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Lula appeals to the people of Brazil for calm

Given that concern is growing among authorities and voters, we wonder if the presidential campaign in Brazil will be violent.

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Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended a political event in the nation’s capital, Brasilia, while guarded closely and with a bulletproof vest. After going through a metal detector, hundreds of supporters of the Workers’ Party gathered close to the platform. Lula urged them to maintain peace and avoid conflict with opponents.

Lula’s pleading this week underscores mounting worries about Brazil’s presidential campaign and October election among lawmakers, authorities, and people. The far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has warned that he may not accept the results and advised his allies to arm themselves, despite the fact that the leftist is currently leading all surveys to reclaim the position he held from 2003 to 2010.

Brazil could experience events worse than the uprising at the U.S. Capitol this year, Supreme Body Justice Edson Fachin, the head of the country’s electoral court, warned in a speech in Washington last week. Two Bolsonaro ministers were instructed by CIA Director William Burns in July to avoid criticizing the electoral process by the president.

Political tensions increased once more. On Saturday night, a man who, according to witnesses, yelled support for Bolsonaro before firing his gun killed Marcelo Arruda, a supporter of Lula and a representative of the Workers’ Party. Although the inquiry is still ongoing, the murder rekindled concerns about political violence on the campaign trail, which gets underway in August.

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“There’s no need for a fight. Our sanity, the love we possess, and our desire to improve people’s lives are our weapons, Lula remarked during the event. “We are not required to respond to provocations. Tell anyone who makes fun of you to go bite themselves. Attend to your families at home. That is the lesson we must impart.

Members of the Bolsonaro and Lula campaigns both stated that they would refrain from talking to the media about security issues.

Bolsonaro, who suffered serious wounds after being stabbed in the abdomen at a campaign rally in 2018, is constantly protected by military soldiers and local law enforcement.

Until a party convention, which could occur until August 5th, ratifies Lula’s candidacy, he can only rely on private protection. After that, he will be shielded by the federal police of Brazil.

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In a statement, the federal police stated that 300 policemen will be among those securing candidates.

In order to prevent disputes between supporters and to secure the former president’s security, the Workers’ Party has taken a number of actions. The party leadership sent instructions ahead of the rally in Brasilia, requesting that attendees move in groups, bring an extra shirt in a neutral color, and avoid confrontation with opponents.

Never debate or confront a provocateur. Heroic measures may put you and your fellow supporters at unnecessary risk, the party said.

Speaking under the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak about the situation in public, two members of the Lula campaign confirmed to the Associated Press that the socialist leader has been donning bulletproof vests at public events since the beginning of July.

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At the Brasilia event’s pavilion entrance, Lula supporters were subjected to a thorough search. For many like 50-year-old craftsman Alessandra Melo, though, the lengthy queues were of little consequence. She thinks the former president’s life is in danger and that people who support him, like her, could be among the victims.

“I am quite concerned for Lula’s safety. He enjoys being close to people. Being out there amid all this violence worries me for him, Melo added.

There have been reports of less serious incidents against Lula supporters in recent weeks. On June 15, drones over Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, splashed liquid with a strong odor on leftists attending a rally. A man detonated a crude explosive during a Lula demonstration in Rio de Janeiro last week using homemade pyrotechnics of a tiny size.

Police have made arrests in both occasions, and neither incident left anyone hurt.

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As he was expected to win the 2018 presidential elections, Lula was detained in the extensive “Car Wash” corruption investigation. He was unable to run because of his conviction. But once the nation’s Supreme Court found that Judge Sergio Moro was biased towards the communist, the cases against him were dismissed, and he was released from prison.

Violence in Brazilian politics is nothing new. Marielle Franco, a councilwoman for Rio, and her driver were shot to death in their car as they were traveling through the city in 2018.

Under pressure to denounce Arruda’s murder last weekend and any political violence, Bolsonaro declared on Tuesday that there was no excuse for the death. The family of Arruda has also received calls from him. He advised them to inform the media that he shouldn’t be held responsible for the murder in his taped phone conversation.

The president told two of Arruda’s brothers, “Since practically all of the press is on the left, they are basically placing this guy’s actions on my back.” This has become a political problem because to the left.

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The southern state of Parana, which is a Bolsonaro stronghold, is where Arruda was killed. Since then, numerous authorities have voiced concerns about the likelihood of violence involving both candidates’ followers.

Candidates won’t stop worrying about their safety, according to Melina Risso, program director of the Rio-based Igarape Institute for Security, unless Bolsonaro publicly denounces individuals who carry out violent acts.

When these instances occur, Bolsonaro occasionally retreats, but only for the duration of the news cycle, according to Risso. The risks are extremely substantial, and until the election is finished, there is no indication that this will change.

This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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