This comes after President Bolsonaro attacked Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, who now serves as U.N. high commissioner for human rights, after she warned that Brazil’s government is failing to stop widespread police shootings, while environmentalists, indigenous people and human rights defenders are increasingly murdered with impunity. On Thursday, Bolsonaro taunted Bachelet over the 1973 U.S.-backed coup in Chile, which saw Augusto Pinochet topple the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.
President Jair Bolsonaro: “She now, on the human rights agenda, is accusing me of not punishing police officers who are killing many people in Brazil. That’s her accusation. She is defending the human rights of vagabonds. She says more still. She said that Brazil is losing its democratic arena. Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, if the people led by Pinochet had not defeated the left of 1973, including your father, today Chile would look like Cuba.”
After the 1973 Chile coup, in which the democratically elected leader Salvador Allende died, Michelle Bachelet was arrested and tortured along with her parents. Her father, Alberto Bachelet, died in prison. Human rights groups say at least 3,000 people were murdered or disappeared by the Pinochet dictatorship between 1973 and 1990.