Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian press reacts to latest leaked tape scandal

Brazilian acting President Michel Temer gestures during the presentation of new ministers at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 18, 2016. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Acting President Michel Temer lost one of his key ministers on Monday after a newspaper leaked a controversial taped conversation

Brazilian press have been provided with yet more drama to dissect, following the leaked recordings of Planning Minister Romero Juca allegedly conspiring to obstruct a huge corruption investigation.

The scandal erupted less than two weeks after Michel Temer took over as the acting president of Brazil.

The story dominates the top headlines of the country's major media outlets, with many newspapers devoting several articles to the latest revelation.

Image copyright O Globo
Image caption O Globo leads with the headline "11 days later: Recording topples Juca, challenges Temer and alarms the PMDB"

Right-leaning newspaper O Globo leads with the headline "11 days later: Recording topples Juca, challenges Temer and alarms the PMDB", in reference to upheaval now facing the country's largest political party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), to which both the president and the minister belong.

O Globo's online coverage takes a different approach and highlights interim President Temer's reaction to the scandal.

The site features an editorial entitled "Temer's hour", which argues that Mr Temer's presidency is legitimate but that he would be better off removing Mr Juca from office permanently.

Many see this latest revelation as a serious challenge for the interim president.

Carolina Bahia, a columnist for newspaper Zero Hora, writes that "Michel Temer has hardly started to govern and already faces his first scandal" in a piece entitled "Juca is just the beginning".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There have been protests against Mr Temer, who is now facing the added trouble created by the leak

Centre-left publication Carta Capital takes the same view, with the headline "Juca: Understand the first crisis of Temer's government".

The article notes that Mr Juca saw President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as an opportunity to divert attention away from the massive corruption investigation dubbed Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash.

Folha de Sao Paulo, which first published news of the leaked recordings, also notes the link to Ms Rousseff's impeachment.

In his weekly column for Folha, left-wing politician Marcelo Freixo says the recordings "show that the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff had nothing to do with combating corruption".

Several publications feature Ms Rousseff's reaction to the leaked tapes.

Centre-right daily Correio Braziliense writes "Dilma says the recording shows the need to remove her from post so as to stop the Lava Jato corruption investigation", in an article entitled "Juca's audio is evidence of a 'coup'".

Image copyright Correio Braziliense
Image caption Centre-right daily Correio Braziliense wrote an article entitled "Juca's audio is evidence of a 'coup'".

There has been no lack of reaction on social media over this latest revelation in Brazil's political drama, with Mr Juca remaining one of the top trends on Twitter in the hours following the leak.

President Temer is also the focus of attention, and the hashtag #ForaTemer [Temer Out] is prominent amongst those who oppose the interim government.

Other Twitter users are highlighting angles that they say the newspapers have missed, namely that members of the Supreme Court (STF) may have been aware of Mr Juca's plan.

US journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is based in Brazil, tweets "Brazil's media keeps focusing on Juca's desire to end Lava Jato, ignoring his *way-more-important* conversations with military and STF judges".

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