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Where are the Brazilian protests going?

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Protests have brought a quarter-million people to Brazil’s streets – with implications for next year’s presidential election says Marcos Troyjo of Columbia’s BRICLab.

Nearly a quarter million people have taken to the streets in Brazil’s largest cities in the past week in the largest demonstrations the country has seen since the 1985 protests against the country’s then military government. What began as protest over a 20 cent increase in bus fare in the city of São Paulo has morphed into broader dissatisfaction with the “inefficiencies and deficiencies” of Brazil, says Professor Marcos Troyjo, director of Columbia University’s BRICLab. Troyjo says the protests reflect a sector of the population that is increasingly frustrated with Brazil’s state capitalist system that is “neither generating the necessary prosperity or efficiencies in education or health.” While the short-term effects of these protests is unlikely to be significant, Troyjo says the protests could have a major influence on the country’s October 2014 presidential elections, and could pose a challenge for President Dilma Rousseff in what has until now been considered her “guaranteed” reelection.

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