by Nika Knight
June 03, 2016
President Temer's conviction
the anti-democratic scam
that Brazilian elites
have attempted to perpetrate,"
More revelations of "oozing
in interim president's
Upheaval in Brazil continued this week as a court handed down a
conviction against right-wing president Michel Temer, who
took over after the ouster of leftist president Dilma Rousseff,
and banned him from running in elections for the next eight years.
A regional elections court in
Temer's hometown of São Paulo on Thursday,
a formal decree finding him guilty and declaring him
'ineligible' to run for any political office as a result of now
having a 'dirty record' in elections," Glenn Greenwald
reported in The Intercept.
The decision came less than three weeks
after Temer oversaw
what has widely been
described as a "coup" to overthrow Rouseff,
the recently re-elected Workers' Party president.
"In the scope of the scheming,
corruption and illegality from this 'interim' government,
Temer's law-breaking is not the most severe offense," Greenwald
"But it potently symbolizes the
anti-democratic scam that Brazilian elites have attempted to
perpetrate. In the name of corruption, they have removed the
country's democratically elected leader and replaced her with
someone who - though not legally barred from being installed
- is now barred for eight years from running for the office he
wants to occupy."
As interim president, Temer has swiftly
and openly transformed the formerly left-leaning and diverse
Brazilian government into one
pushing neoliberal, right-wing policies, helmed by an
all-white, all-male cabinet.
In the New Yorker, Jon Lee
Anderson summarized a few of Temer's decisions that have raised
A Way Forward for Brazil
He got rid of the Ministry of Women,
Racial Equality, and Human Rights, ordering it to be subsumed
into the Ministry of Justice - which he promptly handed over to
Alexandre de Moraes, a former security official from São Paulo
accused of deploying death squads to fight crime in that
city. (His former office
has denied the accusations.)
This came at the same time as news
of a horrifying case in which a sixteen-year-old girl in Rio de
Janeiro was gang-raped by as many as thirty-three men, some of
whom filmed their abuse and posted it to social media.
[...] Temer's choice for agriculture
minister, meanwhile, was a portly billionaire senator named
Blairo Maggi, who cast the deciding vote in the Senate to unseat
Rousseff. Maggi, the former governor of the state of Mato Grosso,
made his fortune by cutting down millions of acres of Amazonian
In a 2007 piece for National
Geographic, the journalist Scott Wallace wrote,
"Maggi is 'O Rei da Soja,' King
of Soy, the world's largest single producer. Maggi acquired
a less flattering honorific when Greenpeace gave him its
Golden Chain Saw award in 2005."
For a number of years while he was
governor, Mato Grosso led Brazil in deforestation.
In 2010, Maggi was elected to the
Senate, and, with the support of the powerful bancada
ruralista, Brazil's agribusiness lobby, he became the head
of the environmental committee, where he helped push through a
set of environmental regulations known as the Forest Code.
Among other things, the Forest Code
gave amnesty to landowners who had previously engaged in illegal
"The oozing corruption of Temer's
ministers has sometimes served to obscure his own," Greenwald
writes. "He, too, is
implicated in several corruption investigations. And now, he
has been formally convicted of violating election laws."
On the same day Temer was convicted,
suspended president Dilma Rousseff
joined 5,000 women marching for women's rights and democracy in
Rio de Janiero:
Pro-democracy and anti-Temer protests
have flooded the streets in cities throughout the country since
the United States'
involvement in Rousseff's impeachment in a video published
Friday by The Intercept, observing that WikiLeaks had
published diplomatic cables showing Temer secretly meeting with
officials in D.C. in 2006 and 2007, and that impeachment proponent
Senator Aloysio Nunes
met with officials and lobbyists close to
Hillary Clinton in
Washington in the days following his vote to impeach Rousseff.
A government overthrow in Latin America,
"cannot happen without U.S.
approval," Greenwald argued. "If the U.S. was supporting
democracy, the impeachment would not have happened."
"it's always true that the U.S.
government strongly prefers right-leaning governments than
left-leaning ones in South America," Greenwald said.
"Why? It's obvious: right-leaning
governments tend to help the international banks, Wall Street,
hedge funds, international capital."
Indeed, on Thursday the Financial
reported that investors around the world were "rooting" for