Power

In inauguration speech, Brazil’s new president gives reasons for concern

Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at Congress to deliver his inauguration speech. Photo: Marcos Brandão/Ag.Senado
Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at Congress to deliver his inauguration speech. Photo: Marcos Brandão/Ag.Senado

On March 15, 1985, Army General João Baptista Figueiredo left office, ending Brazil’s 21-year  military dictatorship. It has taken almost 34 years for another military man to be sworn into the country’s highest office—this time, by way of a democratic election. On January 1, 2019, former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s 42nd president.

Military undertones were all over the place on this New Year’s Day inauguration. During the oath of office ceremony in Congress, someone in attendance shouted the military salute Selva! (“Jungle!”) while Vice-President Hamilton Mourão (himself a retired General) signed the act of his inauguration. Later, Mr....

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