Power

How has Bolsonaro changed Brazil after one year?

jair bolsonaro year 1
Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

On January 1, Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated as Brazil’s 38th president. The task ahead of him was a veritable Rubik’s cube—a polarized and deeply unequal country, with a sluggish economy, infrastructure deficiencies, low education performance, and falling investments.

Mr. Bolsonaro rose from being a longtime backbencher to taking the highest office in the land by capitalizing on Brazilians’ frustrations, and gambling on an anti-establishment platform. Much like Donald Trump in the U.S., Mr. Bolsonaro gained popularity by promising to “drain the swamp,” and to lead an administration that would be “more Brazil, less Brasília.” 

Now, one-quarter of his term...

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