Jair Messias Bolsonaro, infamous Brazilian congressman, already received dozens of not-so-flattering nouns and adjectives: homophobic, misogynist, racist, virulent, hateful – the most recent adjective was printed in the latest issue of openly right-wing magazine Veja: “a threat”. I mean, Veja is our Fox News. Our Fox News thinks Bolsonaro is too far right, even for them. However, the saddest thing about those terms is that they are not enough. Calling Jair Bolsonaro a threat or a racist is sugarcoating the man. Because the word that really defines this specific creature is terrorist.
If you are thinking that calling him a terrorist is a bit of a stretch, let’s find out the definition of the word. According to Merriam-Webster, terrorist is an advocate or practitioner of terrorism as a means of coercion. Oxford Dictionary defines: “A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”.
With that in mind let’s go back to Bolsonaro’s first public appearance in 1987. He was in a movement fighting for a better percentage on the military wage annual increase. How did he and his peers choose to fight? Planting bombs at some military headquarters in the state of Rio de Janeiro and even exploding the pipelines of a major water supply of Rio de Janeiro. This man presented himself to Brazilian Media advocating terrorism as a means of coercion. Using unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Terrorist.
But people change, evolve. Isn’t that right? We shouldn’t judge someone by a single reckless act. And we won’t. I’ll jump for 1999 and in order to do that I’ll dismiss several offensive and borderline psychophatic statements Bolsonaro gave in his way to Brazilian Congress (painful thing is that he was elected over and over again never presenting any project or doing any actual work for the population. Just with hate speech). So, in 1999 Congress started a Financial investigation of Central Bank and it’s former president. Bolsonaro gave the following interview about the subject:
Did you watch it? Here is Bolsonaro advocating unlawful violence and intimidation against an entire population. To close the congress. To kill 30 thousand. Even innocent civilians. Last time I checked, it fits on terrorism.
But again, let’s give the guy one more chance. Dismiss some more staggering violent speeches to reach an episode of 2013. A Brazilian neo-nazi (yeah, the concept is mindblowing), Marcus Vinícius Garcia Cunha, posted a picture on FaceBook choking a homeless man – he didn’t kill the homeless guy, but went close. Cunha eventually was jailed (for a short time) and judged. He is not current in jail because Brazilian justice allows so many appeals that a criminal like that can spend his life appealing. However the interesting part is: Cunha was jailed with his most precious belongings – some books about Hitler and a letter written to him by Jair Messias Bolsonaro. The letter is now with the prosecutors, the content was never revealed.
Bolsonaro is a Brazilian congressman with the will to become our next president. He sent a letter to a neo-nazi – who felt so entitled to do whatever he wanted that choked a homeless man and published the picture in the Internet. We should know the content of this letter, clear what Bolsonaro had to say to this particular person. If it incites violence, here we go again: “Using unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”. Spreading terrorism.
Finally, let’s reach a terrible episode that happened in the beginning of 2017. The entire police force of Espírito Santo (southeastern state in Brazil) went on a 10 days strike on February. Population was coerced to stay at home, because without police on streets anything could happen. 181 people were murdered in those 10 days, in theory, by criminals. I can’t think in anything more close to terror than that: don’t leave home, because you will get murdered. That was Police’s orders. The leaders of the strike are all Bolsonaro’s supporters and his closest allies in the state. Bolsonaro refused to give any comment about the episode.
After all written it is safe to say that Bolsonaro is a dangerous human being who doesn’t believe in democracy and who is willing to be violent against his own people. It’s also safe to say that his words and speeches lead people to terrorist acts. There’s no negotiation with terrorists. No talking. No democratic debate. If you give platform to a terrorist you will just spread his ideas. Bolsonaro never answered for his crimes because impunity is a rule in Brazil. He will not answer for his crimes anywhere, especially not in George Washington University. He will spread hate. Spread terror. He will do what he always did. Try to reach more ignorant people in a country that is fed up with politicians and desperate for a solution. He will sell violence as the only way out. He won’t answer for anything. But you, Mr. Mark S. Langevin, you will have to answer for giving what Bolsonaro just wanted: a way to legitimize his acts. Good luck with that.