By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A day after Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted to authorize the advancement of impeachment proceedings against her, President Dilma Rousseff vowed to continue to fight for what she called an injustice. President Rousseff reiterated that she did nothing wrong when she took out loans from state-owned banks to pay for the government’s social programs.
“The acts for which I’ve been accused were committed by other presidents before me and were not considered illegal or criminal acts. So when I feel angry and wronged, it is because I have received treatment that was not reserved to anyone else. None of them [acts] benefitted me directly. I did not get rich because of them,” Rousseff said on Monday afternoon.
Addressing journalists at the Palacio do Planalto (Presidential Palace) Rousseff said that the impeachment process is defined in the country’s Constitution, but a crime needs to be committed for the country’s President to be removed from the position, and she says she did not commit a crime.
According to her the loans were commonplace not only in her administration but in many previous ones, never being constituted as a crime. The issue, however, for some analysts is the volume of these loans. According to economists the loans obtained from state-owned financial institutions during Rousseff’s Administration were more than 900 times those seen in prior administrations.
During her address, Rousseff said she was outraged that she was being judged by politicians, who themselves are currently being accused of corruption and money laundering. “It is interesting,” she said, “that there are no accusation against me of embezzlement of public funds, of receiving illicit payoffs. I wasn’t accused of having foreign banks accounts,” she said, indirectly alluding to the Chamber’s president, Eduardo Cunha, who has been accused of lying about not having accounts in Swiss banks.
Although stating she was ‘very sad’ with the turn of events, Rousseff reiterated that she would fight to the end and not let the Chamber’s decision paralyze her administration. “I have the strength and courage to face this injustice,” said the president.