Elections in Brazil: seven facts to know about the South American giant

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Brazil, which celebrates presidential elections this Sunday in a fight between Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a giant commodity exporter, marked by social inequalities, its cultural richness and its precious biodiversity.

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1- Giant of the region

Brazil stretches over 7,400 km of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It borders almost all South American countries (except Chile and Ecuador), among which it is the only Portuguese-speaking one.

It is the fifth largest country in the world, with 8.5 million km2 and an estimated population of around 213 million.

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It is home to over 60% of the Amazon rainforest, considered a lung of the world.

Besides, it is the largest Catholic country on the planet. Evangelical Protestants make up a third of the population.

2- History

A former Portuguese colony, Brazil became an independent monarchy in 1822 and a republic in 1889, a year after slavery was abolished.

The last military dictatorship took power between 1964 and 1985.

Since then, several center and center-right presidents have governed, such as José Sarney and Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

3- The government of Lula da Silva

In 2003 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leader of the Workers’ Party (PT), became the first left-wing president since the return to democracy and was re-elected in 2006.

With its social programs, 29 million Brazilians have emerged from poverty. But his government was simultaneously embroiled in a series of corruption scandals.

The former president himself was jailed for 580 days, between 2018 and 2019, accused, among other things, of a case of diversion of funds. The convictions were eventually overturned.

Before the judicial coup, he succeeded him as president Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to preside over the countryelected in 2011 and 2014, and dismissed in 2016, accused of manipulation of public finances.

4- The years of Jair Bolsonaro

In 2019, Jair Bolsonaro became the first far-right head of state, a former army captain who was skeptical of covids and vaccines during the pandemic, in the second most grieving country in the world after the United States.

Bolsonaro supports mining and agriculture in the Amazon, where fires and deforestation have worsened during his tenure.

Accumulates more than 150 impeachment requests and a Supreme Court investigation for the dissemination of false information.

This Sunday he will face Lula, who regained his political rights in 2021 after 18 months in prison, with the overturning of his corruption convictions in the Lava Jato case.

5- Economy

Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, has abundant natural resources as well a very dynamic agri-food sector.

It is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of soy, beef and poultry, coffee, sugar, orange juice, ethanol, iron ore, corn and cotton.

In 2021, GDP returned to growth at a rate of 4.6%, after a contraction of 3.9% in 2020 due to the pandemic. In the last year he has undergone a high inflationmoderate in recent months.

Source: Clarin

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