Brazil is experiencing an upheaval unlike any in its 193-year history. Its systemic corruption has been laid bare, and is shaking the fabric of the country. The government led by President Dilma Rouseff has come under intense pressure over an economic crisis, increasing inflation, fall of currency and numerous corruption scandals. There are cases against her government’s alleged fiscal irregularities as well as campaign finance irregularities from the 2014 election and calls for her impeachment are increasing by the day.
Congressional leaders are pressing ahead with impeachment proceedings, based on accusations that the president’s use of funds from state banks to cover budget gaps was improper and may have been illegal. Lula da Silva, the former president and Rousseff’s mentor, is also currently under investigation for alleged corruption involving majority state-owned oil giant Petrobras.
Ms. Rousseff faces another legal challenge as well, in the Superior Electoral Court, which oversees national elections. The court is reviewing claims that her campaigns in 2010 and 2014 took illicit contributions from the corruption scheme involving Petrobras, the national oil company.
While the judiciary has led from the front, Brazilian citizens have played an important role too. The protests began in mid-2013 in response to rising public transport costs, soon swelled into millions dissenting against the poor public health and education systems and high cost of living, and finally coalesced into a gigantic movement.