People power wins out in Brazil
The proposed amendment, known as ‘PEC 37’, would have restricted the prosecutor’s role in criminal investigations, thus assigning that responsibility to police. According to BBC reports, protestors claimed that the amendment would open the doors to more corruption.
The amendment aimed to limit transparency in the work of Brazilian prosecutors and give more powers to the police. It was backed by 207 out of 513 members of the federal Congress in June 2011 and approved by the Constitution Committee six months later, and then by another committee in November of last year.
However, Congress has now rejected the amendment with 430 votes against. Activists gathered outside the Congress building in Brasilia to cheer each 'no' vote.
Brazil’s public services’ spending was also a topic of discussion. Congress voted to use their oil and gas royalties toward education and health, allocating a total of 75 per cent to education and the other 25 per cent to heath.
Author of the legislation, congressman André Figueiredo told the BBC, ‘We will be able to invest more in teachers with these resources’. Some economists, however, believed that spending wouldn’t solve the problem.