This Woman Holds the Key to the Fate of Brazil

Mac Margolis – Bloomberg, 06/13/2016

Until a couple of weeks ago, not many Brazilians had heard of Eronildes Vasconcelos. Fellow parishioners in Salvador, her home town in northeast Brazil, know the churchgoing 44-year-old widowand mother of two as a junior member of the country’s growing evangelical Christian congressional caucus.

But thanks to the unlikely role she’s been called on to play in shaping the outcome of Brazil’s widening political corruption scandal, Vasconcelos has become a national celebrity of sorts. Her every hosanna now galvanizes public attention from Twitter to the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia.

Vasconcelos — or Aunt Eron, as she prefers — is no power broker. She just happens to sit on the congressional ethics committee, where she’s wound up with the decisive vote on the fate of one of the country’s most notorious political operators, speaker of the lower house Eduardo Cunha.

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