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News #OcupaBrasilia - Brazil's Protests

  1. Mar 17, 2016 #1
    Is anyone following Brazil's current political situation?

    Brazil's unrest is worse than ever, with ongoing protests on more than 15 cities against the current government of 'Workers Party'. The economic crisis in Brazil, caused by the lowered commodity prices, namely crude oil, and the various corruption scandals on public companies, such as in Petrobras, that came to light, and which involve many high figures of the current executive (including the president Dilma Rousseff) sparked the ongoing protests that already last for months.

    Ex-president of Brazil and of the Workers Party, Lula da Silva, is also under investigation for corruption, and the current government decision of nominating him as a minister in the current executive, so he'd be able to avoid the local courts, only worsened the situation for them.

    Meanwhile his nomination was revoked by the courts, which decided that he couldn't be nominated while under investigation after all (http://www.dn.pt/mundo/interior/brasil-juiz-suspende-posse-de-lula-na-casa-civil-5082195.html)

    The judicial operation 'Lava-Jato' ("Jet Cleaning"), which is investigating and forming accusations on the basis of corruption, is investigating 16 companies that have close ties with Brazil's government, and already led to a condemnation of 93 people (http://www.bahianoticias.com.br/not...to-soma-penas-de-990-anos-aos-condenados.html). The latest convicted was Marcelo Odebrecht, on 8th March 2016, who was sentenced for 19 years in prison for bribing Petrobas executives.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2016 #2


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    I read about Brazil from time to time in The Economist and it has been my impression and that your statement that the crisis is CAUSED by lower commodity prices is very misleading. Lower commodity prices have indeed brought to light the root cause of the problem but that cause is the systemic corruption that you mention, not the commodity prices. If commodity prices had remained high, the corruption would not have come to light so blatantly in the short run but the kind of corruption that it appears is systemic in Brazil cannot go on forever without becoming a serious problem for the country, high commodity prices or not.

    That is particularly true today as opposed to, say, 25 or 30 years ago when corruption in other countries was mostly ignored by most governments around the world and companies were free to work in that atmosphere of corruption even thought they would never be allowed that kind of latitude in their home countries. Heck, American companies PROMOTED corruption in many countries because they made it work well for their bottom line, but that is no longer acceptable and corrupt countries are having more and more trouble attracting direct foreign investment from countries other than China and China is having its own problems now and while it is still a significant factor, it is becoming less of a factor in Africa and South America than it has been for the last 10 or 15 years.
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