How Brazil’s political system came to its current crisis
The political crisis that led to the impeachment of Brazil’s elected President, Dilma Rousseff, has gained extensive international press coverage. Media reporting efforts have put great emphasis on the scale of Petrobras’ corruption scandal. This editorial approach is understandable given the massive number of actors implicated (both from the public and private sector) and the amount of money involved in the case. Over 200 people are being investigated, 174 have been indicted and current misappropriation estimates run above 3 billion dollars. An operation of this magnitude, incriminating key decision-makers of the political system, calls for the strengthening of public accountability. However, media coverage has so far largely failed to highlight the underlying structural causes that have led to the current crisis and the erosion of public trust.
The main challenge for the Brazilian political system is its fragmentation, leading to dysfunctions…
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