Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro's Brazil.

AuthorCruz, José de Arimatéia da

Greenwald, Glenn. Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro's Brazil. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2021.

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and the award-winning author of No Place to Hide (2014). He is no stranger to controversy and investigative reporting. In 2013 he had a front seat in the controversial WikiLeaks scandal, which exposed the National Security Agency's covert operation to access emails and phone conversations of world leaders, including former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. In Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro's Brazil, Greenwald chronicles the slow death of democracy in Brazil under the leadership of Jair Bolsonaro and his attempts to transform Brazil's feckless democracy into his personal fiefdom to advance a right-wing neoliberal economic and political agenda while undermining thirty years of democratic consolidation and participatory citizenship. While Brazil has had thirty years of democratic experience, the political system is still unstable, rough, driven by systematic corruption, and plagued by violence and nostalgia for authoritarian rule (12). It is under this guise of democracy that authoritarianism was offered as the solution to Brazil's endemic corruption, thereby providing an environment conducive to the rise of Bolsonaro--who is also known in Latin America as the "Trump of the Tropics."

The Operation Car Wash (Operacao Lava Jato) and the Big Monthly Payment (Mensalao) scandals, in which the Workers' Party (PT) and other parties were caught buying and selling votes in Congress, was portrayed by Bolsonaro and his right-wing political associates as evidence of the corruption plaguing Brazil perpetrated by the PT. The only solution, according to the right-wing movement, was the ousting of the democratically elected government of Dilma Rousseff and the end of the PT's rule. According to Greenwald, Bolsonaro shocked the country, the continent, and the world by winning the 2018 presidential election in the second round, beating the PT's candidate, Fernando Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo (17). Greenwald goes on to argue that by winning that election, Bolsonaro became one of "the most fanatical and unstable far-right extremists to govern any large democracy in quite some time" (17).

Despite Bolsonaro's claim to be a political outsider, he has been a constant player in Brazil's political arena. He was an Army captain during...

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