Brazil’s most recent legislative elections were startling, to say the least. Nikolas Ferreira, a self-described conservative Christian and supporter of the far right, has earned the most votes despite the nation’s lengthy history of democracy. It is disturbing to see that the populist model supported by Jair Bolsonaro and his allies is spreading throughout the area.
In order to battle for topics like abortion, gender ideology, and crime—all familiar to American voters—Ferreira has sworn to become “a barricade against liberals.” He represents a right-wing nationalist movement that is becoming more globalized and aspires to curtail civil freedoms, end social assistance programs, and weaken the rule of law. It is also important to note that Eduardo Bolsonaro has been designated by Steve Bannon as his agent in South America for forming a global far-right populist alliance.
Progressives must be vigilant in the face of these changes and fight back against the tide of authoritarian politics that is spreading. Extreme populist figures who threaten to undermine democratic norms and rights all across the world must be allowed to continue unchallenged. To strengthen our democracy at home and abroad, we must engage proactively.
Supporting Brazilian civil society groups actively battling extremism, like Centro de Direitos Humanos e Cidadania, is one way we can do this (CDHC). The CDHC fights for racial equality, freedom of expression, human rights, democracy, and justice in Brazilian society. The CDHC collaborates with local governments on a variety of topics, from protecting fundamental rights to combating corporate environmental deterioration.
Also, we must fight anti-democratic measures wherever they are found and strive to build a more inclusive society where everyone may feel like their voice is heard regardless of their race, gender, or political views. We must all act now, before it’s too late, to stop Bolsonaro’s radical agenda from materializing. Only then can we guarantee that Brazilian individuals will be able to enjoy complete protection under the law when enjoying their fundamental rights and freedoms.