Brazil is waking up this week with a heavy hangover. Last Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro was elected as a new President, promising to fight against corruption and money laundering. This very controverted candidate was almost assassinated during the campaign.
While the media calls him the “Trump of the Tropics”, it seems that Jair Bolsonaro might not only want to fight against corruption – but against democracy too. Opposition is worried; and during only a few days – more than 20 universities were raided and books about fascism were burnt.
What is there to expect from Bosolnaro’s term and is his authoritarian policy will be sustainable with Brazil’s broad communities – from LGBTQA+ to Natives and women.
Communities are concerned
On Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro won the second round with 57 percent against his leftist opponent Fernando Haddad. For many, the election of M. Bolsonaro could potentially bring back the country to the seventies when it was ruled by an authoritarian regime. Women, members of the gay community, as well as Native Brazilians, were silenced and murdered
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) October 31, 2018
Images across social media showed a strong resent against the newly-elected President, who is said to have ties in the far-right communities in Brazil, and even neo-nazi communities. The picture below was largely shared online and showed the fear of Brazilians.
— LEUC (@Mylenien) October 28, 2018
Violence over the weekend
Indeed, the government did something that the Nazi regime used to do to censor the opposition: it raided more than 20 universities during the weekend and earlier this week and burnt hundreds of books recounting the authoritarian regimes, as well as History books about the second world war, reports the local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
Em Porto Alegre, mulher registrou um boletim de ocorrência no qual alega que foi agredida por três homens brancos na rua. Ela vestia uma camiseta #EleNão e diz que dois deles a seguraram enquanto um outro desenhava uma suástica com um canivete na sua barriga. pic.twitter.com/ciyH8FZecs
— The Intercept Brasil (@TheInterceptBr) October 10, 2018
Moreover, dozens of members of the LGBTQA+ community were physically attacked during the second round weekend, some of them were carved svatiskas on their skin, deeply worrying the community on the future for homosexuals and transsexuals in the country. Jair Bolsonaro said himself that he would be “incapable to love a homosexual son”.
Journalists at the front line
Not only the LGBTQA and the student communities are affected by this election; reporters who covered the event have been on the front line.
According to Reuters – reporting number from investigative journalism group Abraji, based in Brazil, 64 journalists who cover the campaign have been physically attacked since the beginning of this year and another 82 were targeted in online hate campaigns.
Brazilian journalists covering the country's violent presidential campaign – in which Bolsonaro himself was nearly assassinated – suffered 60 percent more attacks this year than U.S. reporters focused on any beat. Many fear the conflicts have only begun. https://t.co/BzMFjfSYdQ
— Brad Brooks (@bradleybrooks) October 27, 2018
In the meantime, more than 64,000 murders have happened since January – but only ten percent of homicide cases resulted in charges, according to the government data that Reuters received.