Dilma Rousseff Is Impeached by Brazil’s Lower House of Congress

Andrew Jacobs – The New York Times, 04/17/2016

BRASÍLIA — Brazilian legislators voted on Sunday night to approveimpeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the nation’s first female president, whose tenure has been buffeted by a dizzying corruption scandal, a shrinking economy and spreading disillusionment.

After three days of impassioned debate, the lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, voted to send the case against Ms. Rousseff to the Senate. Its 81 members will vote by a simple majority on whether to hold a trial on charges that the president illegally used money from state-owned banks to conceal a yawning budget deficit in an effort to bolster her re-election prospects. That vote is expected to take place next month.

Those pressing for impeachment had to win the support of two-thirds of the 513 deputies in the lower house; the decisive 342nd vote for impeachment happened at about 10:10 p.m. Eastern time. The final vote was 367 for impeachment, 137 against and 7 abstaining. Two deputies did not vote.

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Isolated, Rousseff Faces Diminishing Chances to Survive Impeachment

Paulo Sotero – Brazil Institute, 04/13/2016

The loss of support to President Dilma Rousseff intensified after the Chamber of Deputies special committee approved, on April 11, a motion to move forward with impeachment proceedings against the embattled Brazilian leader. The action is grounded on evidence that Rousseff’s government manipulated budget accounts and made unauthorized expenditures to hide an exploding fiscal deficit at the root of the country’s ongoing economic disaster.

The impeachment process has been fueled by revelations of the ongoing investigation of a $3 billion corruption scandal involving state oil giant Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company. The crimes, exposed by multiple defendants through plea bargain agreements with federal authorities, started during the administration of popular former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and continued under Rousseff. Prior to being elected president, Dilma Rousseff was minister of energy and chaired the Petrobras board of directors for five years. Although the president has not been charged in the Petrobras case, politicians closely associated with her have been arrested and accused of a variety of crimes. And she may be charged with obstruction of justice for trying to shield Lula from a criminal investigation related to Petrobras by naming him to her cabinet.

Following last month’s decisive break between the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Brazil’s largest party, and the government, other members of Rousseff’s fraying coalition have cut ties with the unpopular president, leaving her increasingly isolated to face the Chamber of Deputy plenary vote on impeachment, scheduled for April 17. Her survival depends on ensuring the allegiance of members of small parties who are driven by their interests in accessing federal agencies budgets and patronage jobs.

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Will Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff be Impeached?

Paulo Sotero – Wilson Center NOW, 04/12/2016

Will Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff be impeached? As the process progresses, the likelihood of that outcome seems to increase almost daily. Paulo Sotero, Director of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute is traveling to the country and will be there when the next vote occurs. Prior to his departure, we spoke to him about the overall situation and what we might expect next as Brazil’s political crisis unfolds.

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Brazil descends into chaos as Olympics looms

Patrick Gillespie, Paulo Sotero – CNN Money, 03/21/2016

An increasingly uncertain political backdrop is sparking widespread, and sometimes violent, protests. The country is in the midst of its worst recession in 25 years. A massive corruption scandal involving its biggest company has engulfed numerous executives and politicians. Add to that the deadly Zika virus, and you have a country in crisis mode

Concerns are rising over whether Brazil will be adequately prepared for this seminal global event. The International Olympic Committee told CNNMoney Friday that it is “very closely” watching the political events unfolding.

The Summer games begin August 5 in Rio de Janeiro, and the world spotlight will turn on a nation at a crossroads.

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Brazil Institute director Paulo Sotero on Lula charged

Paulo Cabral, Paulo Sotero – CCTV America, 03/10/2016

In Brazil, it has been nearly a week since ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was questioned and then released by police.

Now he’s facing charges in connection with a corruption scandal at the state oil company “Petrobras”.CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Paulo Sotero about the political turmoil in Brazil. He is the director of the Brazil Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar.

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The Heat: Brazil at a Crossroads

Paulo Sotero, Lucrecia Franco,  Ligia Maura Costa, Bernardo Sork, Fabio Ostermann – CCTV, 01/28/2016

Political upheaval, economic downturn and corruption scandals: Brazil is at a crossroads.

So, what’s the way forward for a Latin American giant in crisis? 2015 was not Brazil’s easiest year. Several widespread protests across the country called for change. Confidence in president Dilma Rousseff reached a record low. A scandal at state-run oil conglomerate Petrobras exposed corruption. All while the economy stagnated and began a free fall. 2016 hasn’t started off much better either. For a Brazilian perspective, from Rio de Janeiro, The Heat was joined by CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco. To discuss the current political and economic climate: Ligia Maura Costa is a professor of legal studies at Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo. Bernardo Sorj is a professor of Sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. To discuss Brazil’s future and the youth movement: Fabio Ostermann is one of the founders and a former coordinator of Movimento Brasil Livre. Paulo Sotero is director of the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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Brazil tries to rebuild relations with U.S. after NSA spying scandal

Jackie Northam – NPR, 6/30/2015

It’s rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that’s what happened two years ago when Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S. had been spying on her and her top aides.

The Brazilian leader is now trying to let bygones be bygones, and is in Washington, D.C., to visit with President Obama.

Rousseff’s decision to cancel the state visit — with its formal dinners and high-profile meetings — threw a strong and robust bilateral relationship into disarray, says Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.

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