Brazil

In response to a recent vote in the lower house of Brazil’s parliament in favour of impeaching Workers’ Party (PT) President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s two main coalitions of social movements issued the statement below on April 17. Rousseff is under attack over a series of corruption scandals, but the forces allied against her — the political, media and corporate elite — have themselves been implicated in corruption. Many in Brazil, including left opponents of Rousseff’s government, see the impeachment as an institutional coup by the right wing.
Brazilian House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who is leading a fierce attempt to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, has been implicated in the Panama Papers for receiving bribes linked to offshore companies involved in the country’s Petrobras state oil scandal, TeleSUR English said on April 4. Cunha was paid bribes allegedly funded by Portuguese business mogul Idalecio de Castro Rodrigues de Oliveira. According to the leaks, Oliveira owned a conglomerate of 14 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands from 2003 to 2011.
Every so often, the bourgeois political system runs into crisis. The machinery of the state jams; the veils of consent are torn asunder and the tools of power appear disturbingly naked. Brazil is living through one of those moments: it is dreamland for social scientists; a nightmare for everyone else.
The dam took just half-an-hour to entomb half the village of Bento Rodrigues in 18 metres of iron-ore tailings, reddish mud and water slurry. A “mountain tsunami” is how firefighters in Mariana, in Minas Gerais in south-eastern Brazil, described the bursting of mining company Samarco Santarem’s iron-ore tailings dam on November 5. Marcos de Eufrasio, a 38-year-old stonemason who was cutting rock on that sunny afternoon, said that, from nowhere, he heard a “mighty roar”.
In what could be a historic move for reparations, car manufacturer Volkswagen has opened dialogue with the Brazilian government to negotiate compensation for the German multinational’s support of Brazil’s 1964-’85 dictatorship. Volkswagen was among many private companies that backed Brazil’s military dictatorship financially and operationally. Corporate complicity was revealed by Brazil's Truth Commission that investigated dictatorship-era crimes against humanity.
South America’s largest country, Brazil, has been rocked in recent months by a political crisis, partly fuelled by mass protests calling for the removal of centre-left President Dilma Rousseff. The protests come as the country officially moves into recession, with Brazil’s economy expected to contract by 2% this year. Brazil has been governed by a Workers’ Party (PT)-led coalition for over a decade, firstly under Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva and now Dilma, as she is commonly known.
Photo: CUT. About 1 million people across Brazil protested on August 20 against right-wing attempts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. The marches were joined by Brazil's big social movements, including the Movement of Landless Workers (MST) and the United Workers' Central (CUT), the largest trade union federation in Latin America.
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama. The seventh Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City on April 10 and 11, was widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
Right-wing protesters swarmed ministerial buildings in the Brazilian capital Brasilia and along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on March 15. The protests were part of nationwide demonstrations calling for the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Huge protests took place in 65 cities across the country, involving hundreds of thousands of people. Protesters claim that the recently elected president should be impeached due to a corruption scandal in the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
In an interview with Pagina do MST's Iris Pacheco, Alexandre Conceicao, a national leader of the Movement of Rural Landless Workers (MST), said social movements played a fundamental role in the October 26 re-election of President Dilma Rousseff, the candidate of the Workers' Party (PT). Dilma won 51%, defeating her main rival, Aecio Neves. The interview, below, was translated by Federico Fuentes. * * *

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