Bolsonaro’s son criticised for suggesting Brazil’s government adopt dictatorship-era tactics

Decree stripped opposition lawmakers of political rights and suspended some constitutional guarantees

Henry Austin
Friday 01 November 2019 02:21 GMT
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Eduardo Bolsonaro lead's his father's far-right party in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies.
Eduardo Bolsonaro lead's his father's far-right party in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies. (AP)

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One of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's sons has been criticised for suggesting that the government adopt dictatorship-era tactics if they are deemed necessary to control street protests.

Protests and riots which have taken place in several other South American countries such as Chile in recent weeks could be stopped if they ever happened in his homeland, Eduardo Bolsonaro said in a social media video.

Chile's president Sebastian Pinera was forced to call off the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting (APEC) and the United Nation’s COP25 climate summit scheduled for later this year after widespread violence and protests across the country demanding greater economic equality. Eighteen people have died.

Mr Bolsonaro said that in order to prevent this in Brazil a decree similar to one issued in 1968 by Brazil's military dictatorship could be put in place.

Four years after ousting democratically elected President João Goulart in a coup, the decree stripped opposition lawmakers of political rights and suspended some constitutional guarantees.

The younger Bolsonaro, who is also a politician, serving as the leader of his father's Social Liberal Party in the Congress' lower house, said the new decree could be introduced "if the left radicalises to that point."

Politicians from all sides, including the heads of the Lower House and Senate, as well as a Supreme Court justice, called the comments anti-democratic.

President Bolsonaro himself said in a televised interview that he regretted his son's comments.

Eduardo Bolsonaro later apologised.

His father, a former army captain who openly admires former dictators, was elected in October. The far-right leader has sparked controversy with racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.

He had planned to celebrate the anniversary of the coup in March, but a judge barred the proposed commemoration, which again provoked widespread criticism.

The 21 years of military rule which followed were marked by brutal repression and heavy censorship.

A 2014 national truth commission found that more than 400 people disappeared or were killed, and thousands more were detained and tortured before democracy was restored in 1985.

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