When he was a congressman, the walls of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s office were decorated with photos of Brazilian dictators. Bolsonaro has repeatedly defended the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled from 1964 to1985. He even paid homage to the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet. In an interview in 2015, Bolsonaro said that Pinochet “had to act violently to recover the country” and, on several occasions, stated that the dictator “did what had to be done” and that he “should have killed more people”.
It was no surprise that thousands of Chileans took to the streets to protest his visit to the country last March. Chilean politicians refused to meet him, and even President Sebastián Piñera consideredhis statements in support of the dictator “unfortunate”. Recently, Bolsonaro also expressed admiration for the dictator (also rapist and paedophile) General Stroessner of Paraguay.
Historian Murilo Cleto keeps a mental registry of Bolsonaro’s views of the past. “When Brazil erected a statue in honour of Rubens Paiva, a state representative kidnapped by the military in 1971 whose body has not yet been found, Bolsonaro went to the event to spit on it. In reference to the relatives of the guerrilla fighters killed and disappeared in the Araguaia, Bolsonaro said ‘those who look for bone are dogs’. To Matheus Leitão, son of journalist Miriam Leitão, who was placed pregnant, naked and alone with a snake in a dark room of an army battalion, Bolsonaro said he felt sorry for the snake,” Murillo Cleto recalled.
Full article at Counterpunch website. Date of publication: 30/08/2019.
*Originally published at America’s Program website on June 5, 2019.