SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is straining against democratic checks and balances, but so far is being restrained by Congress and the courts in a “still vigorous democracy,” the executive director of Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. Roth told The Associated Press that the board of the nonprofit group is meeting in Brazil for the first time in its 41-year history due to its concerns about the South American country’s far-right administration. “Today is by far the most worrying visit I’ve had to present, and what’s concerning is that we have a president now who is openly speaking with anti-rights rhetoric,” said Roth, who has headed Human Rights Watch since 1993 and is making his fourth visit to Brazil. He accused Bolsonaro of giving a green light to illegal police killings, undermining anti-torture initiatives and blocking the prosecution of groups that caused fires in the Amazon this year. The administration of Bolsonaro, who began a four-year term Jan. 1, did not respond to requests for comment on Roth’s statements. Roth said the president is getting intense pushback from other democratic institutions, “but will remain in a very powerful position” for the next few years. “The Brazilian Congress… Read full this story
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