Brazil Considers Military Intervention As A Solution For Its Current State Of Crisis

As the Brazilian government continuously fails to deliver a solution for the rapidly increasing rates of crime, violence and corruption in the South American country, the people are considering a military rule as a final resolution. Brazil has been battling a political and economic crisis for quite some time now, and as a result, they have experienced a substantial rise in rates of crime, unemployment, economical deficiency, and inequality.

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Out of sixty-five members of the congressional committee have formed the impeachment commission in 2016 against then Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, thirty-seven of them faced charges of corruption or other serious crimes, according to data prepared for the Los Angeles Times by the local organization Transparencia Brasil. In total, 352 of the 594 members that formed Brazil's lower and upper houses of Congress were either facing charges or being investigated for serious crimes. After Rousseff’s impeachment, her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was also recently convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison. As a result, it came as no surprise that in 2016, Brazilians’ support for democracy decreased by 22 percent. Not only did the support go down to 32 percent from a recorded 54 percent in 2015, but 55 percent of Brazilians claimed they wouldn’t mind a nondemocratic government as long as it “solved problems.”

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According to a study based on census data, between the years of 2014 and 2015, 4.1 million Brazilians were in poverty, of which 1.4 million were considered to be in “extreme” poverty. The country is also facing a federal budget deficiency of $50 billion. In an attempt to emerge from the crisis, current President Temer capped federal spending for the next two decades and rose the retirement age. In a recent, study published in late 2016 showed the increasing number of homicides in Brazil, which hit a new record: nearly 60,000 people were killed — a 21.9 percent increase compared to 2003 numbers, pushing the homicide rate to 29.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.

A 2015 report by Guilherme Russo for The Latin America Public Opinion Project stated: “the percentage of the Brazilian public who find it justifiable for the military to intervene under conditions of high corruption is high in comparison to other countries, and has increased significantly in the last two years.” The report continued, “In 2014, 47.6%, or nearly one out of every two adults in Brazil, indicated that they would find a military coup to be justified under conditions of high corruption.”

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Although the Brazilian people are open to it, there are no indications that the Brazilian military has any plans of seizing governmental power. Former President, and still very popular politician, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is considering running for president and although facing charges, is free to do so until a final legal decision is made.

When asked, on September 20th, what could the growing support for Lula mean for Brazil, current President Temer said, “What people want is results; its outcomes… since I started participating in the public life, I see that the population is not interested if it's coming from the hands of the state or the private sector … the population wants results."