Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began wearing a bullet-proof vest during a mass rally Thursday evening in Rio de Janeiro after a homemade explosive device containing excrements blew up, although nobody was injured.
Lula is ahead on all polls for the Oct. 2 presidential elections.
It was the second such on Lula supporters in less than a month, after this week a rural businessman and militant of President Jair Bolsonaro was arrested in Uberaba, state of Minas Gerais, for using a drone that launched toxic agrochemicals against the public during a political meeting last month.
Thursday's alleged perpetrator of the incident in Cinelandia square in downtown Rio de Janeiro has been arrested. André Dimitriu Alves de Brito, aged 55, had infiltrated the event with pro-Lula stickers on his clothes to throw a bottle with an explosive mixed with excrement into the crowd. The attacker claimed he had no political orientation but was moved rather by his disagreement over the polarization between Lula and incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro's policy encouraged hatred and proposes that the population arm itself, with parapolice, the politics of prejudice. We are going to dispute this non-civilizing agenda that is in permanent tension, PT Deputy Reginaldo Lopes told Télam. He added that Lula's security has been reinforced and pointed out that as of August, with the campaign officially declared, he will have the protection support of the Federal Police, like all presidential candidates.
PT leaders in Rio de Janeiro confirmed that Lula wore a bulletproof vest, according to O Globo during a rally in which he officially expressed his support for Professor Marcelo Freixo for State Governor on behalf of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB).
In his speech, Lula did not mention the attack but he did underline the fight against a climate of violence. Lula's campaign coordinators are still concerned over the candidate's security due to numerous threats.
On June 27, when Lula and his running mate, former São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin were launching the guidelines for their planned future administration at a São Paulo hotel, the ultra-Catholic Bolsonarist Caíque Mafra got around security guards and approached Lula to launch a barrage of insults at him.
For Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, one of Lula's campaign coordinators, much of the encouragement for these attacks comes from Bolsonaro, who has repeated that the former president cannot go out on the streets.
In March 2018, a month before he was sent to prison, the bus which Lula was riding was shot at in the state of Paraná. Lula has, by law, a permanent custody available to all former presidents.
In September 2018, Bolsonaro was the victim of a knife attack in Minas Gerais during his successful presidential campaign. The perpetrator, Adelio Bispo, was pronounced non-prosecutable by reason of mental defect and has since been hospitalized.