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Deadly shooting at party in Brazil highlights rising political tensions

Instead, deadly gunfire erupted at the rally in the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguaçu, claiming Arruda’s life in an apparent clash over politics that captured the nation’s attention.

The bloodshed underscores escalating tensions in Brazil ahead of presidential elections this fall, when left-wing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will face right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

What happened

Arruda’s birthday party was underway at a local sports club on Saturday when a prison guard named Jorge Guaranho arrived chanting Bolsonaro’s name, CNN Brasil reported.

Guaranho, a staunch Bolsonaro supporter, was asked to leave with his family – but returned minutes later with a gun, Arruda’s son Leonardo told CNN Brasil.

Guaranho and Arruda, a member of the local security forces, exchanged gunfire.

“My dad said, ‘Dude, get out of my party. I’m a cop, get out. Let me enjoy my party in peace. And the guy pointed at him and pulled out a gun and pointed it at him,” Leonardo said.

“The man came back a few minutes later and started shooting. He shot my father three times and my father was able to fire back and shot him five times,” he said.

Arruda, who was hit twice, died of his injuries, according to the Parana State Civil Police.

Guaranho was also shot and is currently hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

This was not the first violent episode associated with the country’s growing political polarization.

Just a day before the shooting, two explosives were thrown into the crowd at a rally for Lula, as da Silva is popularly known.

At another rally, Lula was also heard thanking a city councilor arrested for the attempted murder of a man who insulted the former president in 2018.

In a statement posted on its official website on Sunday, the Workers’ Party described Arruda as a “victim of intolerance, hatred and political violence” and accused President Bolsonaro of “hate speech” that encourages supporters to act recklessly. The party plans to seek a federal investigation into the incident, press secretary Ricardo Amaral told CNN on Monday.

Lula also tweeted on Sunday that the killing was motivated by “hate speech” promoted by an “irresponsible president”.

“We reject any kind of support from those who practice violence against opponents,” Bolsonaro also tweeted, retweeting a message he sent in 2018, without directly referring to the incident. His statement also accuses the “left” of an “undeniable history of violent episodes”.

Bolsonaro has called for a full investigation into the shooting. Speaking to his supporters on Monday, he also called the incident a “fight between two people”, lamenting that Garanho was widely described as one of his supporters, or a “bolsonarist”.

“You saw what happened yesterday [on Saturday], is not it ? A fight between two people, over there in Foz do Iguaçu. ‘Bolsonarista’ what do you have. Now no one is saying Adelio is affiliated with PSOL, is it?” he said, referring to a 2018 attack when he was stabbed by a man affiliated with parties from left at an election rally.

Deadly shooting at party in Brazil highlights rising political tensions

Bolsonaro has long been accused of inciting hostility against the Workers’ Party. During a campaign rally in the state of Acre in 2018, the then-presidential candidate infamously lifted a tripod and claimed it was a gun, saying: ” Machine-gun the supporters of the Workers’ Party of Acre”.

Brazil’s top election official, Luiz Edson Fachin, has previously warned that the upcoming vote could cause “more serious” unrest than the January 6, 2021, uprising, when US rioters violently stormed the US capital. , fueled by the false belief that the 2020 election was stolen.

“Brazilian society will put a mirror in front of it on October 2. If it wants a war of all against all, or if it wants democracy,” Fachin said.

CNN’s Flora Charner reported from Atlanta and Shasta Darlington from Sao Paulo. Report produced by journalists Camilo Rocha, Rodrigo Pedroso, Laura Diaz and Susanna Capelouto.


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