Monday, November 26, 2012

A First: Black Judge Appointed to Head Brazil's Supreme Court

Dilma congratulates newly appointed Joaquim Barbosa
MercoPress reports that Brazil's newly appointed head of the country's supreme court is the first black to hold that office. 

Joaquim Barbosa, 58, was born to a poor family in a small village in Minas Gerais, but went on to attend law school, and was first appointed to the court by former president Lula. 

He has gained recent attention for his role in the "mensalão" scandal, in which he has shown no tolerance for corruption among elected officials.  

The article notes that while Afro-Brazilians comprise over half of the country's population, they are among the country's poorest citizens, with only 2.2% acquiring a university education. 

During his acceptance speech, Barbosa said, "I must honestly declare that there is a great deficit of justice in our country. Not all Brazilians are treated with the same consideration before the courts. What we see here is privileged treatment."  

Source: Brazil Portal

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