Roberto Jefferson: Brazilian politician injures policeman in siege


A Brazilian politician attacked federal police officers trying to arrest him at his home on Sunday, sparking an hour-long siege that caused alarm and scrambled response at the level. government’s highest.

Roberto Jefferson, a former congressman and ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, opened fire on police and threw grenades, wounding two officers in the rural municipality of Comendador Levy Gasparian, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He said in a video message to supporters on WhatsApp that he refused to surrender, even though in the early evening he was detained.

The events made a big impression even on Brazilians, who are increasingly accustomed to far-right politicians and activists pointing their noses at Supreme Court justices, and took place just a few days. days before Brazilians go to the polls to elect the president.

The Supreme Court sought to curb the spread of disinformation and anti-democratic rhetoric ahead of the October 30 vote, often inviting angry people from Bolsonaro’s establishment to criticize actions such as censorship. Browser. As part of those efforts, Jefferson was restrained in prison for making threats against the judges of the court.

Jefferson in January received permission to serve his preventive arrest under house arrest, provided he complied with certain conditions. Justice Alexandre de Moraes said in a decision released Sunday that Jefferson had repeatedly violated those provisions – most recently by using social media to compare a woman of justice to a woman of justice. prostitute – and ordered him back to prison.

“I didn’t shoot anybody to hit them. No one. I shot their cars and got close to them. There were four of them, they ran, and I said, ‘Get out of the way, because I’ll catch you,” Jefferson said. . in the video. “I’m setting an example for myself, I’m sowing my seeds: against oppression, against tyranny. God bless Brazil.”

Later, the Brazilian federal police said in another statement that Jefferson was also arrested for attempted murder.

Bolsonaro was quick to criticize his ally in a live broadcast on social media. He denounced Jefferson’s claims against Supreme Court justices, including threats and insults that led to his initial arrest and Sunday’s attack. He also sought to distance himself from the former lawmaker.

“There’s not a single picture of him and me,” the Brazilian president said. His rival was quick to post some pictures of the two together on social media.

Bolsonaro also said he sent Attorney General Anderson Torres to the scene, without providing details about his role.

Bolsonaro’s base has had mixed reactions, with some on social media hailing Jefferson as a hero for standing up to the highest court. Dozens of people flocked to his home to show support as he still managed to stay inside. They chanted, with a group holding a banner that read: “FREE ROBERTO JEFFERSON”.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is campaigning to return to his old job, told reporters in Sao Paulo that Jefferson “did not behave appropriately. It is not normal behaviour.”

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court convicted lawmaker Daniel Silveira for inciting physical attacks against court judges as well as other authorities. Bolsonaro quickly granted an amnesty to Silveira, who appeared beside the president after he voted in the first round of elections on October 2.

Flow vote between Bolsonaro and da Silva set for October 30

Arthur Lira, speaker of the House of Representatives and an ally of Bolsonaro, wrote on Twitter: “Brazil is appalled to witness the events that this Sunday culminate in absurdity. “We will not tolerate failures or attacks against our democracy.”


Savarese reports from Sao Paulo.

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