Wednesday, April 17

Brazil, overwhelmed by the murder of a militant of Lula da Silva

The shooting murder of a militant of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the hands of a Bolsonaro policeman overwhelmed Brazilian politics this Sunday, which attributed the crime to the climate of “intolerance” and “hate” that the country lives less than three months before the elections.

The events occurred last morning in Foz de Iguaçu, a border town with Argentina and Paraguay, when a prison officer, supporter of the president Jair Bolsonaro broke into Marcelo Arruda’s birthday party and opened fire on him, according to police.

Arruda, municipal guard and one of the leaders of the Workers’ Party (PT) in Foz de Iguaçu, commemorated his 50th birthday in the company of friends and family with a theme party on Lula and the PT, at the Itaipu Physical Health Sports Association headquarters.

At a certain moment, the prison officer, identified as Jose da Rocha Guaranho, approaches the premises, He threatens those present with a gun in his hand and leaves.

But after a few minutes come back, enter the room and shootout to Arrudawho manages to react from the ground and shoot his assailant, who falls to the ground, according to the images of a security camera leaked by the press.

The Civil Police of the state of Paraná reported in a first statement that the prison officer had died, although, hours later, they corrected that information and said that He was admitted to a hospital “in serious condition”.

The commissioner in charge of the case, Iane Cardoso, affirmed in a press conference that witnesses declared that Da Rocha Guaranho launched proclamations in favor of Bolsonaro, leader of the Brazilian extreme right, and that everything points to the fact that it was a “political conflict”.

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Arruda’s murder occurs 84 days before the polarized Brazilian presidential electionsfor which the clear favorite is Lula, with an advantage of between 15 and 20 points over Bolsonaro, according to the latest polls.

condemnation of the world of politics

The event was widely condemned by authoritiespresidential candidates, political parties and civil society organizations.

Lula, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, attributed the incident to “hate speech stimulated by an irresponsible president”alluding to Bolsonaro, and stated that Brazil needs “democracy, dialogue, tolerance and peace.”

For his part, Bolsonaro retrieved a message he published in 2018 —the year in which he was stabbed during a campaign rally—, in which he rejected “those who practice violence against opponents”, but at the same time accused the left of having “an undeniable history of violent episodes” and to “decontextualize” his words.

The president of the PT, deputy Gleisi Hoffmann, asked the country’s public security authorities “effective measures to prevent and combat political violence”.

In the last month there have been a couple of incidents at PT events with the presence of Lula. In one of them, a suspect set off two firecrackers and in another a drone dumped sewer water against the PT militancy. In both cases the authors are detained.

On the other hand, the Labor presidential candidate Ciro Gomes, third in voting intentions, stated that “political hatred needs to be contained” to prevent “a tragedy of gigantic proportions” from occurring in the midst of this “absurd, senseless and purposeless war”.

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The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, indicated that Arruda’s death is “the materialization of political intolerance that permeates today’s Brazil” and shows “what it is like to live in barbarism”.

“We should all, especially political leaders, fight to fight this hatewhich goes against the basic principles of family life, in society and in democracy,” he added.

Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes also spoke, stressing that “intolerance, violence and hatred are enemies of democracy and development”; and remembered that “Respect for free choice must be defended by all the authorities of the three powers”.

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Civil society also joined the condemnations, such as the Political Action Network for Sustainability (RAPS), which repudiated “the escalation of political violence in Brazil” and alerted democratic institutions about “the need to expand civic dialogue actions” in the country.

“Political violence can no longer be tolerated”sentenced this non-governmental organization made up of 750 members of 29 political parties in the country.

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