from Wolf Street:
More than 3 million people protested in the streets of major cities across Brazil on March 13, numbers that may have exceeded even the massive rallies that took place at the end of the country’s military dictatorship in the mid-1980s. The population is fed up with corruption, fed up with the ruling party, and are seeking the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff.
The list of problems facing President Rousseff runs long. The scandal plaguing the state-owned oil company Petrobras continues to spread. Brazil is facing the worst economic recession in about a century, in large part due to the crash in prices for oil and other commodities. GDP shrank by 3.8% in 2015 and could contract by almost as much this year. And President Rousseff herself is facing impeachment proceedings for cooking the budgetary books.
She isn’t the only one to blame. The Petrobras scandal and the ongoing investigation, known as Lava Jato, have implicated politicians from several political parties, not just her own. Also, the impeachment proceedings are being led by an opponent of President, Eduardo Cunha, who himself is under investigation for corruption as part of the Petrobras scandal. Still, the pressure on Rousseff is growing by the day. One of her major coalition partners, the PMDB party, could abandon her in the coming weeks.
In a bizarre turn of events, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was charged with money laundering last week, but as of March 16, agreed to become President Rousseff’s Chief of Staff. At the time of this writing, it appears that a Brazilian court suspended the appointment, so his admittance into the cabinet is unclear.
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