Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Brazil's newest president, Jair Bolsonaro, was sworn in Tuesday in Brasilia, marking a hard right turn for the country's politics.
In October's presidential election, the retired Army captain beat his rival Fernando Haddad of the center-left Workers' Party by a significant margin. Now, Bolsonaro is officially the leader of Latin America's most populous country.
"We have a unique opportunity to rebuild our country," Bolsonaro said during his inauguration speech on New Year's Day.
Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for homophobic, racist and misogynistic remarks. Until relatively recently, he was known mostly for his insensitive comments.
Buoyed by an economic crises, increasing violence and a litany of corruption scandals, Bolsonaro cultivated an outsider's pose and quickly gained popularity. His promises on the campaign trail to restore traditional family and Christian values, as well as crack down on crime and corruption, resonated with voters.
"I invite all of Congress to join me in the mission to restore and rebuild our homeland, liberating it from corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility and ideological traps," Bolsonaro said.
Bolsonaro has called for expanding the rights of police to shoot and kill suspects. He has also promised to loosen gun laws, expanding gun ownership.
At the direction of Bolsonaro, Brazil canceled plans to host the 2019 United Nations climate summit, and the far-right leader has promised to open up the Amazon to oil, gas and mineral extraction.
"There is an expectation that the government will be more favorable to economic activities in the Amazon, no matter the circumstances," Adalberto Veríssimo, a co-founder of Imazon, an environmental watchdog agency, told The New York Times.
According to Al Jazeera, Bolsonaro's policy promises won't be easy to enact.
"Many analysts point out that such campaign promises are likely to be less easy to deliver given the realities in Brazil's complex and fractured political landscape," the paper noted.
Brazilian president ended his inaugural speech with the line he popularized during his time on the campaign trail: BBrazil above everything and God above everyone."