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Record Brazil Protests Put Rousseff’s Future in Doubt
International

Record Brazil Protests Put Rousseff’s Future in Doubt

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians flooded the streets on Sunday in the biggest-ever protests calling for President Dilma Rousseff’s removal, reflecting rising popular anger that could encourage Congress to impeach the leftist leader.
The demonstrations were the latest in a wave of anti-government rallies that lost momentum late last year but have regained strength as a sweeping corruption investigation nears Rousseff’s inner circle, Reuters reported.
From the Amazon jungle city of Manaus to the business hub of Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia, protesters marched in a nationwide call for Rousseff to step down, raising pressure on lawmakers to back ongoing impeachment proceedings against her that just a few weeks ago appeared to be doomed.
Police estimates from more than 150 cities compiled by news website G1 showed around 3 million Brazilians participated in the demonstrations. Some police estimates of previous protests have proved to be exaggerated.
Polling firm Datafolha estimated 500,000 demonstrators in Sao Paulo, the biggest rally in the city’s history and more than twice the size of a major protest a year ago. The military police put the figure at 1.4 million at the height of the demonstration.
Government sources contacted by Reuters acknowledged the demonstrations were bigger than anti-government rallies in March 2015, which gathered as many as 1 million people.
Many blame Rousseff for sinking the economy into its worst recession in at least 25 years. Opinion polls show that more than half of Brazilians favor the impeachment of the president, reelected for a second four-year term in 2014.
Rousseff, who insists she will not quit, is the latest leftist leader in Latin America to face upheaval as a decade-long commodities boom that fueled breakneck growth and social spending comes to an abrupt end.
As in previous protests, Sunday’s rallies were led by middle-class Brazilians angry over growing allegations of corruption in Rousseff’s administration. No violence was reported.
The demonstrators took aim at politicians from across the spectrum, including Rousseff’s opponents, as they vented their frustration with a ruling class that has been widely exposed in the graft probe, known as “Operation Carwash”.
Dozens of companies and senior business executives have also been implicated.

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