news world

Bolsonaro fan stabs Lula supporter as Brazil election turns deadly

A supporter of Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has stabbed to death a backer of leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in the latest instance of rising political tensions in the build-up to this year’s election.

The violence happened in the west-central state of Mato Grosso, after tempers frayed during an argument over support for the two candidates. Bolsonaro trails Lula in the polls in an election riven by intense polarisation.

According to the police report of the incident, Rafael Silva de Oliveira, 24, killed Benedito Cardoso dos Santos, 42, by stabbing him with a knife. The suspect was taken to the police station, where he confessed and was charged.

Speaking with reporters in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Lula commented on the stabbing, saying there was a “climate of hatred in the electoral process which is completely abnormal”. Lula also suggested law enforcement should investigate whether such incidents “had been ordered, or guided, or if it is a political strategy”. He did not provide any evidence to back up the suggestion of orchestrated attacks.

In a statement, Juanita Goebertus Estrada, the director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch, said “all candidates should energetically condemn” the killing of Cardoso dos Santos, adding that “Brazilians deserve peaceful elections and should be able to engage in political discussions without fear of violence or retaliation for their views.”

The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, a similar incident occurred when a local official from Lula’s opposition Workers’ party was shot dead by a federal prison guard shouting support for Bolsonaro.

On Friday morning, a Bolsonaro supporter was left with a head wound and said he had been assaulted by supporters of the Workers party who were waiting for Lula to arrive at an event with evangelicals in the city of São Gonçalo, in Rio de Janeiro state.

Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Bolsonaro, who has long railed against Lula and his leftist allies, has floated the idea of not accepting any election loss, citing unfounded claims of election fraud and problems with Brazil’s widely respected electronic voting system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button