The far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro was elected last year as president of Brazil, and began his term on January 1st, 2019. He promised to end corruption, fix the rampant violence in the country and put an end to "political correctness". A retired military officer, he was a congressman between 1991 and 2018. Bolsonaro is well-known for his racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, highly-religious, dictatorial-sounding speech, and has managed to get a lot of his relatives into politics as well.
I remember when mZuzek posted something about how worried he was that Bolsonaro could win the election, and a lot of non-Brazilians (and a few Brazilians as well, btw) said "Brazil is already a mess, how worse can it get?" Oh boy, in these 7 months we realized how worse it can get, and there are still 3 and a half more years to go. I made this list so people who don't hear much about what's going on in Brazil can understand it and realize where Brazil is heading. Spoiler alert: It's dictatorship. Here are some dangerous things Bolsonaro has done since the 1st of January:
Part 1: Why!?
These are not laws, but stupid actions for a president.
- Bolsonaro tweeted a video of people engaging in a "golden shower" in the Brazilian Carnaval. That's: a violation of Twitter's rules; a violation of Brazilian law (exposing someone publically without consent, not how a president should behave); discouraging tourism because of an isolated incident; and pretty weird for a radical christian.
- Bolsonaro called the governors of the Northeastern region "paraíbas", a common derogatory term used in Rio de Janeiro to refer to Northearstern people.
- Bolsonaro defended child labour.
- Bolsonaro said that the Brazilian laws against slavery are "too much".
- Bolsonaro said that hunger is not a problem in Brazil. In 2017, 15 people died of hunger every day, and around 7.2 million people still have to skip meals because of poverty.
- Bolsonaro said "the environmental questions are only important to vegetarians."
Part 2: Wait, were you actually serious when you said that?
Yeah, turns out Bolsonaro is exactly what he said he was, but no one believed him.
- Child safety seats no longer mandatory, and more violations permitted before you get your driver's license suspended
- Bolsonaro's Minister of Foreign Affairs called LGBT+ people "abstract things", as opposed to "real people". Brazil is currently the country with the highest rate of murder of transgender people.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs also agreed with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Egypt when it came to sex education, violence against women and forced marriage.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that global warming is not real because it was cold in Italy when he visited Rome.
- Bolsonaro closed the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Part 3: N is for nepotism!
Remember when Bolsonaro said corruption was over? Yeah, no.
- Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo, was nominated to work as the Brazilian ambassador in Washington DC. Eduardo has no degree or international experience to warrant him this. He justified his decision saying that Eduardo has "flipped burgers in Maine". Here's a video of Eduardo speaking English.
- You can see a day-by-day report of the nepotism and corruption that has happened in his government since the start of his term here.
Part 4: Oh, boy, this smells of fascism!
- Bolsonaro threatened to close ANCINE, an agency that funds the making of Brazilian movies, if they funded films he didn't approve.
- After getting the data collected by INPE (National Institute for Space Research) and other foreign agencies regarding the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, showing results he "felt were not the truth", Bolsonaro fired the director of the Institute.
- When talking about the death of Fernando Santa Cruz, killed during the Brazilian Military Dictatorship (1964-1985), Bolsonaro said - without any evidence - that Santa Cruz was killed by far-left activists. When the committee charged with investigating the deaths occurred during that time showed a document that said that Santa Cruz was actually killed by the far-right military government, he replaced the members of the committee with politicians from his own party and members of the military.
- Bolsonaro threatened Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who published text messages between a few politicians, including the current Minister of Justice, that could demoralize an anti-corruption operation that impeached the former president, of going to jail. When another journalist asked Bolsonaro's spokesman what crime Greenwald committed, he was not able to give an answer.
- Miriam Leitão, a journalist, was tortured during the military dictatorship when she was 19 and pregnant. Bolsonaro said that she was a liar and justified her imprisonment because she was part of a guerrilla group. Leitão has never been a part of a guerrilla group.
- The Minister of Education, in an attempt of normalizing nazism, said: "Aspirin was created by the nazis and I use it!" Aspirin was created in 1894. This same Minister has already confused Franz Kafka with the arab food kofta.
And those are just the most relevant facts. If you're still defending Bolsonaro, how the hell? If you didn't know what was going on in Brazil, now you know. Spread the word or just keep it to yourself. If you believe in those things, pray for us. If not, just wish us luck. We'll need it.
========UPDATE: IT'S GETTING SCARIER=========
- Men from the military have been attending meetings at Cinemateca Brasileira (Brazilian Cinematheque), to "help" decide what exhibitions were going to be presented, with the excuse of fighting "getting to know the institution and its goals". This month, there is going to be an exhibition there about the military with the goal of "fighting cultural marxism", congressman Castello Branco - from Bolsonaro's party - announced in a video where he and other retired captains and soldiers chanted Bolsonaro's campaign slogan "Brasil acima de tudo, Deus acima de todos" (Brazil above anything, God above everyone) and saluted.
- After less than 24 hours of an exhibition of political cartoons criticizing Bolsonaro in Porto Alegre, it was closed down by a congresswoman, who said that she did that because it was "offensive against Bolsonaro [...] it's inconceivable to create an exhibition that offends the president of our nation." If you wanted a clear, undeniable case of censorship, here it is.
- Rio de Janeiro's mayor requested that all copies of a Young Avengers comic book be confiscated from a book fair because there was a page where two male characters kiss. He also sent a commission of government employees to check each book and see if they were "appropriate".
- Bolsonaro went through the list of films that would be financed by ANCINE, the agency that funds Brazilian film productions, and cancelled the funding of every film that contained LGBT+ themes, even those that were already approved to get financed.