SFL Alumni are Changing Brazil

The following was written by Brazilian Programs Associate, Bernardo Vidigal.

With Brazilian Students For Liberty (EPL) currently training the fifth class of its Local Coordinator Program, including more than 1,000 coordinators in the current class, you can tell that our Brazilian team is busy changing the country, but what about its alumni? Every semester, BSFL trains hundreds of students, and every graduate class of the program goes on to take on more and more projects in the liberty movement.

11a56923-79ab-4bc3-878a-3e98047b68f5Most libertarian institutes in Brazil have BSFL-trained leaders in their ranks. Most or all of the staff at organizations such as the Brazilian Mises Institute, the Liberal Institute, the Atlantos Institute, the Free Brazil Movement, the Center West Liberal Institute, Mercado Popular and a few others have a history with BSFL. In addition to working at pro-liberty institutes, there are also a number of alumni taking on political action.

So far, BSFL alum Marcel van Hattem has taken office as a State Representative in Rio Grande do Sul and many others joined the Novo party, a libertarian one. But there is also a new movement BSFL alumni are participating in: they are driving change in the Social Liberal Party (PSL). Of all 35 political parties in Brazil, these two are now the only pro liberty ones in the country, with the others being just 33 different shades of red.

Changing PSL was not an easy task.  The party has existed since 1994 and was mostly without an ideology throughout its 21 years of existence. It was considered center-left in the old “34 shades of red” Brazilian political spectrum. This changed in late 2015, when Livres, a movement led by BSFL alumni, grew inside the party and changed its course into a libertarian one.

The party now champions liberty as its main value, citing Hayek, Mises, Ayn Rand and Thomas Jefferson as its intellectual influences. The party manifest now defends small government and private sector solutions to social problems and the leaders of the Livres movement are traveling around the country to rally the party’s members and show them this new pro-liberty course!

It is important to note that BSFL itself has nothing to do with PSL, Novo or any other organizations mentioned. The only relations it has with them was training the people that are now their leaders. This is just one example of the embodiment of our mission of empowering the next generation of leaders of liberty and demonstrates the success of our method of social change.