Brazil’s elections are getting violent

A man waves the Brazilian flag on election day in São Paulo.
A man waves the Brazilian flag on election day in São Paulo.
Image: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
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Brazilians are preparing to choose their next president—again. As voters wait for a second round of voting to decide between two final candidates, tensions are boiling over.

Since the first vote on Oct. 7, Brazilian news portal UOL has counted at least ten cases of aggression linked to the political race, including an alleged murder. There are still over two weeks to go before the next vote.

On Oct. 28, Brazilians will choose between Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate known for his sexist, homophobic, and authoritarian remarks, and Fernando Haddad, a leftist candidate from the same party as former Brazilian president Lula, who is in prison on corruption charges.

The choice has proven deeply polarizing for this young democracy. In the northern city of Salvador, a supporter of Bolsonaro is accused of murdering a supporter of Haddad in a bar following a heated debate over politics. The murder took place just hours after polls closed on Sunday.

On Monday (Oct. 8), in the southern city of Porto Alegre, a young woman carrying a sticker on her bag that showed an LGBT flag with the inscription “#EleNão,” an anti-Bolsonaro slogan meaning “#NotHim,” was attacked by three men. After screaming homophobic slurs, the attackers beat her and carved a swastika on her back.

In a poll released Wednesday (Oct. 10), Bolsonaro led with 58% and Haddad 42%.