Brazilian Ministry Building Set on Fire as Protests Turn Violent

(Bloomberg) -- Protesters in Brasilia set fire to a ministry building on Wednesday afternoon, as tens of thousands gathered outside Congress to demand the removal of President Michel Temer.

Amid frequent clashes with police, demonstrators mobilized by Brazil’s main labor unions broke into several ministries, causing widespread damage and setting fire to the agriculture ministry, according to GloboNews. All ministry buildings were subsequently evacuated and civil servants sent home.

Tension in Brazil has risen sharply over the past week, after news broke that the Supreme Court authorized an investigation into the president over allegations of passive corruption and obstruction of justice. Unions opposed to Temer’s labor and pension reforms organized Wednesday protests, calling for immediate general elections. According to Brazilian law if Temer resigns or is forced out of office, Congress will elect an interim president.

As the protests took place outside Congress, members of Temer’s allied base were meeting to discuss whether to stick by the embattled president.