Brazil is enduring one of its most acute crises since the return of democracy in the 1980s. Amid a sharp economic downturn, the combination of growing popular discontent and a massive corruption scandal involving state-controlled oil giant Petrobras and major construction companies has prevented President Dilma Rousseff’s administration from being able to govern effectively.
The remainder of Rousseff’s second term looks bleak. A lingering recession and expected rise in unemployment are likely to keep the political environment tense. Protests and strikes will occur more frequently. Add an austerity agenda, political bickering in congress and a somewhat unpredictable corruption scandal, and Rousseff will have a difficult time advancing the country’s economic recovery.