Category Archives: Brazil

Brazil’s congressional committee votes in favour of impeaching Dilma Rousseff | World news | The Guardian

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff began a week that could make or break her administration with a bruising defeat in a Congressional impeachment committee.

After a bad-natured and at times chaotic debate, the members on the committee voted 38 to 27 to proceed with a motion to remove the Workers’ party leader from office for puffing up government accounts before the 2014 election.

Their decision sets the stage for a full vote of the lower house – most likely this weekend – on whether to approve the country’s first presidential impeachment.

Brazil’s congressional committee votes in favour of impeaching Dilma Rousseff | World news | The Guardian

Insider’s Account of How Graft Fed Brazil’s Political Crisis – The New York Times

The silver-haired senator from Brazil’s western frontier was still in his pajamas when federal police agents banged on the door of his suite at the Royal Tulip, the futuristic luxury hotel that serves as a bastion for much of Brazil’s political elite. It was 6 a.m.

The agents were armed with a secret recording that sounded like the plot for a Hollywood thriller. The senator, Delcídio do Amaral, had been caught detailing an elaborate plan for an oilman ensnared in Brazil’s spiraling graft scandal to flee the country on a private plane.

Mr. Amaral, 61, was until his arrest in Brasília that morning in late November the governing party’s most powerful leader in the Senate. He quickly sought a plea agreement, but prosecutors let him fester in prison for weeks, making a deal only after the disgraced senator provided one stunning disclosure after another that betrayed his former comrades and brought the government of President Dilma Rousseff ever closer to collapse.

Insider’s Account of How Graft Fed Brazil’s Political Crisis – The New York Times

Graft | Define Graft at Dictionary.com

the acquisition of money, gain, or advantage by dishonest, unfair, or illegal means, especially through the abuse of one’s position or influence in politics, business, etc.

Graft | Define Graft at Dictionary.com

I think graft is more associated with corruption in the government. Corruption in business is likely to be given some other name.

It is during the good times that all kinds of problems slowly build up. Then there is crash. The crash is not the problem. The crash is the solution. The problem is all the stuff (bad decisions, bad ideas and corruption) you can’t see that built up during the good times. If the crash is not allowed to happen, or it is cut short, that just makes everything worse.

Now you are getting a glimpse of the problems in Brazil that were hidden before. Bad decisions are not illegal, so you tend not to hear about those.

Brazil president warns of ‘putsch’ ahead of impeachment vote | GlobalPost

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday she was the victim of a coup as her allies horse-traded frantically for enough votes to ride out an impeachment drive.

“Impeachment is a putschist process that is out of line with the country’s trajectory since returning to democracy,” Rousseff said in a speech in Brasilia, referring to the end of Brazil’s two-decade military dictatorship in 1985.

A months-long crisis reducing Latin America’s biggest country to political paralysis ahead of the Rio Olympics deepened Tuesday when Rousseff’s leftist Workers’ Party lost its main coalition partner.

Brazil president warns of ‘putsch’ ahead of impeachment vote | GlobalPost

Brazil’s Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says: magazine | Reuters

A senator accused of involvement in Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal said President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula were both aware of it and tried to block prosecutors from investigating, Veja magazine said on Saturday.

In an interview with Brazil’s best-selling weekly news magazine, Senator Delcidio do Amaral said Rousseff’s successful presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014 were financed with money from the graft scheme.

Amaral was the leader of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) in the Senate and a close Rousseff ally until he was arrested in November on charges of attempting to bribe a former executive of state-run oil company Petrobras in exchange for his silence in the investigation..

Brazil’s Rousseff knew about bribery scheme, senator says: magazine | Reuters

I

n one short outburst, Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva summed up his party’s predicament more succinctly than most analysts. “The president of the lower house is screwed, the president of the senate is screwed, I don’t know how many congressman are under threat, and everyone is in the belief that a miracle will save them,” he tells President Dilma Rousseff on the phone shortly after being detained for questioning this month over corruption at state oil company Petrobras. 

The conversation, which was secretly tapped by federal police, was made public this week along with tens of others by Sérgio Moro, the crusading judge leading the sweeping graft probe. 

Brazil’s Lula wiretaps mark watershed moment – FT.com

Why Brazil is freaking out

You can’t make this stuff up.

A current president shields a former president from investigation by appointing him to her cabinet. Then a judge annuls the appointment.

Billionaires, corporate execs and politicians are jailed in a massive corruption scandal. Huge protests call for the impeachment of the president, Dilma Rousseff. Oh, and the economy is tanking while its stock market is soaring.

This is the story of Brazil.

Once a star economic performer, Brazil is now deep in recession, sparked by the gargantuan bribery scandal at Petrobras, the state-run oil company, and a sharp decline in commodity prices.

Why Brazil is freaking out – Mar. 17, 2016

Brazilians protest as Lula, under investigation, gets Cabinet position – The Washington Post

Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets at the end of an extraordinary day in a worsening political situation as an enormous political corruption scandal threatened two of their most powerful leaders.

Many were protesting the decision by President Dilma Rousseff to make her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva her chief of staff. Others, in smaller numbers, defended her Workers’ Party government. The protests came just days after hundreds of thousands of Brazilians had called for Rousseff’s impeachment and an end to corruption in massed street demonstrations across the country.

Lula, as the former union leader and two-times Workers’ Party president is known here, is being investigated for his alleged role in a multi-billion-dollar scheme in which kickbacks and bribes were paid on fat contracts at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Brazilians protest as Lula, under investigation, gets Cabinet position – The Washington Post

This just makes me want to shake my head in utter amazement. Calling Dilma. Is anyone home?

Arrest of Lula, hero to millions, in corruption probe stuns Brazil | Reuters

Now, prosecutors allege that Lula’s administration oversaw a huge kickback scheme through Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras that provided funding for the campaigns that kept his Workers’ Party in power for the past 13 years.

“We could never have imagined what’s happening now in Brazil,” said Gil Castello Branco, founder of Contas Abertas, a government accountability watchdog in the capital, Brasilia. “Civil society is now truly believing in a new era, with less corruption and impunity.”

Lula was not formally charged on Friday and was released after three hours of questioning by police.

But prosecutors say there is strong evidence that illicit money was used to finance Workers’ Party campaigns and that Lula received payments and favors from companies in exchange for contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is officially known.

Arrest of Lula, hero to millions, in corruption probe stuns Brazil | Reuters

Yes, it is during the good times that the problems are created and start to grow. And they grow for a long time too. Then a recession comes along to shine a spotlight on a few of them – the most obvious.

Exclusive: Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed | Reuters

Brazil’s top health official said on Monday that the Zika virus outbreak is proving to be worse than believed because most cases show no symptoms, but improved testing should allow the country to get a better grip on the burgeoning public health crisis.

Health Minister Marcelo Castro told Reuters that Brazil will start mandatory reporting of cases by local governments next week when most states will have labs equipped to test for Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has quickly spread through Latin America. The virus has no vaccine or cure at present.

On Monday, the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak to be a global emergency, a decision that should help fast-track international action and research priorities.

Exclusive: Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed | Reuters

Goldman Sachs Calls Brazil a ‘Mess’ After Warning on Depression – Bloomberg Business

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the crisis in Brazil will get worse before it gets better after the bank last year warned that Latin America’s largest economy was being dragged into a depression.

“Brazil is a mess,” Alberto Ramos, the chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs, said at an event organized by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York on Wednesday. “Number 10 used to mean Pele. Now it’s inflation rate, unemployment rate and the popularity rate of the president.”

Goldman Sachs Calls Brazil a ‘Mess’ After Warning on Depression – Bloomberg Business