Latin America

AMLO and Bolsonaro feel the limits of personalized politics

Coming to power through a political crisis does not prepare one to deal with a systemic one

AMLO, Bolsonaro feel the limits of personalized politics
AMLO’s signature gesture shows him hugging the Mexican people. “You have to hug. Nothing happens.” Photo: Octavio Hoyos/Shutterstock

“There’s plenty of competition, but the most ineffective world leader responding to coronavirus right now goes to Brazil President [Jair] Bolsonaro. This weekend he’s blasting governors taking lockdown measures. Will seriously damage his mandate,” tweeted on Monday Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm.

Mr. Bremmer is probably right. Mr. Bolsonaro over the last few days has actively dismissed the dangers of the Covid-19 outbreak, endorsed anti-democrat street protests against lawmakers and Supreme Court justices (greeting and touching supporters — directly exposing as many as 300 to the virus —...

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