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Brazil Lurches to the Far Right

Jair Bolsonaro (AP)


October 09, 2018

On WYNC’s Brian Lehrer show, Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly and the vice president for policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas talked about the rise of Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who faces a run-off after he just missed winning the election outright.

To understand the rise of Bolsonaro, it’s important to understand Brazils political landscape. Facing the worst economic recession in 100 years, staggering levels of violent crime, and a massive corruption scandal, “Brazilians are angry,” says Winter. Amid this background Brazilians “have come to the conclusion that democracy is a synonym for weakness,” he added.

In the polls, this anger translates to voting for change and as a candidate that has railed against democracy and its norms, Jair Bolsonaro is just that. In reminiscing over Brazil’s military dictatorship, Bolsonaro’s pledge of dealing with criminals resembles the extra-judicial approach taken by Duterte in the Philippines.

Listen to the full conversation here.