Analysis: As Brazil cracks down on fake news, Bolsonaro’s new move is straight out of Trump’s playbook
Sao Paulo – Brazil’s new far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro was officially sworn in on Saturday, a day after a vote in which he beat a center-left candidate by a wide margin in one of the country’s most competitive elections in decades, signaling the end of the country’s status as a political anomaly with a traditional left-right balance.
Under his lead, Brazil has become more authoritarian. Its president and many of his government ministers have used the country’s vast prison system to keep an eye on dissenting politicians and journalists. Bolsonaro took office as the world’s 11th president from Santa Cruz, a former captain of the Brazilian army who once headed the Brazilian Army’s training academy.
The new Brazilian president’s actions have put him in direct competition with the United States – where he is known as the “anti-Trump” – for influence and influence-seeking. Now, just eight months after taking office, Bolsonaro has been confronted by a far more dangerous version of the media in the U.S. He has not only been confronting his own version of the media abroad, but the global media at home, as well.
It all began with The New York Times, which published an investigative report last month that revealed that the Brazilian government had paid a group of wealthy drug cartel associates $1.3 million to silence the testimony of former military officer Antonio Palocci, who testified about the government’s involvement in a lucrative illicit land deal in the Amazon. According to the report, Palocci and his colleagues were offered immunity if they testified against the government.
Palocci and his team were also offered a $1.3 million grant by the government, which would have provided them with a salary for the duration of the project. When Palocci was about to testify, Bolsonaro canceled the meeting and ordered a probe into the project at the end of 2018,