Brazil Focus by David Fleischer


Every week, David Fleischer, an emeritus professor at the University of Brasilia and former visting scholar at the Brazil Initiative, publishes Brazil Focus, a must-read newsletter on all of the most imporant happenings in Brazil from the previous week.

About the Author



David Fleischer was born in Washington, DC in 1941 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida (1972).  He worked in rural extension in Minas Gerais (1962-64) as a Peace Corps Volunteer and returned to the Federal University of Minas Gerais(UFMG) as a visiting professor in the Political Science Dept.-DCP (1969-71).  Fleischer joined the faculty of the University of Brasília (UnB) in 1972, where he was Chair of the Dept. of Political Science and International Relations (1985-1989) and member of the University Council (1985-1993).  In 2003, he retired from UnB but continued as a visiting adjunct until January 2005, when the University Council awarded him the status of Emeritus Professor.  From May 2005 until February 2007, David was Director of the School of Social and Political Science at UniDF – Centro Universitário do Distrito Federal – a private university in Brasília.

He was a visiting professor at the University of Florida (1976), State University of New York at Albany (1988 & 1989) and George Washington University (1997 & 2015), and has done research and consulting on Legislative Development and Election Systems in Latin America and Africa. Fleischer has published widely on Brazilian politics (Congress, elections, political parties, political reform and political corruption), plus North-South Relations. 

David has performed technical consulting missions on election systems and legislative development in Latin America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Central America) and Africa (São Tomé & Príncipe, Mozambique and South Africa).  In 1989, during the first direct elections for President in Brazil since 1960, he served as an election analysis consultant with the TV Globo.  He is also active in political risk analysis and has published Brazil Focus - Weekly Report since mid-1996. One of his current research interests is comparative political corruption, and he is the President of a new NGO, TCC-Brazil (Transparency, Consciousness and Citizenship) founded in Brasília in 1996.  In 2000, TCC-Brazil joined other NGOs to found Transparency Brasil.  David is married to Edyr Resende and they have two children (both anthropologists).  In 1995, Fleischer became a Brazilian citizen, and now holds dual citizenship.

The Story of Brazil Focus

 By David Fleischer - Inst. of Political Science-IPOL, University of Brasília (UnB)

"The story of this weekly English language newsletter on Brazil is a twenty-year saga that began in London in 1996. In February, during the Carnaval recess that year, Prof. Maria Dalva Kinzo organized a seminar on Brazil at the Latin American Institute of the University of London. During that event, I met Stephen Rose, a broker who dealt with Brazil and Argentina, and in June 1996 he invited me back to London to participate in a two-day event with his clients.

 At the end of this event, Mr. Rose said he had what he thought was a “decent proposal” for me. He asked if I could prepare a summary analysis of economic and political events in Brazil every two weeks that he could include in his reports to his clients – for what I thought was a “decent” compensation – so I accepted.

After awhile, some of my consulting clients in the US and Europe discovered this and asked if they could subscribe. I asked Mr. Rose if this would be OK, and he responded – “No problem, but don’t include any other brokers in the UK”. Thus, Brazil Focus was born in September 1996 on a two-week basis. Later BFDF (Brazil Focus Distrito Federal, or Brazil Focus David Fleischer) became a weekly publication.

In fall 1997, I was a visiting professor at GWU with IBI-Institute of Brazilian Interests with Prof. Jim Ferrer and taught a course on “The Political Development of Mercosul Countries” in the Elliott School of International Affairs and Brazil Focus was produced and dispatched from Washington, DC during that four-month period.

In spring 2015, I returned to GWU to teach a course on “Brazilian Politics & Elections” within the Brazil Initiative at the Elliott School under the coordination of Prof. Bob Maguire and again Brazil Focus was produced and dispatched from Washington during that four-month period.

Several years ago, at the suggestion of a client (financial institution) in New York, this weekly political risk publication adopted a special section on the first page of each issue – “Looking Ahead – What to Watch For” – that lists the principal events and decisions forthcoming (expected) over the next two or three weeks. Brazil Focus is disseminated on the internet every Friday afternoon. However, when some special event occurs (elections, important government decisions, etc.) a Special Report can be issued on other days of the week. 

Brazil Focus tries to inform its readers as completely as possible and includes internet citations of the sources used for certain items.  Also, some pictures of major “actors” and appropriate cartoons are included.

Since 2007, Brazil Focus has provided its subscribers with a “Chronology” of events, facts, dates and decisions for the previous year plus “Projections” for the ongoing current year.  This monthly listing corresponds to items reported in this publication.  For each current year thereafter, subscribers received a “partial chronology” in July covering the first semester of each respective year. 

Also, since 2007, subscribers receive a “Glossary” of terms, abbreviations and symbols that are important to a full understanding of “Things Brazilian”.  In mid-2017, this Glossary counts 103 pages.

Brazil Focus counts corporate, academic, journalists, diplomats, and others interested in Brazil as subscribers. In Brasília, these include some 40 embassies and international organizations".     

Brazil Focus

Each Brazil Focus will be posted here:



Glossary of terms, symbols and abbreviations





July 2018

July 21

July 14


June 2018

June 29

June 23

June 16

June 9

June 2


May 2018

May 26

May 19

May 5


April 2018

April 14

April 7


March 2018

March 24

March 17

March 10

March 3


February 2018

February 24

February 10

February 03


January 2018

January 27

January 20

January 13

January 6