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"When the Republic's main leader encourages people to be violent, they feel authorized to behave in that way," RAPS Director Sodre pointed out.
Less than four days before the presidential elections to be held on Sunday, October 2, Brazilians are outraged by new cases of political violence generated by supporters of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
The authorities are investigating the murder of at least four people after political arguments and other violent attacks on militants and democratic candidates. As a result of the escalation of threats, the Workers' Party presidential candidate Lula da Silva has chosen to attend the latest political rallies accompanied by a large security apparatus.
"The knife is already sharp" was the message of one of the most recent threats against the leftist leader. Authorities managed to find the cell phone of the suspect in the incident.
The tension that far-right militiamen are unleashing has crossed the borders of this South American country, motivating the concern of other governments and international observers.
Devastação é menor em terras indígenas, mas seus habitantes pagam com a vida. Bolsonaro é um fanático irresponsável que estimula a violência e a devastação do país!https://t.co/CwfOzgHH2g
The tweet reads, "The Indigenous lands are less devastated but their inhabitants pay for it with their lives. Bolsonaro is an irresponsible fanatic who encourages violence and devastation across the country! Even under attack, Indigenous lands manage to avoid further devastation. In 37 years, deforestation on Indigenous lands was only 1.7%, while it exceeded 21% in unprotected areas."
On Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the latest violent incidents and indicated that Washington hopes that the Brazilian presidential elections take place "in a fair, transparent, and credible manner." The situation, however, could worsen on election day.
In anonymous statements to the EFE news agency, a Sao Paulo Military Police officer said that "he does not rule out altercations" in the streets, in the event that Lula da Silva wins in a single round, which is the most likely result according to all voting intention surveys.
The first serious political violence case took place in July in Foz do Iguacu, where a prison officer shot dead a Workers' Party leader while he was celebrating his birthday. Later, on Sept. 7, another Bolsonaro supporter stabbed to death a work colleague who admired Lula.
Médico bolsonarista ameaça dar tiro na cara de militante do PT que distribui material de campanha no centro de Curitiba. A polícia foi acionada e o levou para a delegacia para lavrar bolerim se ocorrência, acompanhado da agredida e testemunhas. @ZehdeAbreu@gduvivierpic.twitter.com/lnc01rkpPB
The tweet reads, "A Bolsonarista doctor threatens to shoot at the face of a Workers' Party militant, who was distributing campaign material in downtown Curitiba. People called the police and took him to the police station to file a protection action. He was transferred accompanied by the victim and witnesses."
One of the most recent political assassinations occurred over the weekend in Ceara, where a Bolsonarista entered a bar, asked who supported Lula, and then stabbed a man.
In this context, the Brazilian Forum of Public Security and the Political Action Network for Sustainability (RAPS) published a survey showing that 7 out of 10 Brazilians are afraid of being physically attacked as a result of their political opinions.
Among the reasons for that fear is the discourse openly in favor of violence against leftists, the poor, and social leaders that Bolsonaro has promoted since he became president in 2019.
"That has consequences because when the Republic's main leader encourages people to be violent, they feel authorized to behave in that way," RAPS Director Monica Sodre pointed out.
Brazil's elections have been managed by its national electoral court system since 1932. This year, due to a constant stream of disinformation about the integrity of the elections by President Bolsonaro, the system is more important than ever. My report for @telesurenglishpic.twitter.com/jH9SZruddw