Uncategorized Mass protests against Rousseff gov’t sweep across Brazil

Mass protests against Rousseff gov’t sweep across Brazil

President Dilma Rousseff
President Dilma Rousseff

(AA) – Protesters took to the streets of every single Brazil state on Sunday to voice their opposition to the government and call for President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.

Police in Sao Paulo said crowds reached a million people in Avenida Paulista, the city’s main business street. Protesters wearing or painted in patriotic greens-and-yellows gathered in all of Brazil’s 26 states and the Federal District. 

Other major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and the capital, Brasilia, saw tens of thousands attend anti-government rallies also demanding the president’s impeachment.

Protests were also seen outside Brazil, including in London, Lisbon, Miami, New York and Sydney.

Calls for President Rousseff to be impeached have grown stronger as she began her second term in January, even though most legal experts say impeachment is impossible without proof of a crime or abuse of office.

Rousseff’s opponents are angry after oil giant Petrobras, Brazil’s biggest company, became entangled in the country’s biggest-ever corruption scandal. Brazil’s Supreme Court recently approved investigations into dozens of senior politicians — all but one were from Rousseff’s ruling coalition of parties and including the two congressional leaders. 

The investigations will probe allegations that a vast kickback scheme at the state-run oil company benefited politicians, political parties and top executives.

Maria Ribeiro, 65, a housewife from Sao Paulo, said that Brazil had no excuses: “I’m outraged with the state of the country. We have such dirty politics: I’m ashamed of everything that’s happened here,” she told The Anadolu Agency (AA).

“We can’t continue this way. I came here to join the struggle against corruption in the country. We all work and earn everything we have,” Fernando Silva, a 35-year-old engineer from Sao Paulo.

Brazil Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said Sunday that the president would announce a series of new measures against corruption “in the coming days,” the G1 news site reported.

“The government, which has a clear position on combatting corruption… will announce something that we had promised at the elections: a series of measures to combat corruption in the coming days,” Cardozo said, adding the government was “open to dialogue.”

Many Brazilians also came to Sunday’s series of protests to vent their anger over the government’s handling of the economy, which is widely expected to re-enter recession this year.

Economists in Brazil say they expect the country’s GDP to fall to -0.66 percent this year. Annual inflation, which was recorded at 7.7 percent in February, is also well above the government’s target.

Sunday’s protests followed pro-government rallies on Friday. Tens of thousands of people across Brazil attended rallies organized by the government’s allies, particularly the CUT, the country’s largest national workers’ union.

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