With Brazil’s enormous economy and Mexico’s proximity to the U.S., both are contenders to become economic titans on the world stage. But the nations are burdened by endemic poverty, violence, corruption, and an overzealous central state. And their populist leaders – Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexico’s traditional leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico – have both downplayed the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic amid skyrocketing infection rates. These two regional economic locomotives could come screeching to a halt – leaving their citizens and the region in disarray. Michael Reid, senior editor at The Economist and author of the magazine’s Bello column on Latin American affairs, joined Altamar to discuss Mexico and Brazil’s challenges and post-pandemic futures. Born in England and based in Madrid, Reid has lived in Latin America for years, covering the region for outlets like The Guardian and BBC.
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