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News > Brazil

A Global Alert on Bolsonaro's Strategy

  • Rally against President Jair Bolsonaro, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 21, 2020.

    Rally against President Jair Bolsonaro, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 21, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 June 2020

His actions are becoming "examples" that other countries' far-right movements could imitate.

The performance of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro should concern the entire world. That's not only true because Brazil has the 6th biggest population on the planet. Or because the Amazon Forest is essential for all living beings on Earth. Or because Brazil's economy can impact the whole Latin American region and its partners around the world.


Brazilian Court to Analyze Bolsonaro's Electoral Abuse in 2018

The greatest risk is that Bolsonaro’s strategy is likely to become a dangerous example for many far-right movements inside other countries.

You should act now to engage your country in a global campaign to isolate Bolsonaro in Brazil and avoid the Military Coup he is preparing.

Here is some background. Bolsonaro has been demanding that only the elderly people should stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to that, Brazil has today over 1 million people infected by the virus, and already over 50 thousand deaths, becoming the 2nd worst country in the world for pandemic statistics. With over 212 million inhabitants, Brazil has now become a health concern and issue around the planet.

Brazil's current economic crisis has also negative impacts worldwide. It has a key role in the Latin American region since it shares borders with all other South American countries except for Chile and Ecuador.

Brazil alone is Latin America’s biggest market, representing over 40 percent of the region's economy and almost 50 percent of its territory. It also trades with almost all other countries on the planet. However, due to Bolsonaro’s mismanagement of the pandemic, Brazil is facing its worst-ever economic contraction, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Most of you know how important the Amazon Rainforest is for the whole planet. Over 24 million people live there, just on the Brazilian side, with over 180 different Indigenous peoples. Also, 10 percent of all animal and plant species live there.

The Amazon alone stores over ten times the annual global fossil fuel emissions. However, the deforestation rate of the planet's largest rainforest has been increasing for the 14 consecutive months since Bolsonaro took power. The pace of deforestation in the forest is 83 percent ahead of where it was just last year.

However, those terrible consequences are not the worst problems that Bolsonaro is causing the world. The biggest risk comes from the example that his strategy can represent to other far-right movements inside your very countries.

Just a few years ago, Bolsonaro and his followers represented only a small group of extremists, talking about "the risk of communism in Brazil", and attacking progressive demands such as basic human rights and environmental protection.

Then they started getting money from corruption and illegal activities, especially from the militias which operate inside Rio de Janeiro’s slums. They also strengthened relationships with radical new Pentecostal Christian churches, both inside and outside Brazil.

And finally, they engaged with white supremacists and got money from huge companies to spread fake news around the country at the 2018 elections. All these illegal activities are being investigated by Brazilian judges and some people have been arrested.

Through those strategies, Brazil has become a complete mess, a place where most people do not know what is true and what is not, what is legal and what is illegal, what the president and the military forces should or should not do.

And that has consequences even on how millions of people are dealing with the pandemic, which explains a lot about the terrible statistics in Brazil.

To cut a long story short, let’s see a few examples of some Bolsonaro’s war tactics. First, the entire world must know that since he came into power in 2019, he and his supporters have attacked the Brazilian press.

The President himself says something every day against journalists and agencies that question any of his decisions or discourses. Then, his followers started threatening and even beating journalists aiming to cover their demonstrations. Now many press agencies in Brazil are reporting episodes of censorship.

Bolsonaro has also been present at many demonstrations where his supporters have been threatening to shut down the Supreme Court and the National House of Representatives. On June 14, his supporters shot fireworks against the Supreme Court asking whether they had “now understood the message."

To reach this point, they have been organizing their private armed militias. For many years, these militias have been illegal groups of members of the military and state police forces, who would extort money from poor communities.

Now, some white supremacists have also built their armed militias to support Bolsonaro. Some TV news shows have shown these groups doing firearm training and promoting public demonstrations using KKK and Nazi symbols.

These armed militias also materialize when Bolsonaro and other military members of his administration threaten the institutions, saying they will not accept any decisions from the Supreme Court or the House of Representatives against him.

Through social media, they have said that if those institutions do not abide by what the Executive branch wants, they will be forced to do so by the military forces.

And this pattern is present in other countries such as in the United States, where President Donald Trump has also shown many times he does not accept results against his will. He has been questioning the institutions, even when he wins.

And even if he loses the next election, he will probably keep questioning the legitimacy of the new government, trying to keep the U.S. in the same state of dangerous polarisation that he has built so far.

This is part of Trump and Bolsonaro's strategy. Their factions will throw their countries into a complete mess, or even armed conflicts when, rather than if, they have strength enough for that. And this strength is just a matter of time. We cannot allow them time for that. This is the most important task in all our countries at this stage.

We need you all to demand your governments to watch what is happening in Brazil. You must smash any white supremacist and fascist-type group in your territories before they can grow. They must not get any chance to do so under the law. 

You must demand your governments to inform the Bolsonaro's administration that Brazil will face diplomatic, trade, and economic sanctions in the event of armed movements breaking down its constitutional rules and democratic institutions.

This is the urgent and only way you can help us avoid this deepening tragedy in Brazil. Stop the spread of these far-right extremists who are arising in our countries, and gaining important roles inside the institutions and the military forces, with the potential to take over governments, as happened in the 1930s.

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