Brazilian former President Dilma Rousseff in Lucca, Italy, Dec. 20, 2016.
(Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)
Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was jailed Monday amid her impeachment trial, with the chief justice of the country’s highest court refusing to reverse her conviction on charges of fiscal impropriety.
Here are some of the news surrounding her:
In October, Silva, who was originally implicated in the kickback scandal but has been protected by an amnesty law, was sentenced to 31 years and three months for crimes related to his time at the state-run oil giant, Petrobras.
In December, Rousseff’s supporters insisted she should have immunity from prosecution, but the Supreme Court rejected her request.
Rousseff was elected president in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, but Brazil’s political scene was rocked when she narrowly lost her presidential race to centrist centrist Aecio Neves. But pro-Rousseff parties took control of key cabinet posts and congress seats, a move which helped lay the groundwork for her removal from office.
After her removal from office, Rousseff launched an independent legal team to fight her removal, which she claims was constitutionally triggered by an inability to restore fiscal discipline. Rousseff’s supporters also allege that her imprisonment on unrelated charges is a plot to replace her with a moderate who will be more compliant with Brazil’s new leader, Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro, a member of Brazil’s far-right and law-and-order wing of the conservative party, has urged Brazilians to defy Rousseff’s imprisonment and protest the electoral court’s decision to uphold Rousseff’s impeachment. On January 12, Bolsonaro publicly supported a hunger strike over Rousseff’s imprisonment organized by activists, offering to “offer his solidarity” with the protests.
Current President Michel Temer accused Rousseff of delaying his efforts to revive Brazil’s ailing economy while unfairly blaming him for flagging growth, saying it was the former leader who should be jailed for reducing “the quality of government … and taking the country into a terrible recession.”
Like Rousseff, Rousseff is also being charged with stealing public funds. A Senate committee unanimously voted to uphold her impeachment on charges of fraud in making the 2015 budget. According to Reuters, Rousseff’s lawyers said it would have been hard to argue that she was a constitutional liability on her first day in office if she had been elected on a slate for four years of executive tolling. The committee is considering whether Rousseff committed an “abuse of power” and other corruption-related offenses.