A video shows Brazil’s presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro being stabbed by a member of the crowd during a political rally in Juiz de Fora.
Bolsonaro was immediately escorted to a hospital where he is currently receiving treatment for his wounds. The Brazilian politician is believed to be recovering from the attack.
“The wound reached part of his liver, lung and intestine. He lost a lot of blood, reaching the hospital…almost dead…his condition now seems stable. Please pray!” tweeted his son Flavio Bolsonaro.
Jair Bolsonaro is a former captain in the Brazilian military and is considered by many the far-right candidate heading into the October elections. The former military man has been given the popular moniker of “Brazil’s Donald Trump”.
Bolsonaro’s views have been criticized as anti-democratic and dictatorial. His critics have called him homophobic for his stance on the legalization of same-sex marriage and comments where he stated that the “next step would be the legalization of pedophilia”. Bolsonaro has also taken a hard position against immigration saying they are a “threat to Brazil”, and come from the “scum of the Earth”.
Ever since Brazil’s former president Dilma Rousseff was impeached in 2016 for breaking budgetary laws, the country has plunged into political uncertainty and turmoil. Rising fuel prices have lead to a nation-wide truck strike and calls for a return to a military dictatorship are becoming more common.
Earlier this year in March, the outspoken municipal politician and feminist, Marielle Franco was murdered in a politically motivated assassination. Marielle was an outspoken critic of police brutality and politically motivated killings. However, violence directed at federal-level politicians has been rare.
The suspect was identified by police as Adélio Bispo de Oliveira who is currently being held in custody pending further investigation. Adélio was heard by bystanders shouting that the attack was “an order from God” and investigators are looking into any political motivations behind the attack.
While Bolsonaro is predicted to win the first round of elections, it is unlikely that he will secure the runoffs. However, the recent event might be used to his advantage to boost his image as the tough candidate for the job.