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Brazil’s president impeached, crime escalates

Brazil’s senate voted to remove recently suspended President Dilma Rousseff from office on Wednesday, August 31.

Foto Oficial Presidenta Dilma Rousseff.  Foto: Roberto Stuckert Filho.
Foto Oficial Presidenta Dilma Rousseff. Foto: Roberto Stuckert Filho.

Roussef was impeached for “fiscal irregularities” after a five-month long suspension that was a result of the president’s corrupt tactics to hide the extent of the country’s financial problems. Michel Temer, Roussef’s successor, was sworn in as president shortly after her removal, according to USA today.

USA Today reported that Brazil’s economy slid into a deep recession after a global slowdown decreased the value of its exports and that the economy has been deteriorating even further since Roussef’s re-election. Because the economy is doing so poorly, Brazil is seeing its crime rates go up. “Growing up I never heard of any protest but after she had become elected there were so many protests all over the country,” said Jennifer Johnson, a junior nursing major who was raised in Brazil.“The economy is driving normally honest people to do crazy things.”

Jessica Jansma, an MK from Brazil, said that because the economic decline occurred during Roussef’s time in office, most of the people blame her. Jansma has friends who have seen the effects of the recession and the high crime rate first hand. “There are pirates on the river, people are shooting their neighbors.”

“The economy is driving normally honest people to do crazy things.”

Jessica Jansma, an MK from Brazil, said that because the economic decline occurred during Roussef’s time in office, most of the people blame her. Jansma has friends who have seen the effects of the recession and the high crime rate first hand. “There are pirates on the river, people are shooting their neighbors.”

Roussef manipulated the government budget to preserve popular social programs to bolster her re-election in 2014, according to USA Today. Jansma said that she seems to be more popular among millennials because of these social programs, and Johnson said that the candidate who appealed to the lower-class generally got the majority vote.

Temer, formerly Brazil’s vice- president, is just as unpopular as Roussef, according to Jansma. She believes that under his leadership Brazil will see the same amount of corruption. “The people of Brazil have been protesting for two or three years to have [Roussef] impeached. It’s discouraging for the people to have the possibility of the same level of corruption,” she said.
Johnson said that the protests could be a wake-up call for Brazil. “I feel like people have the tendency to blame their problems on one person, but in reality its gonna take a lot of time for it to get better,” she added. “If the whole nation doesn’t want it, then it’s not gonna happen.”
Despite their slumping economy and political upheaval, Brazil still decided to host the summer Olympics, which was “a sacrifice for Brazil,” according to Jansma. “It’s cool to know how these people opened up their country to us.”
“The situation in Brazil is bad,” Johnson said. “But there are other countries that are way worse.” She also noted that it’s important to be aware of what’s happening in other countries, to have empathy, and to broaden your worldview.