Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Saturday, July 24, demanding that President Jair Bolsanaro be charged with managing his health crisis. Protesters marched for the fourth consecutive weekend at the call of left-wing parties and unions, especially those accused of indiscriminately embezzling public funds in the purchase of vaccines.
In Rio, thousands of people dressed in red and wearing masks marched under slogans like “Corruption offender out”. Organizers called for protests across the country “To protect democracy, the lives of Brazilians and the expulsion of Bolzano”. Elsewhere in Rio, protesters condemned the late start of the vaccination campaign in Brazil, demanding massive unemployment, and additional help for the poor population facing the epidemic.
“For the Return of Democracy”
“It is very important that anyone who feels hurt or oppressed by this government takes to the streets because we must fight for the return of democracy.”, Explains Lays de Oliveira, a 65-year-old social worker who came to the demonstration. Brazilian newspapers reported on the afternoon protests in 20 of the 26 Brazilian states. Neither the assessors nor the authorities have released the number of protesters at this time. But large-scale protests were expected in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, with a population of 12.3 million, and in the capital, Brasilia.
Jair Bolzano is facing the worst moment of his presidency starting in 2019. His approval rating is as low as 24% and polls suggest he will lose his left-wing predecessor Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in the October presidential election. Supported the protests on Saturday.
Brazil has officially recorded nearly 550,000 deaths from Covid-19, the highest in the United States alone, with a population of 120 million more than the South American company. Jair Bolzano is openly skeptical about the health crisis, the need to wear a mask and other measures to reduce the spread of the virus. The opposition filed an indictment on June 30 that included 20 different allegations against the president, but Jair Bolzano still has enough support in Congress to thwart these efforts.