Posted on September 6, 2018

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil’s Far-Right Presidential Hopeful Stabbed at Campaign Event

Dom Phillips, The Guardian, September 6, 2018

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate who is leading the polls in Brazil’s presidential race, has been stabbed campaigning in Minas Gerais state just a month before the election.

Bolsonaro was recovering in hospital from an injury that was “only superficial,” tweeted his son, Flavio, who is himself a candidate for the Brazilian senate.

Videos shared on social media showed the moment Bolsonaro was attacked as he was carried on the shoulders of supporters at an event in the city of Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles (200km) north of Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro was waving to the crowd when he suddenly clutched his abdomen and collapsed. O Globo newspaper reported that he was wearing a bulletproof vest, but was wounded just below it.

A police spokesman confirmed that the attacker was in custody.

In an especially unpredictable campaign, Bolsonaro has polarised opinion with his calls for looser gun laws, his attacks on the left and his praise for the military dictatorship that ran Brazil between 1964 and 1985, torturing thousands of its opponents and executing hundreds more.

Yet rising violent crime, anger over repeated corruption scandals and an efficient social media operation have helped him build support, and he is second in the polls to ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has been barred from running because of a criminal conviction for corruption. Lula continues to appeal.