Rousseff's woes worsen as Brazil's protesters smell blood

Protesters march calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff along Copacabana beach on 16 August 2015
Image caption Thousands gathered at the famous Copacabana beach in Rio calling for the president to step down

In cities across Brazil on Sunday, thousands of anti-government protesters again took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and impunity.

President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for her political survival in the midst of an unprecedented corruption scandal, centred on the state owned oil giant Petrobras. Her woes are exacerbated by an economic downturn that threatens to undermine some of the social and economic progress of the last decade.

For months, frustrated Brazilians have been showing their anger in many ways, most notably the neighbourhood "panelaco" - banging pots and pans in noisy protest.

It was a protest the ruling Workers' Party even tried to turn on its head - using political ads to urge fellow Brazilians to put the pans to more productive use feeding the nation and helping Brazil on the road to recovery.

"We're in a year of transition," President Rousseff says in the ad, in something of an understatement. With inflation pushing 10% and economic recession looming, she is using the ad to promise that Brazil will soon return to economic growth, to what she calls "a better place".

'Our future never happens'

Read full article Rousseff's woes worsen as Brazil's protesters smell blood

2016 Olympics organisers hope for post-Games Rio revival

Little more than a year ago, International Olympic Committee Vice-President John Coates, described Rio de Janeiro's preparations for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the "worst ever".

Wounded and spurred into action, organisers reacted positively and with just 12 months to go before the opening ceremony, few people here are in any doubt that the venues will be ready for competition.

Read full article 2016 Olympics organisers hope for post-Games Rio revival

Brazil's Amazon wilderness at risk from organised crime

We are flying low in helicopter formation over the Brazilian Amazon with agents from Ibama - the state-funded institute responsible for environmental protection.

No country has done more than Brazil in recent years to tackle the previously rampant levels of deforestation but there is a good reason the agents have their guns drawn - we have seen statistics which show that rates of Amazon destruction are again on the rise.

Read full article Brazil's Amazon wilderness at risk from organised crime

The real losers in Brazil's Petrobras scandal

Aldemir Bendine attends the presentation of Petrobras' 2014 results in Rio de Janeiro on 22 April, 2015.
Image caption Petrobras President Aldemir Bendine said the company was ready to do business

"We are coming clean and we are being open about mistakes made with company's resources," said Petrobras President Aldemir Bendine.

Mr Bendine was announcing almost eye-watering losses which the Brazilian oil giant has finally had to admit writing off against corruption.

Read full article The real losers in Brazil's Petrobras scandal

Michael Bloomberg fights big tobacco in Uruguay

Michael Bloomberg is a man on a mission. This, of course, isn't the first "noble cause" he's latched on to but the "evil" of tobacco is something he feels particularly strongly about.

In co-operation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bloomberg has just launched a multi-million dollar fund to help smaller countries fight legal battles with tobacco companies, among them the small South American country of Uruguay.

Read full article Michael Bloomberg fights big tobacco in Uruguay

Rio losing its battle to clean up waterways for the Games

A beach in Rio
Image caption The International Olympic Committee stipulated that 80% of the sewage entering the Guanabara Bay be treated

With just over 500 days to go before the 2016 Olympic Games open in Rio de Janeiro, work is continuing around the clock to complete the sporting venues. But the BBC has seen startling scientific evidence which suggests a requirement to clean the city's polluted waterways in time for the Games will not be fulfilled.

From the air you can see Rio's Olympic Park, in the Barra zone to the south of the city, taking shape.

Read full article Rio losing its battle to clean up waterways for the Games

Uruguay bids farewell to Jose Mujica, its pauper president

Whatever your own particular "shade" of politics, it's impossible not to be impressed or beguiled by Jose "Pepe" Mujica.

There are idealistic, hard-working and honest politicians the world over - although cynics might argue they're a small minority - but none of them surely comes anywhere close to the outgoing Uruguayan president when it comes to living by one's principles.

Read full article Uruguay bids farewell to Jose Mujica, its pauper president

Rocky road ahead for Argentine leader over Nisman case

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Brasilia on 16 July 2014
Image caption Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was first elected in 2007 and won a second term in 2011

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been president of Argentina since 2007 but this, the last year of her presidency, is undoubtedly the most difficult period she has yet had to face.

Cristina, as most people here colloquially call their president, is occasionally flamboyant and is naturally politically combative.

Read full article Rocky road ahead for Argentine leader over Nisman case

Death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman highlights Argentina polarisation

A woman holds a sign during the funeral of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, January 29, 2015.
Image caption On the day of Alberto Nisman's funeral, a woman holds a sign reading: "My job was to look for justice for you and it cost me my life"

We still may not know exactly how or why Alberto Nisman was killed in his luxury Buenos Aires apartment, but the special prosecutor's death has opened a window on Argentine politics and society.

The 51- year-old had been about to reveal more details about his report into the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed.

Read full article Death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman highlights Argentina polarisation

Alberto Nisman: How and why did Argentina prosecutor die?

Argentina's populist President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner could not have had a worse start to the new year.

Her final year in office - she is not allowed to stand for re-election - already looks like it will be dominated by ongoing economic uncertainties and a political scandal involving the apparent murder of a former state prosecutor.

Read full article Alberto Nisman: How and why did Argentina prosecutor die?