Brazilian scandal

When it comes to political scandals, often something along the lines of Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon.  But down south in Brazil, a political scandal is unfolding that feels more like a soap opera than news.  The scandal has tainted more than half of Brazil’s national politicians, both in the government and the opposition, and a bribery scheme has been linked to the state-controlled energy company Petrobras, which was once hailed as an enduring symbol of Brazil’s economic aspirations.  The only person who doesn’t seem implicated in the scandal is Dilma Rousseff, yet after her opponents have accused her of rigging the government’s finances, she’s facing potential impeachment.

The Watergate-style deception on full display has kept Brazilians both at home and abroad buzzing; in recorded conversations leaked to the media, politicians and business people are heard crudely describing how they manipulate power, politics and bribes.  People of all walks of life are discussing these wiretaps, causing Brazilians to look at their politics with a different set of eyes.  Brazilians had earlier turned a blind eye to politics, but all of this has been changing as Brazilians from all walks of life have started to discuss these wiretaps.  There have already been dozens of investigations and court cases, but with each new one a new facet of the corruption has been revealed.  To top this all off, the Zika virus is still raging, spreading at an alarming rate and could have possibly caused a devastating neurological disorder in hundreds of infants.  In the background, warnings of a second year of recession and the worst economic performance in two generations are painting a bleak picture.

This is all happening as the country prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio; some have used the analogy of trying to throw the largest house party of your life while the place is being renovated and the family is fighting.  Many Brazilians are afraid that the Olympic games coming up will be remembered for the wrong reasons, and what could have been a major boon to the country will only make the situation worse.

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