Bolsonaro and his brand of extreme right wing politics have emerged as the big losers in Brazil’s recent local elections, but established left wing parties have not done so well either. Jan Rocha reports.

Bolsonaro — the new Jim Jones

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President Bolsonaro is the new 'Jim Jones', says Jan Rocha, comparing the Brazilian president to the cult leader who led his followers in a mass suicide in Guayana in 1978.

A bad week for Bolsonaro

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21 June 2020. It would be an understatement to say this has been a bad week for Bolsonaro. In fact it has been disastrous. The tide has turned against the President, in the courts, in the streets, in the press. The week began with the dismantling of a camp, set up in front of congress by his extremist supporters, calling...

Bolsonaro: quack doctor

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15 May 2020. As Brazil lurches from one political crisis to another, the death toll rises steadily, making it the new epicentre of the global pandemic. Over 16,000 have now died since it began. Doctors and specialists point to a disastrous lack of coordination by the federal government in fighting the virus. Initiatives by state and city administrations to reduce...
It was billed as an important presidential announcement, and his ministers stood behind him, dark suited, hands clasped in front of them like a football team defending a penalty shot. One stood out - Finance Minister Paulo Guedes – not just the only one wearing a mask, but the only one in shirtsleeves, and apparently, socks. This was interpreted...

Bolsonaro the grave-digger

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April 23 2020. I'm not a gravedigger’ said President Jair Bolsonaro scornfully, when a reporter tried to question him about the number of coronavirus deaths in Brazil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imkh0RGZjvQ But that is exactly what he is, because by insisting on making impromptu visits to street traders and padarias (bakeries), drawing crowds, shaking hands, touching people, he is helping to spread the virus.   His latest...
Watching the Brazilian political scene is a bit like watching an old disaster movie, where a suicidal maniac has taken over the plane’s controls and put it into a steep dive, while members of the crew wrestle with him to avert the crash. See featured video, above: Bolsonaro criticises Mandetta’s position on the coronavirus crisis. Video: Band Jornalismo 03 April 2020....
Brazil faces two disasters: the pandemic of coronavirus, and the pandemonium of the Bolsonaro government. The first is invisible and highly contagious but should only last a few months. The second is highly visible but has three and three quarter years to run. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32W6axPeisQ ‘Bolsonaro has tested negative for president. The counterproof was the “panelaço”, the protest of the middle classes, many of whom voted for...
In what has become a daily ritual in Brasilia, the sleek black car stops by the band of fervent Bolsonaristas waiting outside the Alvorada Palace exit, the President steps out and glad-hands his supporters. But although he wears the presidential sash, this ‘president’ is not Jair Bolsonaro, but a comedian impersonating him, distributing real bananas* to the press corps,...
São Paulo, November 10 2019. Following a controversial Supreme Court ruling, Lula has been temporarily freed after 580 days in prison on a corruption charge he has always denied. His freedom came, not because of the leaked conversations that revealed a conspiracy between local judge, now Justice Minister,  Sergio Moro and the prosecutors to stop Lula running in the...

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