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Wyre Davies

Wyre Davies Rio de Janeiro correspondent

My take on the vibrant lives of people across Brazil and wider South America - the most exciting but under-reported region in the world

Brazil drought: Sao Paulo sleepwalking into water crisis

Mud in reservoir
Levels in the Cantareira reservoir system remain dangerously low

In Brazil's biggest city, a record dry season and ever-increasing demand for water has led to a punishing drought.

It has actually been raining quite heavily over the last few days in and around Sao Paulo but it has barely made a drop of difference.

The main reservoir system that feeds this immense city is still dangerously low, and it would take months of intense, heavy rainfall for water levels to return to anything like normal.

So how does a country that produces an estimated 12% of the world's fresh water end up with a chronic shortage of this most essential resource - in its biggest and most economically important city?

It's interesting to note that both the local state government and the federal government have been slow to acknowledge there is a crisis, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Read full article Brazil drought: Sao Paulo sleepwalking into water crisis

Brazil's president preaches unity after hard-won victory

Workers Party supporters celebrate Dilma Rousseff's election victory 26 Oct 2014
For the Workers Party, it was a triumphant night

Sometimes a close contest can bring out the worst in people. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, weeks of effort with nothing to show at the end, lots of money spent for no return.

On opposite sides of Rio de Janeiro last night, the rival camps were nursing their wounds after a bruising campaign.

Read full article Brazil's president preaches unity after hard-won victory

Brazil elections: Last-ditch push in 'Mini-Brazil' state

Brazilian presidential candidate and incumbent President Dilma Rousseff (R) and social democratic candidate Aecio Neves (L) attend a TV debate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 24 October 2014
President Dilma Rousseff (R) and challenger Aecio Neves faced off in a bruising TV debate on Friday

All votes count in Brazil - there's no "winner takes all" system as in American states - so each part of this vast country is being fought over by Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves ahead of Sunday's vote. Nowhere is the race closer than in the southeastern state where they were both raised, Minas Gerais.

"Minas" is among the most closely contested constituencies in this election and is one in which many features affecting voters in the wider country can be found.

Read full article Brazil elections: Last-ditch push in 'Mini-Brazil' state

Brazil: The 'El Dorado' for international migrants

The jungle state of Acre is a long way from anywhere. Tucked into the north-western corner of Brazil, it is closer to the big towns of eastern Bolivia and southern Peru than it is to the industrial heartland of southern Brazil.

Yet it is through here that many migrants looking for a better life or escaping persecution in their own countries choose to enter Brazil.

Read full article Brazil: The 'El Dorado' for international migrants

Brazil elections: Damned lies and opinion polls

A poster of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (right) and former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Paulo. Photo: 9 October 2014
Ms Rousseff (right) is not seen by many in Brazil as charismatic as her predecessor and mentor "Lula"

Lies, damned lies and opinion polls.

I have decided, in the two weeks or so that remain in Brazil's presidential election run-off campaign, to ignore the plethora of opinion polls that will undoubtedly emerge before polling day.

Read full article Brazil elections: Damned lies and opinion polls

Brazil elections: Presidency still up for grabs after last TV debate

Politics is often compared to a soap opera but, in Brazil at least, it seems it is not held in such high esteem or given the same prominence.

Even though this was the last and probably the most important of the pre-election debates, the popular soap - Imperio - took precedence on the host Globo TV channel.

Read full article Brazil elections: Presidency still up for grabs after last TV debate

Brazil in narrow presidential race as Silva captures imagination

Supporters of candidate Silva in the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro 30 August 2014
Brazil is the world's seventh largest economy, but millions still live in poverty

Brazil is a contradictory, complex country.

It boasts the world's seventh largest economy but Brazilian society is still deeply divided and unequal.

Read full article Brazil in narrow presidential race as Silva captures imagination

Brazil candidates engage in verbal sparring in TV debate

Brazilian presidential candidates for the Social Christian Party, Pastor Everaldo (L), for the Socialism and Freedom Party Luciana Genro (2-L), for the Brazilian Socialist Party Marina Silva (3-L), for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party Aecio Neves (4-L), for the Brazilian Labour Renewal Party Levy Fidelix (2-R), for the Green Party Eduardo Jorge (R), host Ricardo Boechat (4-R) and Brazilian President and candidate for the Workers" Party Dilma Rousseff (3-R), attend a television debate in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 26, 2014. Brazilian general elections will take place next October 5.
All seven candidates took part in the televised debate ahead of the presidential election in October

The first of Brazil's televised presidential debates has taken place just two weeks after the death of one of the leading candidates in October's election, Eduardo Campos.

His replacement, internationally renowned environmentalist Marina Silva, is already challenging incumbent Dilma Rousseff according to opinion polls.

Read full article Brazil candidates engage in verbal sparring in TV debate

Marina Silva becomes formidable opponent in Brazil poll

A drawing of the late presidential candidate Eduardo Campos is seen at a campaign centre in Recife on 14 August, 2014.
Brazil's presidential campaign has been thrown into disarray by the death of candidate Eduardo Campos

It was hardly looking like a cliff-hanger.

Some accused it of being predictable and even boring - a presidential election in which the incumbent was all but guaranteed of being re-elected without, perhaps, even the need for a second round of voting.

Read full article Marina Silva becomes formidable opponent in Brazil poll

How Brazil silenced its critics

A general view of the closing ceremony prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13
The closing ceremony marked the end of what some have called the best world cup ever

I will hold my hand up, and so should quite a few others, for perhaps underestimating Brazil's ability to hold what turned out to be an overwhelmingly successful World Cup.

All of those delayed, costly and accident-prone stadiums came good in the end - at least in terms of crowd control, ticketing and the overall match experience. Remember - so far behind schedule were some venues, like the Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo, that no full-scale test event had taken place there before the World Cup kicked off on 12 June.

Read full article How Brazil silenced its critics

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About Wyre

As the BBC's first correspondent to be based in Rio de Janeiro, Wyre has come full circle. He lived in Brazil as a child and took his degree in Latin American studies. His first foreign posting for the BBC was the Chilean capital Santiago in the mid-1990s where he covered events in Spanish-speaking South America.

Subsequent stints as the correspondent in Wales and then the Middle East have seen him cover everything from football and rugby world cups, to political scandals and the Arab uprisings. There have been far too many close shaves and lost friends along the way, but there have also been moments of levity and the unfathomable privilege of roaming the world reporting for the BBC.

A passionate Welshman, supported by his constant travelling companions - a wonderful wife and four children - Wyre now faces the daunting task of covering not only one of the most iconic cities on earth, but also the emerging political and economic superpower of Brazil, as well as pretty much anything else of interest between the Darien Gap and the Straits of Magellan.

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