Former presidents and politicians from 26 countries warn of Bolsonaro insurrection | present

Bolsonaro at Palácio do Planalto on Thursday, 2. EFE/ Joedson Alves
Bolsonaro at Palácio do Planalto on Thursday, 2. EFE/ Joedson AlvesJoe?dson Alves / EFE

An letter signed by former presidents, parliamentarians and ministers from 26 countries shows that the concern with the protests this September 7th has already gone beyond the borders of Brazil. Inspired by President Jair Bolsonaro, the demonstrations, which should take place mainly in Brasília and São Paulo, are seen as yet another gesture of “insurrection” that endangers Brazil’s democracy. “Right now, President Bolsonaro and his allies — including white supremacist groups, military police and official agents at all levels of government — are preparing a national march against the Supreme Court and Congress, raising fears of a coup against the third largest world democracy”, says the letter, signed by names as the former president of Colombia, Ernesto Samper, the former president of Spain, José Luis Zapatero, in addition to the former presidents of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, and Ecuador, Rafael Correa.

“President Bolsonaro has increased the escalation of attacks on Brazil’s democratic institutions in recent weeks,” says the letter also signed by names such as 1980 Argentine Nobel Peace Prize Adolfo Esquivel, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, and philosopher Noam Chomski. The group cites the warning of some members of the Brazilian Congress about the attempt to model this September 7 to be an insurrection similar to the invasion of the Capitol in the United States, last January 6, by followers of defeated president Donald Trump.

The letter comes at the same time that President Jair Bolsonaro published a message talking about “peace and harmony” during the demonstrations he insufflated for this Tuesday. The president’s message arrived before 7:00 am on Monday, amid growing concerns about the aggressiveness that could be installed in the demonstrations that are mobilizing the PocketNA network. “Next Tuesday, we will celebrate our 199th anniversary of Brazil’s independence. Independence is associated with FREEDOM. Therefore, also in the scope of incisors XV and XVI, of article 5 of our CF [Constituição Federal], the Brazilian population has the right, if they so wish, to go out onto the streets and participate in this great date of ours IN PEACE and HARMONY”.

Bolsonaro’s message came after the president’s followers released enthusiastic videos, some interpreted as a provocation to settle conflicts, especially in Brasília, one of the focal points of the meeting. This Sunday, the pocket narist Jackson Vilar recorded a video suggesting that “the stick will sing in Brasília”, remembering that indigenous people are camped in the capital to follow the trial of the time frame in the Supreme Court (STF). “The people on the right, I’ve been talking to some leaders there, the guys are so hot. It’s like gunpowder. If he scratches a wick, if an Indian gets in the way, Brasília will ‘deindialize’”, he joked, speaking of ‘bloodshed’.

The video provoked reactions and Vilar recorded another one this Sunday to deny what he had said before. “I didn’t say that I was supposed to go to Brasília to shed indigenous blood”, said Vilar, who admitted “that tempers are nervous”. Other followers replicate images of Bolsonaro on horseback in robes similar to Dom Pedro I when he declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal in 1822. Also Zé Trovão, the truck driver who has been encouraging demonstrations against the Supreme Court, recorded a video warning that “the Brazilian people ” starts on this 7th the movement for your freedom. “It starts on the 7th but only ends when there is the impeachment of the 11 STF ministers and the public counting of votes. If this does not happen, the whole of Brazil will be stopped for as long as necessary”, says Trovão, who had the arrest requested by the Attorney General’s Office, and accepted by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, as part of an investigation into the organization of violent demonstrations during the acts of the 7th.

Wearing a T-shirt and a cowboy hat, the truck driver suggests in the video that the federal police officers do not comply with the arrest measure determined by the minister of the Court. “Cross your arms so that we show the strength of the Brazilian people. Give us the work you set out to do,” he says.

There is an expectation about the participation of military police officers who support the president during the marches called for this Tuesday. The role of the PMs has mobilized the ministers of the Court and governors, who promise to act to defuse this time bomb. The only certainty so far is that nothing is certain for the event on the 7th.

Tension grows as the Government’s credibility evaporates with the financial market. On Tuesday, the Central Bank’s Focus survey, which gathers economic indicator projections from more than 100 financial institutions, points to a downward revision of this year’s GDP – from 5.22% to 5.15% – and from 2022 – from 2% to 1.93%. Inflation is also another revised indicator, as is the exchange rate, both upwards. The projection of Focus is an IPCA of 7.58% for this year, against 7.27% last week. The dollar, in turn, went from 5.15 reais a week ago to 5.17 reais.

Political turmoil has increasingly contaminated the economy, especially with repercussions abroad. Diplomatic representatives from Europe and the United States heard by EL PAÍS do not hide their unease with the attacks on democracy promoted by the Bolsonaro Government and their consequences for the most important issues that the country should be focusing on at this moment.

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