It’s Been Six Months And Brazil’s President Is On A Tear Stripping Rights Away From Every Vulnerable Community
President Bolsonaro, who has been referred to as “Brazil’s Trump” or “Tropical Trump,” has just enjoyed the first six months of his presidency. While his 27 years in Congress was marked by only two bills that became law, Bolsonaro is making irreversible changes as President. The country remains divided in opinion, with some Bolsonaro supporters already regretting their vote, and others experiencing the benefits of his inauguration.
Bolsonaro ran on a platform as anti-corruption and pro-gun as a measure to reduce crime and gang violence in the country. He’s also emphasized a return to “family values,” which includes far-right beliefs like homosexuality as unnatural, and the nuclear working-father stay-at-home mother family archetype. Here’s what all that talk has looked like in real life.
In his first hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro removed LGBTQ+ rights from its human rights ministry scope.
He also attempted to remove homosexuality from textbooks. In the past, Bolsonaro has said that he’d prefer his son dead rather than gay. Bolsonaro also had to cancel a trip to New York after American protest due to his anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
Just recently, after Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ people deserve protection from discrimination, Bolsonaro warned against Brazil becoming “known as a gay tourism paradise.” Needless to say, Pride festivals were even bigger this year.
In a play against crime, Bolsonaro eased restrictions on gun ownership.
The executive order makes it easier for a person to import guns and raises the cap on the amount of ammunition a single person can buy in a year… by a lot. Instead of 50 cartridges of ammunition allowed per year, a single Brazilian can purchase 5,000 cartridges per year.
His administration has introduced a bill that would protect police if they kill a suspect out of fear or “intense emotion.”
President Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister, Sérgio Moro, is responsible for the introduction of said bill. If an officer cites “excusable fear, surprise or intense emotion,” the officer won’t be held accountable for the death of the alleged suspect. It essentially shields abusive officers from consequence and leaves citizens more vulnerable to the emotionality of officers.
Over 13 million Brazilians remain unemployed.
This photograph is of Brazilians standing in line outside an employment center in Rio de Janeiro. When asked, those in line say they’re ready to accept any job.
Bolsonaro ran a campaign that focused so heavily on pension reform to ease Brazil’s debt that little focus has been left for the growing unemployment crisis.
Bolsonaro has followed through on his promise to strengthen ties with the U.S. and Israel.
These two have gotten along great. No democratic President of Brazil has been so pro-US as Bolsonaro. In March, Bolsonaro traveled to Washington to meet with Trump, and the two were publicly heaping praise for each other on national television.
Most significantly, Bolsonaro has begun weakening environmental restrictions to strengthen his ties with agribusiness.
Bolsonaro is a climate-change denier. He has begun removing environmental protections on a forested coast south of Rio de Janeiro in the hopes of creating “a Cancún of Brazil.” A previous Environmental Minister has called Bolsonaro the “exterminator of the future.”
By the end of January, the administration cleared another 159 pesticides and chemicals for legal sale in the country. By March, the administration began floating the idea of loosening regulations around mining in indigenous territory.
Bolsonaro’s own son has been involved in a corruption scandal.
An investigation is currently underway to understand suspicious payments between Senator Flavio Bolsonaro and his former driver. A court allowed Flavio’s banking records to be examined as federal investigators call it a money-laundering investigation. This all comes after Flavio Bolsonaro suddenly purchased at least two luxury apartments in Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile, a movement that alleges Bolsonaro framed former President Lula de Silva on corruption is growing.
Many political leaders, including Senator Bernie Sanders, have called on Bolsonaro to release Lula de Silva. All this comes after evidence that shows Bolsonaro may have conspired with prosecutor Sérgio Moro to frame Lula de Silva, which pulled him out of a race that he was projected to win.
The credibility of Bolsonaro’s presidency has gone into question.
For a man whose campaign was run on effectively draining the swamp, many Brazilians are concerned that the election was rigged by the collaboration of Moro and Bolsonaro. Six months into his Presidency, an investigation is underway.
Still, an estimated 4 million Brazilians rallied in support of Bolsonaro on May 26.
Approximately 330 cities and initial estimates of 4 million continued loyal supporters rallied for Bolsonaro. They all want a smaller government, clean of corruption.