For those of us critically attending at US foreign policy and world politics in general, the rise of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil could hardly seem outside the scope of interest and –even more important–, influence of the US “Deep State”. So far, some indirect links have been shown, obviously in independent media, between Bolsonaro and the propaganda and psychological war tactics related to the CIA and other subsidiaries of the US Executive, generally linked to Wall Street and business interests. Let’s try and add some new –and more direct–, context and ties.
The far-right candidate who won the first round of elections in Brazil a few weeks ago –with an impressive advantage–, even when represented as a political “outsider”, has in fact been for decades the senatorial representative of a reactionary military elite and, more recently, a Pentecostal conservative population following charismatic leaders with enormous influence among the Brazilian middle and lower classes. They basically tell their flock who to vote for.
Bolsonaro has called for coups, political assassinations and violent repression against minorities and the poor for almost 30 years. He is not an outsider, but the media is playing along, regarding him as an “enemy” of corruption and crime when in fact his intended policies mean the legalization of state violence and other nefarious forms of crime. None of them new or “anti-establishment”, but pretty much the opposite. His core followers seem to feel empowered these days by his first round victory, and the attacks on opponents and minorities are dangerously rising in frequency with fatal consequences, as the killing of a black capoeira teacher last week, Moa de Katende, an Afro-Brazilian cultural figure, for being in favor of the leftist Fernando Haddad. The LGTB community is also a main target.
Even when Bolsonaro, who is also an ex-military, tries to appear more civilized to gather more votes from the political center, some of his core followers are racist gun-lovers ready to form paramilitary militias and raid the favelas in a way resembling Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines.
As Glen Greenwald noted right after the first round of elections,
“…it is virtually impossible to overstate the threat level posed to democracy and human rights in the world’s fifth most-populous country as a result of last night’s election”.