Brazil – Brazilian crisis without precedent

By Rogério Silva, director of journalism for TV Paranaíba affiliated to Record TV in Minas Gerais and Educadora FM. He is also professor of Journalism at the School of Administration, Marketing and Communication - ESAMC.

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Brazilian crisis without precedent

Vigilant analysts boasted that the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff (PT) in 2016 would not bury the political crisis but would instead only be the trigger for a major crisis, without precedent in Brazilian history. This kind of media forecasting shows us now, in 2018, that the crisis has gone beyond the political field. In fact, it has sucked other segments into it and herein I highlight the two most relevant: Institutional and economic.

President Michel Temer (MDB) strives to give the impression of normality in the relationship between the institutions, calling them independent and in full control of each of their functions. But this is not what we see: The executive is in tatters; its image is tarnished, and it lacks the morals needed to take any control of the order. The STF (Federal Court of Justice) is split. The factions are undisguised and declared, and the point of balance teeters at the mercy of the fragility outlined in the records of Minister Rosa Weber.

The work of the Federal Public Prosecution Service is constantly questioned. All people see on the foreheads of the most inflamed prosecutors are invisible labels describing them as wannabe candidates for public office. And Congress has been turned into a “pool” of “every man for himself”. No one there is concerned about the voting guidelines, but rather in maintaining his/her legislative immunity, protected behind the Supreme Court’s shield.

The man who received 51 million votes in 2014, Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB), is on guard, surrounded by the threat – “you may be next” – after former President Lula was sent to prison following conviction in the second instance court (court of appeals).

And as always, politicians are always interfering in the already weakened national economy. Brazil does not thrive. It tries to make strides through job generation, but the numbers created are low. The indicators are not bad – inflation is low, interest rates are low and the stock Exchange frequently passes 80,000 points. But on the international scene it isn’t so. There are few injections of investment. The world no longer trusts or believes Brazil. Brazil represents the sweetheart caught with your best friend, who swears never to betray you again. Can you wholeheartedly give your sweetheart a vote of confidence?

A few days ago, a video of Judge Sérgio Moro – head of the 3rd Federal Criminal Court of Curitiba – reciting part of a speech by US President Theodore Roosevelt went viral. The recording is not new. It is about 2 years old, but the topic does not get old:

“There can be no crime more serious than bribery. Other offenses violate one law while corruption strikes at the foundation of all law. There can be no offense heavier than that of him in whom such a sacred trust has been reposed. He is worse than the thief, for the thief robs the individual, while the corrupt official plunders an entire city or State. He is as wicked as the murderer, for the murderer may only take one life against the law, while the corrupt official aims at the assassination of the commonwealth itself.”

Brazil is bleeding. The flow will not be stemmed just with the October general elections. For every wound, there is a scar. A change of command depends on a change of attitude. It is a cultural evolution. Let it begin.