October 4, 2018

Brazil chooses its future

Woman with Ele Nao shield in her hair and Ele Nao ring
Woman with Ele Nao shield in her hair and Ele Nao ring

On Sunday Brazil will elect its president and the stakes are high. The favourite is the right-wing national Jair Bolsonaro, who repeatedly attracts attention with sexist, racist and even anti-democratic statements. Should Brazil elect him, the country will be in dire straits.

The biggest mistake of the military dictatorship was that it tortured, not killed." This is just one of the many alarming statements made by Jair Bolsonaro. He could be elected president starting Sunday in Brazil. With his sympathy for the murdering and torturing 21-year-old military dictatorship until 1985, he does not hold back. His candidate for vice-presidential office even holds out the prospect of a new military coup "if the country needs it".

However, the country must also prepare itself for a repressive policy with a democratically ruling Bolsonaro. Just like his declared role model Donald Trump, Bolsonaro regularly expresses disparagement towards women, people of Afro-Brazilian descent and homosexuals. Nevertheless, he seems to be an eligible candidate for the Brazilian electorate. Since his worst opponent Luiz Lula da Silva was stripped of his licence, Bolsonaro has been at the top of the polls. However, many are voting in protest against the scandal-ridden PT Labour Party.

Shortly before the election, Bolsonaro's opponents mobilized once again. Last Saturday, for example, several hundred thousand people demonstrated nationwide in Brazil under the banner of "the not". This means Bolsonaro. The resistance against him comes from a broad base of the population. Women in particular are driving the protests in various cities and calling for mass protests via the Internet. Within a short time, the group "Women against Bolsonaro" had 3.4 million followers.

How great the resentment against Bolsonero is, is shown impressively by pictures and video recordings on Facebook. Young people and employees of our Brazilian partner organizations took part in these protests and mobilized numerous people in this commitment to democracy and human rights.

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