Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff could be removed from power if the lower house of Congress approves her impeachment. In reaction to this, thousands of Brazilians across 17 states, including the nation's capital, took to the streets in her defence. Many filled the air with cans of red smoke, the colour of the Brazilian Workers' Party, to show their support for her innocence.

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Supporters of Brazils Workers' Party (PT) demonstrate in red smoke, the party's colour, in support of President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroYasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
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A man holds a sign during the protests in Rio de JaneiroYasuyoshi Chiba /AFP
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A woman looks over the crowds of people during a rally in support of President Dilma RousseffMario Tama/Getty

Demonstrations like these have been happening since early 2015, after revelations about numerous politicians accepting bribes from the state-owned energy company Petrobras from 2003 to 2010 – the time when Rousseff was on the company's board of directors. Most of the politicians accused were from Brazil Workers' Party, and they went under investigation.

To antagonise her allies even more, Rousseff went on to nominate former president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva as her chief of staff, after he had been charged for money laundering and fraud. A secret conversation was then recorded between the two politicians was then released shortly after, giving apparent evidence that she had nominated hum to protect him from prosecutors.

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A man sells Brazil flags at a rally supporting President Dilma RousseffMario Tama/Getty
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Protestors chant at a rally in support of President Dilma RousseffMario Tama/Getty
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Supporters of President Dilma Rousseff rally in coloured smoke while demonstrating at a rally supporting her presidencyMario Tama/Getty
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A protestor marches with Brazilian colours at a rally supporting President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroMario Tama/Getty

The lower house of Congress are to cast their votes in mid-April on whether Rousseff should stand trial in the Senate. If she does, she will be facing charges for manipulating government accounts to win re-election in 2014. Rousseff has pledged to fight the charges which have been brought on the by opposition of irregularities in the government budget designed to favour her in the 2014 re-election.

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A doll of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is seenm during the protestsRicardo Moraes/Reuters
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A supporter of Brazils Workers' Party (PT) looks on during a demonstration in support of President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaYasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
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Supporters of Brazils Workers' Party (PT) demonstrate in the streets of Rio de JaneiroYasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
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A man is surrounded by red smoke during the protest against impeachment proceedings made against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroRicardo Moraes/Reuters
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Protestors rally in support of President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroMario Tama/Getty
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Supporters of President Dilma Rousseff rally in red smoke, the colour of Rousseff's Workers Party (PT), as thet demonstrate at a rally supporting her presidencyMario Tama/Getty
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A woman carries a doll wearing a sash reading 'Democracy' at a rally supporting President Dilma RousseffMario Tama/Getty
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A supporter of Brazils Workers' Party (PT) takes a picture in a red smoke during the protestsYasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
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Protestors gather at a rally supporting President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroMario Tama/Getty
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A man takes part in the protest against impeachment proceedings made against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroRicardo Moraes/Reuters
Rio de Janeiro
People gather to protest against impeachment proceedings against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de JaneiroRicardo Moraes/Reuters