On Impeachment Calls and Ideological/Partisan Positions

It is not difficult to understand that calls for Dilma’s impeachment are less about endemic corruption, and more about partisanship and ideology. Were calls against corruption sincere, Brazilians would be taking to the streets against all the politicians tied to the current Petrobras corruption scandal – including Chamber of Deputies president Eduardo Cunha, who is alleged to have received US$5 million in kickbacks, Senate president Eduardo Cunha, or right-leaning senator Fernando Collor (the same man who, as president, was impeached and stripped of his political rights for 8 years due to his direct ties to massive corruption scandals in his two years as president).

Instead, the organizers of a march planned for Sunday  have made clear their objective is not about widespread corruption; it is “to bring down president Dilma Rousseff”, “a specific protest for the exit of the president, be it through impeachment, cassation [the stripping of political rights], or resignation.”

Again, this is not to say impeachment is now impossible, or that nothing that directly ties Dilma to benefiting from corruption will emerge. But presently, the fact that (often inherently privileged) people are taking to the streets to call for the impeachment of a president who has not demonstrably committed impeachable offenses, even while not calling for the impeachment of politicians for whom there is evidence of impeachable offenses, makes naked what calls for Dilma’s impeachment have always been about: partisanship.

Meanwhile, demonstrating a more nuanced vision that understands the systemic and structural roots of corruption in Brazil, rural workers plan on mobilizing against the impeachment protests, not necessarily out of an inherent defense  of Dilma (though that may be the case for some), but out of the fear that if “she goes out, a worse [president] enters.”

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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