Brazil’s government in crisis – the Guardian briefing

The Guardian, 03/17/2016

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the government, as a gathering corruption scandal threatened to engulf the president and her predecessor.

Earlier Dilma Rousseff appointed Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva as her chief of staff, in what was widely seen by her critics as an attempt to shield him from prosecution over alleged corruption and money-laundering. Under Brazilian law, only the supreme court can authorise the investigation, imprisonment and trial of cabinet members.

Hours after Lula’s appointment, a judge investigating a corruption scandal at the state-run oil company Petrobras released a number of secretly taped phone calls between Lula and Rousseff, which appeared to suggest that the job offer had indeed been made to protect the former president.

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