Date
19 November 2017
An estimated one million protesters march through the main street in Sao Paulo, the country's financial capital. Photo: Reuters
An estimated one million protesters march through the main street in Sao Paulo, the country's financial capital. Photo: Reuters

Huge Brazil protests demand Rousseff ouster

More than one million protesters took to the streets across Brazil on Sunday to demand the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

They were blaming her for a sluggish economy, rising prices and corruption, Reuters reported Monday.

A fifth year of economic stagnation and a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at state-run energy company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) fueled their anger.

However, Rousseff, early into a second four-year term, is unlikely to resign or face impeachment. 

Aecio Neves, a centrist who was narrowly defeated by Rousseff in October and is the leader of Brazil’s main opposition party, said Brazilians “went to the streets to reunite with their virtues, their values and also with their dreams”.

In a statement Saturday, Roussef said she supports the rights of the marchers, adding she hopes the demonstrations would illustrate Brazil’s “democratic maturity” ahead of the 30th anniversary of the end of a two-decade military dictatorship, 

Sunday’s gatherings were mostly calm and festive, with little of the violence that tarnished a wave of massive demonstrations in 2013 when Brazilians protested billions of dollars of spending in a economic slump to host the 2014 World Cup of soccer.

In Sao Paulo, more than a million people braved a drizzle to march along skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista, the heart of Brazil’s financial capital and biggest city by late afternoon, according to state police.

“People feel betrayed, said Diogo Ortiz, a 32-year-old advertising worker who called the ongoing scandal at Petrobras “a national and international disgrace”.

Earlier, thousands of residents of Rio de Janeiro poured onto the Copacabana waterfront of Brazil’s second largest city. Most dressed in the blue, green and yellow of Brazil’s flag. Crowds sang the national anthem and shouted “Dilma, Out!”

Many protesters came from the country’s wealthier classes who traditionally oppose the ruling Workers’ Party.

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CG/RA

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