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Brazil's Generation of Discontent

An Effort to Make Fringe Politics Mainstream

"Pixuleco," an inflatable doll of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, floats above a protest against Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 13, 2016. Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Brazil is anything but calm. Shortly after the end of the summer Olympics, the Senate impeached President Dilma Rousseff and removed her from office. This came about after a corruption probe revealed widespread bribery among the political elite. On top of the political turmoil, the country’s economy is predicted to shrink 3.3 percent this year after a 3.8 percent contraction in 2015, already Brazil’s worst recession on record. But the moment the country’s political order actually began to unravel was in 2013, when millions of people across the country took to the streets with a range of demands from affordable public transportation to fixes to the government bureaucracy. The system shock of these “June Journeys” served as a catalyst in pushing the country in opposite directions—left and right.

Two young protestors from Rio de Janeiro, Mayara Donaria and Gustavo Mota, were among those who gathered in what were considered Brazil’

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