BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s president Tuesday, taking the reins of Latin America’s largest and most populous nation with promises to overhaul myriad aspects of daily life and put an end to business-as-usual governing.
For the far-right former army captain, the New Year’s Day inauguration was the culmination of a journey from a marginalized and even ridiculed congressman to a leader who many Brazilians hope can combat endemic corruption as well as violence that routinely gives the nation the dubious distinction of being world leader in total homicides.
A fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, the 63-year-old longtime congressman rose to power on an anti-corruption and pro-gun agenda that has energized conservatives and hard-right supporters after four consecutive presidential election wins by the left-leaning Workers’ Party.
Bolsonaro was the latest of several far-right leaders around the globe who have come to power by riding waves of anger at the establishment and promising to ditch the status quo.
“Congratulations to President @jairbolsonaro who just made a great inauguration speech,” Trump tweeted. “The U.S.A. is with you!”