- January 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 1

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Brazil’s recent election: What could it mean for real estate investors?

by Joseph Williams

On Oct. 28, 2018, Brazil elected a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who took office Jan. 1, 2019. His election shocked many in Brazil, and indeed around the world, as it represented a stark departure from politics as usual, not unlike the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Bolsonaro painted himself as an outsider who will bring about change in a country that had been bogged down by its worst recession on record in 2015–2016, a sprawling corruption scandal — Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash — that tainted the ruling political class, the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, general political and economic unrest, and increasing crime. Meanwhile, his opponent in the second round of the election was Fernando Haddad of the left-leaning Workers’ Party (PT), also the party of Rousseff and former President Lula da Silva. Brazilian voters yearned for change.

Bolsonaro was not a new face in Brazilian politics. In fact, before becoming president, he served

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