Brazil’s new crisis

John Gledhill, anthropologist

As I remarked in this blog at the beginning of the sequence of events that led to the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, the supporters of the 2016 coup would be advised to think carefully about what they wished for. As the country sinks deeper into a crisis that now touches all its institutions, this seems truer than ever.

The plea bargaining testimony of executives of the Odebrecht corporation implicated politicians of different political parties, and a number of key figures in the government established by the coup, in acts of personal corruption as well as receipt of illegal campaign funding in return for favours provided to Odebrecht as a business organisation. Even before the details were made public, it was described as the “denunciation of the end of the world” from the point of view of the political establishment in Brasilia, and Odebrecht’s role as a transnational corporation rapidly…

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