The electoral campaign in Brazil is once again stained with blood. A political discussion led to a murder in a rural area of the State of Mato Grosso, in the interior of the country. According to information from the Civil Police collected by the local press, Rafael Silva de Oliveira, 24 years old and a supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro, stabbed Benedito Cardoso dos Santos, 44 years old and a follower of Lula da Silva, to death after a heated discussion about politics got out of hand last Wednesday. The police have no doubts about the political motivation of the murder.
“What led to the crime was a divergent political opinion: the victim was defending Lula, and the perpetrator, defending Bolsonaro,” explained the commissioner of the Civil Police, Víctor Oliveira. It all started on a rural farm in the city of Confresa, where the two worked together cutting firewood. On the night of September 7, the day of the Independence of Brazil and which was marked by massive demonstrations in favor of Bolsonaro, the two began to argue, raising the tone until Dos Santos punched Oliveira in the face and threatened him with death. a knife.
The two struggled and the youngest managed to get hold of the knife. He stabbed the victim in the back, neck and head. With his colleague dying, he went to a nearby hut, where he took an ax and finished her off with a cut on her neck. Later, the author of the crime hid the weapons and went on foot to the city of Confresa in search of a hospital, given that he also had head and hand injuries. In the hospital he told that he had suffered a robbery, but when he was transferred to a police station he ended up confessing the crime. He was immediately arrested and now remains in prison accused of a crime classified in Brazil as “homicide by clumsy and cruel motive.”
The judge who decided to keep him in prison, Eduardo Bezerra, affirmed in his decision that intolerance “should not and will not be admitted, at the risk of going back to barbaric times.” The murder in Mato Grosso is a new episode that increases the fear that violence between the supporters of the favorites will mark the campaign for the October 2 elections. If no one gets a majority of the valid votes, there will be a second round on October 30.
In July, a Bolsonaro supporter shot dead a treasurer of the Workers’ Party (PT) during his birthday party, which had as its main theme a tribute to Lula. And last week, another political discussion in an evangelical church ended with a supporter of the former president wounded by a bullet.
Former President Lula tweeted after learning of the new murder that “intolerance has taken another life. Brazil does not deserve this hatred that has been established in the country”.
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Lula, favorite in all the polls ahead of the elections, was this Friday in a meeting with evangelicals, in São Gonçalo, on the outskirts of Rio. Shortly before he went on stage, there was a brawl at the gates of the sports center where the event was being held. A group of Lula supporters attacked a Bolsonarista who passed by in his car nearby and according to witnesses he was provoking the protesters. He had the entire vehicle lined with montages that showed Lula behind bars. There was a generalized fight, the Bolsonarista ended up with part of his face bleeding and the police had to intervene.
The tension is felt in the environment. The security measures at Lula’s campaign events, with metal detector arches or high protection fences, were not seen in other elections. Both Bolsonaro and Lula often wear bulletproof vests at their rallies. And the security of the latter, which was already one of the main headaches of his campaign team, has been reinforced after the attack against the Argentine vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
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