There is an interesting piece today by the NYT, and it is morbidly gratifying to see that the foreign press is finally beginning to get something of the measure of the crisis here. It should be noted however that the comment on Collor, the former president who we are told “resigned in 1992 under suspicion of corruption and later resurrected his career as a senator”, is somewhat ingenuous. He was in fact found guilty of corruption, which verdict was subsequently overturned on a technicality. He was also banned from holding public office for 8 years. Few people doubt that he was one of the most corrupt of Brazil’s leaders in recent history, and the recent seizure of his various Ferraris and Lamborghinis in an investigation into the Petrobras affair would seem to suggest he has not changed much in the last twenty five years or more.
The fact that the people of the state of Alagoas have succeeded in electing him to the Brazilian senate is less a comment on his political ability or suitability, and more an indication of the pervasive gullibility and lack of critical thinking of the electorate, who consistently vote the country´s overwhelmingly under-qualified, over-confident, narrow-minded, self-seeking, corrupt and incompetent political classes to power.