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  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said that citizens with the HIV virus pose a serious problem to the country.

    Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said that citizens with the HIV virus pose a serious problem to the country. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 February 2020
Opinion

A former army captain who was a congressman for 28 years before becoming president, Bolsonaro has a history of making racist, misogynist, and homophobic statements.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday that citizens with HIV are a severe problem, and generate a high "expense" for the country, sparking outrage among the popular sectors of the South American nation.

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"A person with HIV, in addition to having a serious problem, is an expense for everyone here in Brazil," the far-right president of Brazil said.

The head of state expressed his discriminatory comments in the middle of a press conference.

He also denounced the social policies of the Workers Party (PT) during the leftist governments of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

"The freedom they preached in everything [...] gave glamor to certain behavior with which the chief of a family does not agree. If this point is reached, depravity is total," Bolsonaro said.

It is not the first time Bolsonaro has made such discriminatory comments often targeting LGBTQ people, women as well as ethnic minorities.

A few weeks back, he made an incredibly racist comment saying, "the Indian has changed, he is evolving and becoming more and more, a human being like us."

"What we want is to integrate him into society so he can own his land," he said.

Bolsonaro has previously said indigenous reserves are too large and his government wants to allow commercial mining and agriculture on these reservations.

He has said the indigenous live in poverty like "animals in zoos" and wants to assimilate them into Brazilian society and the economy. Tribal leaders decry this as planned ethnocide aimed at eliminating their cultures.

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