BRAZIL: The Outlaws

It was 8 in the evening before the last of the five judges had finished reading his opinion. In the muggy little courtroom, dignified Judge Francisco Sa Filho rose to pronounce the 3-2 decision of the Superior Electoral Court: Brazil's Communist Party was "inimical to the democratic regime," and as such illegal.

On the benches in Rio's downtown Floriano Peixoto Park, in the sidewalk cafés, cariocas grabbed for late-night extras. The suspension of the hemisphere's largest Communist Party and the most powerful party in Brazil's big cities had been talked about for weeks,...

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