Anger against Brazilian President Rousseff is mounting as hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets across the country, demanding her resignation. A massive corruption scandal has shaken the government.
Draped in yellow and green national flags, thousands of people chanted “Dilma out!” on Sunday in the latest wave of country-wide anti-government rallies.
The South American leftist leader is facing a giant corruption scandal and is struggling to pull the country out of an unprecedented economic crisis.
Dilma Rousseff denies involvement in an embezzlement and bribery scandal dealing with state oil company Petrobras. A bid to impeach her in Congress has stalled but it is likely to restart due to the pressure from opposition groups and street protests.
Rousseff’s key coalition partner, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) has threatened to leave the government.
The protests, which lost momentum last year, have once against gained strength as a corruption investigation nears the president’s inner circle. To add to Rousseff’s woes, her mentor – the ex-president Lula da Silva – was questioned by federal police over allegations that he benefited from the Petrobras kickbacks.
‘A decisive moment’
“We are at a decisive moment for our country. We are going to start the change now,” said Rogerio Chequer, leader of Vem Pra Rua, one of the organizers of the anti-Rousseff demonstrations.
Some 100,000 people gathered in Brasilia and over 200,000 in Rio de Janerio on Sunday, according to rally organizers and media. Anti-government protesters took to the streets in some 400 cities across Brazil.
“I came (to the rally) because I am tired to seeing so much corruption, and because I want to end the disorder that has taken over this country,” Rosilene Feitosa, a 61-year-old woman, told the AFP news agency.
The president appealed to the protesters to remain calm and criticized the opposition graffiti attack against her Worker’s Party’s student union offices in Sao Paulo.
Rousseff is the latest leftist leader in Latin America to face mass protests as a decade-long economic boom in the continent comes to an abrupt end.