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Chief organizer of Macri's "mini Davos" is among those listed in the Panama Papers offshore scandal

Moroccan businessman Richard Attias, who organized the Argentina Business & Investment Forum at the behest of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, was revealed by the Paris news daily Le Monde to be among those listed in the international Panama Papers scandal this April. Attias' "The Experience," a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands, was active between January 2010 and November 2014.

Touted as a "mini Davos" on account of the large number of international corporate executives and lobbyists in attendance, the forum was reportedly conceived by Attias during a meeting with Macri during the last Davos summit in January. The forum, held in Buenos Aires' Kirchner Cultural Center on September 11-15, is being attended by around 1,900 guests from 65 countries.

The cost of the four-day event, financed at Argentine taxpayer expense, has not been disclosed.

Attias is listed as one of the principals in holding companies in Delaware, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and the Cayman Islands. A registered corporate lobbyist in France, Attias, according to Le Monde, currently lives with Cécilia Ciganer-Albeniz (ex-wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy) and has enjoyed direct access to diverse international figures such as Bill Clinton, George Soros, Bill Gates, and, until his death, Yasser Arafat.

Confronted with being a former client of disgraced corporate law firm Mossack Fonseca, Attias justified his use of offshore accounts as a way to avoid "stifling taxes" but nevertheless explained that "I had no business with the company (his offshore firm "The Experience". It was dissolved, plain and simple."

President Macri, one of five current heads of government listed in the Panama Papers, gave a similar response when the scandal broke in April.

Macrieconomic obstacles

The right-wing Macri administration has made attracting more foreign investment a top policy priority, and around $18 billion has been pledged thus far in 2016. Foreign direct investment in Argentina, however, declined in the first quarter of 2016 (the latest available data) by 26.1% to $1.8 billion as a shock devaluation, sharp hikes in rates and fares, and other austerity policies have taken their toll in Latin America's third largest economy.

Led by a collapse in construction of 23.1%, fixed investment as a whole (spending on structures and equipment) has fallen by 9.6% as of June; real GDP, according to official INDEC figures, has fallen by 4.3% and unemployment has reached a ten-year high of 9.3%.

Budget deficits - a key campaign issue last year - declined somewhat initially; but since May have been running at twice the already-record levels in 2015, averaging 36 billion pesos ($2.4 billion) a month.

One bright spot was inflation, with data released today by INDEC showing a 0.2% monthly rate for August. A Supreme Court ruling on August 18 striking down Macri's natural gas rate hikes of around 400% for having been decreed without a public hearing (as required by law) pushed housing related costs down 5.6%; core inflation slowed slightly to 1.7%, roughly in line with the average monthly rate over the last decade.

Inflation, which Macri described in his keynote address as "tame," nevertheless remained at 43.5% in August; real wages were recently estimated by the Social Security Agency to have fallen by 11%.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.ambito.com/854792-el-organizador-del-mini-davos-tambien-tiene-offshore&prev=search

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cronista.com%2Feconomiapolitica%2FArrastrado-por-la-construccion-las-inversiones-acumulan-una-caida-de-5-en-2016-20160826-0105.html

Argentine Security Secretary claims that ISIS has infiltrated country, retracts hours later.

Argentine Security Security Eugenio Burzaco, who yesterday claimed that Islamic State (ISIS) militants were training recruits in Argentina, was forced to retract his statements just hours later in a politically embarrassing U-turn.

Speaking to the news daily Misiones Primera Edición in the northeastern Argentine city of Posadas, Burzaco claimed that his office had “detected Argentines who have received training in ISIS.” Just hours later he denied that this was the case through a Security Ministry press release stating the exact opposite.

It was the latest in a streak of unfounded statements from the right-wing administration of President Mauricio Macri which linked Middle Eastern terrorist organizations to activities in Argentina but had to be quickly retracted after being debunked.

Burzaco's original interview had gone into some details regarding the alleged ISIS presence in Argentina. “This is something that really worries us because we know that they have been in heated zones of the conflict, in Syria or northern Iraq. There are citizens that have gone there and came back to the country or to neighboring countries like Uruguay,” he declared.

In the subsequent press release, Burzaco claimed this was but a “general appreciation,” and that he was only referring to an earlier investigation - one which resulted in identifying no present threats. “After a complaint of a potential ISIS presence in Corrientes Province, we followed up on the case and so far found nothing indicating their presence in the country,” the Security Secretary admitted.

The governor of Corrientes Province, Ricardo Colombi, is a close ally of the embattled Macri administration.

Burzaco has, from the outset, been one of Macri's most controversial appointments. His older brother, Alejandro Burzaco, is one of nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives that the U.S. Department of Justice charged on May 27, 2015, with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, and other offenses. FBI documents show the elder Burzaco's broadcast company, TyC, paid $110 million in FIFA bribes to retain lucrative regional football media rights.

TyC is co-owned by the Clarín Group, whose "media bulletproofing" proved critical in Macri's narrow electoral win last November. All three - the Clarín Group, the Macri family, and the Burzacos - were listed extensively in the Panama Papers scandal in April.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/221466/minister-makes-bizarre-uturn-on-islamic-state-in-argentina-claims

Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti's right-wing think tank SUMA raided over irregularities.

Argentine Federal Judge Ariel Lijo ordered a raid on the Buenos Aires offices of the SUMA Foundation, a right-wing think tank chaired by the Vice President, Gabriela Michetti.

Judge Lijo's warrant is pursuant to an affidavit showing that the SUMA Foundation received around 4.1 million pesos in undeposited donations during President Mauricio Macri's 2015 campaign ($450,000 at the time). The raid was ordered in an attempt to recover the think tank's accounting books, which were never presented to Argentina's General Inspectorate of Justice (IGJ) as is required for all non-profits.

The case itself originated in the alleged theft of approximately $75,000 in cash from Michetti's Buenos Aires home on election night, November 22, 2015. Police at the time arrested an officer in Michetti's security detail that evening, who was convicted and served six months in prison.

Michetti, who claims that $50,000 of this total were a gift from her boyfriend, businessman Juan Martín Tonelli, and that $20,000 were to be donated to SUMA, did not reveal the incident to the public until July 18 - almost eight months after the fact. Michetti's claim that $20,000 were to be donated to SUMA is likewise incompatible with Argentine law, which forbids cash donations above token amounts to any non-profit organization.

The Vice President was charged by Federal Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán in August 12 with "the possible commission of a public offense, subject to the qualification that may ultimately apply."

In the tank

The Macri administration is facing numerous probes over its campaign finances from the 2015 election, which Macri narrowly won. His right-wing party, the PRO, declared expenses of 27 million pesos ($2.9 million at that time) and 22 million pesos in private contributions; but they also declared 92 million pesos ($10 million) in unspecified party development expenses. Campaign expenses are, by Argentine electoral law, not to be counted as "party development."

His campaign is also under investigation for almost three million pesos ($320,000) in cash donations from government contractors, which is illegal in Argentina.

Congressmen Juan Cabandié and Rodolfo Tailhade of the opposition, center-left FpV have been leading congressional inquiries into these campaign finance irregularities, as well as into the activities of numerous pro-Macri think tanks such as 'Fundar', 'Creer y Crecer', 'Formar', and Michetti's SUMA.

"Most members of the Macri administration also happen to either control or sit on the board of any number of right-wing think tanks or foundations that carry out political activities in parallel with Macri's political party, the PRO," they pointed out. "These non-profits are in effect used to finance PRO operations."

Books and suitcases

Vice President Michetti has meanwhile hired the noted jurist Ricardo Gil Lavedra as her defense attorney. Her spokesman stated that SUMA's books were not in the foundation's office because, despite the fact that SUMA officially had no employees, the accountant kept them. They pledged to submit them to Judge Lijo in person on Thursday.

The outspoken, 51 year-old Michetti faced a similar controversy on January 29, when she attempted to hide a suitcase full of jewelry on her return from a summit in Ecuador. She claimed the items were "gifts," and despite being barred from accepting valuable gifts while in office, no charges were filed.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.enorsai.com.ar%2Fpolitica%2F19544-la-justicia-ordeno-allanamientos-en-la-fundacion-suma-de-michetti.html

Another massive graft probe opens in Brazil

Brazil’s federal police launched an extensive operation yesterday to investigate massive alleged fraud at state-run companies’ pension funds in a probe forcing business leaders such as the chief executive of meat packer JBS and the president of constructor WTorre to step down from their companies.

Police said they were carrying out seven arrest orders and over a hundred search warrants, while freezing assets worth 8 billion reais ($2.5 billion) — including the confiscation of a plane, 139 vehicles and 90 real estate properties. Prosecutors said the scope of the fraud is comparable to the billions of dollars of kickbacks discovered at state-controlled oil firm Petrobras which has led to the imprisonment of a string of high-profile businessmen and politicians, dubbed “Operation Car Wash.”

Yesterday’s fresh probe into Brazil’s elite has been named “Operation Greenfield” and may threaten future economic and political stability in a country that is still reeling from a deep recession as well as the controversial, divisive impeachment of its first female president, Dilma Rousseff, last week.

Wesley Batista, CEO of meat processing giant JBS SA — the world’s biggest producer of beef and chicken — was called in for questioning about an investment in wood pulp producer Eldorado Brasil SA, where he is on the board of directors, according to a representative for J&F Investimentos, the Batista family’s holding company.

Estado de São Paulo reported on its website that the judge overseeing the case ordered 40 individuals under investigation, including Wesley Batista and his brother, J&F CEO Joesley Batista, to step away from any role at their companies. The dismissals were allegedly a leniency offered in place of their arrest.

The company referred requests for comment to J&F, which declined to comment further on the matter. JBS shares fell over 10% on the report, their biggest daily drop in six months.

The sweeping operation was the latest in a string of anti-graft investigations, which have roiled Latin America’s largest economy for more than two years and been a principal catalyst in its political crisis. The pension funds caught up in yesterday’s investigation are those of state-run banks Caixa Economica Federal and Banco do Brasil, Petrobras, and postal service Correios, police said.

Police said the investigation was focused on 10 cases that had caused enormous losses to pensioners, including reckless or fraudulent investments made through connected investment funds.

Brazil’s securities regulator, known as CVM, said in a statement that the probe that led to yesterday’s operation started a year and a half ago. Secrecy on the operation was expected to be lifted last night, CVM said.

At: http://www.buenosairesherald.com.ar/article/221152/another-massive-graft-probe-opens-in-brazil

University of Buenos Aires ranked best university in Latin America, 85th in the world.

The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) is the best university in Latin America according to the latest QS World University Rankings 2016/2017 study published earlier this week. It climbed 39 places from the 2015 survey to a rank of 85th, while maintaining its place as the best university in the region for the second year running.

This was the highest position ever occupied by a university from the region in the renowned global rankings survey, a list otherwise dominated as in previous years by schools from North America, Western Europe and East Asia. The rankings include 916 universities from 81 countries.

“Latin America struggles, but sees an institution in the top 100 for the first time. The University of Buenos Aires occupies the highest rank ever achieved by a university from the region,” the report said. The UBA ranked well ahead of the next-best-placed universities from Latin America, none of which made it into the top 100. It was followed in the region by the University of São Paulo (120), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (128), the Catholic University of Chile (148), and Campinas State University in Brazil (191).

Other Argentine universities ranked in the survey included Austral University (308), the Argentine Catholic University (310), the University of Belgrano (352), the National University of La Plata (551), and National University of Córdoba (601).

Following the publication of the QS ranking, the UBA Chancellor Alberto Barbieri said that the result reflected a greater emphasis on research and development and highlighted the scale of the achievement. “This university is the flagship of public education and who we are today. We have a tradition, a history to maintain ... There are more than 20,000 universities in the world, of which only 1,000 were analyzed. To be found among the top 100 is a great joy and a reminder that we must continue working,” he told Infobae.

The UBA is publicly funded and tuition free for all students, even international ones (with a quota). With 320,000 enrolled students, it's the largest in Argentina and the second largest in Latin America after the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The UBA employs 32,000 teaching staff and has produced four Nobel Prize laureates — Carlos Saavedra Lamas (Peace), Bernardo Houssay (Physiology), Luis Federico Leloir (Chemistry), and César Milstein (Medicine). Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, so honored in 1980 for his efforts to uncover the Dirty War a few years earlier, is currently a professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Funding constraints

The UBA, like the other 47 public universities in Argentina, saw it's annual budget increase over seven fold in dollar terms during the administrations of Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner - from 300 million pesos ($100 million) in 2003 to 6.7 billion pesos ($720 million) in 2015. It also benefited from the PROGRESAR program, enacted in 2014 to help needy students meet costly non-tuition expenses - a leading cause for high dropout rates.

Argentina's public university budget, signed last October, reached 52 billion pesos ($3.5 billion) this year. Budgets, however, remain inadequate given high enrollment ratios (1.4 million students, plus another 400,000 in private colleges). The recent rise in inflation rates and sharp hikes in utility costs as a result of President Mauricio Macri's austerity policies have strained the UBA's budget; electricity charges alone will jump from 19 million pesos ($2 million) in 2015 to 84 million pesos ($6 million) this year.

Following a series of protests by university faculty, the Macri administration granted the public university system a 500 million-peso ($33 million) supplemental appropriation in May to meet higher utility costs.

At: http://www.buenosairesherald.com.ar/article/221194/uba-ranked-as-latam%E2%80%99s-best-university-85th-in-world-

Corporate profits in Argentina down 32% in 2nd quarter, and by 52% in real terms.

Quarterly earnings reports published by companies listed on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange reflected a worsening economy in the second quarter of 2016. The 45 companies that published earnings reports suffered a decline in their combined profits of 32% compared with the first three months of 2016, and 30% compared to the same time last year.

Taking inflation into account, which averaged 45.3% in the second quarter of 2016, corporate profits were down nearly 52% from the same time in 2015. The decline in dollar terms was even greater: 56%.

This was the worst showing for Argentina's publicly listed corporations since the depths of the international financial crisis in the second quarter of 2009, when profits fell by a combined 47% to 4.2 billion pesos ($1.1 billion at the time). Corporate profits recovered quickly, however, and reached a record 33.9 billion pesos ($3.7 billion) in the third quarter of 2015.

Accelerating inflation, which doubled from 2015 levels, accounted for much of the declining profit margins. An estimated jump in prices of 14% during the second quarter pushed revenues up by 11% from the first quarter; but also led to a 32% collapse in net income.

Compared to the same time last year, revenues rose by 29% - a decline in real terms of 11%. Earnings results nevertheless varied widely from sector to sector.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank, banks and other financial firms saw an annual rise in revenue of 48%, and of net income, 56%. Banking profits rose by 52% during the first half of 2016; but actually doubled in June from the same time a year earlier. These results were mainly driven by the recovery in government securities - which make up about 45% of banks' liquid assets - as well as income from Lebac 35-day treasury bills, whose annualized yields nearly doubled to 38% in the first months of the year before declining to 28% currently.

The nation's oil sector struggled under depressed global oil prices as well as cutbacks in federal price supports, and firms in this sector lost 2.3 billion pesos ($160 million) in the first quarter of 2016. They recorded a net profit of 1.2 billion pesos ($85 million) in the second quarter; but this was due almost entirely to the purchase of a majority stake of Petrobras Argentina by Pampas Energía. The nation's largest oil producer, YPF, saw a 97% collapse in net income in second quarter as the public-private firm reeled from adverse global conditions as well as the politically-motivated dismissal of CEO Miguel Galuccio in March.

Galuccio, appointed CEO upon the partial renationalization of YPF in 2012 by former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had been credited with helping reverse output declines at YPF under its previous Repsol management.

Massive rate hikes authorized by the same right-wing Mauricio Macri administration boosted natural gas distribution profits however. Revenues in this sector increased by 100% year-on-year in the second quarter as the hikes took effect in April. Their net income, even so, grew slightly below inflation (by 44%) as the sharply higher gas rates also affected their own overhead, generation, and distribution costs.

An injunction issued on July 18 by Federal Judge Luis Arias of La Plata, and upheld by the Argentine Supreme Court on August 18, rescinded these hikes however. Macri had refused to submit the rate hikes to a public hearing, as the law requires, and gas utilities were ordered to issue reimbursements for any charges above March 31 rates. The rate hikes will now be subject to a public hearing ordered by the Supreme Court, scheduled for September 16.

Electric utility profits were similarly impacted by the Macri administration's gas rate hikes of 400% or more. Power generation costs skyrocketed by way of sharply higher gas prices, leading to a collapse in net income from 1.1 billion pesos ($75 million) in the first quarter of 2016 to a loss of 2.2 billion pesos ($150 million) in the second.

A separate injunction issued by Federal Judge Martina Forns of San Martín on August 4 has suspended electricity rate hikes as well, all but guaranteeing that the third quarter will also result in losses in the electric utility sector.

Reeling from legal and political setbacks stemming from the precipitous handling of rate hikes, the Macri administration today announced that the Energy Ministry - led by Shell executive Juan José Aranguren, currently facing conflict of interest charges over the hikes - will seek rate increases averaging 203%.

"While the recession won't subside until at least the 4th quarter of 2016," according to the local financial weekly Research For Traders, "growth may return sometime in 2017."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iprofesional.com%2Fnotas%2F237949-La-recesin-se-reflej-en-los-balances-las-empresas-que-cotizan-en-la-Bolsa-ganaron-32-menos&sandbox=1

Clarín editor Julio Blanck: "We waged journalistic war" against Cristina Kirchner.

Speaking to Fernando Rosso of Left Journal, Julio Blanck, assistant political editor at Argentina's largest news daily, Clarín, conceded that Clarín did "bad journalism" but were "good at making war" against the administration of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

While largely blaming her administration for the dispute, Blanck stated in the interview that "that's not journalism, not the kind I like to do. I did things that under normal circumstances I would not have done."

This admission was in reference to the conservative media group's frequent use of corruption allegations against Fernández de Kirchner, individuals associated with her, and officials in her populist administration. While the majority were dismissed for lack of merit, Clarín made effective use of a law Kirchner herself signed in 2009 repealing the risk of criminal libel and slander charges for any allegation against public officials if presented in the context "of public interest."

Horacio Verbitsky, the senior political affairs columnist for the left-wing news daily Página/12, stated that as a result of his admission Blanck, 62, was, after 34 years at Clarín, "demoted to a mere columnist with no editorial responsibilities." Both Blanck and Editor-in-Chief Ricardo Kirschbaum denied the assertion.

Fernández de Kirchner, who governed from 2007 to 2015, promoted an Audiovisual Media Law that would have limited the market share of any single media outlet in a given metro area or province. The law, which was supported from organizations such as the UN Freedom of Expression Rapporteur, the IFJ, Reporters Without Borders, and the Carter Center, was passed by Congress in 2009 and after lengthy injunctions favoring the Clarín Group was ratified by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Her right-wing successor, President Mauricio Macri, rescinded the law by decree within days of taking office and has since received almost uniformly positive coverage by Clarín and its cable news division TN.

The Clarín Group is the largest media conglomerate in Argentina, often controlling 50% or more of the media market in a given area; as such it would have had to divest part of its varied holdings had Macri lost. Their favorable coverage of Macri during last year's campaign (referred to as "media bulletproofing", and the negative coverage given his opponent (Kirchner ally Daniel Scioli), was instrumental in Macri's narrow, 2.7-point victory last November.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fpolitica%2Feditor-de-clarin-reconoce-que-hicieron--periodismo-de-guerra--contra-cristina_a57bc5e894717bf89217c6875

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infonews.com%2Fnota%2F301248%2Fla-respuesta-de-clarin-a-verbitsky

Amid severe recession, unions and activists stage a Federal March in Argentina.

Argentina's second largest labor federation, the CTA, has staged a nationwide Federal March against the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration and its policies of "rate hikes, layoffs, and austerity."

The march, organized into five regional columns from cities across Argentina, is set to converge in Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo today at 5:00 p.m.

The Secretary General of the CTA Workers, Hugo Yasky, hopes the Federal March "will serve as a prelude to a national strike involving all unions, in order to demand the declaration of a social emergency, a rollback of utility rate hikes, and the reopening of collective bargaining agreements."

The CTA is currently in talks with the rival, somewhat more conservative CGT to stage a joint general strike later this month. The CGT, the nation's largest labor federation, was reunified on August 22 following a four year schism. Macri's austerity policies, which have led to the deepest recession since 2002, were cited by CGT leaders as the principal motive for their reunification.

CGT leaders, who had been reluctant to join such a general strike, have given the Macri administration until September 24 to authorize a new round of collective bargaining. The last such round, which concluded in March, yielded raises that averaged 30%; inflation, however, has since doubled to 47%.

The Federal March was joined by Kirchnerists (supporters of Macri's populist predecessor, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner), numerous social activism groups, and 20 of the CGT's 124 member unions.

"We are converging social movements and labor movements into a single force," Yasky declared in the western city of Mendoza. "And when we reach the Plaza de Mayo we will be together with clear principles and objectives: ending austerity; changing policy so that no wage or pension remains below inflation, so that no informal workers remain unprotected; and rolling back utility rate hikes."

Today's mobilization also harkens back to the Federal March led by the CTA on July 5-6, 1994, in opposition to the neoliberal economic policies of President Carlos Menem. The current recession, however, is arguably far more serious, with GDP down 4.3%, retail sales down 8 to 14%, manufacturing down 7.9%, construction down 23.1%, and unemployment rising by 64% in just six months.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.minutouno.com/notas/1507287-la-marcha-federal-se-dirige-plaza-mayo-protestar-contra-el-gobierno&prev=search

And: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/220898/industry-construction-figures-for-july-plunge

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping files for bankruptcy protection

Source: Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co. filed for receivership Wednesday, as shipping companies world-wide grapple with overcapacity amid a slump in global trade. It would become the biggest company in the industry to go under if it is ordered to fold.

The filing with the Seoul Central District Court came just a day after the company’s creditors discontinued providing a lifeline after financial assistance of more than 1 trillion won ($896 million) failed to keep it afloat. The court will soon determine whether Hanjin, the country’s largest container operator by capacity and the eighth-largest in the world, should be liquidated or given a chance to survive after restructuring, the company said.

The company’s main creditor, state-run Korea Development Bank, withdrew its support on Tuesday, saying a funding plan by Hanjin’s parent group wasn’t sufficient to tackle the shipper’s debt, which stood at $5.5 billion at the end of June.

Hanjin — a unit of the conglomerate that controls Korean Air Lines Co. — has faced an acute credit crunch after posting a loss each year from 2011 to 2014, as slowing global trade and overcapacity depressed freight rates. It has been under a creditor-led debt restructuring program since May.

The Korean government said it wants Hanjin’s domestic rival, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., to buy healthy assets from the troubled company. It rejected the idea of a merger.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/troubled-hanjin-shipping-to-sell-healthy-assets-to-rival-1472611190

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff ousted from office by Senate

Brazil's Senate on Wednesday voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office, the culmination of a yearlong fight that paralyzed Latin America's most powerful economy and exposed deep rifts among its people on everything from race relations to social spending.

While Rousseff's ouster was widely expected, the decision was a key chapter in a colossal political struggle that is far from over. Rousseff was Brazil's first female president, with a storied career that includes a stint as a Marxist guerrilla jailed and tortured in the 1970s during the country's dictatorship. She was accused of breaking fiscal laws in her management of the federal budget.

Opposition lawmakers argued that the maneuvers masked yawning deficits from high spending and ultimately exacerbated the recession in a nation that had long enjoyed darling status among emerging economies. Rousseff proclaimed her innocence up to the end, noting that previous presidents used similar accounting techniques and saying the push to remove her was a bloodless coup d'état by elites fuming over the populist polices of her Workers' Party the last 13 years.

In the background through it all was a wide-ranging investigation into billions of dollars in kickbacks at state oil company Petrobras. The two-year probe has led to the jailing of dozens of top businessmen and politicians from across the political spectrum, and threatens many of the same lawmakers who voted to remove Rousseff.

Rousseff argued that many opponents just wanted her out of the way so they could save their own skins by tampering with the investigation, which Rousseff had refused to do. Many lawmakers and Brazilians nationwide, meanwhile, blamed Rousseff for the graft even though she has never been personally implicated. They argued that she had to know, as many of the alleged bribes happened while her party was in power.

Rousseff's removal creates many questions that are not easily answered. Michel Temer, her vice president who became her nemesis, will serve out the remainder of her term through 2018. But Brazilians have already gotten a taste of Temer's leadership, and they are clearly unimpressed.

In May, Temer took over as interim President after the Senate impeached and suspended Rousseff. The 75-year-old career politician named a Cabinet of all-white men, a decision roundly criticized in a nation that is more than 50% nonwhite. Three of his ministers were forced to resign within weeks of taking their jobs because of corruption allegations, which also follow Temer and threaten his hold on power.

When Temer announced the opening of the Olympics on August 5, he was so vociferously booed that he remained out of sight for the remainder of the games.

Rousseff's allies have vowed to appeal to the country's highest court. While previous petitions to the court have failed to stop the impeachment process, at the very least legal wrangling will keep the issue front and center.

At: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/brazils-president-rousseff-ousted-from-office-by-senate/ar-AAihpLP?OCID=ansmsnnews11

True to form, one of these senators (Aloysio Nunes, of Temer's PSDB) was caught by cameras with a dime bag of cocaine as Dilma was speaking.

Above all It's worth noting that while over a third of these good senators are under indictment on some form of corruption (usually bribery or massive tax evasion), Dilma herself is not and never has been.

Há sempre um amanhã.
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