January 1, 2019


Brazil Is About To Show The World How A Modern Democracy Collapses (Travis Waldron, 01/01/2019, The Guardian)
Brazil was already one of the world's most unequal countries in terms of income distribution, and while the poor unquestionably benefited from the Workers' Party's policies ― including a hike in the minimum wage ― the vast majority of the economic gains achieved under da Silva went to the richest 1 percent of Brazil's population. So even as a new lower-middle class earned more than it ever had, Brazil's obscene levels of income inequality likely expanded during the good years. Violent crime had been reduced, but not to levels befitting a developed democracy: Even before the economic collapse, Brazil was home to more than a dozen of the planet's 50 most violent cities. 

Things got worse: The economy collapsed in 2013, plunging millions out of work and millions more back into poverty. In 2014, a money-laundering investigation turned into the world's broadest political corruption investigation. Known as Operation Car Wash, or "Lava Jato" in Portuguese, it has implicated hundreds of Brazilian politicians, including da Silva and outgoing President Michel Temer, of the centrist Democratic Movement Party. Violent crime has surged ― there were more than 60,000 homicides in each of the last two years. President Dilma Rousseff, da Silva's hand-picked successor, was impeached in 2016. Da Silva was convicted on money-laundering charges in 2017 and imprisoned this year; Temer has only narrowly escaped trial on bribery charges.

Brazil's Incoming President Enjoys Strong Support, Poll Shows (Mario Sergio Lima, December 13, 2018, Bloomberg)

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is backed by the vast majority of Brazilians, according to a public opinion poll published less than three weeks ahead of his inauguration.

Roughly 75 percent of the population believes the incoming president is on the right path, according to an Ibope survey published on Thursday by Brazil's National Industry Confederation, or CNI. Sixty-four percent expect his government to be good or great, while 14 percent said it will be bad or terrible.

Posted by at January 1, 2019 6:25 PM