Brazil: MST Camp Attacked by Bolsonaro Supporters

30 October 2018

A Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) camp was burned down by a group of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro supporters in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, southern Brazil.

The attack took place on the eve of Brazil’s presidential elections, in which far-right Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party won against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad, with 55.1 percent of the vote.

According to the regional coordination of the MST, the attack was perpetrated at 9 p.m. by people chanting Bolsonaro’s name from a vehicle. They also reported no one in the camp was injured in the attack.

The MST has reported the attack to the authorities and they are demanding the guilty parties to be punished.

Several attacks against women, members of the LGBTIQ community and PT supporters were registered ahead of last Sunday’s elections. Many fear attacks will escalate as Bolsonaro supporters, many of which are extreme nationalists and fascists, are emboldened by his victory.

“Bolsonaro followers set MST camp on fire in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul”

After the results were announced, many Brazilians cheered for the military in the streets. Bolsonaro is an open supporter of Brazil’s former military dictatorship (1964 – 1985), which persecuted and tortured dissenters. He has also endorsed torture and promised to further militarize Brazil’s impoverished favelas.

“The fascist discourse, which inspires hatred and violence among the population, is unacceptable. Once again we are targets of attacks by people who reproduce in practice the racist, fascist, homophobic and violent speech preached by the presidential candidate (now elected),” the MST said in a statement.

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National MST leader, Marina Ricardo Nunes, warned “the state of Mato Grosso do Sul is conservative, reactionary, a state of agribusiness, where the landowners are involved in a very large offensive… If that man wins, the offense will be much worse,” Nunes lamented ahead of the elections.

Left-wing groups and parties, as well as the feminist, Afro-Brazilian, Indigenous, and workers’ movement, have vowed to organize the resistance against any attempted attacks on their human and political rights.

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