A way Forward for Brazil

Jon Lee Anderson – The New Yorker, 06/01/2016

The litany of ironies that has accrued from the May 12th congressional vote that suspended Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff—on the grounds that she faked government budget figures and wrongly transferred state money, to win reëlection, in 2014—is growing rapidly. The man who is now the acting President, Michel Temer, moved with alacrity to transmogrify Brazil’s left-of-center government into an unabashedly right-wing one. In doing so, he has made a series of appalling choices.

In a country where half of the population is female and a similar percentage has African or indigenous ancestry, Temer named an all-white, all-male Cabinet. He got rid of the Ministry of Women, Racial Equality, and Human Rights, ordering it to be subsumed into the Ministry of Justice—which he promptly handed over to Alexandre de Moraes, a former security official from São Paulo who is accusedof deploying death squads to fight crime in that city. (His former office has denied the accusations.) This came at the same time as news of a horrifying case in which a sixteen-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro was gang-raped by as many as thirty-three men, some of whom filmed their abuse and posted it to social media. Under pressure from the public, Temer declared his intention to form a special task force to investigate crime against women.

Brazil’s Ministry of Culture was also slated for elimination by Temer, but, after a week of nationwide protests and building occupations by musicians, artists, and other activists, he reversed that decision.

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