The protests in Brazil are fading, but the die-hards stand by Bolsonaro

The protests in Brazil are fading, but the die-hards stand by Bolsonaro


Protests in highly polarized Brazil have waned since the presidential election nearly two weeks ago, but some die-hard supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro remain on the streets.

A retired metalworker, Jose Carlos Flamino, stood in his camp near a military barracks in Sao Paulo on Friday and vowed to stay “as long as necessary”.

He still doesn’t accept that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a left-wing former president who won a 50.9 percent victory over Bolsonaro’s 49.1 percent in the Oct. 30 vote, won fairly and clearly.

“The vote that got Lula to victory is not reliable,” Flamino, 53, said, urging the military to overturn the vote.

He’s not alone. Other die-hard Bolsonaro supporters camped with him in the Sao Paulo garrison and in military barracks across Brazil.

Bolsonaro, a retired army captain, “was the victim of an injustice, but we’re fighting for the motherland here,” said Aguinaldo Coimbro, a 52-year-old market analyst, with a Brazilian flag slung over his shoulders.

About 100 people with him in front of the Sao Paulo military base shouted “SOS, armed forces” and called on the military to “save Brazil”.

Most wore green and yellow clothing, the colors of the national flag, which has become a symbol for Bolsonaro supporters.

“Brazil didn’t elect anyone. People don’t accept that. We don’t want food donated to the protesters in Venezuela.

About 100 people remained at a temporary camp of protesters next to the central garrison of the Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro on Friday morning, down from several thousand in the days following the Oct. 30 runoff election.

Even as the demonstrations dwindle to just a few dozen people, protesters insist they represent a multitude.

The election “was stolen and that’s why all of Brazil is on the streets,” said Paulo Campelo, 70, a retired soldier.

“We want the army to eliminate these bastards who want to authenticate the fraudulent elections,” Campelo added.

– Lula: “One wins, one loses” –

The armed forces said in a statement on Friday that “the resolution of potential controversies … must use the legal tools of the democratic rule of law.”

Protesters claim that the electronic ballot box system used in Brazil since 1996 was a “fraud” and was questioned by Bolsonaro without evidence.

Numerous international observers and a report by the armed forces themselves released on Wednesday completely dispute this claim.

Lula appealed to the “minority in the street” on Thursday to go home.

“Democracy is that, one wins, one loses,” said the President-elect. “How many times have I cried because I lost?”

Bolsonaro, who has not openly admitted defeat and has virtually disappeared from public life for more than a week, urged his supporters to dismantle hundreds of roadblocks they erected after the vote but supported protests elsewhere.

The Brazilian roads were completely normalized again on Friday, the federal road police told the AFP news agency.

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