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Brazil Corruption Minister Quits Under Suspicion

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Ministerial staff use brooms to scrub the office door of the Transparency Minister Fabiano Silveira demanding his resignation, in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, May 30, 2016. A recording TV Globo broadcast late Sunday shows Silveira criticizing Operation Car Wash, a wide-ranging corruption probe of the state oil company Petrobras that has implicated numerous leading Brazilian politicians and businessmen. Protesters in Brazil use brooms as a representation to sweep away corruption. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Ministerial staff use brooms to scrub the office door of the Transparency Minister Fabiano Silveira demanding his resignation, in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, May 30, 2016. A recording TV Globo broadcast late Sunday shows Silveira criticizing Operation Car Wash, a wide-ranging corruption probe of the state oil company Petrobras that has implicated numerous leading Brazilian politicians and businessmen. Protesters in Brazil use brooms as a representation to sweep away corruption. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil continues to fall into political chaos as its transparency minister resigned.

Fabiano Silveira resigned Monday after he was allegedly heard in a recording passing information to a politician under investigation, Reuters reported.

Officials are investigating the state-owned oil company – Petrobras – and alleged bribes to politicians.

On May 12, President Dilma Rousseff was suspended while the Senate looks into her conduct.

Opponents of Rousseff and her Workers Party took money from Petrobras in return for favoring the oil company. Supporters of Rousseff say she has been the target of a plan to unseat her.

Last week, Brazil’s planning minister resigned when the released tapes showed him possibly influenced by Petrobras officials, as well.

The resignations have hurt the government of Michel Temer, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB. The lawyer and politician is acting president since Rousseff’s suspension May 12, Reuters said.

Several members of Temer's government are under investigation in the Petrobras probe. While Rousseff faces an impeachment trial on charges of breaking budget laws, others say Temer plotted against her.

Temer has strongly denied the allegation.

The recordings could lessen support for Rousseff's unseating, observers say.

The two-year investigation into billions of dollars in bribes at Petrobras has also looked into the honesty of dozens of politicians. They include members of Temer's PMDB, and Rousseff's Workers Party, Reuters said.

Kathleen Struck adapted this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and please join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

transparency – adj. something that can be seen through, visible

allegedly -- adv. accused but not proven

bribes -- n. giving something in return for a favor

impeachment -- n. to remove from office after proven wrongdoing

allegation -- n. saying someone did something wrong

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