Brazil Political Violence: Run-up to October Election


    Brazil is a very violent country, only exacerbated by polarising politics and an aggressively right-wing president. Whenever Jair Bolsonaro states his support for the military dictatorship his support rises among right-wing fans. Moreover, this aggressive rhetoric will only increase as Bolsonaro starts to fall back in the polls. Therefore, anyone who openly supports left-wing politicians is a likely target of violence. Accordingly with Bolsonaro’s extreme speeches, other political violence will be on the grounds of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and political leaning. [source]

    Key Judgement 1: It is highly likely that political violence will increase if polls go against Jair Bolsonaro.

    • 2022 is already the most politically violent year since records were taken in 2018. Political violence is up 335%, with 214 cases in 2022 so far. (13.07.2022) [source]
    • In 2022 alone, 46 political leaders have been murdered which includes the recent shooting of Marcelo de Arruda. [source]
    • Bolsonaro supporters are increasingly politically violent because of the president’s inflammatory rhetoric. [source]
    • Bolsonaro is losing in the polls by double digits and so is using more aggressive rhetoric to encourage his followers to threaten and spread political violence. [source]

    Key Judgement 2: It is highly likely that hate crimes increase on the run-up to the elections. 

    • Bolsonaro openly victimises minorities and also uses them as a distraction from Brazil’s real problems. [source]
    • Many Bolsonaro supporters use his rhetoric as an excuse for committing political violence against minorities. [source]
    • There have already been many occurrences of hate crimes against gays, women, afro-Brazilians, and different races. [source]
    • Bolsonaro is losing in the polls and his tactic is to allow his followers to threaten leftist campaigners, so they stay off the streets. [source]

    Key Judgement 3: It is likely that if Bolsonaro loses the election, he will refuse to leave office and political violence will continue. 

    • Bolsonaro has openly stated his distrust of Brazil’s electronic ballot boxes. There is no evidence of failure or tampering. [source]
    • Bolsonaro has said publicly that he will not believe the outcome of the election if he loses and will remain in office. [source]
    • This rhetoric perfectly mirrors Donald Trump’s, although Bolsonaro’s is more aggressive in nature. His followers will likely consider protesting the results of the elections and more political violence is highly likely. [source]

    Intelligence Cutoff Date 11 August 2022

    Nicholas Fullick
    Nicholas Fullick
    Nicholas is a graduate in Portuguese and Spanish from Cardiff University. He is currently studying a Master's in Intelligence and Security Studies from Brunel University with hopes of starting a career in intelligence. His research focus is on South and Central America.

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