José Sarney and Geography

Civilians returned to power in 1985 when José Sarney assumed the presidency. He became unpopular during his stay because he did not control the economic crisis and the hyperinflation he inherited from the military regime. The failed government of Sarney led to the election in 1989 of Fernando Collor, almost unknown, and was subsequently challenged by the National Congress in 1992.

Collor was succeeded by his vice-president, Itamar Franco, who appointed Fernando Henrique Cardoso Minister of Finance. In 1994, Cardoso produced a highly successful Real Plan, which, after decades of failed economic plans made by previous governments that tried to curb hyperinflation, finally stabilized the Brazilian economy. Cardoso won the 1994 elections, and again in 1998.

The peaceful transition of Cardoso’s power to his main opposition leader, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006), was seen as proof that Brazil had achieved long-sought political stability. However, provoked by the indignation and frustrations accumulated for decades by corruption, police brutality, the inefficiencies of the political establishment and public service, numerous peaceful protests arose in Brazil from the middle of the first term of Dilma Rousseff, which had Lula success after winning the elections in 2010.

Improved by political and economic crises with evidence of participation of politicians from all major political parties in various schemes of bribery and tax evasion, with large street protests for and against it, Rousseff was accused by the Brazilian Congress in 2016. In 2017, the Supreme Court requested the investigation of 71 Brazilian legislators and nine ministers in the cabinet of President Michel Temer allegedly linked to the Petrobras corruption scandal. President Temer himself is accused of corruption. In 2018, 62% of the population in a survey claimed that corruption was Brazil’s biggest problem.


Brazil occupies a large area along the east coast of South America and includes much of the interior of the continent, sharing the land borders with Uruguay to the south; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and France (French overseas region of French Guiana) to the north. It shares a border with all South American countries, except Ecuador and Chile.

It also includes several oceanic archipelagos, such as Fernando de Noronha, Atoll Rocks, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. Its size, relief, climate and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse. Including its Atlantic islands, Brazil lies between latitudes 6 ° N and 34 ° S, and longitudes 28 ° and 74 ° W.