PEC 37 voted down 403-9

June 27, 2013
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Earlier this month, we covered an announcement from the Brazilian Council of Justice (CNJ) where they came out against the "PEC 37" measure. It is a piece of legislation that, if passed, would limit the investigative powers of federal prosecutors, something many feared would make it harder to prosecute official corruption.

Members of the CNJ called the bill "disastrous" and said it would be the "suicide" of the country's judicial system. It would be like limiting the ability of the FBI to investigate corruption.

Yesterday, that bill was voted on by Brazil's lower house of congress and the final count was 403-9 against the legislation. Many experts are crediting the current protests that are sweeping the country for helping to defeat the bill.

According to a Sports Illustrated article, before the demonstrations broke out on June 17 - which started over a transportation fare hike and now engulf numerous government spending issues - the PEC 37 bill appeared to be heading for an easy victory in its first vote. Since then, many citizens have been seen holding signs against the bill at protests over the last few weeks.

"It was on the streets that the blindness of the politicians was lifted,'' Domingos Dutra, a congressman who has often butted heads with leaders of his ruling Workers Party, told the news source.

This defeat shows what is capable from these protests. Anyone that has business in the country would be wise to partner with Brazilian lawyers to stay updated on any changes to the laws that could come out of these protests.

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