Rousseff Appeals to Senators Before Brazil Impeachment Trial

Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 08/16/2016

Dilma Rousseff appealed to Brazilian voters and legislators less than 10 days before her impeachment trial starts in the Senate, pledging to hold a plebiscite on new elections if she survives in office.

Rousseff presented her case in a four-page letter to the Brazilian people and Senate on Tuesday, reading the text to reporters in Brasilia without taking any questions. She was flanked by some of her former ministers.

 “The solution to the political and economic crisis we face is through the popular vote,” she said. “Democracy is the only way to build a partnership for national unity.”

Bernie Sanders Fails To Influence Vote, In Brazil

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 08/16/2016

It’s all the rage to try and influence votesin another nation. Everybody’s doing it, so why not Bernie?

Last week, Sanders put out a statement against the pending impeachment of Brazil’s suspended first lady president Dilma Rousseff. He noted that “many observers” continue to say that her ouster resembles a coup d’état. His statement made the rounds on social media, thrown about by Dilma supporters looking for some affirmation from afar that they’re in the right. His statement was perfectly timed, too. That night, the Senate was voting on whether or not to actually hold the impeachment trial after gathering all the evidence needed against her. They needed 54 votes. They got 59. Bernie backed the wrong horse. Dilma is a goner.

Where Sanders got these ideas about Brazil is unknown. After seven days, five emails and phone calls to their press office, no one returns requests for comments. So something that was supposed to be a mere news article, is now going to be an op-ed.

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Brazil’s Senate Votes to Move Ahead with Dilma Rousseff’s Trial

Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 08/10/2016

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Senate voted in the early hours of Wednesday to push forward with the impeachment trial of Dilma Rousseff, the president who was suspended in May, an important step that could result in her final removal from office.

The trial in the Senate, which will be overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, is expected to take place this month. After hours of debate in the capital, Brasília, senators voted 59 to 21 to indict her on charges of budgetary manipulation, formally making her a defendant.

 Although only a simple majority was needed in Wednesday’s vote, the number of senators that went against Ms. Rousseff exceeded the two-thirds that would be needed to oust her permanently when a final vote is held after the trial ends.

Brazil Congress Investigates Lawmaker’s Alleged Support of Torture

Reuters/The New York Times, 06/28/2016

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s Congress on Tuesday opened an ethics investigation into Jair Bolsonaro, an outspoken lawmaker whose views on torture, rape and homosexuality are sparking concern that the country’s political crisis may foster an authoritarian political revival.

The ethics committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress, will try to determine if Bolsonaro, a former Brazilian Army paratrooper, broke parliamentary decorum when he prefaced his vote in April to impeach President Dilma Rousseff with a speech praising Army Colonel Carlos Ustra.

Courts have found Ustra, a notorious Army intelligence officer during the 1964-1985 military regime, responsible for torture. Rousseff, a former left-wing insurgent, was tortured by Ustra’s Army intelligence unit.

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With her job on the line, Brazil’s Rousseff has cleared out her office

Lisandra Paradguassu – Reuters, 05/10/2016

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has packed up personal photos and stripped the shelves in her third-floor office in the Planalto presidential palace – a sign she may be resigned to losing her job in a Senate vote on Wednesday.

In what could be one of her final meetings as president, Rousseff received the secretary general of the Organization of American States on Tuesday, as guards tried to stop photographers from documenting signs of an impending move.

Though government lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to stop the Senate vote, an aide said privately the leftist Rousseff expects to receive official notice on Thursday of her suspension on charges of violating budget laws.

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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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Brazil senate passes World Cup bill, lifts ban on beer sales

Maria Luiza Rabello – Bloomberg, 05/10/2012

Brazil’s Senate yesterday approved a set of rules needed for the country to host the 2014 soccer World Cup, including the lifting of a federal ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks in stadiums during the tournament.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world’s largest brewer, extended in October its beer sponsorship for the FIFA World Cup through 2022. The legislation now needs to be signed by President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazil currently bans consumption of alcoholic beverages at sporting events held in stadiums because of concern it fuels violence. Five of the 12 Brazilian states that will host World Cup games still have local laws that prohibit sales of alcohol in stadiums and may have to suspend them, Senator Ana Amelia de Lemos, a member of the government coalition and one of the sponsors of the bill, told reporters in Brasilia yesterday.

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Brazil senate moves to expel lawmaker linked to crime

Fox News Latino/EFE, 05/06/2012

The Brazilian Senate’s Ethics Committee decided Tuesday to begin the process of expelling Sen. Demostenes Torres, who is accused of being part of an organization that runs gambling rackets.

The decision was made unanimously by the 15 members of the committee, who are convinced that there are reliable indications of close links between Torres and businessman Carlos Augusto Ramos, known as “Carlinhos Cachoeira” and the purported head of the criminal outfit.

Court-authorized wiretaps of Cachoeira, who has been under arrest since February, revealed his close connection to Torres.

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House of horrors

The Economist, 07/09/2009

The president of Brazil’s Senate sits in a fine blue leather chair designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a celebrated Brazilian architect. Comfortable it may be, but its occupants have also found it to be an insecure perch. Three senate presidents have been suspended or have resigned because of scandals in the past eight years. Now a fourth, José Sarney, a former president of Brazil and part-time novelist, is teetering.

The Senate has just 81 members but somehow they require almost 10,000 staff to take care of them. Many of these are appointed as favours to senators’ friends or political supporters. One former staffer says that his fellow-employees used to say that the senate was like a mother to them. Others liken it to a country club. The benefits of membership include free health insurance for life for all senators and their families, generous pension arrangements and housing allowances. This much was already familiar to Brazilians and, perhaps, not so different from the goings on in many other legislatures around the world.

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