Brazil on the Rise

June 7, 2011 • Volume 5, Issue 11
Can the vast nation maintain its progress?
By Brian Beary


Beachgoers at famed Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro (Getty Images/FotoArena/LatinContent/Celso Pupo)
Beachgoers at famed Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro celebrate the city's selection as host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The world spotlight also will shine on Brazil in 2014, when it hosts the FIFA World Cup Finals in 12 cities. (Getty Images/FotoArena/LatinContent/Celso Pupo)

Centuries ago, Brazil was a remote Portuguese colony. Today the biggest nation in Latin America has evolved into a stable democracy, a regional power and an important U.S. and European Union partner. Economic growth has been steady, fueled by rising food exports, and the burgeoning oil and ethanol industries have helped the country become energy independent. Twenty-eight million Brazilians have been lifted out of poverty in the past decade. Globally, Brazil participates in numerous peacekeeping missions and is becoming an aid donor rather than recipient. The picture is not all rosy, however. Brazil needs major infrastructure upgrades before it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Amazon rain forest continues to disappear, drug gangs control many city slums and the country increasingly relies on cheap Chinese imports. Nevertheless, as Brazil's new President Dilma Rousseff — a former guerrilla fighter — begins to make her mark, Brazil is a booming regional power.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 07, 2017  Troubled Brazil
Jun. 07, 2011  Brazil on the Rise
Apr. 12, 1972  Brazil: Awakening Giant
Sep. 27, 1969  Amazon Basin Development
Jan. 26, 1966  Brazil: Democracy or Dictatorship
Jan. 15, 1962  Brazil in Ferment
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean