from Latin America's Moment

Brazil and Mexico's Coming Feud

Flag bearers carry the Mexican and Brazilian flags out onto the pitch prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 17, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. Pool/Getty Images

Fiery new populist presidents in Brazil and Mexico could turn an old rivalry toxic.

Originally published at Bloomberg

November 1, 2018

Flag bearers carry the Mexican and Brazilian flags out onto the pitch prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 17, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil. Pool/Getty Images
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Mexico and Brazil have a long-simmering rivalry, each aspiring to lead Latin America. Now, as two strong-willed outsiders take office as president in each country, tensions that have been more or less innocuous could escalate, with negative consequences for the entire region.

Consider the passive-aggressive diplomatic game Mexico and Brazil have often played. In global forums, each rarely votes in favor of the other: Brazil endorsed France’s Christine Lagarde over Mexico’s Agustin Carstens for the International Monetary Fund; Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo bested Mexico’s Herminio Blanco in a tight race for the top job at the World Trade Organization. Mexico routinely balks at Brazil’s ambition for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Economically, each touts its economic path as superior: Mexico favoring a trade-heavy, U.S.-dependent, manufacturing-driven model; Brazil following a more commercially closed and state-led approach. The veiled sniping bursts out in the open on the soccer field, adding a nationalist spin to every shot on goal in the contests between the two national teams.

More on:

Mexico

Brazil

Latin America

Emerging Economies

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More on:

Mexico

Brazil

Latin America

Emerging Economies

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