Rio de Janeiro, Jul 24 (EFE).- Thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil on Saturday to demand the dismissal and impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro for mismanagement of the country’s coronavirus epidemic.
It was the fourth protest in less than two months, as opposition to the denialist right-wing leader gathers steam.
In more than 400 cities, protesters also asked for the acceleration of vaccination programs and an increase in financial aid, with more than 14.8 million now unemployed.
Convened by the trade unions, left-wing parties and civil movements, the protests were held mostly peacefully, with the exception of riots in São Paulo, the most populated city in the country and hardest hit by the pandemic, and where the largest demonstrations took place.
Big rallies were also seen in Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Belo Horizonte and Brasília, where protests gathered outside Congress to reinforce pressure for Bolsonaro’s impeachment.
In the capital, political leaders and protesters agreed that the pressure of the Brazilian people against Bolsonaro is increasing.
“The indignation of the people and the protests in the streets are going to reach congress. The parties and unions are pressing for the impeachment process to be opened,” Gleissi Hoffman, president of the main opposition Workers’ Party, told Efe.
Víctor Ferreira, a 25-year-old businessman who protested against the president dressed as Indiana Jones, predicted that Bolsonaro will be dismissed by his own supporters.
“It’s good versus evil … Indiana Jones fights fascism, fights evil and I think that’s a good analogy,” he said.
The senate is investigating Bolsonaro and his government over allegations of corruption in the procurement of vaccines from India.
Bolsonaro’s denial of the seriousness of the virus and alleged corruption links have raised the ire of many Brazilians who demand his dismissal.
Huge banners with the phrase “Bolsonaro out!” and others demanding vaccines for all were seen throughout the protests.
At the beginning of the night, when the marches in São Paulo were starting to disperse, the police fired tear gas after being attacked with stones by a group of hooded men, who also destroyed the facade of a bank.
In addition to the demonstrations in Brazil, people in about a dozen countries, including Germany, Spain, Canada, the United States, England, Mexico and Portugal, accompanied the marches.
Brazil is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 548,000 deaths and 19.6 million cases.
The number of deaths and infections has fallen substantially in the last month, thanks to the vaccination campaign being carried out.
Since the immunization process began in Brazil six months ago, 45 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. However, only 17 percent of its more than 212 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated. EFE