Protesters storm Brazil Congress, call for military coup+ Video
Dozens of protesters in Brazil have stormed the building housing the country’s lower house of Congress, calling for a military coup to topple the government.
Demonstrators, numbering around 60, stormed the chamber on Wednesday following a day of protests in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro over what they called endemic government corruption in the country.
Chanting “General here, general here,” in apparent support for a takeover by the army, the protesters smashed a glass door to enter the lower house and clashed with the legislature’s guards.
All of the demonstrators were later detained by police.
In Rio de Janeiro, riot police used teargas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the more than 2,000 people who had taken to the streets protesting austerity measures, including budget reforms, planned by the center-right government of President Michel Temer.
The demonstrators believe the measures are a consequence of a massive political kickback scheme that has recently plunged the country into chaos.
Alexandre Parola, a government spokesman, called the protest an “affront” and said it was a “violation of the norms of democratic coexistence.”
“Episodes like today’s are unacceptable and will be fought in the light of law and in defense of the integrity of each of the state’s institutions,” he said.
This comes as several officials who served in the last two governments have been arrested as part of a massive probe into the corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
Temer took office after elected-president Dilma Rousseff was impeached and dismissed over a series of allegations of financial wrongdoing and breaking budget laws.
Among the main elements of Temer’s reform plans, which he says are needed to balance Brazil’s overdrawn government accounts and to plug the country’s widening fiscal deficit, is an overhaul in the pension system.
The country is reeling from its worst recession on record and a fiscal deficit of more than ten percent of gross domestic product.