Radical Change? New Political Paradigms in Brazil and Mexico

The panellists consider what populist leaders’ victories mean for the direction of travel of Mexico, Brazil and potentially Latin America as a whole.

Members event, Panel Recording
12 February 2019 — 1:00PM TO 2:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

On 1 December 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), at the helm of a new left-wing reformist party, Juntos Haremos Historia, began his six-year term as Mexico’s president.

A month later, far-right congressman and self-styled political outsider, Jair Bolsonaro, was sworn in as the head of Brazil’s government.

Both leaders, who sit at opposite ends of the political spectrum, have promised their electorates epochal change and radical social and economic reform.

  • What have AMLO and Bolsonaro prioritized in the first phase of their presidencies and can any parallels be drawn?

  • What structural obstacles do they face in implementing their agendas and how likely are they to succeed?

  • And given the leaders’ divergent political leanings, what is the outlook for Brazil-Mexico bilateral relations, and Latin American supra-national institutions, over the coming years?


Rodrigo Aguilera, Latin America Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit (2012-17)

Cristina Cortes, Chief Executive Officer, Canning House

Dr Elena Lazarou, Assistant Professor, Center for International Relations, Getulio Vargas Foundation

Chair: Ambassador Andrés Rozental, Senior Adviser, Chatham House; Former Deputy Foreign Minister, Mexico (1988-94); Founding President, Mexican Council on Foreign Relations


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