Photo caption: Members of the community of Santa Quiteria in Maranhão, Brazil listen to a presentation by GJEP and World Rainforest Movement on the dangers of genetically engineered eucalyptus plantations, which threaten the region. It is believed by some that the outcome of Brazil’s election could impact whether or not GE eucalyptus plantations are deployed in Brazil, with the far-right candidate likely to be much more supportive of plans by Suzano to destroy the cerrado savannah in northern Brazil and replace it with eucalyptus and GE eucalyptus plantations. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP 2016
By Eliane Brum, The Guardian, 6 October 2018
Many people in Brazil cannot bring themselves to utter the name of the rightwing extremist expected to win the first round of voting in the country’s presidential election on Sunday. On social networks, the former army officer Jair Bolsonaro is often referred to simply as “the thing”.
To understand why Bolsonaro evokes such dread, consider some of the things he has said in the last few years:
• “I had four sons, but then I had a moment of weakness, and the fifth was a girl.”
• “I’m not going to rape you, because you’re very ugly” – to a female representative in Congress.
• “I’d rather have my son die in a car accident than have him show up dating some guy.”Advertisement
• “I’m pro-torture, and the people are too.”
• “They don’t do anything. I don’t think they’re even good for procreation any more” – referring to quilombolas, the black descendants of rebel African slaves.
• “You can be sure that if I get there [the presidency], there’ll be no money for NGOs. If it’s up to me, every citizen will have a gun at home. Not one centimetre will be demarcated for indigenous reserves or quilombolas.”
• “You won’t change anything in this country through voting – nothing, absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, you’ll only change things by having a civil war and doing the work the military regime didn’t do. Killing 30,000, starting with FHC [former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso]. Killing. If a few innocent people die, that’s alright.”
Bolsonaro has also said he will not accept the election result unless he is the winner – only to backtrack after a negative reaction.
When president Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ party (PT) was forced from office in 2016 through an impeachment process of dubious legal merit, Bolsonaro viciously dedicated his vote “to the memory of colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra”. Ustra was one of the most sadistic torturers and murderers in the military dictatorship that choked Brazil between 1964 and 1985. He died without answering for his crimes.
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