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Brazil: the trapped country

First published:, 14/07/2016

Brazil was booming when it won the right to host the Olympics. But as the Games begin it is suffering its worst economic crisis in living memory. What went wrong?

When President Dilma Rousseff lit the Olympic torch in May at the presidential palace in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, to the cheers of schoolchildren and the sound of Air Force jets flying past, the opening of the Rio Games felt tantalisingly close. Yet less than two weeks later, after a 20-hour debate, the Brazilian Senate voted to bring impeachment proceedings against Rousseff. She was immediately suspended from office for six months. The overwhelming Senate vote (55 votes to 22 in favour of opening proceedings) suggests that when the impeachment vote is finally called, the requisite two-thirds majority will force her permanently from office. Her one-time coalition partner, Michel Temer of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, now acting President, will then take office until the next scheduled elections in 2018. It will fall to him to steer the nation through not only a constitutional crisis, but also a grinding economic crisis: Brazil is now going through its deepest recession since records began at the start of the last century….Read more: