When Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in May and removed from office in August, many called it a coup.
The president was not charged with anything that could legitimately be called a crime, and the leaders of the impeachment appeared, in taped conversations, to be getting rid of her in order to cut off a corruption investigation in which they and their political allies were implicated.
Others warned that once starting down this road, further degradation of state institutions and the rule of law would follow. And that’s just what has happened, along with some of the political repression that generally accompanies this type of regime change.
On Nov. 4, police raided a school run by the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), in Guararema, São Paulo. They fired live (not rubber bullet) ammunition and made a number of arrests, bringing international condemnation. There had previously been eight arrests of MST organizers in the state of Paraná. The MST is a powerful social movement that has won land rights for hundreds of thousands of rural Brazilians over the past three decades, and has also been a prominent opponent of the August coup.