Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is said to welcome the possibility of a coup. (Photo: O Imparcial)

'Grim Situation' of Spiraling Instability in Brazil Could Be Precursor of Coup, Observers Warn

President Jair Bolsonaro's son Eduardo said the question was not "if, but when this will happen."

Eoin Higgins

Political instability in Brazil may give way to a military coup, the New York Times reported Wednesday, as the Latin American nation weathers an increasing death toll due to the coronavirus outbreak and President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis.

"It's no longer an opinion about if, but when this will happen," Bolsonaro's son Eduardo said recently. 

Fears of a coup have heightened in Latin America's largest democracy as the country's government has proven incapable of handling the pandemic and the challenges of governing the federal state. 

As the Times reported:

The threats are swirling around the president: Deaths from the virus in Brazil each day are now the highest in the world. Investors are fleeing the country. The president, his sons and his allies are under investigation. His election could even be overturned.

But, the paper continued, rather than fearing these threats, Bolsonaro is leaning into them and welcoming the possibility of a return to the military dictatorship he was a part of in the early 1980s during his time as a captain in the army. 

It's unclear whether or not the military will step in, but Bolsonaro's leadership of Brazil has led to protests and uprisings around the nation and spiraling unrest. 

And it's not only a fear of the military. Bolsonaro could push to expand his power and ignore the curbs on the executive branch from the courts and the legislature, effectively arriving at the same end result of dictatorship. 

"How do democracies die? You don't need a military coup," former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso told reporters. "The president himself can seek extraordinary powers, and he can take them."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Because Climate Science 'Does Not Grade on a Curve,' Experts Says IRA Not Enough

"There is an urgent need for much more aggressive and far-reaching measures to prevent climate chaos," said the head of one progressive consumer advocacy group.

Brett Wilkins ·

'Game-Changer and Reason for Hope': House Passes Inflation Reduction Act

"We've got more to do," Rep. Pramila Jayapal said on the House floor. "But today, let's celebrate this massive investment for the people."

Jake Johnson ·

'This Is Insane': Search Warrant Indicates FBI Investigating Trump for Espionage Act Violation

"If you're not fed up," said watchdog group Public Citizen, "you're not paying enough attention."

Jessica Corbett ·

Anti-War Veterans Group Asks Biden to 'Read Our Nuclear Posture Review Before Releasing Yours'

"Are you willing to risk a civilization-ending apocalypse by playing nuclear chicken with other nuclear-armed nations? Or will you lead us toward a planet that is free of nuclear weapons?"

Jessica Corbett ·

'Big Win' for Public Lands and Climate as US Judge Reinstates Coal Lease Ban

"It's past time that this misguided action by the Trump administration is overturned," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo