The arrest of former cabinet member Geddel Vieira Lima is yet another blow to Michel Temer’s embattled administration. At a time when the president is fighting to remain in power, the news of a close ally’s arrest only worsens his political crisis.
But the arrest did not come as a surprise. Vieira Lima himself had it coming, and that’s why he was trying to influence witnesses to not talk with prosecutors. Ironically, that’s what led him to jail – obstruction of justice. The next in line are the president’s chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, and the minister Wellington Moreira Franco.
It’s like Groundhog Day. The 1993 flick portraits Bill Murray stuck in time, always reliving the same day. At first, Murray’s character makes the same mistakes over and over. But he eventually becomes a better man and breaks the loop, while also stealing the heart of Andie MacDowell.
Like Murray, Brazil seems to be caught in the same situations again and again. Corruption scandals, arrests of high-profile politicians, and political instability are business as usual for the country. But unlike the movie, our characters don’t learn from their mistakes. And the situation only gets worse.
Congress doesn’t act as it should – as representatives of the Brazilian society. Instead, they engage in opaque deals to preserve powerful men and their electoral chances. But as the House will be forced to vote on three indictment requests against Temer, the president’s situation is fragile at best.
Temer’s predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, suffered the repeat fate of Fernando Collor – who in 1992 lost political support and suffered an impeachment process. Now, Temer could very well follow that same trajectory. And, as the political establishment refuses to change its characteristics, we might see that same plot line yet again with his replacement.