Wearing a traditional white coat and a surgical mask, "Doctor" Suelen da Silva uses a stethoscope to listen to her patient — a black doll that she is healing at her home on a hillside near Rio de Janeiro.
The shooting of two young black girls – who had between them enjoyed fewer than 11 years of life – has sparked outrage in Brazil and intensified the debate over police violence and structural racism in a country still grappling with the legacy of slavery.
Since she and her husband lost their jobs because of the pandemic, Ilma Silva Santos, a construction worker from the slums of Salvador in northeastern Brazil, has been feeding her family of five thanks to government relief payments – now set to expire at the end of the year.
Brazil’s debt has ballooned to unprecedented levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government faces a $112 billion refinancing cliff early next year, with April’s funding needs the highest ever for a single month.
Brazil must confront a growing injury list that includes star forward Neymar as it resumes World Cup qualifying this week, while Argentina is out to extend its perfect start at home to neighbor Paraguay.
Brazil’s government is on course to post a primary budget deficit of 861 billion reais ($157 billion) this year, the Economy Ministry said in its bimonthly revenue and expenditure report, factoring in extended emergency transfers to the poor through the end of December.