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Profs & Pints DC: Crisis in Brazil and Peru
Thursday, March 2, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Crisis in Brazil and Peru,” an analysis of the two countries’ deep internal tensions and ongoing instability – and the implications for the rest of South America and the United States – with Fulton Armstrong, research fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for Latin America. Like many of their neighbors, Brazil and Peru have embraced many the trappings of democracy, including free and fair elections. Yet lately they appear to be sliding toward chaos, with their presidents resorting to undemocratic practices.
Why is this happening? What might come next? Get answers to such questions from Fulton Armstrong, who spent 30 years following Latin American affairs in various government positions and continues to stay on top of politics there as a researcher at American University. He will share the lessons he’s learned working the issues as an intelligence analyst, policymaker on the National Security Council staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, and academic.
He’ll discuss how in Brazil the post-election transfer of power on New Year’s Day went smoothly enough, but followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro attacked and occupied government buildings in Brasilia eight days later. The events brought into question the commitment of the nation’s security forces to support democracy and remain neutral in civilian politics. Although newly inaugurated President “Lula” da Silva might not be in immediate danger of ouster, he faces huge challenges in a highly polarized environment.
Meanwhile, in Peru, President Pedro Castillo’s desperate attempt to dissolve the national legislature in December – to fend off repeated attempts to impeach him – led to his ouster and sparked months of turmoil and violence. His vice president, Dina Boluarte, has since failed to address the concerns of large segments of Peruvian society, especially outside the capital. About 60 people have been killed in violent clashes.
Can Brazilian President Lula get his government on track? Can Brazil depoliticize its military and police? What were private U.S. political advisors doing in Brasilia? Is U.S. support for Latin American democracy going soft? Armstrong will shed light on all of these subjects in an essential talk for those who care about the future of Brazil, Peru, and Latin America as a whole.
(Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)