An impeachment is a violent and abrupt blow in any democratic system. After continuous years of poor economic performance and several corruption scandals, it is understandable that people will claim for change. However, one should acknowledge that not every change is necessarily positive. In a country like Brazil, where working people are struggling to survive, and ruling classes’ profits are reducing, it is easy to grasp that vulnerable people will end up paying the bill. Therefore, in the young Brazilian democracy, an impeachment may put at stake core social programs implemented in the last decade.
Brazil’s current government – headed by the president Dilma Roussef, from the central/left wing Worker’s Party (PT) – can be criticized for several reasons. Even when the government had majority in the Congress, it has never promoted some deep and necessary social transformations: programs benefiting low income people were never converted into established rights; agrarian, tributary, migratory or political reforms were never undertaken; and government’s economics management is a mess, to say the least. Furthermore, to achieve “governability” the Worker’s Party entered into alliance with a conservative and backward political group that have ruled Brazil for several years. Now, it is precisely this conservative political group, and a criminal gang that sits in the National Parliament leaded by the Lower House’s President, Eduardo Cunha, that are carrying on an impeachment process against Dilma Roussef.
From 594 politicians in the Parliament, 352 face accusations of criminality. Ironically, so far there are no criminal charges against the president herself. This makes one wonder about what happens behind the curtains of this process, that the established government has calling a coup. It is especially significant that every single president elected before Dilma made the same economic ploy that is grounding the impeachment claim against her. And the same ]did the vice-president and “coup-captain” Michel Underwood Temer. As did 16 current state governors in Brazil. Will all they receive the same strict treatment?
Historically, Brazil is a country where most politicians form a class for themselves, putting forward very personal platforms, instead of representing the people who vote for them. The novelty now is that corrupt politicians and their partners in crime are going to the jail, which scares many powerful people. On the whole, maybe this is not a coup, but it is certainly a dreadful pattern many times witnessed in Latin America: a plot from a political mafia who seeks for impunity and to restate old privileges, at expense of working people and tax payers.