The Cable

Protesters Storm Government Ministries in Brazil

But President Michel Temer still isn’t stepping down.

brazil protests

All government ministries in Brasilia were emptied amid huge protests on Wednesday, which apparently included setting on fire a pair of ministry buildings. Protesters took to the streets because they’re fed up with corruption at the top of Brazil’s government, and want President Michael Temer to step down.

A crowd of almost 25,000 marched to the presidential palace calling for his resignation, direct election of the next president — the previous one was impeached last year — and an end to the country’s austerity reforms.

Temer took over from Dilma Rousseff last year after she was impeached over corruption allegations, but, as of last Thursday, is himself now being investigated for alleged corruption. The man who would replace him if he were to step down, Rodrigo Maia, is also being investigated for graft.

But Temer repeated that he would not resign. Instead, he denounced the protesters and called out federal troops to protect the capital, an order that is valid for the next week.

Photo credit: EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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