Far right takes charge in Brazil as another major economy succumbs to politics of hate

US President Donald Trump has given his backing to Jair Bolsonaro after the far-right politician won a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election.

The former army captain won 55.2 per cent of the vote against 44.8 per cent for Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party.

His pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals have won him mass support, but tough rhetoric that included shooting more criminals and stacking the Supreme Court in his favour have been widely condemned by the international political community.

Comments on race, women and homosexuality made during the campaign were also flagged.

In one infamous incident in 2015 he told a fellow lawmaker she was too ugly to rape, in another, made last year, he said: “I’ve got five kids. Four of them are men, but on the fifth I had a moment of weakness and it came out a woman.”

Like Trump, he favours easing environmental controls in order to appease the country’s powerful alliance of agribusiness and big landowners. They seek to further deforest the Amazon to make way for cattle farms and the mining industry.

He has also been critical of the mainstream media and will move to “restore security” by relax gun laws, suggesting that “every honest citizens” should be able to own a gun.

His policies have given him the nickname the “Trump of the Tropics”.

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