The Brazilian Government is beginning to bend to the will of the people, as the demonstrations continue...
The fare increase that sparked the explosion went first. This had little effect on the crowd, who by now has become far more than people who take the bus. In my mind, a major step forward was taken with the defeat of PEC37, a proposed constitutional amendment that stripped the federal goverment of much of it's power to investigate and prosecute corruption at the highest levels. In spite of its onerous nature, surveys among the Brazilian House of Representatives showed it would sail through practically unnoticed by the voting public. It failed this week, primarily due to the action in the streets.
So, it's two down, and how many left to go? That depends on who you ask.
Many want existing court decisions enforced. Several dirty pols have been convicted of crimes, yet still walk the streets due to a slow and somewhat leaky justice system. Here, settled lawsuits often take a lifetime to bear penalties to the guilty, and convicted felons are free for years during an appeals process designed to keep them out of jail for decades, rather than reviewing cases.
Another prickly point is the election of the head of the Brazilian Senate, Renan Calhieros,in a closed-door vote. Calheiros is being investigated for fraud as well. The fact that you can't know if your senator voted for this guy has rankled many here. This would be another relatively easy fix that congress can make, but will they?
President Dilma Rousseff made a brief, pre-recorded statement on national TV that produced a lot of yawns and shrugs, but later vowed to meet with Mayors, Governors, and protest leaders with regard to further reforms. She promised more doctors for the pathetic public health system, and committed future oil drilling royalties to improve education and infrastructure, but these and other reforms are only delivered by the legislature. Rousseff has proposed these changes in the past, but has met stiff oppostion in congress.
So, at this point, the demonstations continue, and people have a wait-and-see attitude. The biggest concern, as far as this gringo can see, is that the "manifestaçoes" may not remain as relatively peaceful as they have been. They have seen things like this get way worse, and it still is a distinct possibility.