FROM BRIC TO POLITICAL BRINK

A country once known as the homeland of impunity for those in high places, Brazil is turning itself, in democracy, into an example to others of a society capable to change and affirm the rule of law, as painful as it may be.
Paulo Sotero, The World Post, Sep. 8, 2015
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or some time now, Brazil has been widely seen as a respected democracy with a booming emerging economy, ready to cement its place in the world. While the former aspect may yet hold true, the Brazil of today is a far cry from the anticipations of the early 2000s. Less than one year into her second term, President Dilma Rousseff has become a major target in a corruption scandal that has the potential to end in her impeachment; a prospect made all the more real by the massive anti-government protests taking place in recent weeks. Despite a historically low approval rating of less than 10%, Dilma has insisted that she will resist any attempt to remove her from power, adding fuel to the demonstrators’ fire. The scandal involves several high-ranking government officials, some of whom have already been charged while others including Rousseff are still being investigated, and state oil giant Petrobras. It is not just the people of Brazil turning their backs on the President, either; VP Michel Temer has also seemingly given up on Rousseff, although likely to his own advantage should an impeachment come down. For all of this negativity surrounding Brazil, there is still some definite good to be found, however: the protests so far have been extraordinarily peaceful, and democratic institutions are still being respected as legitimate in their handling of the crisis, specifically the judiciary.

The conduct of those responsible for investigating and prosecuting the corrupt officials is certainly reassuring, but the economic situation in Brazil cannot be taken lightly. As the former Central Bank president put it, “the government has bankrupted the state,” and it will take serious resolve and the return of good governance to weather this storm.

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Brazil protesters keep pressure on President Rousseff || Reuters 

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There are those who believe that Dilma’s impeachment or resignation would be positive, and put an end to the crisis. However, this might be akin to letting the fox guard the hen house.Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, Aug. 11, 2015

Despite there being no evidence linking Rousseff to the bribes-for-contracts scheme, an independent investigation has alleged that bribes worth $2bn were paid to secure contracts … triggering widespread anger at the sitting President, large-scale demonstrations have rocked the country, with tens of thousands demanding Rousseff step down.Elias Groll, Al Jazeera, Aug. 22, 2015

Not all is lost. Despite these mounting troubles and a likely worsening of the situation in the near term, there are a few bright spots in Brazil.Joao Augusto De Castro Neves, Reuters, Sep. 1, 2015
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FROM BRIC TO POLITICAL BRINK

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