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Corruption is nothing new in Latin America, but the
sheer scale and brazenness of graft among Brazil’s political and business
elites has caused a powerful public backlash. While huge protests
against abuse have galvanized the country’s civil society, the crisis has also
revealed the strength of its democratic institutions and respect for due
Brazilian President Michel Temer beat a corruption indictment by using federal funds and political favors to by off Congress. But the price of his political survival may have been the sacrifice of his fiscal reform program. And Mr. Temer is not out of the woods yet.
Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva
recently, President Michel Temer seemed an anomaly in Brazilian politics: he
went unscathed by the Petrobras scandal and had scored several political
victories despite low popularity. Now, all that has changed after a bombshell
audio recording allegedly revealed his involvement in several instances of
bribery. Isolated and under extreme pressure, Mr. Temer has vowed to fight on.
If he does, it will likely drag out Brazil's political and economic crisis for
months or even years.
Brazil’s President Michel
Temer has received a strong political shot in the arm with the February
election of his loyalists to key positions in the legislature. Even if Mr.
Temer’s ambitious reform agenda becomes watered down during the inevitable
bargaining with the opposition parties, the measures, if passed, should suffice
to put the country on track for moderate growth.
will have a big impact on Latin America in the coming year: the closer a
country is to the United States, the worse off it will be. What President
Donald Trump does will shape developments in the region, as will the prices of
key commodities. If Mr. Trump decides on collaboration instead of unilateral
demands, however, the region could see positive developments.
Dr. Joseph S. Tulchin