Brazil pol and Bolsonaro ally refuses arrest, injures police


COMENDADOR LEVY GASPARIAN, Brazil — A Brazilian politician attacked federal law enforcement officials searching for to arrest him in his dwelling on Sunday, prompting an hours-long siege that induced alarm and a scramble for a response on the highest stage of presidency.

Roberto Jefferson, a former lawmaker and an ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, fired a rifle at police and threw grenades, wounding two officers within the rural municipality Comendador Levy Gasparian, in Rio de Janeiro state. He mentioned in a video message despatched to supporters on WhatsApp that he refused to give up, although by early night he was in custody.

The occasions have been beautiful even for Brazilians who’ve grown more and more accustomed to far-right politicians and activists thumbing their noses at Supreme Courtroom justices, and comes simply days earlier than Brazilians go to the polls to vote for president.

The Supreme Courtroom has sought to rein within the unfold of disinformation and anti-democratic rhetoric forward of the Oct. 30 vote, typically inviting the ire of Bolsonaro’s base that decries such actions as censorship. As a part of these efforts, Jefferson was jailed preventatively for making threats towards the court docket’s justices.

Jefferson in January acquired permission to serve his preventative arrest underneath home arrest, offered he complies with sure situations. Justice Alexandre de Moraes mentioned in a choice revealed Sunday that Jefferson has repeatedly violated these phrases — most not too long ago through the use of social media to match one feminine justice to a prostitute — and ordered he be returned to jail.

“I didn’t shoot anyone to hit them. No one. I shot their car and near them. There were four of them, they ran, I said, ’Get out, because I’m going get you,’” Jefferson mentioned within the video. “I’m setting my example, I’m leaving my seed planted: resist oppression, resist tyranny. God bless Brazil.”

Later, Brazil’s federal police mentioned in one other assertion that Jefferson was additionally arrested for tried homicide.

Bolsonaro was fast to criticize his ally in a reside broadcast on social media. He denounced Jefferson’s statements towards Supreme Courtroom justices, together with the threats and insults that led to his preliminary arrest, and Sunday’s assault. He additionally sought to distance himself from the previous lawmaker.

“There’s not a single picture of him and me,” Brazil’s president mentioned. His opponents promptly posted a number of footage of the 2 collectively on social media.

Bolsonaro additionally mentioned he dispatched Justice Minister Anderson Torres to the scene, with out offering particulars on what his position can be.

Bolsonaro’s base had blended reactions, with some on social media hailing Jefferson as a hero for standing as much as the highest court docket. Dozens flocked to his home to indicate help as he remained holed up inside. They chanted, with one group holding a banner that learn: “FREEDOM FOR ROBERTO JEFFERSON”.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who’s campaigning to return to his former job, instructed reporters in Sao Paulo that Jefferson “does not have adequate behavior. It is not normal behavior.”

Earlier this 12 months, the Supreme Courtroom convicted lawmaker Daniel Silveira for inciting bodily assaults on the court docket’s justices in addition to different authorities. Bolsonaro shortly issued a pardon for Silveira, who appeared beside the president after he solid his vote within the election’s first spherical on Oct. 2.

The runoff vote between Bolsonaro and da Silva is about for Oct. 30

“Brazil is terrified watching events that, this Sunday, reach the peak of the absurd,” Arthur Lira, the president of Congress’ Decrease Home and a Bolsonaro ally, wrote on Twitter. “We will not tolerate setbacks or attacks against our democracy.”

Savarese reported from Sao Paulo.

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