The Good News in Brazil's Two-Headed Crisis

By Vivek Ramkumar | Contributor
April 22, 2016, at 3:54 p.m.

The past year has been a tumultuous one for Brazil. The fall in global commodity prices has led to an economic recession in the country. A massive corruption scandal surrounding procurement contracts issued over multiple years by Petrobras, the state-owned oil company, has been uncovered and dominated national news.

On the political front, the crisis runs even deeper. Last weekend, Brazil's lower house of the national legislature approved a motion to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. Her fate now moves to the country's Senate. The impeachment proceedings are based on charges that the government fudged its accounts to hide the true magnitude of the budget deficit. Many people in the country see the impeachment effort as a cynical move to deflect attention away from the Petrobras scandal, which implicates some of the very people who are leading the impeachment proceedings against the president.

The fall from grace for Brazil has been rapid. It also has been striking because the country occupied an almost hallowed space among countries in the global South that looked upon Brazil's many economic, cultural and democratic successes with pride and awe.

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