Brazil Is the Leader for Latin Democracies
Regarding the article "Latin Democracies Struggle," Aug. 23: The author states, "The ousting of President Collor de Mello brought down hopes of restoring democracy to unstable Brazil."
Mr. Collor was removed from his office by legitimate means, and the entire process was guided by the Brazilian Constitution. This was neither a coup by the military nor a takeover by bloody revolutionaries - it was an impeachment of a corrupt president. This particular action does not suggest that Brazilian democratic institutions are unstable. Quite the opposite. They proved to be remarkably resilient, especially when considering that the constitutional guidelines for impeachment were created only five years before.
Collor's removal was a significant victory for democracy in Brazil, and the process is a model of stability for the rest of the region. To compare the event to the turbulence in the region does a disservice to the success of the democratic institutions of Brazil. Matthew R. Slater, Virginia Beach, Va. Cattle vs. condos
The Monitor recently reported on Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's proposal to raise public lands grazing fees. It turns out Babbitt's proposal will do just the opposite of what he says it will do.
For instance, he says his 130 percent increase in fees won't drive ranchers off the land. But it will so dramatically increase ranchers' costs of doing business that it won't be feasible to operate. The result - ranchers will be forced to sell off their private holdings to developers. The open space that has been maintained by ranching families for a hundred years or more will be filled with hotels, ranchettes, and condos.
Does anyone think that would be an environmentally friendly change? William G. Myers III, Washington National Cattlemen's Association