BRAZIL'S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

March 15, 1985: Elections restore civilian government after 21 years of military rule.

January 1988: Congress forms a special committee to look into allegations of corruption in the government of President Jose Sarney Costa. Sarney later accuses the committee of waging a campaign of "moral terrorism" against his government.

Dec. 17, 1989: Riding campaign promises of free-market reforms and a fight against government corruption and incompetence, obscure state governor Fernando Collor de Mello is elected for a five-year presidential term.

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March 15, 1990: Collor is inaugurated.

Nov. 25, 1990: Candidates supported by Collor are shut out in gubernatorial elections in Brazil's largest and most powerful states. The defeat is seen as a rejection of Collor's economic austerity programs.

March 30, 1992: At Collor's request, his Cabinet resigns after a torrent of allegations of high-level corruption.

May 20, 1992: In an interview with the magazine Veja, Collor's younger brother Pedro airs accusations of an illegal enrichment scheme involving the president and run by his friend and former campaign treasurer, Paulo Cesar Farias.

Aug. 26, 1992: An 84-day congressional probe finds that Farias and several close Collor associates used their proximity to the president to win contracts, favors, bribes, and influence. The probe concludes that Collor knew of the $330 million scheme, but did nothing to stop it. As the report is released, hundreds of thousands rally in Brazilian cities to demand Collor's impeachment.

Sept. 29, 1992: The Chamber of Deputies impeaches Collor; Vice President Itamar Franco becomes acting president.

Nov. 12, 1992: Brazil's attorney general indicts Collor on criminal charges for his alleged role in the corruption scheme.

Dec. 29, 1992: Collor resigns as his impeachment trial begins in Brazil's Senate. Hours after the resignation, Franco is sworn in as president for the remaining two years of Collor's term. The Senate decides to continue the trial and convicts Collor of official misconduct.

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