LATIN-AMERICA

Brazil: presidential candidate gets stabbed during campaign event

MINAS GERAIS – Violence in the electoral campaign in Brazil. The far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during a campaign rally in Minas Gerais. The aggressor was immediately detained after the attack.

The ultra right-wing candidate, who is one of the frontrunners for the upcoming presidential elections, got stabbed in the lower part of his abdomen during a campaign event. Jair Bolsonaro was surrounded by supporters, when suddenly he got attacked. Although Bolsonaro was wearing a bulletproof vest, the knife still went through, as it got stabbed just below the protected areas.

According to CNN, the candidate from the Partido Social Liberal (PSL) was taken immediately to the nearest hospital. The aggressor received a violent beat-up by Bolsonaro’s supporters before being taken into custody by the local police. “The Minas Gerais police reacted rapidly, in order to arrest the attacker,” mayor Flavio Santiago said.

Bolsonaro’s son released a statement later, stating that his father was alright under circumstances, as the wound was not life threatening. Brazilian news site O Globo pointed out that Bolsonaro got lucky, as his guts could have been injured. Mayor Santiago added that such attacks are not usual in Brazil. “Although the candidates are getting close to their public, they have their security, police officers are always present. In Brazil, we don’t have a culture of attacking politicians, where someone can break through security lines and just attack a candidate.”

Politicians condemn the violent episode

Brazilian politicians were shocked by the violent attack on Bolsanero. President Michel Temer told the press that “it is sad this could happen, there is no room for intolerance in Brazil”.

Fernando Haddad, who is expected to be the Workers’ Party candidate, as Lula da Silva has been barred from the presidential elections last week, also reacted. “It is shameful. A real horror,” Haddad said describing the attack.  

Leftist rival Ciro Gómez, also expressed his outrage against political violence. “I sympathize with my opponent and demand that the authorities identify and punish those responsible for this barbarity,” Gómez said.

“The violence against the candidate Jair Bolsonaro is inadmissible and is an attack at both the candidate and our democracy,“said Marina Silva, another presidential candidate.

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