Bolsonaro doesn't need an open military dictatorship to crush his opponents. As the "Colombian model" demonstrates, he can lean on violent paramilitaries to do the dirty work for him.
Matthew Aaron Richmond is visiting fellow at the Latin America and Caribbean Centre, London School of Economics, and research associate at the Centro de Estudos da Metrópole, University of São Paulo. He writes on urban inequality, housing, security, and politics, with a focus on Brazilian favelas and urban peripheries.
Jair Bolsonaro's core support lies with wealthy Brazilians. But the far-right figure wouldn't have gotten this far if he hadn't also established a formidable base among the poor.