Throughout history there have been crazy leaders who scared others. And today we look at our top 5 list of criminally insane world leaders. We had to make some sacrifices (pun) to decide which leaders make it. So population or geopolitical impact affects their rating. With leaders for almost every country in the world, only 5 make our list for the most criminally insane. We feature:
- Jair Bolsonaro
- Mohammad Bin Salam
- Recep Tayyip Erdogan
- Vladimir Putin
- Xi Jinping
1. Jair Bolsonaro
One newcomer to the world stage is Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro rode the Trump nationalist wave in the elections in Brazil in 2019. They have accused him of undermining democracy in his country and has a history of praising the military dictatorship that used to rule Brazil. We also know Bolsonaro for his racism, especially against the indigenous. Not only is he destroying the environment, he is directly endanger the future of the world with what he is allowing the logging and cattle industry get away with on the Amazon.
He has a popular following outside of Brazil in Conservative circles for his outspoken behavior. Now with COVID-19 ravaging the world, Bolsonaro has been an outspoken leader of denial. He has called the virus “little flu,” a trifling “cold.” His actions not only empower people who degrade countries who take strict actions, it endangers people who follow what he says. Before COVID-19, Bolsonaro was just a Donald Trump copycat who was dealing corrupting in his own country, but after COVID-19 he has become a danger to everyone.
2. Mohammed Bin Salman
Claiming the second spot for our most criminally insane leaders in the world is Mohammed Bin Salman or known as MBS. Not surprising the young leader of Saudi Arabia made the list. He has been committing a genocidal war on Yemen before he became leader; he has assassinated Jamal Khashoggi, purged political rivals, detained the leader of Lebanon, a rising number of executions, and many more. He acts as a rogue state with U.S. protection. If The International Criminal Court (ICC) conducted business as it should, MBS would be behind bars for the death and destruction his war with Yemen is causing. Let alone the other atrocious things he and his country support.
3. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The President of Turkey makes the list at number three. He has many accusations against him ranging from faking a coup, imposing opponents, crimes against humanity, and anti-democracy ideals. In recent years a group of Swedish lawmakers filed legal complaints against the President for crimes against humanity and war crimes dealing with Kurdish militants who the United States is allied with. In 2016, there was a coup attempt that failed. After which there were mass arrests and purges.
4. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin is known to the world as one of the most corrupt politicians in the world. There are rumors of him even owning billions or that he will stay in power forever. There is no way for us to know both. But it points to the Russia Putin operates, especially when people are afraid of their leader staying in power forever. In March 2014, Russia under Putin’s leader annexed a region of Ukraine called the Crimean Peninsula. This was not only considered being in violation of international law according to many countries. They have also accused Russia and Putin have also of assassination attempts all over the world, most notably in the UK in 2018. Putin has also been quashing his opposition at every step he could. Which is why Putin is one of the largest threats to democracy all over the world.
5. Xi Jinping
Under Xi Jinping China has seem great economic success and growth (as far as they tell us), but there is a dark underbelly. Xi Jinping like many Chinese leaders rule with and iron fist, and the rule of law is far-reaching and extensive. China under Xi Jinping has also seen severe repression of labor rights, which is one of the key reasons for economic success under Jinping. As many people know, China is an authoritarian state, and under Jinping this has only been extended as he has made it an even stricter environment for media. According to Reported Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, China ranked 176 out of 180 countries.
In closing, we reviewed only a few leaders who made the list. More leaders around the world fall under the same type of crimes, but are on smaller effect in the geopolitical community which is why they didn’t make the list. These leaders have similar traits like law and order, nationalism, and strongman mentality. Many are placing themselves as defenders of their countries, while fundamentally changing how they work. The leaders on this list represent 1 out of every 5 people on the planet, and are threats to people in terms of freedom of speech, democracy, economics, and human rights.
Image: Alan Santos/PR