The Great Debate
The face of power in Brazil is becoming ever more diverse. The top two candidates in Brazil’s presidential race on Sunday are both leftists and women, one of whom is black. They are President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party and Afro-Brazilian environmentalist Marina Silva. The private sector’s preferred candidate, a white man from Brazil’s once-dominant center-right party, trails in the polls.
In Latin America, this looks to be the year of Brazil — thanks to the impending World Cup and presidential elections. But with another lackluster year looming in emerging markets, fans of transformation, growth and investment potential should instead look to Mexico.
More than a million Brazilians have taken to the streets this past week in the largest mass demonstrations since the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello in 1992. It began as a modest protest movement in Sao Paulo against a seemingly routine 20 cent bus fare increase, but has quickly transformed into a broader and more diffuse protest against a range of grievances: political corruption; the dismal performance of public services such as transportation, health and education; and even excessive spending in preparation for the World Cup. The mostly peaceful protests have spread to dozens of cities across the country while capturing the world’s attention.