Foreign Policy

Brazil’s international relations are based on Article 4 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes non-intervention, self-determination, international cooperation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts as guiding principles of Brazil’s relationship with other countries and multilateral organizations.

According to the Constitution, the President has the highest authority over foreign policy, while the Congress has the task of reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation related to Brazilian foreign policy.

Brazil’s foreign policy is a byproduct of the country’s unique position as a regional power in Latin America, a leader among developing countries and an emerging world power. Brazilian foreign policy has generally been based on the principles of multilateralism, peaceful conflict resolution and non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.

An increasingly developed tool of Brazil’s foreign policy is to provide aid as a donor to other developing countries. Brazil not only uses its growing economic strength to provide financial aid, but also provides high levels of experience and, most importantly, a silent diplomacy without confrontation to improve levels of government. Total aid is estimated at around $ 1 billion per year, which includes:

technical cooperation of around $ 480 million ($ 30 million in 2010 provided directly by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC))

an estimated $ 450 million in in-kind experience provided by Brazilian institutions specialized in technical cooperation

In addition, Brazil manages a peacekeeping mission in Haiti ($ 350 million) and makes in-kind contributions to the World Food Program ($ 300 million). This is in addition to humanitarian assistance and contributions to multilateral development agencies. The scale of this aid puts it on a par with China and India. Brazilian South-South aid has been described as a “global model on hold”.

Law enforcement and crime

In Brazil, the Constitution establishes five different police agencies for the application of the law: Department of the Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police, the Federal Railway Police, the Military Police and the Civil Police. Of these, the first three are affiliated with the federal authorities and the last two are subordinated to the state governments. All police forces are the responsibility of the executive branch of any of the federal or state powers. The National Public Security Force can also act in situations of public disorder that arise in any part of the country.

The country still has above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence and homicides. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the number of 32 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest homicide rates in the world. The number considered tolerable by the WHO is approximately 10 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. However, there are differences between crime rates in Brazilian states. While in São Paulo the homicide rate registered in 2013 was 10.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, in Alagoas it was 64.7 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Brazil also has high levels of incarceration and the third largest prison population in the world (behind China and the United States), with an estimated total of approximately 700,000 prisoners across the country (June 2014), an increase of around 300 % compared to the index was registered in 1992. The high number of prisoners eventually overloaded the Brazilian prison system, which led to a deficit of around two hundred thousand accommodations.