Move to impeach embattled President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil has begun

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from Bloomberg Businessweek,

Brazil’s Congress hasn’t moved to impeach embattled President Dilma Rousseff, but in one shantytown named after her, she has already been ousted.

As the fastest inflation in more than a decade hits the poor harder than the rich, a leader of the Comunidade Dilma Rousseff last month tore down the placard honoring the president at the entrance to the favela, tucked beside a highway in Rio de Janeiro.

“We put up a sign after Dilma was elected, thinking it was going to be worthwhile, but nothing at all happened,” said Marilene Silva Souza, 40, who sells cookies and bottled water on the road. “We’re eating scraps. If you want to eat a little better, you have to pay an absurd amount.”

Since Rousseff’s second term started in January, her government has boosted government-regulated prices, which along with rising food costs have helped propel inflation to almost double the official target. That pinches the poor, who form the base of Rousseff’s Workers’ Party and have turned against her in greater numbers than those who are better-off.

“Inflation is by nature a regressive tax, and in the basket of goods and services the poor consume, prices have risen faster,” Alberto Ramos, chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said by phone. “So they’re being hit twice.”

The presidential press office had no comment on the impact of inflation on the government’s popularity among lower-income Brazilians.

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