Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to the presidency of Brazil was unimaginable just a few years before he took power. Long considered a pariah and a disgrace, the former army captain and congressman occupied a fringe position on Brazil’s extreme right during the 14-year reign of Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT). Yet just two years after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, which many consider a legislative coup, Bolsonaro seized the country’s most powerful office. With a new election approaching, and polls overwhelmingly indicating the electorate’s preference for PT candidate and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, many fear Bolsonaro will resort to a coup to hold onto power.
In this special limited podcast series from Latin America-based journalist Michael Fox, produced in partnership with The Real News Network and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), we’ll take listeners on a journey to understand Brazil’s turn toward fascism. This is the story of Bolsonaro’s rise, his far-right government that set the country ablaze, and how the United States helped him do it. This is Brazil on Fire.