RIO DE JANEIRO — A year after helping push for the impeachment of the leftist President Dilma Rousseff, fewer conservatives are turning out for protests in Brazil, which is good news for her equally unpopular successor, Michel Temer. But the demands of those still demonstrating have hardened, and turned even further to the right.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in at least 18 states on Sunday in support of the sprawling Operation Car Wash graft investigation that drove Ms. Rousseff’s impeachment for breaking budget laws, although she was never personally accused of graft. The investigation is threatened by nervous lawmakers who are seeking to restrict its scope and calling for amnesty from illegal campaign financing.
Protesters in the Copacabana seafront area of Rio de Janeiro and along Paulista Avenue in São Paulo brandished posters, shouted slogans and even carried a cardboard cutout of Sérgio Moro, a federal judge who has sentenced dozens involved in the Operation Car Wash case.
But the number of protesters was significantly smaller than before the impeachment, and the protesters on Sunday did not target Mr. Temer, despite a growing number of references to him and his ministers in leaked corruption testimonies. Some demonstrators even argued that removing Mr. Temer would only create more political instability. …