Original story published in The Wall Street Journal.


"NIOAQUE, Brazil—It looks like a scene from Marlboro Country. Cattle ranchers drive their Chevy pickup trucks to the local rodeo. Cowboys in washed-out jeans entertain the crowds.

(...)

Like the divide in the U.S., the rise of conservative Brazil has liberal citizens on edge. They worry about the rightward swing in a country that is among the most unequal in the world, has deeply ingrained racism, and only recently began pushing for women’s and minority rights.

“Everyone I know is in a panic,“ said Daniel Ribeiro, a Brazilian film director whose latest movie tells the story of a transsexual couple.

”Even if Bolsonaro doesn’t win, Brazil seems to be going back in that direction.”"

Cattle is seen on the road between Dourados and Amambai, MS, Brazil on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

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Teenagers get together around 4 pm in the afternoon, when they are no longer in school and pray together at the local Catholic church in Nioaque, MS, Brazil, on Friday, April 6, 2018.

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After school, gilrs talk on the streets of Nioaque, in front of the town's Secretary of Culture.

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Francisco Lima, 71 and his wife Maria, 68, chill outside their house in the evening, always running away from the warm sun.

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With a 14,000 population, many people rely on bicycles in Nioaque, MS, 200 km from the state capital Campo Grande.

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Mannequins used for testing bulletproof vests at a shooting range in Dourados, MS.

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Outdoor sign in support of Jair Bolsonaro is seen at a house in Nioaque, MS, Brazil, on Friday, April 6, 2018. The sign, done by a local man, is getting ready to put up on the streets.

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Men practice recreational shooting at a shooting range in Dourados, MS, Brazil.

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Men play pool at a local traditional bar in Nioaque, MS.

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Evangelic women wait outside the church Deus é Amor before the worship service in Nioaque, MS.

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Barbecues are a local tradition in the region. The state, Mato Grosso do Sul, is 4th largest cattle producer in the county. 

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Rural workers are seen on the side of the road waiting for their bosses to continue the work day close to Dourados, MS.

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Competitors take part in the Festa do Laço, a tradicional cattle lacing in Amambai, MS.

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