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Montevideo, November 16th 2018 - 03:45 UTC

Brazilian leading presidential candidate stabbed and in serious condition; attack could bolster his chances

Friday, September 7th 2018 - 08:54 UTC
Full article 94 comments
The attack on Bolsonaro, 63, is a dramatic twist in what was already Brazil’s most unpredictable election since the country’s return to democracy three decades ago The attack on Bolsonaro, 63, is a dramatic twist in what was already Brazil’s most unpredictable election since the country’s return to democracy three decades ago
Flavio Bolsonaro, the candidate's son, wrote on Twitter that “sadly, it was more serious that we had hoped for, the perforation reached liver, lung and intestine” Flavio Bolsonaro, the candidate's son, wrote on Twitter that “sadly, it was more serious that we had hoped for, the perforation reached liver, lung and intestine”
Bolsonaro, whose trademark pose at rallies is a “guns up” gesture, says he would encourage police to kill suspected drug gang members and other armed criminals Bolsonaro, whose trademark pose at rallies is a “guns up” gesture, says he would encourage police to kill suspected drug gang members and other armed criminals

The leading candidate in Brazil’s presidential election is in serious but stable condition after being stabbed by an assailant at a campaign rally on Thursday, doctors said, pushing an already chaotic campaign into further disarray.

Far-right firebrand Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial figure who has enraged many Brazilians for years with divisive comments, but has a devout following among conservative voters, could take two months to fully recover and will spend at least a week in the hospital, said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, who operated on the candidate.

“His internal wounds were grave and put the patient’s life at risk,” Borsato said, adding that a serious challenge now would be preventing an infection that could be caused by the perforation of Bolsonaro’s intestines.

Flavio Bolsonaro, the candidate's son, wrote on his verified Twitter account that “sadly, it was more serious that we had hoped for”.

“The perforation reached part of his liver, lung and intestine,” Flavio Bolsonaro wrote.

“He lost a lot of blood, arrived at the hospital … almost dead. He appears to have stabilised now. Please pray!”

The attack on Bolsonaro, 63, is a dramatic twist in what was already Brazil’s most unpredictable election since the country’s return to democracy three decades ago. Corruption investigations have jailed scores of powerful businessmen and politicians in recent years, and alienated infuriated voters.

Under Brazilian campaign laws, Bolsonaro’s tiny coalition has almost no campaign time on government-regulated candidate ad blocs on TV and radio. That means he relies deeply on social media and raucous rallies around the country to drum up support. If Bolsonaro is not able to go out in the streets, it could jeopardize his campaign.
Bolsonaro, whose trademark pose at rallies is a “guns up” gesture with both hands to make them resemble pistols, says he would encourage police to kill suspected drug gang members and other armed criminals with abandon.

He has openly praised Brazil’s military dictatorship and in the past said it should have killed more people.

In casting his vote on the floor of Congress for the 2016 impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, he dedicated his ballot to the military regime figure who oversaw the prison where Rousseff was jailed for three years and brutally tortured.

Bolsonaro faces trial before the Supreme Court for speech that prosecutors said incited hate and rape. He has called the charges politically motivated.

Political violence is rampant in Brazil at the local level.

The Federal Police said in a statement that it had officers escorting Bolsonaro at the time of the knife attack and the “aggressor” was caught in the act. It said the circumstances were being investigated.

TV images showed Bolsonaro being carried on someone’s shoulders in the middle of a crushing crowd of cheering supporters on one of the city’s main streets when a knife was seen raised above heads just before it plunged into the candidate’s body.

The pictures show Bolsonaro screaming in pain, then falling backward into the arms of those around him. It took a few moments for the crowd to realize what occurred, but they quickly rushed the candidate out of the street.

Fernando Haddad, who will likely be the leftist Workers Party presidential candidate, said the stabbing was a “shame” and a “horror.”

President Michel Temer and Bolsonaro’s electoral rivals Ciro Gomes, Marina Silva, and Geraldo Alckmin all expressed disdain of the violence.

Brazil's Bovespa extended gains after the stabbing as traders bet the incident could boost support for Bolsonaro, who has tapped a University of Chicago-trained banker as his main economic adviser.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Jack Bauer

    “Under Brazilian campaign laws, Bolsonaro’s tiny coalition has almost no campaign time on government-regulated candidate ad blocs on TV and radio. That means he relies deeply on social media and raucous rallies around the country to drum up support. If Bolsonaro is not able to go out in the streets, it could jeopardize his campaign”.

    “If Bolsonaro is not able to go out in the streets, it could jeopardize his campaign”......

    Looking at the attempt on Bolsonaro's life, caused by intolerence, purely from the point of view of publicity, I think it might have the opposite effect ....the fact that he has virtually no TV time, and will not be able to ”go out into the streets', will be more than compensated by the time media will spend on commenting his recovery. And might reduce the attacks from his opponents, for fear of being seen as a lack of solidarity.

    Regarding the political 'intolerance', which led to this event, I guess we can thank the 9-fingered toad.

    Sep 07th, 2018 - 04:34 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    Re the guy who stabbed him, according to the BBC:

    “Adélio Bispo de Oliveira, 40, is a left-wing supporter who has been very vocal in his criticism of Mr Bolsonaro. He posted many messages on Facebook denouncing his policies. Between 2007 and 2014 he was affiliated to the left-leaning PSOL party.

    He had campaigned for the release of former President Lula, but in recent months he had expressed on Facebook his disillusionment with all politicians and declared that he did not intend to vote for any of the presidential candidates.

    His relatives said that he seemed to have mental problems and that they had lost contact with him.

    They told O Globo newspaper that he was very religious and spent most of this time alone, reading the Bible.”

    At least it seems to be just one crazy guy, and not some kind of group targeting politicians.

    Sep 08th, 2018 - 05:22 pm 0
  • Jack Bauer

    TH
    “...the attacker has suffered from a serious mental illness for a long time. He has no political affiliations..” two lies in one sentence. Thanks for the contribution, numb nuts.

    Sep 09th, 2018 - 12:28 am 0
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