Is Dilma Rousseff the Comeback Kid of Brazil?

The Observer, 11-23-2015

n the 1970s, a young Dilma Rousseff wanted to change Brazil through revolution. But something went wrong during a meeting with fellow Trotskyists and Brazil’s military dictatorship arrested the young guerrilla fighter whose main nom de guerre was Estela. She managed to survive three years in jail as well as torture, including electric shocks to her hands and feet. Fast forward to 2010: a leftist technocrat turned into a novice politician, she was anointed by then-president Lula as the Labor’s Party (PT) presidential candidate. She won election by pledging to leverage the social and economic achievements brought both by the Lula and the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administrations through a “new economic matrix.” Packaged in a posh marketing strategy in the 2010 and 2014 campaigns, Ms. Rousseff’s popular platform called for credit expansion, tax cuts and investment in infrastructure.

But as she finishes the first year of her second term (2015-2018), her country struggles with a recession and she faces a political crisis that could lead to her impeachment.

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