A former army captain is on the verge of becoming Brazil's next president. » Subscribe to NowThis World: http://go.nowth.is/World_Subscribe » Watch the Previous Episode: https://go.nowth.is/2OK0EE5
Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate and provocateur, who was once relegated to the sidelines of politics, has managed to become the driving force in Brazil after 14 years of left-wing rule. Jair Bolsonaro's election could mean a political earthquake for Latin America. How did this happen? And what does this mean for Brazil?
Let's start with how Jair Bolsonaro managed to become the center of attention in Brazil after so many years with Brazil's Workers' Party at the helm.
In 2015, Brazil was in turmoil. In addition to the first revelations of the 'Lava Jato' (Car Wash) corruption scandal Brazil also started to suffer a financial crisis with a stiff decrease on its GDP and a rise in crime and unemployment, which ultimately would keep the country among the most violent places to live in the world. Brazil's status as a strong player in the world economy came to an end.
Bolsonaro's place in Brazilian politics was largely seen as that of the provocateur whose support wasn't expected to rise. Few people expected Jair Bolsonaro to be the favorite for a presidential candidacy for the brazil election 2018.
Some credit this rise in Bolsonaro's profile to the downfall of the previous leading candidate in these elections, former president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.
Da Silva, also known as 'Lula,' was Brazil's president for two terms, from 2003 to 2011. He was also the driving force and soul of the Workers' Party.
Da Silva's administration's accomplishments included helping bring 20 million brazilians out of acute poverty and moving the country's economy to the 8th place in the world. But his administration was also marred by corruption scandals like Mensalao, which involved several top officials of his government and also himself. Then came the Lava Jato accusations, with 9 charges involving Da Silva.
Back in 2011, he left office with big popularity numbers. But in July 2017 everything changed. Lula was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for receiving a bribe. After appealing, his sentence was raised to 12 years and in September 2018, he was officially barred from running for office .
With only a few weeks to go before the election, Lula decided to step aside and throw his support behind Fernando Haddad, a former Sao Paulo Mayor who was going to be his running mate for the Workers' Party.
But things didn't go as planned. Watch this episode to find out how Jair Bolsonaro became the favorite and how the right is on the rise in Brazil.
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NowThis World is dedicated to bringing you topical explainers about the world around you. Each week we’ll be exploring current stories in international news, by examining the facts, providing historical context, and outlining the key players involved. We’ll also highlight powerful countries, ideologies, influential leaders, and ongoing global conflicts that are shaping the current landscape of the international community across the globe today.