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Weekly Report - 25 March 2021 (WR-21-12)

BRAZIL: Under pressure, Bolsonaro seeks new strategy

On 24 March 2020, to the sound of ‘panelaços’ (pots-and-pans protests) across Brazil, a politically isolated President Jair Bolsonaro delivered a national televised address in which he downplayed the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and criticised state governors for imposing restrictions in a bid to contain the spread of the disease. Almost a year to the day later, with the country’s Covid-19 death toll now approaching 300,000, little appeared to have changed for Bolsonaro: after several days of railing against state governors and with political pressure growing, on 23 March he briefly spoke to the nation on television while, up and down the country, his words were drowned out by the sound of banging pots.

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