Geographic and Governmental Profile of Brazil

Background
Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than a half century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader, one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.
Location
Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Geographic coordinates
10 00 S, 55 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
South America
Area
total:
8,514,877 sq km
rank:
5
land:
8,459,417 sq km
water:
55,460 sq km
includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries
total:
16,885 km
border countries:
Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia 1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km, Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km
Coastline
7,491 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Climate
mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Terrain
mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Pico da Neblina 2,994 m
Natural resources
bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Land use
arable land:
6.93%
permanent crops:
0.89%
other:
92.18% (2005)
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Irrigated land
45,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
8,233 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
59.3 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)
per capita:
318 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
Environment - current issues
deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador
Country name
conventional long form:
Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form:
Brazil
local long form:
Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form:
Brasil
Government type
federal republic
Capital
name:
Brasilia
geographic coordinates:
15 47 S, 47 55 W
time difference:
UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends last Sunday in February
Brazil is divided into three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands
Administrative divisions
26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins
Independence
7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
Constitution
5 October 1988
Legal system
civil law; note - a new civil law code was enacted in 2002 replacing the 1916 code
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
voluntary between 16 to under 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory 18 to 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not vote by law
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held on 3 October 2010 with runoff on 31 October 2010 (next to be held on 5 October 2014 and, if necessary, a runoff election on 2 November 2014)
election results:
Dilma ROUSSEFF (PT) elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Dilma ROUSSEFF 56.01%, Jose SERRA (PSDB) 43.99%
Legislative branch
bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds of members elected every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections:
Federal Senate - last held on 3 October 2010 for two-thirds of the Senate (next to be held in October 2014 for one-third of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014)
election results:
Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 20, PT 13, PSDB 10, DEM (formerly PFL) 7, PTdoB 6, PP 5, PDT 4, PR 4, PSB 4, PPS 1, PRB 1, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PT 87, PMDB 80, PSDB 53, DEM (formerly PFL) 43, PP 41, PR 41, PSB 34, PDT 28, PTdoB 21, PSC 17, PCdoB 15, PV 15, PPS 12, other 18
Judicial branch
Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Superior Tribunal of Justice or STJ; Superior Electoral Tribunal or TSE; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life); note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70
Political parties and leaders
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Michel TEMER]; Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Roberto JEFFERSON]; Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]; Brazilian Republican Party or PRB [Marco Antonio PEREIRA]; Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Sergio GUERRA]; Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Eduardo Henrique Accioly CAMPOS]; Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]; Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]; Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos Roberto LUPI]; the Democrats or DEM [Jose AGRIPINO] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL); Freedom and Socialism Party or PSOL [Afranio BOPPRE]; Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz PENNA]; Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Paulo Roberto MATOS]; Labor Party of Brazil or PTdoB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE]; National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO]; Party of the Republic or PR [Alfredo PEREIRA DO NASCIMENTO]; Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Roberto Joao PEREIRA FREIRE]; Progressive Party or PP [Francisco DORNELLES]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS]; Social Democracy Party or PSD [Gilberto KASSAB]; Workers' Party or PT [Rui FALCAO]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Landless Workers' Movement or MST
other:
industrial federations; labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations; religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the Catholic Church
International organization participation
AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, BRICS, CAN (associate), CELAC, CPLP, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Mauro Luiz Iecker VIEIRA
chancery:
3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 238-2805
FAX:
[1] (202) 238-2827
consulate(s) general:
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Thomas A. SHANNON
embassy:
Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia
mailing address:
Unit 7500, DPO, AA 34030
telephone:
[55] (61) 3312-7000
FAX:
[55] (61) 3225-9136
consulate(s) general:
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
consulate(s):
Recife
Flag description
green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress); the current flag was inspired by the banner of the former Empire of Brazil (1822-1889); on the imperial flag, the green represented the House of Braganza of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil, while the yellow stood for the Habsburg Family of his wife; on the modern flag the green represents the forests of the country and the yellow rhombus its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of 15 November 1889 - the day the Republic of Brazil was declared; the number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from an original 21 to the current 27 (one for each state and the Federal District)
National symbol(s)
Southern Cross constellation
National anthem
name:
"Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem)
lyrics/music:
Joaquim Osorio Duque ESTRADA/Francisco Manoel DA SILVA
music adopted 1890, lyrics adopted 1922; the anthem's music, composed in 1822, was used unofficially for many years before it was adopted
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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