Less than a year after reelecting President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil finds itself gridlocked in a self-inflicted crisis of a complexity without precedent and no resolution in sight. With impeachment looming, Rousseff’s tenure in power is increasingly uncertain. The country, viewed once as an emerging powerhouse in the global scene, is politically paralyzed in the face of a full-fledged recession made worse by a federal investigation and prosecution of a corruption allegation of biblical proportions involving state oil giant Petrobras, leading construction companies, and the main political parties of Rousseff’s government coalition.
A discredited leader, approved now by less than 10% of the voters, the lowest on record, Rousseff has resisted calls to step down. She has also vowed to fight attempts of removing her from office through an impeachment process, which is supported by a significant majority of Brazilians in opinion polls and could gain traction in the coming weeks. On Saturday September 5, the Federal Supreme Tribunal, Brazil’s highest court, authorized the federal prosecutor’s office to move ahead with investigations on campaign finance fraud involving two members of the president’s inner circle, including the minister of media affairs, Edinho Silva, who was treasurer of her 2014 presidential campaign.