As her government faces escalating corruption allegations accentuated by dozens of recent arrests, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said she had committed no crime and would “never resign.” Further complicating matters, an attempt by Rousseff to enlist the help of her predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, by appointing him as her chief of staff, was blocked by a Supreme Court Judge over pending corruption charges.
Lula, Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2011, faces money-laundering charges related to a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras. And the scandal appears to be spreading further, as recent police raids targeting construction giant Odebrecht executed 43 arrest warrants or temporary detention orders. Odebrecht is accused of colluding with competitors to divvy up Petrobras contracts over the course of a decade, paying huge bribes and inflating contracts by even larger amounts. Prosecutors say among these contracts was the Sao Paulo stadium that hosted the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
Newspaper O Globo reported Tuesday that Rousseff, who is accused of manipulating the government’s accounts to boost public spending and hide the magnitude of the recession, has seen those loyal to her in the lower house of Congress fall from about 250 two weeks ago to 172. This brings her precariously close to losing the 171 votes necessary to block a two-thirds vote to open an impeachment trial. According to pollsters, 68 percent of Brazilians favor impeachment.
Read the full story at Yahoo News.