Thousands of protesters gathered to the streets in their cars across several cities in Brazil over the weekend to demand the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leftwing groups organized rallies with hundreds of cars along the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia and in over 20 state capitals, including Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Belo Horizonte, last Jan. 23, the same day the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 reached 216,000 in Brazil.
In Sao Paolo, leftwing leader Guilherme Boulos said that the motorcade rallies were the beginning of “a popular uprising against this genocidal government.”
“We’re here to announce that we aren’t going to wait until 2022 because lives are at stake. Now’s the time to defeat Jair Bolsonaro. He’s going to leave the presidency and go straight to jail,” Boulos said, as reported by British newspaper The Guardian.
The following day, rightwing and conservative groups that once supported Bolsonaro also organized their own protests in dozens of cities to demand the president’s impeachment.
“When Bolsonaro arrived, we voted for him for his proposals that we found interesting, but the situation now with the pandemic is terrible,” Meg Fernandes who joined the protest last Jan. 24 said, as reported by ABC News.
Bolsonaro, who is midway through his four-year term, has recently been under renewed criticism for the crisis in Manaus where hospitals ran out of oxygen supply. He has also faced criticism for the delays in launching the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has reported over 8.9 million COVID-19 cases, the third highest in the world. The death toll is now over 217,000, the second highest in the world.
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