Brazilian security forces are deploying thousands of troops and erecting barricades in the capital city of Brasilia this week to prevent violent clashes as Congress holds key votes on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
The city’s rare state of alert reflects concern that the country’s polarized political climate will reach a fever pitch in coming days. Authorities on Sunday enlisted the help of inmates from a nearby prison to set up metal barriers that will separate the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who are expected to demonstrate for and against the president’s ouster.
Protesters already are converging on Brasilia as the nation’s drawn-out political crisis moves into a decisive phase, with a special committee in the lower house scheduled to vote on Monday whether to move forward with the impeachment request against Rousseff. The full house could vote as early as April 17, either squelching impeachment or setting the stage for Rousseff’s ouster in the Senate.