Brazil is already the deadliest country in the world in which to defend your land, with at least 57 people murdered past year, 25 of them in three massacres.
Brazilian voters hung their hopes on a populist savior in closely-watched weekend elections, sweeping firebrand personality Jair Bolsonaro into the presidential office in a move that has human rights activists and those fearful of a return to authoritarianism on edge.
At this stage, "the foreign policy of Bolsonaro is still very vague", and "it is hard on all of these questions find out where he will place the cursor between the need to satisfy his base and convince the rest of the population", said Roberta Braga, of the think-tank Atlantic Council in Washington.
Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager and champion of right-wing populism, in an interview with Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paulo hailed Bolsonaro as setting a new path for Latin America. Dubbed "the Trump of the Tropics", Bolsonaro is a hard-line politician who campaigned against crime and corruption.
Lula's substitute, Fernando Haddad, lost Sunday's runoff election to Bolsonaro by 10 percentage points, as voters punished the Workers' Party - victor of the previous four presidential elections - for corruption and economic malaise.
Trump congratulated Bolsonaro by telephone, tweeting that the two had an "excellent" call and agreed "that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on trade, military and everything else!"
After tumbling into a record recession from 2015 to 2016, Brazil's economy is forecast to grow about 1.4 percent this year. People let out everything they had been too afraid to talk about.
Bolsonaro, who rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to victory in Sunday's election, wants to slash the number of ministries from 29 to 15, in the name of reining in public spending.
The veteran politician, who paints himself as a political outsider, also refused to say he regretted saying the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985 should have killed 30,000 people.
Investors have been hopeful that Bolsonaro would carry out fiscal reforms proposed by his orthodox economic guru, Paulo Guedes.
Brazil and South Africa share membership of the important BRICS and IBSA formations.
With Guedes leading the way, Bolsonaro has promised to introduce pension reform in Brazil, deregulate industries, privatize state-run companies like PetroBras and cut away at red tape.
"The problem with this (employment) upturn is that it mostly corresponds to undeclared jobs or the self-employed", said Cimar Azeredo of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.