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Parallels between the U.S. and Brazilian insurrections

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Mauro Heck moved to the U.S. from Brazil in 1981, four years before the end of the country's military dictatorship.

He maintains dual citizenship,voting with his daughters in the most recent election. He — as well as family and friends — was shocked when the transition of power was interrupted by insurrectionists.

River to River host Ben Kieffer is joined by Heck and Iowa State University professor and expert in Brazilian politics Amy Erica Smith to talk about the recent violence and the parallels to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Later, President Joe Biden is visiting Mexico after visiting its border with the U.S. for the first time as president. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his attempt to end Title 42 which allows border officials to quickly expel asylum seekers and migrants.

Kieffer talks with Iowa State economics professor Peter Orazem about how policies that have slowed immigration have contributed to the worker shortage.


  • Mauro Heck, Brazilian native, long-time Iowa resident
  • Amy Erica Smith, associate professor, Iowa State University
  • Peter Orazem, university professor, Iowa State University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio