Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment—What’s Next for the Biggest Country in South America

By: Laura Monteiro

She was the tip of the iceberg! On August 31, 2016, Brazilians were anxious to learn about the results of President Dilma Rouseff’s impeachment process. To their relief, the country first’s female president was removed from office with more than two-thirds of the congressional votes that are needed. [1] She was charged with manipulating the federal budget in attempts to conceal the nation’s economic problems caused by the corruption accumulated during the thirteen years of the leftists Workers’ Party (PT) government. [2] The vice-president, Michael Temer, is currently leading the country and will stay in office until elections in 2018. [3]

Dilma’s impeachment came amid investigations into a corruption scandal. [4] Brazil, as many other South American countries, has had a long history of corruption among its politicians. [5] However, up to date, this scandal has been the biggest bribery scandal in the world. Operation carwash, locally known as operação lava jato, is the biggest and most shocking scandal to date in Brazil’s history. [6] This scandal has affected the country socially, economically and politically; it has also revealed the extent to which corruption has penetrated the country’s economy. [7]

Operation carwash exposed that directors of Petrobras, the largest state-owned oil company, were secretly diverting funds form company contracts to their own pockets. [8] Furthermore, these directors, who were appointed by PT party members, were also diverting funds to the pockets of PT politicians, including Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former president. [9] Furthermore, operation carwash exposed that the largest construction companies in the country, including Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão, and Camargo Corrêa, were involved in this scheme. [10] This allowed the individuals involved in the scheme to personally accumulate funds of more than U$100m and hide it in Swiss bank accounts. [11] Up to date, “investigators have uncovered R$6.2bn in bribes paid and total losses to the state at between R$29bn and R$42bn. [Investigators] have charged 179 people with criminal offences and secured 93 convictions.” [12] Now, the world’s fourth largest democracy has to recover from its worst recession since the 1930s, with its GDP falling for six straight quarters. [13]

Brazil has consequently experienced various negative economic repercussions due to Dilma’s impeachment and the exposure of the corruption scandal. The economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015 and the International Monetary Fund is predicting that it will further shrink another 3.3 percent in 2016. [14] The country’s unemployment rate reached 11.6 percent in July, which is an 8.6 percent increase compared to 2015. [15] Additionally, the budget deficit is on track to reach almost U$48 billion by the end of 2016. [16]

The negative consequences are not only affecting the domestic sphere; they are also affecting Brazil’s international relations with other countries. Leftist Latin American governments, such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, have taken Dilma’s impeachment as an attack against their own governments. [17] Venezuela’s president, Maduro, has stated that “this coup d’etat isn’t just against Dilma. It is against Latin America and the Caribbean.” [18] Consequently, with the vice-president now in leadership, tension has risen between Brazil and Venezuela. <a href="http://www prix pour du viagra.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-impeachment-diplomacy-idUSKCN116341″>[19] Moreover, with the economic downturn, international investors are not investing as much money into Brazil, which severely impacts the country’s economy. [20]

As Brazil attempts to climb out of this economic hole, current President Temer has a very difficult job in his hands. To assist in the recuperation of the country’s economy, he will most likely have to expand foreign relations in order to attract international players.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.