“Far-right firebrand Congressman Jair Bolsonaro … could take two months to fully recover and will spend at least a week in the hospital”
The leading candidate in Brazil’s presidential election is in serious but stable condition after being stabbed by an assailant at a campaign rally on Thursday, doctors said, pushing an already chaotic campaign into further disarray.
Far-right firebrand Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial figure who has enraged many Brazilians for years with divisive comments, but has a devout following among conservative voters, could take two months to fully recover and will spend at least a week in the hospital, said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, who operated on the candidate.
“His internal wounds were grave and put the patient’s life at risk,” Borsato said, adding that a serious challenge now would be preventing an infection that could be caused by the perforation of Bolsonaro’s intestines.
Video of the stabbing indicates that Bolsonaro was in the midst of seemingly unchecked and uncontrolled crowds in the street, very up close and personal. Of course, we don’t expose our presidents to that sort of thing, but presidential candidates even in this country—particularly in the early days of a campaign—mix it up with crowds here all the time, and it’s always a danger.
Here’s some further coverage of the Bolsonaro stabbing:
Bolsonaro’s opponents have condemned the attack. This is what has been revealed so far about the attacker:
Local police in Juiz de Fora confirmed to Reuters that the suspect, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, 40, was in custody and that he appeared to be mentally disturbed.
Oliveira was affiliated with the leftwing Socialism and Liberty Party from 2007 to 2014, the party said in a written statement, in which it repudiated the violence.
Police video taken at a precinct and aired by TV Globo showed Oliveira telling police that he had been ordered by God to carry out the attack.
“We do not know if it was politically motivated,” said Corporal Vitor Albuquerque, a spokesman for the local police.
I would guess that they do know, and that it was indeed politically motivated (there was also a police statement that de Oliveira’s Facebook page contained postings “railing against Bolsonaro”). De Oliveira may also have been mentally unbalanced, but political motives and mental problems are hardly mutually exclusive.
[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.