1 million in the streets of Brazil change policy

Brazil’s Congress has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that was a key grievance of protesters who took to streets across the country. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23058386 Demonstrators had argued PEC 37, which would have limited the power of federal prosecutors to investigate crimes, might open the way for more corruption. Congress also voted to use all the royalties from newly discovered oil fields for education and health.
The PEC 37 constitutional amendment rejected on Tuesday had been a thorn in the side of many protesters and its defeat has been described by one national newspaper as a direct result of “pressure from the streets”. Its critics said it would have affected the ability of prosecutors to conduct effective, fair and impartial criminal investigations, including those into organised crime and corruption.
In another move to try and pacify protesters angry at a broad range of issues, including poor public services, high levels of corruption and the high cost of hosting major sporting events such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the government also promised to speed up the pace of reform. Ministers suggested they would focus on a more straightforward referendum proposing political reform.
It could address “concrete questions”, such as campaign financing and political representation. Education Minister Aloisio Mercadante said the government wanted political reform with “wide public participation”.
The wave of rallies in more than 100 cities began in Sao Paulo, where residents were unhappy at planned rises in public-transport fares. Those increases have since been shelved, but the protests spread across Brazil, and the protesters’ demands have become more wide-ranging.

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