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Just a few years ago, international observers touted Brazil as the next big success story out of South America. The country was selected to host the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, turning global attention to the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
All of this happened in conjunction with extreme political unrest in Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in 2016.
And now, the front-runner for an expected runoff election is a far-right candidate named Jair Bolsonaro.
From The Economist:
The pursuit of politics as usual in Murici and places like it is one reason that next month’s general election is anything but ordinary. The front-runner in the presidential race is Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing former army captain who rails against conventional politics, praises dictators and has gun-slinging notions of how to fight crime. After a lunatic knifed him at a rally on September 6th, he is campaigning from a hospital bed. Regardless, he is widely expected to enter a run-off vote, which would be held on October 28th (see chart).
What are the implications of Bolsonaro’s popularity? How could Bolsonaro’s election affect the region? Is Brazil another example of the trend we’ve seen in Europe of right-wing populism?
- Brian Winter Editor-in-chief, Americas Quarterly; vice president, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas; @BrazilBrian
- Monica de Bolle Senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Director of Latin American Studies, Johns Hopkins University; @bollemdb
- Paulo Sotero Director, the Brazil Institute at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; @viapaulosotero
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