News Release

Is Brazil Slipping Back into Fascism?


The Washington Post reports that Jair Bolsonaro, a “far-right former military man won nearly half the votes in Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, raising the strong prospect that he could take the helm of Latin America’s largest nation in a runoff later this month.”

Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil said today: “The election results in Brazil show the risk of a discourse based on fear and manipulation, which benefited a candidate who is openly misogynistic, racist, homophobic, who defends torture and the return of the military dictatorship. Brazilian women have organized against him in the social media campaign #EleNão (#NotHim) that has attracted more than 4 million participants. Progressive forces will continue to organize to defend democracy in Brazil, and to send a strong message to the world against fascism.”

Director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main said today: “How did we end up with these terrifying election results in Brazil, a country that not long ago was seen as a beacon of progress within the developing world? Attacks on Brazil’s democracy have played a major role, in particular the unconstitutional removal of president Dilma Rousseff and the unjustified imprisonment of former president Lula da Silva, who had been widely expected to win the election before being barred from running. The rightwing ‘coup’ against Dilma and Lula, promoted by elite sectors eager to implement neoliberal ‘shock therapy’ measures, had the unintended effect of creating a political opening for fascism.”

For more, see “How a homophobic, misogynist, racist ‘thing’ could be Brazil’s next president” in The Guardian by the Brazilian journalist Eliane Brum.