Security concerns over Trinis in Brasilia

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There are on-going concerns over the security of people in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia in the midst of instability over the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

There are several Trinidadians and Tobagonians in Brasilia – the exact number is not known – most of whom are employed in the large energy, steel and telecommunications sectors.

The T&T diplomatic mission to Brazil is based in Brasilia, but there is no ambassador at present.

Dr. Amery Brown has not yet taken up his posting and is not expected to travel to Brasilia for the next few weeks.

There are reports of impromptu protests in Brasilia – and a few in Sao Paolo – linked to Rousseff’s impeachment.

Several major buildings, including government offices, have been walled off and there is heightened tension amid protest rallies.

There have been large crowds at pro and anti-government rallies, and several people have been injured in clashes between activists and the police.

Some of the injuries were sustained as protesters breached security cordons around government buildings.

Several countries and international organisations have issued security warnings to their respective nationals.

The Brazilian Lower House last weekend voted in favour of impeachment of Rousseff, with 367 of 513 members supporting the motion.

Generally, the country of 198 million people remains on edge over the impeachment proceedings, which pertain to allegations of Rousseff manipulating government accounts for political gain.

It is alleged that the president borrowed from State banks to cover financial deficits.

Rousseff has denied the claims and charged that she is the victim of a coup and of sexism.

The impeachment matter would go to the Senate and if it is successful there, the president will have to step down within 180 days to defend herself in a trial.

She faces suspension, which could take place before the start of the Olympics in June, in Rio de Janeiro.

Rousseff’s approval ratings are extremely low, largely because of a lengthy recession and corruption.

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