumption, so we risk living in a bubble where everything seems fine while the world is quite literally on fire. 

Yeah, Notre Dame sure is an icon, but the Amazon keeps the planet alive.

Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod

Sure, the Notre Dame cathedral, which was severely damaged by a fire on April 15, is an icon of Western Europe and a source of pride for France. When the building was burning down, millions of people took on social media to send prayers and express their alarm. The response to the Amazonian fire has been small in comparison, which begs the question: what do we value more, culture or nature? Food for thought!

The fires are a sort of apocalypse for indigenous Brazilians.

Credit: Twitter. @karielaing

The Amazon is inhabited by indigenous populations that have survived centuries of colonization and pillaging first by the Portuguese and then by corporations and the Brazilian government. These fires spell disaster for original owners of the land, whose home and survival is at risk. They blame industry and indiscriminate land clearing for the disaster. 

The Internet is pretty angry at Brazil’s new president, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who suggested that NGOs might have started the fires! 

Seriously, WTAF! Even if he has since somewhat retracted from what he said, Bolsonaro has said that the fires are being set by his critics to make him look bad. He said: “The fire was started, it seemed, in strategic locations. There are images of the entire Amazon. How can that be? Everything indicates that people went there to film and then to set fires. That is my feeling”.

Pretty egocentric, eh? No wonder he is often compared to Donald J. Trump. In the latest developments, Bolsonaro has said that his country does not have the resources to fight the fire. Damn. 

The fires could accelerate climate change, according to the UN, but the Brazilian government seems to be ignoring the extent of the catastrophe.

Credit: Instagram. @amnistiapt

The United Nations and European countries such as France are now raising their voices, urging the Brazilian government to act. As reported by Agence France Press: “France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the wildfires were “an international crisis” and called on the globe’s most industrialized nations to address it at their summit this weekend”. 

Macron said on Twitter: “Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning”. 

Bolsonaro’s response? He criticized the UN and France for having a “colonialist mentality”. El burro hablando de orejas. 

Celebrities Like Camila Cabello Are Calling For People To Pay Attention To What’s Happening In The Amazon

Things That Matter

Celebrities Like Camila Cabello Are Calling For People To Pay Attention To What’s Happening In The Amazon

If you haven’t already heard about it, Brazil’s Amazon rain forest is currently being ravaged by devastating large-scale wild-fires. According to recent reports and the country’s National Institute for Space Research, there has been a 77% increase in the number of fires burning in the area this year. No doubt, this large scale destruction is because of climate change. Done with being quiet, celebrities have been attempting to raise awareness of the destruction of the rainforest and its beautiful ecosystems through the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia.

The hashtag was created by environmentalist Nick Rose Dertsas, and hopefully, it will catch on quickly.

The environmentalist expressed his outrage over the lack of media coverage over the tragedy in a post to Instagram.

iamnickrose / Instagram

“Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth’s oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why? @unitednations who is running your page? Influences??? Where are you when it actually matters?????
@cnn @bbc @guardian @forbes#deforestation #climatechangePLEASE REPOST,” he wrote.

Camila Cabello caught wind of the post after it was retweeted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

camila_cabello / Instagram

“This is heartbreaking and terrifying 💔💔💔 ‪This makes me want to cry with frustration. what are we DOING? We’re literally destroying our miracle of a home 😭😭😭 I’m so sorry, earth 💔💔💔‬#AmazonRainforest#Repost@leonardodicaprio with @get_repost
・・・
#Regram#RG@IamNickRose: Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth’s oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why?” Cabello wrote in her repost.

Cabello’s former girl group mate also shared the post.

laurenjauregui / Instagram

“Although I’ll admit prayer helps me breathe most days,
It can’t quite do the same job the Amazon in Brazil does for the human populace (not to mention all the life forms on this planet that also need oxygen to survive.) The Amazon has been burning for the past almost 3 weeks with little to no media coverage. The Amazon is responsible for 20% of our oxygen. Gaia is screaming. We are truly so disrespectful to our children, and our grandchildren, and their children. Awareness is one thing but I truly wanna know when we’re all going to wake up and feel the poison in our lungs. 
I honor mama Gaia today and pray for our collective healing and growth towards understanding that this is our only home. We borrow it from our children, and the mess we have made on it is so carelessly destructive. All in the name of the almighty dollar. It alarms me that so many in possession of power on this planet truly do not care about or even believe in the crisis we face. It pains me that they continue to deny, suppress truth and spew out false information. To roll back policies that protect our environment and native people’s rights all while profiting off the lands and people they continue to destroy. What is happening in the Amazon, what is happening in Hawaii, is all connected. We should all be paying very close attention to the way our chosen leaders treat the planet we live on and only have one of. We should be very very aware during election season so closely upon us, but we should also be figuring out ways to be conscious of our environment and our interaction with it every day. My heart hurts for all the animals whose homes have been destroyed, for all of the indigenous peoples who have been affected by the loss of this land, for all of the unique plant life and beauty that we have just lost as a collective family on this planet. Offering up all the healing energy I can muster. ❤️🙏🏼✨” Jauregui wrote in a post about the fires.

https://www.instagram.com/laurenjauregui/?utm_source=ig_embed

Songstress Ellie Golding also posted about the fires.

“There was worldwide outcry when Notre Dame was on fire,” she wrote highlighting the way so many were quick to pour funding, tears and support for the building of the Catholic structure in Europe. Her post highlights how little care there is not only for the environment but also for institutions in Latin America.

Today he president of Brazil announced that the government would not have enough funding to fight the fires.

Here’s hoping our world leaders and institutions will reach out to Brazil and offer the same help that they did just a few months ago when Notre Dame was under fire.

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