Is another Brazilian president going down?
It's been a year of scandals and more scandals down in Brazil. As you may a recall, the president reelected in 2012 was recently removed over corruption.
It appears that the new guy may be facing a load of problems as well. Corruption is knocking on his door, too.
To make matters more complicated, President Michel Temer ordered troops to put down a protest:
Besieged by protests, Brazil's president on Wednesday deployed federal troops to restore order in the capital, Brasília, after demonstrators calling for his ouster clashed with security forces.
Defense Minister Raul Jungmann went on national television on Wednesday afternoon to insist that President Michel Temer was only trying to restore calm in the capital by calling in the troops to patrol some areas. One of the city's iconic modernist buildings, the Agriculture Ministry, was set on fire, and other government buildings were vandalized during the mayhem. Regional officials in Brasília put the number of protesters on Wednesday around 35,000.
"A protest that was supposed to be peaceful deteriorated into violence, vandalism and disrespect," Mr. Jungmann said.
While supporters of the move say the capital must remain calm and functioning, the use of the armed forces in Brazil touches a nerve among critics of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, a period known for human rights abuses and the restriction of civil liberties.
Jairo Nicolau, a professor of political science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said the move to call in the armed forces was a "mistake."
It is probably a mistake, indeed.
First, it is irresponsible for crowds to get out of control and attack property or security forces. So I understand the show of force to maintain order.
Second, people in Brazil are frustrated with the corruption. It seems like a new scandal hits the front pages every day.
Third, the anger is also driven by a terrible recession – the worst in decades.
As a Brazilian friend said: "It's one thing to have corruption when the country is booming. It's another thing to have these people steal money when the rest of us are suffering."
So Brazil floats along, but the anger is getting worse. Don't be surprised if Brazil has a new president soon!
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