The forces that shaped modern Brazil made the rise of a figure such as Lula da Silva all but inevitable. Conditions in Brazil today mean his imprisonment is certainly not the end of this chapter in the nation's story. Pablo Gentili, Executive Secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), analyses the parallel between Brazil's history and the story of its most charismatic leader.
Brazil has not experienced any sort of major agrarian reform since then, but dozens of rural movements have been organised and hundreds of thousands of landless peasants have acquired the right of access to land (especially through settlement projects) as a result of these social movements’ struggles. After so many years of fighting and popular mobilisation, what are these movements’ contributions to building rural democracy? This study seeks to understand this process by evaluating social movements’ alliances (both rural and urban alliances) and evaluating their relationships with political parties, especially with the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) and with the Brazilian Federal Government.
For the first time Brazil has elected a president without the support of the poorest or the destitute. Though 55 percent of the electorate opted to steer the country into the abyss, people with lower incomes did not vote for Bolsonaro. In the new Brazilian Congress the military and police caucus overshadows all others.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
Marco Aurelio, prominent leader of the MST (Brazilian Landless Workers Movement), speaks with Benny Kuruvilla on current developments in Brazil. Rightwing politicians have been busy cutting allocations in social sectors, revising labour laws and undermining the progressive Constitution. Social movements such as MST have been in the forefront in creating broad based progressive platforms to oppose the Temer Government.
Jair Bolsonaro's victory on October 28 turns Brazil towards the extreme right and backwards in several aspects of its democratic transition initiated with the 1988 Constitution, especially those related to social justice, environment, human rights and the economy. Understanding why he was elected and what he represents is key to grasping the new Brazil emerging from the election and what to expect for the near future.
In August 2005, Hilary Wainwright went to Brazil to find out 'what went wrong', and what positive lessons the Brazilian experience might hold for the future of the left. But on her arrival in Brazil, she found herself observing at first hand the unfolding of a political crisis.