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Arroyo de la invernada

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  • kubana2005
    What is the status of this island ? Is it legally part of Brazil or Uruguay, since it is claimed by both counties? It is also known as Rincon de Artigas.
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 1, 2009
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      What is the status of this 'island'? Is it legally part of Brazil or
      Uruguay, since it is claimed by both counties? It is also known as
      Rincon de Artigas.

      Regards, Alex
    • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
      ... The area ( Rincão de Artigas and Arroio da Invernada in Portuguese) is currently under Brazilian control (though the village of Masoller, at the
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 1, 2009
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        > What is the status of this 'island'? Is it legally part of
        > Brazil or Uruguay, since it is claimed by both counties? It is
        > also known as Rincon de Artigas.

        The area ("Rincão de Artigas" and "Arroio da Invernada" in
        Portuguese) is currently under Brazilian control (though the village
        of Masoller, at the southern tip of the area, is Uruguayan).

        It should be mentioned that the border with Uruguay is by far the
        most open of all Brazilian borders - no barriers at all, no border
        patrols, a large length of dry border with only slightly hilly
        topography in the middle of a vast plain, and immigration/customs
        checkpoints at very few places (mostly at bridges where the border is
        "wet", and also at Chuí/Chuy on the main road from Porto Alegre to
        Montevideo, very close to Brazil's southernmost point). In the dry
        border areas, cattle herders from both countries cross the border
        routinely and never bother in which country their cattle is grazing.
        Actually, many ranches there straddle the border, and many Brazilians
        own land in Uruguay and vice versa.

        The binational city of Santana do Livramento (Brazil) / Rivera
        (Uruguay), very close to Rincão/Rincón de Artigas, is totally
        Schengen-like, with just an avenue separating the two countries and
        no controls at all. The airport is in Rivera, but regional flights
        from Porto Alegre are classed as domestic (even the IATA code is
        "LVB", for "Livramento, Brazil") and have no customs or immigration
        controls at POA (contrary to flights to Montevideo, which follow
        normal international flight procedures).

        Back to our subject, the best source for Brazilian borders is on the
        Web site of the Brazilian National Laboratory for Scientific
        Computing. There is a user there (wrmkkk) - I don't know if he or she
        is here in this group - who seems to be a border aficionado, too. The
        site includes a very detailed explanatory page, with versions in
        Portuguese, Spanish and English, about this border dispute. The
        address for the English version is
        http://www.info.lncc.br/wrmkkk/masollei.html .

        I must warn you that he or she is not impartial and always defends
        Brazil's position at all instances, but the facts are always well
        exposed.

        Summarising what is said on the page, the Brazil-Uruguay border was
        established by a treaty signed in 1857, and the Rincão/Rincón de
        Artigas area went undisputed for 77 years, until 1934. That was when
        a field survey determined that a border marker near Masoller had been
        put at the wrong place. An Uruguayan military officer who was a
        member of the expedition took the opportunity to contest the whole
        border demarcation in that area, and he was readily supported by the
        Montevideo government and Uruguayan intelligentsia.

        Specifically, there was a point of contention because the border was
        traced according to a map where a crucial river was unnamed.
        ("Arroyo" in River Plate Spanish and "arroio" in the Portuguese
        dialect of southernmost Brazil mean a small river or creek;
        "invernada" in both languages means a place where cattle is taken to
        spend the winter - that region is already far out of the tropics and
        has distinct seasons, with frequent sub-freezing temperatures in
        winter.) There was doubt about whether the Arroio da Invernada/Arroyo
        de la Invernada was really the creek mentioned at the treaty.

        Nothing ever came out of it, though. Although the Uruguayan
        government never retracted the 1934 claim, the area remained under
        Brazilian administration and the Uruguayans limited themselves to
        occasionally issuing innocuous diplomatic protests. The latest round
        was in 1988, after another one a few years earlier, when a new
        village (Vila Albornoz) was built by Brazilians in the disputed area.

        It is unlikely that the area will ever be handed over to Uruguay. The
        latter is a small country compared to its huge and much more powerful
        neighbours (Brazil and Argentina) - it only has 3.5 million people,
        half of which live in the capital, Montevideo. Although Uruguay is
        proportionally a wealthy country, with the highest living standards
        and HDI in all of Latin America (it was once called the "Switzerland
        of the Americas"), its economy is so small that many Brazilian states
        and Argentine provinces have a larger GDP. A forced occupation is out
        of question - they would be massacred. Besides, Uruguay is an active
        member of the Mercosul/Mercosur economic community (the entity's
        headquarters are actually in Montevideo), its economy depends heavily
        on exports to Brazil, and it would be economic suicide for them to
        get in bad terms with Brazil.

        Yet Uruguayans know they are small and that they basically only exist
        to serve as a buffer, so that Brazil and Argentina don't dangerously
        face each other on the River Plate. (Uruguay was actually part of
        Brazil as the "Cisplatine Province" until 1828, when the country was
        created due to internal unrest because of a Spanish-speaking majority
        and, most importantly, in order to avoid a war with Argentina - the
        solution was "neither of us will have it".)

        So, every now and then Uruguayans have to make some noise to assert
        their sovereignty. They often cause trouble in Mercosul/Mercosur
        negotiations because of that, but in the end they always yield to the
        interests of their big neighbours. They may be small, but they are
        not stupid...

        Best regards,

        Goytá
        São Paulo, Brazil
      • kubana2005
        Hello Goyta, Thanks for a nice reply, it is good to have a boundary enthusiast from Brazil! I didn t know that Brazil/Uruguay border is relaxed. And I also
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 2, 2009
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          Hello Goyta, Thanks for a nice reply, it is good to have a boundary
          enthusiast from Brazil! I didn't know that Brazil/Uruguay border is
          relaxed. And I also forgot that Uruguay was part of Brazil for some time.

          According to wikipedia, the other Brazilian boundaries that are
          disputed are:
          -Guaira falls (Brazil/Paraguay)
          -Isla Brasilera (Brazil/Argentine/Uruguay)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_disputes
          Are there any other disputes with Brazilian boundaries?

          I was also curious does Brazil recognizes British sovereignty over
          Falklands, or do they recognize Argentine?

          Regards, Alex
          Serbia
        • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
          ... And that is because it is a relatively densely populated area with a prosperous agricultural economy. In the Amazon region there are border controls only
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 2, 2009
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            > Hello Goyta, Thanks for a nice reply, it is good to have a
            > boundary enthusiast from Brazil! I didn't know that
            > Brazil/Uruguay border is relaxed.

            And that is because it is a relatively densely populated area with a
            prosperous agricultural economy. In the Amazon region there are
            border controls only where binational communities exist, and this
            happens at very few places along some rivers; otherwise, the Amazon
            borders are mostly in very remote and inaccessible areas. The most
            inaccessible of all is the border with Suriname, which runs through
            the top of a hill range hundreds of kilometres from the nearest
            Brazilian town. There are no border crossings, simply because there
            are no roads and no way to get there except by air or through a very
            long jungle trek that's not for everyone. There is only one border
            crossing each with Venezuela (Pacaraima/Santa Elena de Uairén),
            Guyana (Bonfim/Lethem) and French Guiana (Oiapoque/St. Georges).

            But there has been increasing pressure on the Brazilian government to
            have more effective border patrolling and tighter controls, because
            smuggling of drugs and firearms is a very serious problem that fuels
            the high crime levels in our cities. The two most troublesome borders
            are with Colombia because of drugs, and with Paraguay, where
            smuggling thrives both ways (electronics, firearms and tobacco from
            Paraguay to Brazil, and stolen cars from Brazil to Paraguay).

            It is estimated that over half the Paraguayan economy depends
            directly or indirectly on smuggling to and from Brazil (and to a
            lesser extent to Argentina). Paraguay is the largest producer of
            cigarettes in South America, and just the border town of Ciudad del
            Este imports more scotch whisky than the whole of Brazil does
            legally. That's definitely suspicious for a small and poor country
            with just over 6 million people...

            The Colombian border is very remote and can only be traversed by boat
            where rivers cross from one country to the other. The Brazilian army
            has a particularly strong presence there (also because of the
            Colombian guerrillas), but drug smugglers still find a way. Lately
            they have been using small planes flying at night to clandestine
            runways lit by torches.

            Paraguay is a worse problem because it's relatively close to the
            large cities of Southeastern and Southern Brazil, there are good
            roads throughout the area and the border is easily crossed. The large
            Itaipu dam lake has become a natural waterway for smugglers, who use
            barges at night (or even in broad daylight).

            The ironic thing is that Paraguay is a landlocked country but has an
            agreement with Brazil to use the port of Paranaguá. Paraguay has an
            extraterritorial warehouse at that harbour. Trucks load there, are
            sealed by Paraguayan customs and travel undisturbed to Paraguay
            (Brazilian authorities can't break the Paraguayan seal and inspect
            the truck's contents), carrying the same goods that will later be
            smuggled back to Brazil...

            > And I also forgot that Uruguay was part of Brazil for some time.

            It's easy to forget that, but it's also weird to look at a map of
            Brazil displaying the state borders and think that Uruguay is a
            separate, sovereign country. It is just about the right size and
            location to be another Brazilian state. However, it has been a long
            time, they speak another language, have different customs and ethnic
            background, and both Brazil and Argentina feel safer knowing that
            Uruguay is there to serve as a buffer.

            There has always been a strong rivalry between Brazil and Argentina
            for as long as one can remember, and both peoples are very suspicious
            of each other (and the football/soccer rivalry only makes it worse,
            both peoples being total fanatics about it). But fortunately historic
            circumstances have always worked to avoid conflict and to make it
            wiser or even necessary for both countries to cooperate and trade
            with each other. Brazil and Argentina are each other's largest trade
            partners now and our degree of interdependence is enormous.

            I think this is a good thing, and personally, I have no problems with
            Argentina or with the Argentine (I hate football anyway...). I've
            been there many times on vacation, it's a beautiful country, Buenos
            Aires is one of the most spectacularly charming cities in the world
            (I mean it!), their beef and the milk desserts are so good that one
            is almost brought to tears eating them, and I have always been very
            well treated. I also have good Argentine friends living here and they
            are really nice people. I can't wait for our integration to become
            even more intense, because the two countries are in many ways
            complementary and have a lot to teach to each other.

            > According to wikipedia, the other Brazilian boundaries that are
            > disputed are:
            > -Guaira falls (Brazil/Paraguay)
            > -Isla Brasilera (Brazil/Argentine/Uruguay)
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_disputes
            > Are there any other disputes with Brazilian boundaries?

            Isla Brasilera/Ilha Brasileira is the only one I know of - and the
            island's name already says a lot... Argentina doesn't contest it,
            only Uruguay does, and as usual it only issues bland protests once in
            a while. There is only one house on the island, where a (Brazilian)
            farmer lives with his family. They were never disturbed. A much more
            curious case is Martín García island in the River Plate - it is much
            closer to the Uruguayan coast and is wholly within Uruguayan
            territorial waters, but the island's land area up to the low tide
            mark is Argentine (with access rights, of course).

            As for Guaíra Falls (Guairá in Spanish, pronounced differently - the
            stressed syllable is the "i" in Portuguese and the last "a" in
            Spanish), I never heard of a border dispute there. It would be
            irrelevant now anyway, because the whole area is submerged under the
            Itaipu reservoir. The actual falls are mourned by nature lovers,
            because they used to be the world's largest in water volume - it was
            said that the water flow could fill St. Peter's Basilica in 1/10 of a
            second! Some years ago there was an unusual and serious drought in
            that normally rainy area, the lake's level went down a lot and the
            falls briefly reappeared as rapids.

            > I was also curious does Brazil recognizes British sovereignty
            > over Falklands, or do they recognize Argentine?

            Brazil avoids taking a direct position. Both Argentina and the UK are
            diplomatically and economically important for Brazil, so the country
            tries to keep itself out of the issue. But not exactly neutral:
            basically, it recognises British sovereignty, but also encourages
            negotiations to transfer the islands to Argentina (which will never
            happen, of course). And we call the islands "Malvinas", like the
            Argentine do, but then it's just because that name is much easier for
            a Portuguese speaker to pronounce than "Falklands".

            During the war, both countries were forbidden to use Brazilian
            territory, including airspace and territorial waters, for military
            purposes. A stray British jet fighter once entered Brazilian airspace
            over the Atlantic, was forced to land but there were no great
            consequences, as it was determined that it had really been
            incidental.

            Much more serious was an incident only revealed many years later:
            another British jet fighter on patrol over the Atlantic mistook a
            Brazilian airliner for an Argentine military jet and almost opened
            fire. It was a Varig DC-10 with over 200 people on board, flying from
            Johannesburg to Rio de Janeiro on a much more southerly route than
            normal because of bad weather. It would have been another tragedy
            like the Korean 747 that was downed by the Soviets near Sakhalin.
            Fortunately the jet fighter's pilot realised his mistake before
            firing. The commercial jet's pilots and passengers never knew it
            until the war's archives were opened.

            Regards,

            Goytá
          • kubana2005
            Goyta, I ve just learned pretty interesting facts about Brazilian geography!! ... Are Brazilian states decentralized? How are inter-state boundaries marked,
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 3, 2009
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              Goyta, I've just learned pretty interesting facts about Brazilian
              geography!!
              ---
              Are Brazilian states decentralized? How are inter-state boundaries
              marked, and are ordinery people informed about it?
              ---
              What are other South American countries positions about Falklands?

              Cheers,
              Alex
            • Diego González
              Great message, i ve learnt a lot of things. Thanks.
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 3, 2009
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                Great message, i've learnt a lot of things. Thanks.

                --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "Goyta' F. Villela Jr."
                <goytabr@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Hello Goyta, Thanks for a nice reply, it is good to have a
                > > boundary enthusiast from Brazil! I didn't know that
                > > Brazil/Uruguay border is relaxed.
                >
                > And that is because it is a relatively densely populated area with a
                > prosperous agricultural economy. In the Amazon region there are
                > border controls only where binational communities exist, and this
                > happens at very few places along some rivers; otherwise, the Amazon
                > borders are mostly in very remote and inaccessible areas. The most
                > inaccessible of all is the border with Suriname, which runs through
                > the top of a hill range hundreds of kilometres from the nearest
                > Brazilian town. There are no border crossings, simply because there
                > are no roads and no way to get there except by air or through a very
                > long jungle trek that's not for everyone. There is only one border
                > crossing each with Venezuela (Pacaraima/Santa Elena de Uair�n),
                > Guyana (Bonfim/Lethem) and French Guiana (Oiapoque/St. Georges).
                >
                > But there has been increasing pressure on the Brazilian government to
                > have more effective border patrolling and tighter controls, because
                > smuggling of drugs and firearms is a very serious problem that fuels
                > the high crime levels in our cities. The two most troublesome borders
                > are with Colombia because of drugs, and with Paraguay, where
                > smuggling thrives both ways (electronics, firearms and tobacco from
                > Paraguay to Brazil, and stolen cars from Brazil to Paraguay).
                >
                > It is estimated that over half the Paraguayan economy depends
                > directly or indirectly on smuggling to and from Brazil (and to a
                > lesser extent to Argentina). Paraguay is the largest producer of
                > cigarettes in South America, and just the border town of Ciudad del
                > Este imports more scotch whisky than the whole of Brazil does
                > legally. That's definitely suspicious for a small and poor country
                > with just over 6 million people...
                >
                > The Colombian border is very remote and can only be traversed by boat
                > where rivers cross from one country to the other. The Brazilian army
                > has a particularly strong presence there (also because of the
                > Colombian guerrillas), but drug smugglers still find a way. Lately
                > they have been using small planes flying at night to clandestine
                > runways lit by torches.
                >
                > Paraguay is a worse problem because it's relatively close to the
                > large cities of Southeastern and Southern Brazil, there are good
                > roads throughout the area and the border is easily crossed. The large
                > Itaipu dam lake has become a natural waterway for smugglers, who use
                > barges at night (or even in broad daylight).
                >
                > The ironic thing is that Paraguay is a landlocked country but has an
                > agreement with Brazil to use the port of Paranagu�. Paraguay has an
                > extraterritorial warehouse at that harbour. Trucks load there, are
                > sealed by Paraguayan customs and travel undisturbed to Paraguay
                > (Brazilian authorities can't break the Paraguayan seal and inspect
                > the truck's contents), carrying the same goods that will later be
                > smuggled back to Brazil...
                >
                > > And I also forgot that Uruguay was part of Brazil for some time.
                >
                > It's easy to forget that, but it's also weird to look at a map of
                > Brazil displaying the state borders and think that Uruguay is a
                > separate, sovereign country. It is just about the right size and
                > location to be another Brazilian state. However, it has been a long
                > time, they speak another language, have different customs and ethnic
                > background, and both Brazil and Argentina feel safer knowing that
                > Uruguay is there to serve as a buffer.
                >
                > There has always been a strong rivalry between Brazil and Argentina
                > for as long as one can remember, and both peoples are very suspicious
                > of each other (and the football/soccer rivalry only makes it worse,
                > both peoples being total fanatics about it). But fortunately historic
                > circumstances have always worked to avoid conflict and to make it
                > wiser or even necessary for both countries to cooperate and trade
                > with each other. Brazil and Argentina are each other's largest trade
                > partners now and our degree of interdependence is enormous.
                >
                > I think this is a good thing, and personally, I have no problems with
                > Argentina or with the Argentine (I hate football anyway...). I've
                > been there many times on vacation, it's a beautiful country, Buenos
                > Aires is one of the most spectacularly charming cities in the world
                > (I mean it!), their beef and the milk desserts are so good that one
                > is almost brought to tears eating them, and I have always been very
                > well treated. I also have good Argentine friends living here and they
                > are really nice people. I can't wait for our integration to become
                > even more intense, because the two countries are in many ways
                > complementary and have a lot to teach to each other.
                >
                > > According to wikipedia, the other Brazilian boundaries that are
                > > disputed are:
                > > -Guaira falls (Brazil/Paraguay)
                > > -Isla Brasilera (Brazil/Argentine/Uruguay)
                > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_disputes
                > > Are there any other disputes with Brazilian boundaries?
                >
                > Isla Brasilera/Ilha Brasileira is the only one I know of - and the
                > island's name already says a lot... Argentina doesn't contest it,
                > only Uruguay does, and as usual it only issues bland protests once in
                > a while. There is only one house on the island, where a (Brazilian)
                > farmer lives with his family. They were never disturbed. A much more
                > curious case is Mart�n Garc�a island in the River Plate - it is much
                > closer to the Uruguayan coast and is wholly within Uruguayan
                > territorial waters, but the island's land area up to the low tide
                > mark is Argentine (with access rights, of course).
                >
                > As for Gua�ra Falls (Guair� in Spanish, pronounced differently - the
                > stressed syllable is the "i" in Portuguese and the last "a" in
                > Spanish), I never heard of a border dispute there. It would be
                > irrelevant now anyway, because the whole area is submerged under the
                > Itaipu reservoir. The actual falls are mourned by nature lovers,
                > because they used to be the world's largest in water volume - it was
                > said that the water flow could fill St. Peter's Basilica in 1/10 of a
                > second! Some years ago there was an unusual and serious drought in
                > that normally rainy area, the lake's level went down a lot and the
                > falls briefly reappeared as rapids.
                >
                > > I was also curious does Brazil recognizes British sovereignty
                > > over Falklands, or do they recognize Argentine?
                >
                > Brazil avoids taking a direct position. Both Argentina and the UK are
                > diplomatically and economically important for Brazil, so the country
                > tries to keep itself out of the issue. But not exactly neutral:
                > basically, it recognises British sovereignty, but also encourages
                > negotiations to transfer the islands to Argentina (which will never
                > happen, of course). And we call the islands "Malvinas", like the
                > Argentine do, but then it's just because that name is much easier for
                > a Portuguese speaker to pronounce than "Falklands".
                >
                > During the war, both countries were forbidden to use Brazilian
                > territory, including airspace and territorial waters, for military
                > purposes. A stray British jet fighter once entered Brazilian airspace
                > over the Atlantic, was forced to land but there were no great
                > consequences, as it was determined that it had really been
                > incidental.
                >
                > Much more serious was an incident only revealed many years later:
                > another British jet fighter on patrol over the Atlantic mistook a
                > Brazilian airliner for an Argentine military jet and almost opened
                > fire. It was a Varig DC-10 with over 200 people on board, flying from
                > Johannesburg to Rio de Janeiro on a much more southerly route than
                > normal because of bad weather. It would have been another tragedy
                > like the Korean 747 that was downed by the Soviets near Sakhalin.
                > Fortunately the jet fighter's pilot realised his mistake before
                > firing. The commercial jet's pilots and passengers never knew it
                > until the war's archives were opened.
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Goyt�
                >
              • Kevin Meynell
                ... Hardly ;-) That was a Vulcan bomber returning from a bombing mission during the Falklands War that had been unable to rendezvous with the refueling
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
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                  >A stray British jet fighter once entered Brazilian airspace over the
                  >Atlantic, was forced to land but there were no great consequences,
                  >as it was determined that it had really been incidental.

                  Hardly ;-) That was a Vulcan bomber returning from a bombing mission
                  during the Falklands War that had been unable to rendezvous with the
                  refueling aircraft (due to a broken refueling probe) to get it back
                  to Ascension Island. Rather than ditch in the ocean, the crew decided
                  to divert to Rio de Janeiro and just made it.

                  More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Black_Buck

                  Regards,

                  Kevin Meynell
                • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
                  ... I m glad that you and Diego liked it. But reading Diego s message, which quoted mine, I noticed that the accented letters I had typed came back corrupted.
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
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                    > Goyta, I've just learned pretty interesting facts about Brazilian
                    > geography!!

                    I'm glad that you and Diego liked it. But reading Diego's message,
                    which quoted mine, I noticed that the accented letters I had typed
                    came back corrupted. I had thought that with modern character set
                    encoding that problem of the past had been solved, but it seems I was
                    wrong. Have you been able to read the names correctly?

                    Test:

                    Guaíra (accute accent on "i")
                    Guairá (accute accent on second "a")
                    Rincão (tilde on the "a")

                    > Are Brazilian states decentralized?

                    I'm not sure if I understood your question, but Brazil is a
                    federation of states, each with its own government, parliament and so
                    on. It would be very hard to manage such a large country without a
                    federative structure and decentralized power: the country's vastness
                    ensures that there is an incredible variety of climates, landscapes,
                    economic activities, degrees of development, ways of life, regional
                    cultures, customs, etc.

                    Brazil is a much more varied and complex country than most people
                    abroad usually imagine. For example, unless one is from the area, we
                    don't know where to to start when foreigners ask us about the Amazon
                    rainforest (which they invariably do) - it's mostly unpopulated and
                    thousands of kilometres from where the overwhelming majority of
                    Brazilians live, so most Brazilians have never seen it and never
                    will, know little about it, and the region is almost as exotic and
                    mysterious for most of us as it is for an American or European.
                    Asking an average Brazilian from the country's more populated areas
                    about the Amazon rainforest is like asking a New Yorker about the
                    Hawaiian volcanoes or the glaciers of Alaska - it's in the same
                    country, but very, very far away, and completely foreign to one's
                    experience.

                    So, the country's full official name is "Federative Republic of
                    Brazil" for a good reason. However, while Brazil's federative system
                    theoretically should work as in the U.S., Canada, Australia and other
                    federal countries, in practice Brazilian states have much less
                    autonomy. The federal Constitution and accessory laws reserve a lot
                    of matters for exclusive federal legislative powers. For example, the
                    penal and civil codes are both federal and uniform in the whole
                    country. There is no such thing as a crime that is not so in another
                    state, or has a different punishment. Unlike what happens in the
                    U.S., for example, *all* crimes in Brazil are "federal crimes", tried
                    and punished according to the same laws everywhere in the country.

                    States can't create new taxes or even determine what they will tax;
                    federal laws define which kinds of taxes are collected by the central
                    government, the states or the cities. (Roughly and most
                    significantly, states collect VAT on traded goods and some services,
                    while cities collect taxes on urban property and professional
                    services, and the federal government collects income tax, rural
                    property, import duties and some exotic taxes). However, states and
                    cities are free to decide how much they will charge for the tax types
                    assigned to them, how they will collect them, and under which
                    specific circumstances (which leads to ruinous "fiscal wars" between
                    states and cities that want to attract large investment projects).

                    Overall, Brazilian states effectively function more as autonomous
                    managers of resources and infrastructure for their territories. They
                    maintain their own roads, schools, police forces, judicial systems
                    (even if in this case they will mostly apply federal laws), etc.
                    Often the functions of the three levels of government overlap: there
                    are federal roads (which don't always cross state borders) as well as
                    state roads, built and maintained by separate federal and state
                    transportation authorities and patrolled by separate federal and
                    state road police forces. There are public elementary schools
                    operated by the states as well as others operated by city
                    governments, public universities operated by all three levels, and so
                    on.

                    States and cities also do legislate in matters that national codices
                    did not explicity reserve for federal competence. Lately, this has
                    been happening a lot with modern environmental and social issues. The
                    federal government and the Congress in Brasília have often been too
                    slow to respond to the new challenges and trends of today's world,
                    and state legislators are filling that gap. For example, the state of
                    Rio Grande do Sul is known for its strict environmental regulations
                    for agriculture (transgenic crops, pesticides, etc.), while the state
                    of São Paulo has passed a law to protect gays and lesbians by
                    imposing heavy fines on those who discriminate them. Such laws aren't
                    always effectively enforced, but they do show that states are trying
                    to be more proactive legislators.

                    Unfortunately, this trend has been happening chiefly in the
                    wealthier, more modern, industrialised, mostly urban and more
                    socially advanced states of the Southeast and South, widening the
                    already huge chasm between them and the MUCH poorer, largely rural
                    and socially backwards states of the North and Northeast. The latter
                    have a disproportionately large representation in the federal
                    Congress (a remnant from the times of the military dictatorship of
                    1964-85, which arranged things that way in order to diminish the
                    power of the more affluent and modern states, where opposition to the
                    regime was stronger), and their representatives often obstruct
                    modernising legislation.

                    The Northeastern states, in particular, mostly have an almost feudal
                    political structure with a thin layer of modern political processes
                    for appearance, and those who have power there know very well that
                    the social structures that give them that power would be dismantled
                    by a more modern society and economy. It is not in their interest...
                    :-(

                    > How are inter-state boundaries marked, and are ordinery people
                    > informed about it?

                    They are well marked on all roads except the most unimportant rural
                    ones. Not only there are road signs clearly marking them (and even
                    municipal borders), but due to peculiarities of interstate commerce
                    (regarding the share of VAT that goes to each) there are sort of
                    "customs posts" by the side of the road on both sides of the border
                    (although mostly located a few hundred metres from it). Cars and
                    buses don't stop, but commercial trucks have to do it, so that state
                    treasury officers can inspect the documents of the goods being
                    transported.

                    It's not really customs-like because no taxes or duties are collected
                    on the spot, and there are no restrictions on the amount, value or
                    nature of goods (other than blatantly illegal stuff like drugs or
                    contraband, of course). They just want to make sure that the goods
                    are properly documented with the receipts that prove that VAT was or
                    will be paid by the company that sold the goods (and that the due
                    share of the taxes will be properly accounted and paid by the state
                    of origin). Without the proper documentation, goods can be
                    confiscated.

                    Off the road, in countryside and wilderness areas, there are tiny
                    border markers at a few places, but they are not very common (I have
                    never seen one myself), and as you can guess, they are more likely to
                    be found on Southeastern and Southern state borders. Most of the
                    borders are completely unmarked.

                    Remember that Brazilian states are often larger than many European
                    countries: São Paulo is about the size of the UK, Minas Gerais is
                    larger than France, and even the smallest state, Sergipe, is about
                    the size of Slovenia and slightly smaller than Albania. The largest
                    one, Amazonas, is larger than the entire original 12-country European
                    Community. Imagine the cost and effort of putting markers on all
                    those borders, for next to no practical purpose. Also remember how
                    remote and inaccessible state borders are in some areas, especially
                    in the Amazon. I wouldn't imagine anyone making a costly and
                    difficult jungle expedition to put border markers that no one would
                    ever reach at remote points between Pará and Mato Grosso or Roraima,
                    for example.

                    > --- What are other South American countries positions about
                    > Falklands?

                    Chile has always had very tense relations with Argentina and will do
                    anything to curb Argentine power and influence in the Antarctic and
                    sub-Antarctic zone, where the two countries have conflicting
                    interests (and until recently, territorial disputes). So, Chile is
                    the only South American country that recognises British sovereignty
                    on the islands without reservations (even though they, too, call the
                    islands "Malvinas" because it's so much easier to pronounce).

                    During the war, Pinochet allowed the British to use Chilean naval and
                    air bases (it was for no other reason that Margaret Thatcher was so
                    supportive of that bloody dictator when he was arrested in England
                    for crimes against humanity), and even today the only commercial
                    flights to the Falklands leave from Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
                    (There is also a RAF service from England via Ascension Island that
                    can be used by civilians.)

                    All other South American countries nominally support Argentina's
                    claim but don't challenge current British rule and avoid direct
                    diplomatic confrontation with the UK. However, when Chile temporarily
                    suspended the flights to the Falklands as a reprisal for Pinochet's
                    arrest (the country was already a democracy again, and Pinochet was
                    being prosecuted in Chile itself, but he was still legally the
                    commander of Chilean armed forces, as a condition he had imposed to
                    relinquish power), both Brazil and Uruguay refused to allow
                    replacement flights from their territories, leaving the islands
                    isolated except for the RAF flights and eventual passing ships. This
                    forced a thaw in the UK-Argentina relations, with chartered flights
                    from Argentina and visits by Argentine citizens allowed for the first
                    time since the war.

                    Regards,

                    Goytá
                  • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
                    ... Thanks for the clarification, Kevin! I only remembered the episode vaguely from the press reports at the time, and it has been 27 years... Regards, Goytá
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      > > A stray British jet fighter once entered Brazilian airspace over the
                      > > Atlantic, was forced to land but there were no great consequences, as
                      > > it was determined that it had really been incidental.
                      >
                      > Hardly ;-) That was a Vulcan bomber returning from a bombing mission
                      > during the Falklands War that had been unable to rendezvous with the
                      > refueling aircraft (due to a broken refueling probe) to get it back to
                      > Ascension Island. Rather than ditch in the ocean, the crew decided to
                      > divert to Rio de Janeiro and just made it.

                      Thanks for the clarification, Kevin! I only remembered the episode
                      vaguely from the press reports at the time, and it has been 27
                      years...

                      Regards,

                      Goytá
                    • Kevin Meynell
                      ... The Falklands/Malvinas is very much a Gibraltar-type situation. By far the best tactic would be to establish friendly relations and build up economic
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        >basically, it recognises British sovereignty, but also encourages
                        >negotiations to transfer the islands to Argentina (which will never
                        >happen, of course).

                        The Falklands/Malvinas is very much a Gibraltar-type situation. By
                        far the best tactic would be to establish friendly relations and
                        build up economic links, and in a generation or two, the locals may
                        come to see a closer relationship with their bigger neighbour as
                        beneficial. By contrast, belligerence merely engenders a hostile
                        attitude amongst the locals, and of course attracts the attention of
                        the parent nation.

                        Until the Falklands War, very few people in the UK had even heard of
                        the islands, far less cared. However, attitudes completely changed
                        after the invasion, and the added attention also raised awareness of
                        the economic possibilities in the region as well.

                        Regards,

                        Kevin Meynell
                      • kubana2005
                        I asked about Brazilian states, because I am writing a list of federetions (and the list of their states) and so far I only recognized USA, Canada, Mexico,
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I asked about Brazilian states, because I am writing a list of
                          federetions (and the list of their states) and so far I only
                          recognized USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentine, Austria,
                          Germany, Ethiopia, St.Kitts and Nevis :), UK, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
                          Pakistan, India and Switzerland.
                          As you have said Brazilian states are not as autonomous as US, but at
                          least they can be classified as federated states (such as Most
                          Traveled.com)
                          It is very interesting for me to read about Brazil, as I have never
                          been to South America, but I would love to come one day!
                          How is safety in Brazil? I always have a feeling that in cities it's
                          similar to South Africa (I've lived in SA)? How are inter-racial
                          relations?

                          I don't have a clue how will Falklands issue end, but I don't believe
                          that Argentinians will get what they want. Anyway, here we are all
                          boundary/geography geeks, so we support British Falklands because they
                          add another territory to the list!

                          P.S. I am also an aviation fan (and studying aviation at college), so
                          it was nice to hear a word about aviation too! flights to Falklands
                          are very expensive, but so are the Europe-S.America flights...

                          Regards, Alexander
                        • viettrade.net
                          Thank you Goyta for your good news. Luckily, The Vulcan did not land on Argentina!!   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Legacy of The Republic of Viet Nam
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 4, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thank you Goyta for your "good news."
                            Luckily, The Vulcan did not land on Argentina!!
                             
                            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                            The Legacy of The Republic of Viet Nam (Di sản Việt Nam Cộng Hoà)
                            www.newsforce1.com or SaigonFilms www.saigonfilms.com sent you this email as a connection and exchange of the information, should you want to remove your email address from our email list, please let us know. Thanks.
                            IDMASU (The Informative Database and More Advanced Search Utility)


                            --- On Wed, 2/4/09, Goyta' F. Villela Jr. <goytabr@...> wrote:
                            From: Goyta' F. Villela Jr. <goytabr@...>
                            Subject: [borderpoint] Brazilian airspace intrusion
                            To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 6:55 AM

                            > > A stray British jet fighter once entered Brazilian airspace over the
                            > > Atlantic, was forced to land but there were no great consequences, as
                            > > it was determined that it had really been incidental.
                            >
                            > Hardly ;-) That was a Vulcan bomber returning from a bombing mission
                            > during the Falklands War that had been unable to rendezvous with the
                            > refueling aircraft (due to a broken refueling probe) to get it back to
                            > Ascension Island. Rather than ditch in the ocean, the crew decided to
                            > divert to Rio de Janeiro and just made it.

                            Thanks for the clarification, Kevin! I only remembered the episode
                            vaguely from the press reports at the time, and it has been 27
                            years...

                            Regards,

                            Goytá

                          • L. A. Nadybal
                            There s also the Federated States of Micronesia, Federal Republic of Germany, United States of Mexico, Malaysia, but I don t think Switzerland belongs on the
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 6, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              There's also the Federated States of Micronesia, Federal Republic of
                              Germany, United States of Mexico, Malaysia, but I don't think
                              Switzerland belongs on the list... it is a Confederation - that's a
                              little different.
                              Len Nadybal


                              --- In borderpoint@yahoogroups.com, "kubana2005" <kubana2005@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I asked about Brazilian states, because I am writing a list of
                              > federetions (and the list of their states) and so far I only
                              > recognized USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentine, Austria,
                              > Germany, Ethiopia, St.Kitts and Nevis :), UK, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
                              > Pakistan, India and Switzerland.
                              > As you have said Brazilian states are not as autonomous as US, but at
                              > least they can be classified as federated states (such as Most
                              > Traveled.com)
                              > It is very interesting for me to read about Brazil, as I have never
                              > been to South America, but I would love to come one day!
                              > How is safety in Brazil? I always have a feeling that in cities it's
                              > similar to South Africa (I've lived in SA)? How are inter-racial
                              > relations?
                              >
                              > I don't have a clue how will Falklands issue end, but I don't believe
                              > that Argentinians will get what they want. Anyway, here we are all
                              > boundary/geography geeks, so we support British Falklands because they
                              > add another territory to the list!
                              >
                              > P.S. I am also an aviation fan (and studying aviation at college), so
                              > it was nice to hear a word about aviation too! flights to Falklands
                              > are very expensive, but so are the Europe-S.America flights...
                              >
                              > Regards, Alexander
                              >
                            • Cocco Bill
                              Nigeria my 0.02 ? From: David Kendall Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:31 PM To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Federations ...
                              Message 14 of 15 , Feb 7, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Nigeria
                                 
                                my 0.02 €  Sorriso Emoticon

                                Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:31 PM
                                Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Federations

                                >   From: L. A. Nadybal
                                >
                                >   There's also the

                                Federated States of Micronesia, Federal
                                > Republic of
                                >  
                                Germany, United States of Mexico, Malaysia, but I don't think
                                >  
                                Switzerland belongs on the list... it is a Confederation -
                                > that's
                                a
                                >   little different.
                                >
                                >   --- In
                                href="mailto:borderpoint@yahoogroups.com">borderpoint@ yahoogroups. com, "kubana2005"
                                > <kubana2005@ ...> wrote:
                                >   >
                                >   > I asked about Brazilian states, because I am writing a
                                > list of
                                >   > federetions (and the list of their states)
                                and so far I only
                                >   > recognized USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia,
                                Brazil,
                                > Argentine, Austria,
                                >   > Germany, Ethiopia,
                                St.Kitts and Nevis :), UK, Bosnia &
                                > Herzegovina,  >
                                Pakistan, India and Switzerland.

                                Canada is always regarded as a confederation as well, don't quite know if it means the same as the Swiss confederation or if it is more like a federation in practice.

                                --
                                David Kendall
                                dhkendall@shaw. ca
                                blog:  http://thecanuckguy .livejournal. com/

                              • Cocco Bill
                                and also Sudan From: Cocco Bill Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:50 PM To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Federations Nigeria my
                                Message 15 of 15 , Feb 8, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  and also Sudan

                                  Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:50 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Federations

                                  Nigeria
                                   
                                  my 0.02 €  Sorriso Emoticon

                                  Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:31 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Federations

                                  >   From: L. A. Nadybal
                                  >
                                  >   There's also the

                                  Federated States of Micronesia, Federal
                                  > Republic of
                                  >  
                                  Germany, United States of Mexico, Malaysia, but I don't think
                                  >  
                                  Switzerland belongs on the list... it is a Confederation -
                                  > that's
                                  a
                                  >   little different.
                                  >
                                  >   --- In
                                  href="mailto:borderpoint@yahoogroups.com">borderpoint@ yahoogroups. com, "kubana2005"
                                  > <kubana2005@ ...> wrote:
                                  >   >
                                  >   > I asked about Brazilian states, because I am writing a
                                  > list of
                                  >   > federetions (and the list of their states)
                                  and so far I only
                                  >   > recognized USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia,
                                  Brazil,
                                  > Argentine, Austria,
                                  >   > Germany, Ethiopia,
                                  St.Kitts and Nevis :), UK, Bosnia &
                                  > Herzegovina,  >
                                  Pakistan, India and Switzerland.

                                  Canada is always regarded as a confederation as well, don't quite know if it means the same as the Swiss confederation or if it is more like a federation in practice.

                                  --
                                  David Kendall
                                  dhkendall@shaw. ca
                                  blog:  http://thecanuckguy .livejournal. com/

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