With drugs and violence out of control in Brazil's favelas, the government has taken decisive action by sending in security forces raising the question: how does this contrast with the country's growth as an international powerhouse?
Security forces stormed dozens of slums in Rio de Janeiro, the country's best-known city, in an effort to push out drug gangs hold up inside. The police say they are now in control of most shantytowns after a series of operations in which a number of suspected drug traffickers were killed.
Many believe it is part of an effort to clean Rio's image before Brazil host the 2014 Footback World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics - both events that are meant to showcase the nation's emergence as a growing global force.
Brazil is already an economic giant and its leaders believe it can become a key player in diffusing international tensions and forging new political alliances.
On Wednesday's show we ask: As the balance of power shifts in today's world, how effectively can Brazil step into the role of a trusted global negotiator?
Joining us will be Celso Amorim, Brazil's foreign minister, who is being recognised by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of its top 100 global thinkers.
This episode of Riz Khan aired from Wednesday, December 1, 2010.