'Lula' campaigns with a bulletproof vest

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  • The number of political assassinations has increased year after year since Bolsonaro came to power in 2018

  • Lula has begun to use protection after the assassination that a Bolsonarista perpetrated against a member of his party

'Lula' campaigns with bulletproof vest

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has incorporated a disturbing habit in this electoral campaign: the bulletproof vest . As he consolidates in the polls ahead of the Brazilian presidential election in October, the Workers' Party (PT) candidate tightens surveillance on him.

The fear of an attack is no longer an extravagance. Days ago, a right-wing extremist assassinated a municipal guard sympathetic to the PT, Marcelo Arruda, shooting bullets and cheers at President Jair Bolsonaro at the same time. For Lula, the crime could not be dissociated from the “hate speech stimulated by an irresponsible president”; and lagging behind in the polls.

That's over. for activating the alarms around a Lula that he had had to face difficulties in three activities. In Minas Gerais, a Bolsonarista launched agrochemicals against the public during a rally through a drone. In Rio de Janeiro a fire was detonated. a homemade bomb as part of a campaign event. On June 27, another ultra approached dangerously Lula and her vice-presidential candidate, former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, when they presented their program in São Paulo.

Strictly speaking, it had already gone from words to deeds in the 2020 legislative elections. Throughout that year, 84 political crimes were recorded. However, these are the first presidential elections crossed by an unknown fear since the recovery in the mid-1980s. democracy in that country. “At this moment in the history of Brazil, there is a decisive factor: violence is stimulated from above”, pointed out the writer and journalist Fernando Gabeira, in a column published by the Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo.

The newspaper Estadoof San Pablo has reported that throughout this year there have been 26 murders for political reasons. The victim is not always a member of the PT. What breaks out is violence as an action that can be naturalized. from there That the political scientist Sérgio Praça, from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, called for not “underestimating” the seriousness of what is happening. “This cannot become something normal“, he pointed out.

Ideology of hate

For Nabil Bonduki, columnist for the newspaper Folha , both the murder of the PT member and that of the specialist in indigenous issues, Bruno Pereira, who lost life in the Amazon together with the English journalist Dom Phillips, cause “indignation and concern, although not surprise”. This is due to “the ideology of hate” that has been stimulated by Bolsonaro, who has just questioned once again the transparency of the October contest.

The retired captain mistrusts the electronic ballot boxes, in force since 1996. The extreme right won the 2018 elections with that system, but now it has discovered that it can be manipulated. In front of the diplomatic community, Bolsonaro warned on Monday that Brazil will only have “peace” if the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) agrees to change the operation of the polls. “Not even a computerized system can guarantee 100% security.” He slipped in that sense that this role belongs to the Armed Forces, “of which I am supreme commander“. The president of the TSE, Luiz Edson Fachin was quick to respond: “It's time to say enough to misinformation and authoritarian populism.”

Increase in the purchase of weapons

The latent possibility of a tragic event is not only present. related to what is said but the material conditions to carry it out. According to the Soy de Paz Institute, which obtained data from the Army under the Access to Information Law, the number of armed Brazilians has grown alarmingly.. The subterfuge to acquire them is to pass themselves off as collectors, sports shooters or hunters, grouped under the acronym CAC.

The amount of CAC increased. 262% between July 2019 and March this year, going from 167,400 to 605,300 people. This means that during the Government of the retired captain 449 people obtain a license to use weapons every day. The 605,000 CACs exceed the 357,000 active military personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the sum of the Military Police, officially estimated at 417,000. “You only have to do the math to see the enormous arsenal that could be in the hands of the CAC and their political groups. And, what is worse, it is not inspected,” he pointed out. Bonduki.

In this context, shooting clubs have increased by 168% since 2018. Only between January and March 2022, 268 were opened. “The weapon is freedom, it is security and it is the guarantee of a the nation too”, Bolsonaro just said .

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