By: Max Cohen
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil – On May 24th Brazilian president Michel Temer ordered federal troops to quell the protests which had taken over the capital of his country. The protests had begun turning violent with the vandalism of several government buildings, including the agricultural ministry which was set on fire by the protestors. The next day President Temer revoked his order after a wave of criticism against it, comparing the move to the sort of actions taken during Brazil’s military dictatorship which lasted from 1964-1985. Temer still defended the decision as within his rights as the President.

Police attempt to quell a protest in Brazil. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

The protests in question began as the result of a disclosed recording between President Temer and a beef tycoon, in which the tycoon, Mr. Joesley Batista, implicated himself in the bribery of several public officials as well as obstruction of justice. President Temer never revealed this information to authorities, and seemed to approve of the bribe in the recording. Separately, President Temer is also being investigated for obstruction of justice and corruption, and Mr. Batista has also claimed to have bribed him. Calls for President Temer to resign or for impeachment proceedings to begin were the main call of the protestors. However, resignation seems unlikely, since as President, Temer has a certain amount of immunity from prosecution while in that official role. Also, despite the recording, President Temer insists that he did nothing wrong.

Images have also surfaced of the Brazilian police firing weapons. As a result, many were injured. The Secretariat of Public Security said only that it would be investigating the photos.

For more information, please see:

New York Times – Scandal in Brazil Raises Fear of Turmoil’s Return – 19 May, 2017

New York Times – Brazil’s President Deploys Federal Troops to Quell Protests – 24 May, 2017

New York Daily News – Troops pull out of Brazil capital; president under pressure – 25 May 2017


Author: Max Cohen