This analysis of the situation in Brazil was provided to SF by Francisco de Campos Lopes. The SF Team publishes the text as it is. We believe that the author’s point of view deserves attention and we thank the author for an important and interesting overview of the current situation in his country.
Written by Francisco de Campos Lopes
My indignation with the article written by Lucas Queiroz (Lucas Leiroz) “Political Polarization in Brazil reaching point of no return“, made me feel the urgency to write a different opinion. I can imagine the difficulty for the rest of the world to understand what has been happening here, and to this is added the fact that our culture is peculiar.
This week, after the elections, were marked by vexing moments. Political violence was seen from Bolsonaro supporters who were frustrated with the election result. Above all, because the final results where decided by voters from a poorer region of the country, although with a rich culture and being the origin of our history.
However, despite the roadblocks made by some truck drivers who decided, without support from any specific sector, to cause social chaos, to demand a military intervention, the attacks were few and localized. Some citizens rebelled against anyone nearby. A retired policeman hanged a 7-year-old boy in the market because he said he was in favor of Lula. A young man left his house in Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais, willing to shoot PT supporters, shortly after the results were announced, and killed another young man and a 12-year-old girl. Having left others injured. The defense says he got crazy, and he’s on medication for mental disorders. Some students were beaten up in universities, and maybe some other case that escapes me.
Roadblocks received support only from the most uneducated parts of our society, those subject to fake news, disseminated in mobile applications. All elites, whether business, political or cultural, rejected this misplaced act, which indiscriminately harmed the common citizen, and jeopardized the supply of our cities. Few people were able to cause much damage, mainly due to the delay of the police in deciding to act in these criminal actions.
The Federal Highway Police even seemed to give some support to them, through videos and actions in the acts, but above all, for deciding to let it be and see what would happen. On election day, they tried to stop Lula voters from arriving at polling places, even though they were banned from blocking roads at that day by the Electoral Court of Justice. Added to this is the fact that this year has been an astonishing record of electoral harassment, with many cases having been a clear attempt to buy votes.
The case at Mirassol – Sâo Paulo, was of a driver who is not affiliated with any group, and was in the car with his mother. He felt threatened when he was stopped at the blockade, and was even attacked, so he accelerated to escape. Pro-Bolsonaro militants were proven to be using children to force drivers to stop. Coming to the case of putting them alone in the middle of the track. No one died, the car speed was low.
The Homeless Workers Movement, or MTST, considered the possibility of dismantling the blockades, but they were advised against it by political allies. This happened due to the curious fact that the organized supporters of Corinthians and Atlético Mineiro managed to expel the protesters without using violence, only with shouts of order, and opening the roads. There were 3 cases, in two of them the objective was just to reach the stadiums.
On Saturday 11/05, no roads are blocked. The streets of Brasil are calm. As they were in most of the country on the days of the first and second round of elections. Brasil is confused, we are entering 10 years of popular mobilization, influenced by movements like the “Arab Spring” and “Occupy Wall Street”. Politics saturated families, many friendships fell apart.
The economy suffered a huge shock with the attack made at all costs to try to take PT from power, using the pretext of fighting corruption. President Dilma Rousseff was deposed without ever having been accused of any criminal act. It was simply a lack of political skill. And Lula was arrested by a judge trained in the US to use the methods of that country, and act as a true prosecutor, and convict Lula without proof that he has received any undue value.
There were many laps, and here we are again. Lula elected, with a country stunned by slander, ranging from the alleged plot of the Federal Supreme Court with Globo, to doubts about the veracity of electronic voting machines, a device used in our elections for decades. Bolsonaro tried to avoid making major accusations during the campaign period, but as he realized he was going to lose, he decided to attack the credibility of the process more forcefully.
However, it was a failed attack. Even more so because a political ally, Roberto Jefferson, refused to be arrested, when he disobeyed house arrest agreements and attacked a Federal Supreme Court judge with humiliating words. He decided to shoot at the federal police officers who were in his house. 50 rifle shots and 3 grenades were fired. An agent was injured in several parts of the body, and also deputy has some cuts. This happened 7 days before the election.
A candidate elected as a Federal Deputy, Carla Zambelli, another ally, less than 24 hours before the election, pursued with a pistol in her hand, in addition to the help of other armed security guards, a young black man of poor origin, a journalist. He challenged her and said some words that refer to a past that she tries to hide. The rush ended inside a bakery, with all the customers scared, and with weapons pointed at all times, with screams of lay down on the floor, you garbage! All this in an upscale neighborhood of São Paulo.
As much as a good part of the population voted against Lula, and it was more a vote against Lula than pro-Bolsonaro, our society is tired of so much shame, so much violence. I could see that many activists in their campaigns have already completely demobilized. Complain about the poor people of the Northeast who elected Lula, but they accepted the result. Even some of them made it clear that they would continue to work for our society to have a better future, and that they recognize that Bolsonaro lost because of many mistakes, that he had a chance to win, and wasted it.
Brasil is a hot-blooded country, it can be very scary in times of crisis. Yet we have difficulty sustaining a hostile attitude. We want to live in peace, work, watch football, laugh. The focus of most of the population, right now, is to watch the World Cup, and to hope that we are finally Hexa champions. Families look forward to getting together again, enjoying the holidays in harmony.
The part of the population that is radical left, located mainly in the upscale neighborhoods of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the radical right, located in the southern region of the country, with immigration from Eastern Europe, and in the zone of conflict with native and accentuated clearing, in the southern limits of the Amazon rainforest, represent a minority of the population.
The vast majority hate politics. Bolsonaro himself, was elected for being the “anti-political” candidate. However, over the last few years, and especially in this electoral race, he has proved to be as political as any other. As in the case of Jefferson, his great ally, in which he tried to avoid damage when the shooting started, sending the Minister of Justice to negotiate the situation, but when he saw that the damage was done, he decided to say that he was never a friend with him. His lies bordered on humor.
Bolsonaro won a large number of votes, but not the hearts or minds. And it still lost the political support it had. All respected politicians, including their former allies, rushed to recognize Lula’s victory. His 45-hour silence was shameful. The crisis of the occupation of the roads fell on his account. When he spoke out, he avoided saying Lula’s name, but even so he recognized the result, and authorized the beginning of the transition of governments.
On Friday 11/04, he received the Vice-President-elect, Geraldo Alckmin, to talk about the process of changing governments. As a clear sign of dialogue, of recognizing that it will be like that. In fact, in the last debate between Lula and him, at 10/29, he even declared that he would accept the result. And so he did, despite letting things happen, to see if it was inevitable.
Lula has already managed to establish a broad base of allies to have governability in the Legislative. Brasil’s economy is going through a good moment. The country as a whole remembers that in his government prosperity was the rule for the entire population.
The media will be much more favorable than in their previous governments, because of the fear caused by Bolsonaro. I am confident that these dark years, between the 2016 coup d’état, the Pandemic and Bolsonaro’s attempt to destroy democracy once and for all, will be left for the past.
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