Brazilian-politics

CURRENT GLOBAL POLITICAL MAYHEM STATUS
  • Brazil: Massive Nation-Wide protests and riots caused by, among other factors, monetary focus on the World Cup and Olympics instead of the well-being of the populace
  • Venezuela: Massive protests and riots caused by unjust elections and violation of democratic rights
  • United States: Texas state law passed despite being voted on after a deadline and being protested by both the people and a state Senator. Protests at the senate growing, and law enforcement called in.
  • Australia: Leadership ballot being called in 2 hours for the third time during the Prime Minister's leadership as to whether or not she will continue as leader of the ALP, her party.
  • United Kingdom: Government will ban Church of England and Church of Wales from offering same-sex marriage.
  • THIS IS LITERALLY JUST WHAT I REMEMBERED OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. ADD THINGS, CORRECT ME, ETC.

As of today, Brazil no longer has a female president. It hasn’t been a whole day yet, but so far we have seen that:

- Foreign nationals are now forbidden to take part in any sort of political demonstration. This is actually an old law from the late 70s that hasn’t been enforced and is (was?) about to be changed. Now they are enforcing it. I’m a Brazilian national, but as an immigrant in the UK, the idea terrifies me.

- Every single minister is a man. The last time this happened, we were under a military dictatorship in the 70s.

- The Ministry of Culture has been abolished.

- The Secretariat for Women and Human Rights is no more.

Brazilian students occupy over 1,000 schools against budget cap plan

Students are on fire in Brazil. Since last year they have found a way to make their voice heard, and are using it across the country. While it’s difficult to offer a precise number, estimates suggest that around 1,000 schools and universities are currently occupied by students in protest of President Temer’s plan to pass a federal spending cap and state educational reforms.

The majority of these protests are occurring in the state of Paraná, where some 850 schools have been occupied, but protests have took place in other 19 states. They began in early October in disapproval of a plan to introduce a reform that could see disciplines such as arts, physical education, and other humanities subjects to not be a required part of school curriculum. These initial protests soon began to also compass the students’ dissatisfaction regarding the spending cap on their demands.

The spending cap plan, which aims to balance the country’s finances, could affect the amount of money invested by the federal government into education for the next 20 years. The Paraná example has been since followed by students in the states of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, where 43 schools have been occupied so far. Students in many other parts of the country are currently discussing if they will join the movement, as well.

The occupation occurs before the second leg of the council elections, which are scheduled to take place next Sunday. Schools are typically used as electoral polling stations and some 700,000 voters in Parana alone should be relocated to cast their ballots somewhere else.

The main incident so far, however, was the murder of a 16-year-old student inside an occupied school under conditions that are still not clear. The lawyers representing the students have declared that the death was the result of a hate campaign against the occupation, although the police have stated that the case seems instead motivated by personal reasons. A 17-year-old has been arrested. The alleged killer and the victim were childhood friends.

Context

Student occupations started in São Paulo in 2015 when some 200 facilities were occupied in protest of Governor Geraldo Alckmin’s plans to shut down some schools and reorganize the entire state-run educational system. After the students received support from the population and visibility in the media, the governor aborted the plan. Later, in March, Rio de Janeiro students followed that example for demanding better conditions. The occupation lasted four months and included 70 schools. Since Monday, two schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro have been occupied once more, this time in protest of Temer’s plan.

Source.

Note from the OP:

Unfortunately the article focused more on the high school reform and didn’t explain very well the budget cap plan. It’s a proposed constitutional ammendment which freezes government spending, making it that they are forbidden to spend more than what they spent last year, plus inflation, for the next 20 years. So if this plan is approved, for the next two decades, there’s not going to be any increase in investment in public services. With a growing population, this is definitely going to reduce investment per capita and affect public education and health, plus scientific research in public universities, and it’s bound to hit the poorer population, who depend on public services, the most.

This ammendment has already been approved in Congress and is going to be soon voted on the Senate.

BRAZIL IS TAKING STEPS BACK ON EQUALITY

Among protests and discussions, the Family Statute was approved by a special committee at the House of Representatives this September 22nd. The text defines family as only the union between a man and a woman, which excludes same-sex union rights such as inheritance, child custody, the inclusion of the partner in health care, among other rights. The next step will be the voting for four highlights (most sensitive points of the text) that have not been voted yet due to lack of time. As the proposal is being processed in special commission in a terminating character, when completed, it could go straight to the Senate without going through vote in the House. But deputies promise to do everything possible to stop this project or postpone its vote. Members who voted against the bill - the vote was 17 in favor and five against - promise to file an appeal for the text to be still voted in the Plenary, before heading to the Senate. This appeal depends on the signing of 10% of MPs (513). “I do not think we will have trouble to gather these signatures,” said Mrs Erika Kokay (PT-DF). “But we can only file an appeal after the highlights are voted.”

However, the evangelical party celebrates this victory and is already planning the Family Statute to be voted on a symbolic day, October 21, National Family Day.

 According to Kokay, all features for postponing this vote were used. “We used the process of regimental obstruction,” she says. The intention was that the vote did not take place before noon, the starting time of the day’s schedule when all the votes of the committees should be closed. “But the beginning of the schedule was late and I think this happened on purpose” says Kokay. Because of that the opponents of the project only managed to leave out the highlights of the text with the lack of time.

Marina Silva

Hello All,

It has come to my attention that the Brazilian Candidate for President, Marina Silva, may be against gay marriage. That would put me in direct conflict with her. As you know I have fought for marriage equality in my country and see it as a reflection of the quality of a candidate. I did not know this was her stand on this issue when I made the video supporting her.  I only saw her debate where she said she supported gay marriage and have come to find out after the fact that her party has pulled her support of this issue. I can not, in good conscience, support a candidate who takes a hard right approach to issues such as Gay Marriage and Reproductive rights even if that candidate is willing to do the right thing on environmental issues.

I am not an expert on Brazilian politics but I can say that Women’s Rights, Gay Rights and Environmental Rights are all part in parcel to a kind of world view that I ascribe to. To have a world view that does not include all three of those positions makes it impossible for me to endorse a particular candidate.

I have to apologize for not doing a better job of vetting this decision. I apologize if I have let anyone down or made them feel somehow I had done an about face on those issues that I clearly have made an effort to confront and fight.

At this time it would be good to know definitively where Candidate Silva stands on these issues and in no uncertain terms. It is a little bit murky and unclear presently. Until that time, based on what I have been able to glean from the few posts here, and what is available on the internet, I am withdrawing my endorsement. I would ask that her campaign would not use my video endorsement until they either state their support for gay marriage and the reproductive rights of women or make it clear where they stand on these important issues. Short of that my support is null and void.

I apologize to the Silva campaign for not having a better handle on their policies and creating this inconvenience. I was disappointed to see her support for gay marriage be dropped by her party the day after she gave it in a speech. I ask that you honor my wishes in good faith.

Sincerely

Mark Ruffalo

What Happens When a Brazilian Congressman Honors a Torturer on Live Television?

Representative Jair Bolsonaro (PSC) did not think twice before honoring Colonel Alberto Brilhante Ustra during Brazil’s impeachment vote in the lower house of Congress. Bolsonaro praised a man responsible for the disappearance of more than 40 people during the military dictatorship and the torture of hundreds more.

And do you know what’s going to happen? Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Whereas other Latin American countries have made a point of sending their torturers and dictators to prison, such as Argentina and Chile, in Brazil the situation is different.

Instead, during the impeachment vote on April 17, controversial representative Jair Bolsonaro (PSC) decided to dedicate his vote in the worst manner possible.

Amazingly, Bolsonaro committed two blunders. The first one was to praise and congratulate the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB). The second error was to honor Colonel Alberto Brilhante Ustra, a man responsible for the disappearance of more than 40 people during Brazil’s military dictatorship.

His followers weren’t pleased and complained on Facebook. Oh yes, they complained! They didn’t like at all the fact that Bolsonaro congratulated Cunha. But they loved the praise that he heaped on the torturer.

That’s how things work. For Bolsonaro’s followers, keeping bribery money in overseas accounts is a major issue. And they are right. But if you tortured hundreds of people and were responsible for the disappearance of dozens of people, everything is fine. In fact, you are a hero.

How can this happen, broadcast live on national television, in a so-called democracy?

The first thing that came to my mind was the fact that the families of Colonel Ustra’s victims were watching the voting by television on Sunday.

We are talking about the sons and daughters who never had the opportunity to know their fathers and mothers. We are talking about sisters who lost their brothers. We are talking about people who carry scars of torture that are impossible to erase, that stick to their skins and will last for the rest of their lives.

What about the repercussion of this incident?

In a country without a properly democratized media, it is easy to imagine what the answer will be.

Yes, Bolsonaro was, somehow, the subject of many stories and articles on the day he cast his vote in favor of impeachment. But not because he praised a torturer, but because left-wing Congressman Jean Wyllys (PSOL) spat at him during the vote.

Jean Wyllys claims that Bolsonaro had offended him with homophobic remarks after he declared his vote against the impeachment. And that’s why he spat at him.

The truth, however, is that this momentary quarrel has generated far more debate and controversy than Bolsonaro’s praise for the torturer.

If you search on Google for “Jair Bolsonaro Ustra” in “News” you get 587 results, most of them from websites such as HuffPost Brasil and Revista Brasileiros.

But if you search for “Jean Wyllys spits” in “News” you get 33,000 results. In this case, Brazil’s major media vehicles appear in the search results.

And that leads me to my next question: What if a Congressman in Spain decided to honor a torturer under Franco’s regime during a session of Parliament that was broadcast live to the entire country?

What if a Congressman in the US decided to honor a former Klu Klux Klan leader during a session of Congress that, again, was broadcast live to the entire country?

The problem with Brazil is that we still don’t know how to deal with a ghost called our past military dictatorship. Our young democracy is unable to mature because we haven’t taken the time to discuss the dictatorship and the effects it had on tens of thousands of people around the country during its 21 year rule.

Imagine how complex it is to explain to an Argentinian or a Chilean the fact that we haven’t arrested or prosecuted our torturers. Worse still: try to explain the existence of large pensions paid to the widows and families of such men, who were capable of doing dreadful and cruel things to innocent civilians, such as the journalist Vladimir Herzog.

We have a monopolized media. A manipulated democracy. And a hampered dictatorship.

Source.

Let me see if I understood it all properly. We’re less than 12 hours into the new government and we already lost the cabinet of racial equality, women, and human rights, and the cabinet of culture (x), nominated for the first time in our new democracy ONLY white men (not a single woman, not a single person of color) for any of the 20+ cabinets (x), of which SEVEN are involved in corruption scandals and therefore now can’t really be investigated because of their positions, AND stopped the corruption investigations on the opposition leader? (x) I didn’t think they’d be THAT fast in fucking us up, but wow. Can’t say they aren’t efficient.

What’s going on in Brazil? #06 The Impeachment & Michel Temer

Time to explain all that’s been happening here again. If you have no idea at all of what i’m talking about with impeachment or no idea about how parties work in Brazil, maybe check out what I wrote in March and April about this, and if you want more sources I strongly recommend The Intercept articles on Brazil.

Written at 03/09/2016

So let’s start with the obvious: The Impeachment process against now former President Dilma Rousseff has passed and vice president Michel Temer took office this week. Point is, many Brazilians and former President considered this a coup and i’m gonna explain why and then lay out all the shit the new President has in mind and what’s been happening here.

1. Why are you calling the Impeachment a Coup?

Because by Brazilian Law you can only impeach a President if they committed a crime and most jurists in the country can’t reach a consensus if what she did was a crime or not. Furthermore, many Presidents and Governors have also used it and never been brought to trial. Some Senators who voted for her Impeachment left the court only to give interviews saying that there wasn’t a crime, but they voted yes because she just couldn’t govern anymore. But i’m gonna say it again: you can’t impeach a president because you don’t like her, by law you have to have a crime. (If you’re wondering how the hell then did this pass I’d recommend you read the things I pointed out at the start). And, most important of all, you can’t completely change the government plans and the people who control a country without elections, like now-president Temer did, but i’m gonna get to that in a bit.

2. Why did people dislike Rousseff?

I’m not gonna enter the discussion that a) she’s a woman b) she’s from a left wing party here cause it’d take forever, but keep it in mind as well as the fact that her economic policies weren’t working that well and she had made many mistakes. However, the economic crisis that took our country was made worse by a congress that refused to vote nearly all of her propositions of change this year, a congress controlled by a man who really wanted this woman impeached (a man from the same party as our New President, by the way). Go read this article if you want a detailed vision. But for me, the most important things to point out about her government here is that she challenged two of the country’s most powerful institutions: the media, by talking about creating regulations for it (which we really need, since 99% of Brazilian’s papers, tv channels and radio stations are in the hands of half a dozen people) and the ultra rich, by talking about bringing money from offshore accounts back to the country. Basically, you can say she pissed off the wrong people, and not even one hell of a speech and 13 hours defending herself (which she didn’t have to do it person) from accusations on the senate could’ve changed what Brazil’s most powerful people want. 

3. Ok, but what’s wrong with Temer?

I guess this might be confusing for foreigners because usually Impeachment processes would keep the vice president and so the same plans elected and all, but this is NOT the case in Brazil. Temer is from a different center party than Rousseff and upon reaching power allied himself to former-president’s right wing opposition, who had been defeated in the elections. So now the most powerful people in this country are from the party that lost the election (in fact, many of the last elections) and the plan being implemented is their neoliberal agenda (contrary to previous elected left wing agenda). 

4. What has Temer done already?

Since Dilma Rousseff had been away from office for a few months for her trial now he has had quite some time to show what his now-permanent government is gonna be about. 

His first step back in April was nominating his new cabinet leaders and all, which made some noise because, well, they were all white males (differently from last administrations cabinets who were, you know, more representative of Brazilian population, with women and poc). If that wasn’t enough for you, consider that out of the 24 originally nominated, 11 had problems with justice and 3 have already been taken out of office because of scandals in the past six months. One of them notoriously caused a scandal for being caught on tape saying that they needed to stop a corruption investigation and the way to do it would be taking Rousseff out the presidency and putting up Temer (and that the media and the military had been contacted and would support it) (not a coup at all, huh?). 

His second step was cutting away anything deemed unnecessary. Which, of course, wasn’t their already very big salaries (in fact, they got another raise this week), but the cabinets of Culture and Women Rights, Racial Equality, Human Rights and Youth, plus some others, whose responsibilities were basically thrown under other cabinet’s administrations. People hit the streets and the Culture cabinet came back later on, but not the others. 

5. What are Temer’s new government plans? What happened this week?

So now that he really is the President he’s been more clear on his actions and propositions. Keep in mind that the goal is to “get out of the crisis”. 

a) His first big deal is trying to “make more flexible” workers rights, and you take that as you want, besides changing social security rules and rules for getting other kinds of governamental aid. 

b) “Privatize everything possible” are his own words. You can infer by that our oil, any remaining minerals, and probably prisons and public health system, among other currently government owned things. Likely to add public universities to that list soon, since they’ve already had their funds cut. 

c) Rousseff had been trying to pass an emergency anti-corruption program, Temer has “taken the urgency out of it”. 

d) Remember the crime Rousseff was convicted-but-not-really of that led to her impeachment? Yeah, that’s not a crime anymore. From this week forth. They made a change so nobody else (like Temer) can be judged on that. After she was judged, of course. I know, you’re probably screaming at your computer now. I am too. 

6. How are people reacting?

There have been lots of protests in many cities, but they’ve scarcely been covered by our tv channels (guess why), and they have been harshly repressed by the police. When I say harshly repressed I mean a girl lost an eye a few days ago at one and they are using gas bombs and rubber bullets and going full violence on the mostly young protesters (this page has been posting videos and pictures of the protests, if you wanna see for yourself). Temer has authorized the army to be on Paulista Avenue this weekend, notoriously a place were protest happen. While the situation on the streets escalates, media passes protestes as dangerous and full of “vandals”. 

This doesn’t cover everything. The situation isn’t pretty. Tension is high. Whatever happened this week wasn’t democracy, and i’m afraid whatever comes out of it isn’t gonna be democracy either. Keep your eyes open for Brazil. 

The coup did happen

On Sunday I stayed up much later than I should have. The lower chamber of Congress was voting on Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, and I watched pretty much the whole session. The opposition obtained well over the 2/3 majority they needed to pass the motion. I meant to write about the results sooner, but I was just too tired to do so.

Technically, it’s not over yet. The Senate now has a vote, but as long as the opposition can secure a simple majority (which they will), the president will be suspended for up to 180 days while she is trialed. Unless there is a massive uprising on the streets - which has failed to materialize so far - this is very likely to happen. Pretty much everyone on the left recognizes the battle as lost.

But first things first. This is what Dilma has been accused of:

Dilma is not accused of having robbed even one cent. The pretext used by opposition politicians to try to displace her from government is the so-called “fiscal makeup”, a procedure of management of the public budget that is routine at all levels of government – federal, state and municipal – and was adopted under the mandates of Fernando Enrique Cardoso and Lula without any problem. She simply put money from the Federal Caixa Econômica into social programmes, in order to close the accounts and the following year returned the money to the Caixa. There was no personal benefit involved and even her worst enemies are not able to accuse her of any act of corruption.


The most outrageous thing about the impeachment session was that most deputies didn’t even try to disguise the fact that the accusations held no water. They didn’t even try to pretend it wasn’t a coup. When they took the microphone to cast their votes, they had the opportunity to make a brief speech defending their position. Very few even mentioned the so-called “fiscal makeup” procedure, and I’m failing to find the words to describe what they did say.

Now, I am not ashamed to be Brazilian. I am not ashamed of Brazil. I don’t bow down to the facile idea - very common among the middle and upper classes - that we are inferior to Europe and the United States. By “we”, of course, they don’t actually mean themselves - they mean “we” as a country, a country that just happens to be full of underprivileged people of color. It’s an infuriating supremacist attitude that naturalizes our social ills as some sort of inherent inferiority.

But this time I was ashamed. Watching the session made me truly embarrassed in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. People everywhere, even in the world’s most solid democracies, are frustrated by politics and the perceived lack of real choice - but this was different. I wasn’t quite prepared to witness the bizarre circus that took place.

I am very cautious not to be classist. I try very hard not to equate a lack of formal education with incompetence or a lack of political conscience. I have a great admiration for unions, and former President Lula is proof that the working class can be full participants in a democracy. The work done by CUT (the main national trade union center) is another example of that; the MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) is yet another. But those deputies were nothing like that.

Most of them read as completely and dangerously inept. They didn’t look like members of the elite because they seemed to lack education or any sort of cultural capital - most were very inarticulate, utterly incapable of presenting an argument or even bullshitting their way through one with the appropriate political vocabulary. They didn’t even have (as problematic as I find the concept) manners. The atmosphere they created was of a rather intimidating party where they could get away with anything. The fact that they were pretty much all men - only around 10% of all deputies are women - made everything even worse.

The thing is that they didn’t read as working class either. They came across as mediocre white collar men who opportunistically found their way to a position of power. I think this is explained in part by our open-list PR system. We can vote either for a party or a specific candidate, and then both numbers are added up to determine how many seats are allocated to the party. This means we often get a “celebrity” candidate to attract votes and elect a bunch of unknowns on their trail. This is made even worse by the existence of parties like PMDB, which elect a large number of deputies but have no specific ideology or program - they exchange votes for favors and ministerial positions, no matter which party is currently in power.

It’s actually very interesting to see how over the past fifteen years, at the presidential level, Dilma’s PT made a lot of gains in more impoverished regions that were traditionally bastions of rural oligarchies. People noticed how their lives improved because of federal programs created or promoted by PT. People were confident Lula would look after their interests, and so would Dilma, his successor. But this success didn’t necessarily translate into more votes for Congress, at least not to the same extent, which is why PT had to get into bed with PMDB to actually pass legislation. This is why Dilma’s vice president is a member of PMDB, and this is how as president she found herself in a position where her own vice president was conspiring to get her impeached.

Now back to the impeachment vote. These were some of the things deputies said before proclaiming, “I vote yes”:

“For the evangelical nation.”

“Against communism, which haunts this country.”

“For the extinction of CUT and their miscreants.”

“In the name of God” - dozens and dozens of times.

“For my daughter Manuela, who will soon be born.”

“In celebration of my town’s anniversary.”

“For traditional family values.”

“For peace in Jerusalem.”

And last but not least:

“They lost in 1964 [the year of the military coup], and now they have lost in 2016. For family values, for the innocence of our children in the classroom, which PT never had, against communism, for our freedom, against the São Paulo Forum [a leftist conference], in memory of Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, the dread of Dilma Rousseff, for the army of Caxias, for the Armed Forces, for Brazil above all and for God above all, I vote yes.”

Out of all 367 deputies who voted “yes”, I must have counted less than ten who mentioned the “fiscal makeup” procedure. At best of times, they said we needed a change to fix the economy (not a valid reason for an impeachment); at their worst, they paid homage to Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, the head of the DOI-CODI torture unit, where Dilma was tortured as a political dissident during the military regime, while dozens of others held up sexist signs that said, “Adeus, querida” (Goodbye, sweetheart).

Meanwhile, Eduardo Cunha, who is actually guilty of corruption and so far has been skillfully evading prosecution using his position as speaker of the lower house, might be offered amnesty “for playing a fundamental role in Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment”. This is exactly what I said would happen about three weeks ago:

Now they will find a way to impeach Dilma, however illegally, and Michel Temer, the vice-president (and PMDB member), will become president. Her impeachment will placate the “anti-corruption” crowd and, having served its purpose, the Lava Jato investigation will be stifled before it gets to the people who will be in power. Then we’ll see a series of “pro-business” measures, like tax breaks for the rich, the relaxation of labor laws and environmental regulations, the abolition of welfare programs, and an even worse treatment of indigenous peoples.


It should be noted that we lost the vote by 367 to 146. With these numbers, the left won’t even be capable of vetoing constitutional amendments. This is in a context where most of the hard-won victories of the Dilma administration consisted in turning down bills put forward by the so-called BBB (Bullets, Beef and Bible) caucus. Among other things, they wanted to lower the age of criminal responsibility (further marginalizing black youth), exclude same-sex couples from the definition of family, transfer the responsibility for the demarcation of indigenous territories to Congress (where they could stall it), classify abortions as felonies, and criminalize “heterophobia”.

It’s desolating.

What’s going on in Brazil? #05 - The Impeachment

Alright, so some of you might have seen us Brazilian screaming through the internet and sharing a few more memes than usual last night, and some of you may know why (an impeachment process voting starting), but I felt like, for the sake of everyone’s understanding (and because some of you asked me) I should try to detail last night and our Impeachment law for foreigners (and for all of us inside the country who are also kind of lost with all this new information). Edit: written on Monday the 18th of april, 2016.

If you’re totally lost on Brazilian politics and the protests right now I’d recommend that you read my previous post on this explaining all that went down in march that kind of led to this and giving a bigger panorama of our politics, and  this article here that is quite on point. 

First of all, let’s understand the law in Brazil. By our latest constitution, a president can only be removed from office if involved in a serious crime (like, murder) or in a responsibility crime (defined as crimes specifically committed by people who hold high offices regarding their jobs, decisions, and how that influences the powers, the constitution, the finances of the state and so on). An Impeachment process might be filled by parties, organizations, etc, and has to be authorized by the President of the House of Representatives (basically the congress leader, 3rd in line for presidencial succession, in our case, Eduardo Cunha). Once authorized and voted by a especial commission, it follows to be voted in congress, and there the deputies have to decide if an official investigation and judgment will be opened, you need 2/3rds of the votes for that. If that happens, the process is taken up to the Senate where the senators will judge the case and decide if the process continues to the supreme court. They need 50% +1 of the votes for it to pass. If it happens, the president takes a leave of up to 180 days while the Supreme Courts president (Ricardo Lewandowsky) judges the case and again submit his input to the Senate, where it will be voted again - this time, it needs 2/3rds of the votes to be finished. That having happened, the president is officially off office and the vice-president (Michel Temer) (unless investigated as well, which is not the case now), takes over.

Whats is our president, Dilma Rousseff, accused of? It’s being called pedaladas fiscais, and it can be summoned basically by purposefully delaying payments to banks to make state’s finances look a little better and keep people investing.

Now, let’s take down the reasons this process is dubious and why the country has been divided in condemning her (and especially at why some people are referring to the process as an equivalent to a coup d’etat):

- The pedaladas have never been considered a responsibility crime. We know it was used in the last two presidents (Lula and FHC) governments, and in over a dozen Governors in office right now (none of which are being investigated or suffering consequences because of it). It could be a responsibility crime, but it seems a little too convenient to consider it just now, and just on her government. 

- The President of the House of Representatives, Eduardo Cunha, only declared himself as opposition to the government after investigations on him started happening, and he is the one that authorized the process to start. He currently faces charges for having hidden accounts in Switzerland (and therefore illegal money from bribes), but the judgment always seems to have been belated… He becomes vice-president if Rousseff falls. The current vice-president is also accused of being involved in corruption scandals for personal enrichment. Funnily enough, Rousseff is one of the only politicians who have not been accused of accepting bribes or embezzlement.

What happened yesterday?

The second step of the process was completed. Congress voted on whether it should follow to the Senate, and it passed. It was a little wild, though, and clearly demonstrated that our problem is far from being just the presidency. Besides the historical event that was congress working on a weekend (and on a Friday! and on a Thursday! wow! and people showed up! lots of people!!!! I’m serious, they tend to make every weekend a long weekend), there were some funny and some terrible situations, not to mention the suspicious ones. For starters, 80% of the investigated in the latest corruption scandal voted “yes”. A couple of weeks ago, when Cunha opened the process and submitted it to a especial commission, 35 out of the 38 people who voted in favor where being investigated. The deputies had about 10 seconds to give their votes, and they made the best of it by making maybe the weirdest short speeches the world has seen. Although my favorite of the night was one congresswoman who praised her husband in the fight for corruption as mayor and woke up the next morning to the news that said husband had been arrested for corruption, the most important point was watching investigated people thanking god and claiming to end corruption for “the future of their children and families”. Near to nobody used their 10 seconds to actually defend their opinions as to Rousseff’s guilt, which tells us a lot. One person stood and sadly put that she’d vote “yes” because her party demanded it.  Another important highlight was Jair Bolsonaro’s (PSC, very conservative person about whom i’ve spoken on the blog before) disgusting speech praising and thanking one of the biggest torturers of our dictatorship as “Dilma’s terror” (she was tortured) before voting yes. He later got spit on by another deputy, which was the cool part of the night

So now the process follows to the Senate, and it will likely pass, according to the latest pools. Now that you know what happened, my personal views:

Our problem, as demonstrated by everything that happened last night, lies deeper, and taking down a government that is allowing investigations to put up a president and a vice president very much involved in corruptions is not only far from ideal, but dangerous. While Rousseff might be guilty, and an eventual trial against her could be fair - this is not a defense to her clearly poor management (although you can’t Impeach a president for being bad at their job here) or to her actions - to think that we will rise above corruption once she is out, or to think that we can overthrown the rest of the corruption once Temer and Cunha hold office is, to say the very least, naive. Blindsided by hate and manipulated by big media outlets, Brazilians are on their way to miss the biggest opportunity to fight corruption we ever had: Rousseff’s government.