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Amid pandemic, Rio governor worries about his political survival

Wilson Witzel went from zero to hero during the 2018 campaign, but now faces a perfect storm of crises — and could be impeached

rio Wilson Witzel during his inauguration ceremony. Photo: Carlos Magno/Secom
Rio Governor Wilson Witzel during his inauguration ceremony. Photo: Carlos Magno/Secom

In October 2018, former judge Wilson Witzel went from being an unknown candidate for Rio de Janeiro’s governorship to one of the country’s fastest-rising political phenomena. In opinion polls just days before the election, Mr. Witzel was polling at just 4 percent — but he somehow managed to leapfrog all other candidates to pull off an upset, beating a former Rio de Janeiro mayor in the runoff. The quick ascension gave Mr. Witzel presidential hopes, which he has never missed an opportunity to voice publicly. But the governor is now facing a perfect storm of crises, and less than two...

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