Brazil's Ordeal of Austerity

When Latin American leaders assembled in Caracas last week to discuss their debt problems, a conspicuous absentee was the Finance Minister for the biggest borrower of all. But Brazil's Ernane Galvêas, who sent his deputy, had daunting problems at home. Brazil's new austerity measures, imposed in order to win needed loans from the International Monetary Fund and private banks, have aggravated the impact of recession and bad weather on the country's homeless and unemployed.

During the last month, Brazilians have been shocked by reports from the drought-stricken Northeast of starving families eating snakes, lizards...

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