The impeachment crisis has paralyzed activity in Brasilia, just four months before the country is due to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and as it seeks to battle an epidemic of the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in newborns.
It's been a disastrous month for the ruling government, but protesters across the country flocked to the streets in an attempt to blow wind into the sails of an administration that many have already declared a sinking ship.
The slashing of the security budget for Rio has raised doubts over the city’s ability to guarantee the safety of visitors to the Games, as well as its ability to deal with potential terrorist attacks.
President Rousseff’s efforts to block impeachment with the help of former president Lula have backfired, as he is now implicated in a corruption probe involving dozens of politicians. Mass protests have increased the pressure.
Lula will become Rousseff’s chief of staff as Brazil’s political crisis appears to be reaching a head. His new job will also provide temporary protection from arrest on corruption charges.
Officials estimated that more than 3.5 million people joined anti-government protests in cities across Brazil on Sunday. Calls for the president's impeachment were mixed with anger at corruption, and the country's shrinking economy.
Federal investigators detained Lula for questioning in police custody last week before charging him on Wednesday, fanning a political crisis that has rattled his successor, President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazilian police disperse scuffles between rival protesters demonstrating over the questioning of former President Lula on corruption allegations.
The dramatic events directly tie Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the Operation Car Wash investigation into a massive bribes and money laundering scandal involving the state-run oil company that has already led to the arrest of Brazilian politicians.
The upcoming trial of Eduardo Cunha for allegedly accepting bribes could weaken moves to impeach Dilma Rousseff, though the beleaguered president is by no means out of the woods.
Eduardo Cunha — the speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress who wants to see President Rousseff impeached —is under pressure over his alleged role in a major kickback scheme in the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
The process could take months, even if it is supported by Congress, though analysts say that President Rousseff's abysmal approval ratings may persuade her to jump before she is pushed.