Brazil / by Alistair Galloway

There have been continued large demonstrations across major Brazilian cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, against president Dilma Rousseff and the perceived high corruption and unemployment under her rule. The attorney general leading the corruption investigation into the state oil company Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (commonly called Petrobras) was reappointed to his position after a vote in the senate. The corruption investigation into Petrobras saw chief of staff to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva being arrested on charges of creating a corruption scheme. Five executives of construction company OAS were also sentenced to as much as sixteen years in jail for their involvement in the corruption scandal. Another corruption investigation is being launched, against the alleged corruption of construction company Odebrecht and the procurement process behind the construction of World Cup stadium Arena Pernambuco. The Brazilian senate approved a financing agreement meaning the Brazilian Air Force can buy 36 Gripen fighter jets from Swedish company Saab AB. Police are suspected in this year’s deadliest massacre in Sao Paulo, in which 18 people were killed overnight by masked gunmen. Local content rules for oil companies muíght be changed by a vote in September, meaning Petrobras would be relieved of excessive commitments. The government bond rating of Brazil was downgraded by rating agency Moody’s, citing the forecast of an increased debt burden among the reasons. Brazil has entered its sharpest economic decline since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, said official data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.