14 Nov 2011

Brazilians Are Becoming Less Tolerant With Corruption

In the last months Brazil has shown signs that its society is no longer willing to accept corruption as it did in the past. At the same time, the current administration’s readiness in letting go high-level government officials accused of corruption demonstrates that it shares the population’s view.

Since the beginning of Dilma Rousseff’s term last January, the President already fired four ministers and many other top-level government employees. This anti-corruption surge is uncommon when compared to previous governments. Ms. Rousseff’s timely reaction to the scandals has even helped increase voters’ satisfaction with the government.

In the meantime, the number of anti-corruption demonstrations in major Brazilian cities has been increasing. Independence Day celebrations on September 7th were marked by protests in six cities, and on October 12th, a holiday dedicated to the country’s Patroness Saint, the pictured repeated itself in 18 cities.

According to Marcos Fernandes, an economist from the think thank Getulio Vargas foundation, the flourishing of anti-corruption activism reflects a new-found concern in the country’s growing middle class about how public resources are being used. He emphasized that this group is motivated mostly by their interest in practical issues such as the efficient provision of public services, and that they are becoming aware of their right to demand that from governments.

Gil Castello Branco, founder of a civil society watchdog group focused on transparency about government expenditures, also highlighted how recent brazilians’ realization that they are entitled to accountability from their representatives. He added that this civil society engagement is needed for concrete results in anti-corruption.

Read the full article Brazil takes hard line on corruption on hosted.ap.org. The picture shown above is from riotimesonline.com and is credited to Agencia Brasil/José Cruz.