Jair Bolsonaro: the worst quotes from Brazil's far-right presidential frontrunner

He has been dubbed the 'Trump of the Tropics' by Brazilian media. So who is the outspoken politician?

Adam Forrest
Monday 08 October 2018 13:52
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Far-right Brazilian candidate and congressman Jair Bolsonaro casts vote

Brazilians made clear their disgust with the established political class on Sunday, almost handing outright victory to a far-right former army captain in the first round of the presidential election.

Jair Bolsonaro – who won 46 per cent of the votes and now faces a run-off with the Workers' Party candidate – has been dubbed “Trump of the Tropics” by the Brazilian media for his extreme views.

The outsider won support by promising to jail crooked politicians and make it easier for police to shoot drug traffickers.

But many Brazilians are sickened by Mr Bolsonaro’s long history of offensive remarks about women, immigrants, black people and gay men.

In a speech made last year, Mr Bolsonaro spoke about a black settlement in Brazil founded by the descendants of slaves. “They do nothing. They are not even good for procreation,” he said.

He has also reportedly referred to black activists as “animals” who should “go back to the zoo”.

In 2014 Mr Bolsonaro got into a heated exchange with congresswoman Maria do Rosario in the lower house of Congress.

“I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it,” he said, in response to remarks made by Ms Rosario claiming he had encouraged rape.

Mr Bolsonaro later said he was not a rapist, but if he were he would not rape do Rosario because she is “ugly” and “not his type”.

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2011 Bolsonaro said that he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son … I would prefer my son to die in an accident than show up with a moustachioed​ man.”

Bolsonaro supporters cheer his first-round victory (AFP/Getty)

Yet the Roman Catholic candidate, who has managed to win support from evangelicals with his anti-abortion stance, is no puritan.

During an interview in January 2018, Mr Bolsonaro explained how he had previously spent the housing allowance he received as a congressman.

“Since I was a bachelor at the time, I used the money to have sex with people,” he said.

The former army man has spoken fondly of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985.

“The dictatorship’s mistake was to torture but not kill,” he told a radio interviewer in 2016.

Mr Bolsonaro graduated from military academy in 1977. According to the BBC, he was arrested as an army captain in 1986 for signing an article criticising military salaries. He left the military to enter politics and first won a seat in Congress in 1990.

The congressman made law and order a key part of his platform during this year's election campaign. In a late surge the right-winger saw his poll numbers rise by 15 per cent after he was stabbed on 6 September.

Despite a three-week stay in hospital, he took his message directly to voters via Facebook and Twitter. He also enjoyed endorsement from Brazilian football stars, including Ronaldinho, Cafu and Tottenham's Lucas Moura.

His son Eduardo recently tweeted a photo of himself with former White House strategist Steve Bannon, claiming to share “the same worldview” as Mr Bannon.

In another parallel with the US president, Mr Bolsonaro has made unsubstantiated claims about his country’s electoral system.

He said on Sunday that “problems” with the Brazil’s electronic voting system had stopped him winning outright, but did not specify what those problems might be.

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