Opinion

Why Brazil must preserve its Constitution

The idea of writing a new Constitution often surges as a magical solution to people's frustrations with how Brazil's democracy works

constitution brazil 1988
Congress celebrates the approval of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution. Photo: National Archives

Constitutions are the legal consequences of political processes, which are at times contentious and bloody, as Brazilian law professor Silvio Almeida wrote in a recent op-ed. He adds that they serve as a “full stop” to bookend an era — and a new beginning for a nation. In Brazil, that process occurred in 1988, when the country passed one of the world’s boldest charters in terms of indigenous rights, public healthcare, and civil protections.

But, as it turns out, allies of President Jair Bolsonaro want that full stop to be changed into a comma.

Congressman Ricardo Barros, the government’s...

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