Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Brazil's Corruption, Socioeconomic Woes and Political Intrigue Overshadow the Olympics

The scourge of corruption has embroiled Brazil in a morass of complex political intrigue. Brazil's economy has contracted by 3 percent this year and although the country is in a deep recession, it is still the world's fifth largest economy. Brazil's difficulties extend far beyond serious fiscal hardships, the nation is also rife with sexism, racism and human rights abuses.

In May of this year Brazil's President was suspended after holding office for less than six years. Despite pulling millions of people out of poverty, a majority of Brazilian senators voted to launch an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. She is the country's first female President and her government swore in 15 female ministers. Rousseff is a 68-year-old economist and she was removed amid allegations that she broke budget rules and manipulated economic data.

Michel Temer the former "decorative" vice president assumed the role of interim president. Although he is facing charges of his own, he appointed an all male cabinet marking the first time that women have been excluded from the Brazilian cabinet since the 1970s. He also shut down the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights.

Many tens of thousands of women have protested what is being called the traitorous Terner coup in major cities across Brazil. They decried what they see as a war against women, minorities and social programs.

It is believed that a probe into kickbacks from state-run oil company Petrobras led to Rousseff's impeachment. Petrobras is one of several fossil fuel companies that has been linked to corruption. As a consequence Petrobras has recently been removed from the Nasdaq Sustainability Index. Petrobras has contributed R$3,500,000.00 towards the Rio Olympic games.

New national elections are scheduled for 2018. In the interim the acting president has the support of only 1 percent of the electorate and more than half of Brazilians have indicated that they want him impeached too.

A 440 page Senate report was released on August 2 and it finds Roussef guilty of violating the constitution by manipulating government accounts. The final phase of the impeachment will unfold at the end of August or Early September.

With the world's eyes on Brazil for the Olympic games this crisis could not be unfolding at a worse time.

Related
Glory Eclipsed by Shame at the Rio Summer Games: A Social and Environmental Review of Brazil
Sustainability at the Rio Olympic Games: More Green Promises More Green Lies
Sustainability Comparisons Between Rio 2016, the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Brazilian World Cup
Olympic Sized Greenwashing at the Sochi Olympics
The Farce of Putin's "Green" Olympics
Russia Imprisons Environmental Activists Ahead of the Sochi Olympics
The Future of the Winter Olympics is Being Threatened by Climate Change
Video - Greenwash at the Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010
Declining Levels of Snow and the End of Winter
London 2012: The Greenest Olympics in Modern History

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