Endless corruption scandals have brought Brazilian democracy to its most vulnerable point since the end of dictatorship three decades ago, according to Brian Winter, Editor in Chief of Americas Quarterly. But Brazil’s leaders now have an extraordinary opportunity. There is more support now for sweeping political change than at any point in a generation, he writes for Foreign Affairs:
Polls show that Brazilians are convinced that corruption caused the worst crisis of their lifetimes. In a nationwide survey at the end of 2016, 96 percent of respondents said they wanted Operation Car Wash to continue “no matter the cost”; 70 percent said they felt confident that, thanks to the investigation, corruption would decline in the future. Over the past 35 years, Brazil has defeated authoritarianism, hyperinflation, and hunger. Adding systemic corruption to that list would represent a historic accomplishment.