Don’t wear red in Brazil as Rousseff crisis divides public

Sabrina Valle and David Biller – Bloomberg, 03/30/2016

Raquel Varjao, an advertising professional in Sao Paulo, had just picked up her 7-year-old daughter from school when three passing motorists cursed her. The offense: wearing a red shirt.

“They felt entitled to verbally attack me and in front of her,” the 35-year-old mother said after dressing recently in the color associated with President Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party. “Why do ideological disagreements need to get to this point?”

Rousseff’s impeachment saga is disrupting the rhythm of everyday life across Brazil, a nation with a largely peaceful history and political tolerance since its return to democracy in 1985. In barrooms, chat rooms and above all on the streets, the debate over her possible ouster is growing more hostile and bringing latent class and partisan divisions back to the fore.

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