Poverty Is a Priority for Brazil's Candidates

Regarding the opinion-page article, ``Brazil's Balloting and Human Rights,'' Aug. 10: Official data from the 1991 census show that 32 million Brazilians, of which 15 million are 18 years old and younger, live in poverty. Even if this is an extremely high figure, it is almost half the number cited in the article. There are 200,000 to 700,000 children and adolescents living in the streets of Brazil. This is not something we are proud of, but the 7 million cited by the article is exaggerated.

The article reflects a politically partisan approach by associating the defense of justice and the promotion of a higher quality of life with the electoral platform of a single presidential candidate. All the candidates view combating poverty as a priority, not only to better the prospects for the Brazilian people, but also to improve the country's human rights record, given the clear links that exist between poverty, hopelessness, and all forms of violence. Frederico Cezar de Araujo, Washington Brazilian Embassy

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