Martin Langfield is a columnist and production editor for Reuters Breakingviews, based in New York. He has worked for Reuters since 1987 as a correspondent, news editor and bureau chief, serving in London, Madrid, El Salvador, Mexico, Miami and New York. Martin, who also headed Reuters journalism training programs for three years, studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, graduating with a first-class degree in Spanish and French Languages and Literature. He also studied indigenous literature for a year at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, and is a published novelist.
Elections on Sunday will probably send Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right nostalgist for military rule, and Fernando Haddad, a surrogate for jailed leftist icon Lula, into a two-man presidential runoff. Either would serve Brazilians best by letting his angriest backers down.
Argentina’s peso crisis and the stabbing of a far-right candidate in Brazil echo the region’s past economic instability and political violence. Mexico’s oil industry, too, may revisit the 1970s; Venezuela is in a totalitarian time warp. But history doesn’t have to repeat.
The pro-market leader of Latin America’s No. 3 economy has been laying the basis for long-term prosperity. But inflation, drought and soured investor sentiment threaten his efforts. A new run on the peso, and desperate rate hikes, make a return of his Peronist nemeses more likely.