Brazilian Law-Bunko! No Ethics Here

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A young man in Siemens of Brazil got a transfer to Siemens in Virginia in December of 2005. I was talking to him and he was filled with hope. He should be. There is plenty of opportunity and getting a home loan in the US has a very low, low rate.

In Brazil, there is a stark difference. Home loans are a whopping annual 120%! Take that rate and apply it to the US economy and guess what will happen. (Besides the screaming of Usary! Usary!) The economy slows down. That's what. The US economy would come to a screaching crawl.

On top of that, Brazilian law doesn't protect dwellers. Take my case for example. I signed a 3 year lease with an owner of a small apartment building in 2003. Shortly after I signed the contract, he sold the building to another man.

I asked the man, “Did you see our contract?" “No", he responded. “What happened to it?", I asked. “Sumiu", was his response. Meaning that he didn't know of its whereabouts. Somebody was lying. But who?

You can imagine the confusion and feelings of being violated that I had. Not good. We were in serious trouble. He was remodeling the entire building and he didn't want us in the apartment. In spite of all this, we continued to pay and he gladly accepted the money. That was our contract, then. Right? Not so in this country. Your word means nothing here.

Then in December of 2005 we received an eviction notice for ‘nonpayment’. The new owner lied to a judge who signed the notice. According to the notice, we had 30 days to leave. And we could not defend ourselves because the lie for ‘non payment’ is considered a ‘material error’ by Brazilian law. In other words, that's just a euphanism for saying “We know we'er lying, but we can't exactly frame it properly or that way so we'll call it a material error. " We have no recourse but to leave. Go figure. We're returning to the US, that's for sure.

No more Brazilian law!

Brazil wants to be a world leader championing human rights and political neutrality? I say, and I'm sure that many Brazilians would agree with me, clean up yor own house first, Brazil. You ain't even close to being ready to take center stage on the world scene yet. You probably never will be.

Ronald Nordquist is an American and a language expert living in Brazil, operating a small business together with his Brazilian wife. They have a 2 year old son. He has an MBA from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and a web site at He wants to return to the USA.


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