Lula in danger? the armed political violence of the ‘Bolsonaristas’ intensifies in Brazil
Attacks, threats, tensions, shootings and one death, all carried out on the side of the followers of Jair Bolsonaro against militants of the candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Thus, the political violence reflected in several episodes that occurred in Brazil have set off alarms in the face of the oncoming October elections, and raises the spectre of what happened in the US, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to reject the results of the polls, explains the journalist Marta Miera for RT.
The most recent drama occurred on Saturday night in Foz de Iguazú, in the southern state of Parana, where a Bolsonaro supporter broke into the birthday party of Marcelo Arruda, a militant of the Workers’ Party (PT), and shot him to death. The party was petista themed.
That same day, in Brasilia, followers of the far-right held an act to defend the carrying of weapons promoted by the deputy and son of President Eduardo Bolsonaro, who on Sunday celebrated his 38th birthday with a cake in the shape of a revolver and bullets.
«With the climate of intolerance and the growing number of people authorized to buy and carry weapons, the result of a deliberate arms policy, it will not be surprising that new violent attacks and murders will take place in the coming months», wrote Professor Nabil Bonduki in a column in Folha de Sao Paulo.
According to data from the Brazilian Public Security Yearbook, weapons licenses almost quintupled during the Bolsonaro government. Of the 117,500 registrations in 2018, there are currently 673,800.
Added to this, is the fact that Bolsonaro keeps repeating that the electronic voting system used since 1996 lends itself to fraud and that the ballot boxes can be easily hacked. These repeated attacks, always without evidence, are interpreted by many analysts as a dangerous threat if the president loses the elections.
In statements to the press, the president stressed on Monday that he «has nothing to do» with the crime against Arruda. «The incredible case of the government that encourages violence by reducing it to the lowest rate in 10 years. The thirst for power is leading militants disguised as journalists to an unprecedented scenario: fighting against numbers», he said in response to accusations that his rhetoric stimulates violence.
Worrying episodes against Lula supporters
A few days before the crime against Arruda, at a PT event in Rio de Janeiro, and just before Lula arrived, two homemade bombs with excrement inside exploded next to the stage, generating moments of panic and forcing the former president to use, for the first time, a bulletproof vest during the act.
In June, in Minas Gerias, Lula supporters were hit by «wastewater» launched by a drone that was flying over the area where the PT leader planned to go hours later.
That same month, during the launch event of the PT government program in Sao Paulo, three Bolsonarists circumvented security and one of them practically reached the arena where Lula was.
In May, the car in which the leftist leader in Brazil, and favorite in the polls, was traveling, found itself surrounded by a group of Bolsonaristas in the city of Campinas, also in Sao Paulo.
The car of Renato Borelli, the judge who sentenced ex-minister Milton Ribeiro, suspected of ‘liberating’ public funds for two pastors close to Bolsonaro, was also attacked when he left his home with animal feces, eggs and dirt.
Without going into details, the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) Edson Fachin, warned that Brazil may experience an even more serious episode in the elections than the one that happened in Washington.
«We could have an even worse episode than the one that occurred on January 6 on Capitol Hill», said Fachin. For this not to happen – he emphasized – the Electoral Justice, civil society, Parliament, the Armed Forces, the press and the international community must protect Brazilian democracy, within the roles that correspond to them.
In the midst of this tension, Lula ‘s pre-campaign political council met on Monday with the main objective of reinforcing the candidate’s security on the eve of the official start of the campaign, which starts on July 21. «The institutions, candidates and parties committed to democracy have the obligation to react to the advance of Bolsonaro’s barbarism», said Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, an ally of Lula.
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