Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right politician often compared to Donald Trump, was elected president of Brazil in arguably the country’s most important election in its history. He defeated leftist Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad with 55 percent of the vote.
Bolsonaro’s victory swings Latin America’s largest nation swiftly to the right, marking the latest in worldwide victories for fringe movements and representing a significant break in voters’ support for the leftist party that dominated past elections. It also follows coordinated efforts to silence and intimidate journalists who reported on the fake news surrounding Bolsonaro’s campaign.
A former army captain, Bolsonaro has capitalized on Brazil’s political and economic turmoil by promising to “quebrar o sistema” — or “break the system.” He has a troublesome affinity for military dictatorship and a history of embracing offensive views about women, the LGBTQ community, and racial minorities.