The deterioration of the democracy in Brazil is compounded under the mandate of Bolsonaro

The arrival in Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro –the first president of the far-right since the restoration of democracy in 1985— was accompanied with great fears on th

The deterioration of the democracy in Brazil is compounded under the mandate of Bolsonaro

The arrival in Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro –the first president of the far-right since the restoration of democracy in 1985— was accompanied with great fears on the part of their opponents and the minorities. The first year of his mandate has included pulses to the other powers of the State, attacks on the press, the science, the history... making controversial and endless polemics. The retired military, which keeps alive the discourse of them against us in the campaign and is openly hostile to the left, has put to the test the institutions of Brazil.

The support for democracy has dropped seven points, to 62% since his inauguration, those who are indifferent to the form of government increase, while maintaining the 12% who believed that in certain circumstances it is better to the dictatorship, according to the survey of Datafolha widespread in the New Year.

The Congress, where it has no majority, has slowed their legislative initiatives and more radical as to exempt police and the military of responsibility in shoot-outs with criminals or purge of left-wing school books. The Supreme has also been a dam. But in areas such as cultural policy, has gotten the scissors to everything that does not fit with your vision. Editorials against his instincts are authoritarian are frequent.

The UN gave the voice of alarm already in September, by the mouth of his human rights commissioner, the former president Michelle Bachelet, who after criticizing the increase of shot dead police said: “These past few months, we have observed a reduction of civic space and democratic, characterized by attacks against human rights defenders and restrictions imposed on the work of the civil society”. The brazilian responded with fury to offend the memory of the father of the chilean military assassinated by the dictatorship accused of being a communist.

The latest annual report on the quality of democracy in the world of V-dem institute at the University of Gothenburg, placed Brazil in the 30% of the more democratic (that is ranked 53 out of 179 countries, with Spain on the 26th and in the USA 27), but alert your autocratización (and the US, among others). This assessment from 2018, before Bolsonaro, already points to a deterioration since the turbulent years of the dismissal of the leftist Dilma Rousseff.

Although the report on 2019 will be ready in a few months, the director of V-dem, professor Staffan I. Lindberg, warning that, on the basis of their observations, Brazil is undergoing a “autocratización of the most rapid and intense in the world in recent years.”

that are of most concern to these scholars, explains by phone from Sweden, it is the efforts of the president and his Government to silence critics, whether they are political adversaries, and judges who investigate corruption, journalists, academics or members of civil society. “That is what he did ((Recep Tayyip) Erdogan when he took Turkey from democracy to dictatorship, what makes (Viktor) Orban in Hungary, which is close to ceasing to be a democracy, and exactly what (Narendra) Modi make in India,” warns Lindberg.

examples Abound. Bolsonaro dismissed the director of the institute that carried out the official measurement of the deforestation in the Amazon, called for a boycott of the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo and the companies that advertise in it, he suggested that the american journalist Glenn Greenwald could go to jail in Brazil for a few revelations news, and in a speech in Chile, praised Pinochet, and Paraguay, Stroessner. The list continues and is long.

The director of V-dem claims that “Bolsonaro is the president with less restrictions (democratic institutions) from the end of the military regime”, because when he assumed the Presidency, the institutions -from Congress to the State Attorney General's office— already suffering from a weakening. In fact, from 2017 the institute of analysis does not consider Brazil a liberal democracy, but an electoral democracy.

The vision of the lawyer, constitutionalist brazilian Vera Chemim is less grim. States that the president “does not represent a real threat to democracy while still soaring in the foot” with polemics unnecessary that can become counterproductive to their interests because they reinforce to the left and would overshadow the action of his Government.

Chemim argues that “the democratic State of law is sufficiently strong and relatively mature in order to survive any attempt of intervention political-ideological that you can deconstruct the democratic regime conquered hardly in 1985 and enshrined in the Constitution. He says that this president “did not affect the democratic institutions although it shook the political situation and legal from the moment that expresses or acts in an impulsive and explosive, feeding even more the acute ideological polarisation between the supposed left and right”.

Bolsonaro makes constant references to the need to govern for the majority and eliminate even the last vestige of their predecessors, the left-wing, as he stressed a few days ago to the thread of the text books. Brought up the topic without you ask any of the reporters who were waiting at his residence in Brasilia, his favorite place to communicate with the press. “As of 2021, all the books will be ours, made by us. The parents are going to be thrilled. They are going to have the flag on the cover. Will the anthem. Today, as a rule, the books are a lot of things written, there is that smooth (...) Which is not like that garbage that we now have as the norm”.

The expert Swedish warning on two issues: once silenced the critics and the press, the Governments have absolute control of the information. And “are not necessary legal changes to which a country becomes an autocracy election. Look At Belarus”.

Updated Date: 13 January 2020, 00:00

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