Brazilian university to offer law course on 2016 political coup

Impeached former president Dilma Rousseff gives inaugural lecture at Brazil’s Federal University of Minas Gerais, where new course will open from the coming academic year

August 17, 2018
Brazil demonstration

A university in Brazil is to launch a new course focusing on the motives and events that led to the impeachment of the country’s first female president in 2016.

Dilma Rousseff served as Brazilian president from 2011 until she was suspended and later forcibly removed from office in 2016.

The centre-left Workers’ Party leader was accused of breaking budgetary laws at a time when numerous public scandals including accusations of bribery among major political parties had had a direct effect on the Brazilian economy. She was succeeded by Michel Temer.

Earlier this month, Ms Rousseff gave an inaugural speech to mark the opening of the new course, titled A Coup Deemed Impeachment, at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Ms Rousseff told the audience that beliefs that Brazilian society operated on meritocracy were “fake news”, and repeated claims that her impeachment was driven by misogyny in the political system.

The free course is to be led by the university’s law faculty and is open to both undergraduates and the general public, university coordinators told TeleSur, with enrolment possible from 13 August.

Classes will be led by 30 different professors across four months and material from the course will be published on social media for maximum public outreach, said Thomas Bustamante, a professor of law at UFMG and coordinator of the new course.

The primary intention of the course is to raise awareness of recent political history as well as encourage debate, he told local news platforms. “Our democracy was deeply scratched by this process. We need to understand and explain what happened from a theoretical, critical and scientific view so that it cannot happen again.”

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