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Thousands Protest Government Corruption in Brazil


Thousands of Brazilians marched through Sao Paulo and other cities Saturday in a protest against corruption scandals that have involved members of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government.

At least 2,000 demonstrators, many of them wearing black clothing and red clown noses, gathered on Sao Paulo's Avenida Paulista. Similar protests took place in the capital Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.

Corruption charges have brought down several government officials connected to President Lula in recent years.

Last May, Energy Minister Silas Rondeau denied any wrongdoing but resigned after allegations linking him to a financial scandal involving public-works project.

In another case, the leader of Brazil's senate, Renan Calheiros, was accused of taking payoffs from a construction company. He has denied the allegations, and remains in office.

Separate accusations of political dirty tricks and illegal campaign spending forced Mr. da Silva to fire his campaign manager, Ricardo Berzoini, prior to the first round of last year's presidential election.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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