The Battle for Rio

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The Battle for Rio

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EXPLORING WHY BRAZIL HAS TURNED TO A HARD-RIGHT LEADER

Democrat or despot? Brazil’s new strongman is cracking down on rampant crime – but many fear the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ is turning his country into a police state.

Jair Bolsonaro vaulted to power on a pledge to smash corruption and end the endemic violent crime that sees around 60,000 Brazilians murdered each year, many in its tourist capital Rio. He also promised to restore family values, with his message quickly gaining traction with Brazil’s burgeoning evangelicals and middle class.

Now, when Bolsonaro encourages police to shoot to kill, his army of supporters love him for it. It doesn’t matter that the former soldier praises past military dictatorships or that he trash-talks women or that he is a homophobe.

The Battle for Rio moves from wealthy gated communities to crime-infested favelas to explore why yet another democracy has turned to a hard-right absolutist leader – and why his opponents live in dread.

A Foreign Correspondent Story

Credits

Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation