Saturday, December 29, 2018

Comparing AMLO and Bolsonaro

I am quoted in this BBC article by Daniel Pardo and he did a YouTube video as well. He compares AMLO and Jair Bolsonaro. I was hesitant about comparing too much, as there are also many differences, but the messianic tendencies are definitely there (interestingly, Boz was also just writing about hesitating about comparing Mexico and Brazil too much).

At present both get a lot of criticism about potentially damaging democracy because of personalist and authoritarian leanings, albeit in different ways. With AMLO it's more about centralizing power whereas with Bolsonaro that is also there but it's even more about finding scapegoats and limiting rights. Bolsonaro has a hate that AMLO lacks.

With both, we wait. Beyond Venezuela, perhaps the biggest stories of 2019 will be about what effect the two presidents have on democracy in their respective countries, both of which could really use a dose of democratic legitimacy.


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