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Brazil: Ex-Political Prisoners Warn of Dictatorship Under Bolsonaro

HeadlineOct 24, 2018

In Brazil, right-wing presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro is leading handily in the polls ahead of this weekend’s election, as civil society groups are warning against a dangerous turn toward authoritarian rule. Reporters Without Borders is warning against ongoing attacks on press freedom, including threats against reporter Patrícia Campos Mello, who wrote the widely circulated story claiming pro-Bolsonaro business leaders were funding an online smear campaign against his opponent Fernando Haddad.

Meanwhile, video has surfaced of Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro threatening to shut down the Supreme Court if his father did not win in the upcoming elections.

And former Brazilian political prisoners are calling out Bolsonaro’s frequent praise for Brazil’s former military dictatorship and his defense of notorious torture chief Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, who died without ever being tried for his crimes. This is former political prisoner Gilberto Natalini.

Gilberto Natalini: “So, I think whoever defends Ustra—Bolsonaro himself—Bolsonaro knows who Ustra was. He knows. He has an authoritarian tendency, which is a tendency that, in my opinion, borders on savagery when he defends torture. Bolsonaro knows. He is not a useful idiot. However, a lot of Brazilians who are voting for him, they support him because of a reaction against the Workers’ Party. So, we’re stuck between something bad and something worse.”

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