This story is over 5 years old.

Frustrated Brazilians Fill Streets in Protest as President’s Approval Rating Plummets

More than 200 rallies were planned across the Brazil on Sunday, with crowds gathering nationwide for the third time since March to protest against President Dilma Rousseff.
Photo par Fernando Bizerra Jr./EPA

Brazilians frustrated with the corruption and incompetence they see as hallmarks of President Dilma Rousseff's tenure filled streets around the country again on Sunday. It was the third nationwide protest against Rousseff's government since March, when an estimated three million came out.

Sunday's protest might be the most important yet, with the large turnout potentially making or breaking the movement to remove Rousseff from office, analysts told the Associated Press. Early estimates put the attendance in the tens of thousands — sizeable but not as large as the protests staged in previous months.


Several thousand people outfitted in green and yellow demonstrated along Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, a smaller group than the one that turned out for a March demonstration in the same spot.

In Recife, on the easternmost tip of Brazil's coastline, thousands more filled the streets, waving the national flag, singing, and dancing. One protester wore a costume skewering the Lavo Jato money laundering investigation. More than 200 rallies in all were planned at locations across the country.

Related: The Nutcrackers and 'the Chainsaw Queen': The Fight for Control Over Brazil's Amazon

Brazil against socialist dictatorship in progress with Lula and Rousseff — Paulo Sa Elias (@psael)August 16, 2015

At one protest, hundreds chanted in unison their demands that Rousseff step down, declaring that 93 percent of Brazilians disapprove of her government. A Wall Street Journal poll conducted earlier this month found that they were not far off: only 8 percent of Brazilians rated Rousseff's administration "good or excellent," and 71 percent considered it "bad or terrible."

Rousseff's approval ratings are the worst of any Brazilian president since Fernando Collor de Mello, who was forced from office after a corruption scandal in 1992.

Today's protests could determine if an impeachment or resignation like Collor's is in Rousseff's future as well. Leonardo Picciani, leader of the Democratic Movement Party in the lower house, told Bloomberg, "Representatives in the lower house are paying close attention to the protests on Sunday to see if they have a national impact."

Related: Olympians Are Getting Ill Training in Rio's Feces-Contaminated Water

Follow VICE News on Twitter: @vicenews

Watch the VICE News documentary, Fighting the Amazon's Illegal Loggers: