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News > Brazil

Coronel Leads the National Foundation of the Arts in Brazil

  • Protest against the cultural policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 6, 2020.

    Protest against the cultural policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 6, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @chico_psol

Published 14 September 2020

The far-right President Bolsonaro takes another step in his fight against “cultural Marxism”.

Army Reserve Colonel Lamartine Barbosa-Holanda was appointed as president of the National Arts Foundation (FUNARTE) by President Jair Bolsonaro, who thus further reinforces the presence of the military in his administration.


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Since its foundation in 1975, FUNARTE has aimed to develop policies to encourage artistic activities. This institutional mission had been directed by distinguished personalities from the cultural sector, even during the military dictatorships (1964-1985).

As part of his conservative agenda, however, the former Captain Bolsonaro is determined to prevent schools, universities, art centers, and other cultural spaces from continuing to be "niches" for Marxist thought, as he claims.

Within this ideological purge, two months ago, FUNARTE was led by Dante Mantovani, a far-right musician and activist who generated controversy when he claimed that rock music leads people to abortion and Satanism.

This character was replaced by Luciano Querido, a graphic designer who had allegedly been an "advisor" to councilor Carlos Bolsonaro, the son of the Brazilian president. He did not last in his position, though.

The current FUNARTE director is a 60-year-old paratrooper who presided over the Brazil-Albania Chamber of Commerce. 

Although Colonel Barbosa-Holanda did a scriptwriting course at the Sao Paulo Film School, he is an expert in the maintenance of war material and transportation of dangerous cargo.

Between 2018 and 2020, the number of military personnel exercising managerial functions in the Brazilian state went from 2,765 to 6,157, according to the Union Court of Accounts (TCU).

Among them are 11 out of 22 ministers in the Bolsonaro’s cabinet and Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who is a general in the Army Reserve.

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