- Posted June 14, 2013 by
São Paulo, Brazil
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This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protests break out in Brazil
What's REALLY behind the Brazilian riots?
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Leer en Español: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-989192
The protests that have been occurring in Brazil go beyond the R$0,20 (US$0.10) raise in public transport fares.
Brazil is currently experiencing a widespread collapse of its infrastructure. There are problems with ports, airports, public transport, health and education. Brazil is not a poor country and the tax rates are extremely high. Brazilians see no reason to have such bad infrastructure when there is so much wealth that is so highly taxed. In the state capitals people spend up to four hours per day in traffic, either in their cars or on crowded public transport which is of very poor quality.
The Brazilian government has taken remedial measures to control inflation by cutting taxes and has not yet realized that the paradigm must shift to an infrastructure-focused approach. At the same time the Brazilian government is reproducing on a small scale what Argentina did some years ago: avoiding austerity and preventing the increase in the benchmark Selic base interest rate, which is leading to high inflation and low growth.
Other than the problem of infrastructure, there are several corruption scandals which remain without trial, and the cases being judged have been tending to end with the acquittal of the defendants. The biggest corruption scandal in Brazilian history finally ended with the conviction of the defendants and now the government is trying to reverse the trial by using maneuvers through unbelievable constitutional amendments: one, the PEC 37, which will annihilate the investigative powers of the prosecutors of the public ministry (the Brazilian equivalent of the District Attorneys), delegating the responsibility of investigation entirely to the Federal Police. Moreover, another proposal seeks to subject decisions of the Brazilian Supreme Court to the Congress - a complete violation of the three powers.
Those are, in fact, the revolts of Brazilians.
The protests are not mere isolated, unionized movements or extreme left riots, as some of the Brazilian press says. It is not a teenage rebellion. It is the uprising of the most intellectualized portion of society who wants to put a stop to these Brazilian issues. The young national mid-class, which has always been unsatisfied with the political oblivion, has now "awaken" - in the words of the protesters.
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