Here is a glimpse into the life of Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil.
Date of Birth: March 21, 1955
Place of birth: Campinas, Brazil
Birth name: Jair Messias Bolsonaro
Dad: Percy Geraldo Bolsonaro, dentist
Mother: Olinda Bonturi Bolsonaro
Wedding: Michelle Bolsonaro; Ana Cristina Valle (divorced); Rogeria Bolsonaro (divorced)
Children: with Michelle Bolsonaro: Laura; with Ana Cristina Valle: Jair Renan; with Rogéria Bolsonaro: Flavio, Carlos and Eduardo
Education: Agulhas Negras Military Academy, 1977
Military: Army, Captain
A conservative provocateur, Bolsonaro has a predilection for inflammatory statements. His rhetorical targets include women and the LGBTQ community. In 2003, he told a congresswoman that she didn’t deserve to be raped. During a 2011 interview with Playboy magazine, Bolsonaro said he would be unable to love a gay son. He expressed a sense of nostalgia for Brazil’s past as a military dictatorship.
Bolsonaro served seven terms as a member of Congress in the Chamber of Deputies. In Congress, his priorities included protecting citizens’ rights to own firearms, promoting Christian values, and getting tough on crime. In 2017 he said: “A policeman who doesn’t kill is not a policeman.
Bolsonaro repeatedly changed his party affiliation, eventually campaigning for the presidency as a member of the Social Liberal Party.
When Bolsonaro took office, Brazil was going through a long period of economic malaise and growing insecurity. His rise was preceded by a corruption scandal that rocked political and financial institutions. In his inaugural address, Bolsonaro pledged to transform Brazil into a “strong and growing country”.
1986 – Bolsonaro writes an opinion column for Veja magazine that criticizes the Brazilian military’s pay system. He is then sanctioned for insubordination.
1989-1991 – Councilor of Rio de Janeiro.
1991-2018 – Member of Congress representing Rio de Janeiro in the Chamber of Deputies.
July 22, 2018 – Bolsonaro announces he is running for president.
August 15, 2018 – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former President of Brazil, announces that he has submitted the necessary documents to register as a Workers’ Party candidate to run against Bolsonaro. Lula da Silva has been campaigning from prison, where he is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption.
September 1, 2018 – Brazil’s highest electoral court has banned Lula da Silva from running for office while incarcerated. Eventually, a former São Paulo mayor named Fernando Haddad becomes the Workers’ Party candidate.
September 6, 2018 – Bolsonaro is stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally. He spent more than three weeks in the hospital recovering.
October 7, 2018 – Voters voted in the first round of elections. Although Bolsonaro wins more votes than Haddad, he does not exceed the 50% threshold. A second round is scheduled for later in the month.
October 28, 2018 – Bolsonaro wins the second round. The final tally shows Bolsonaro with 55.13% and Haddad with 44.87%.
January 1, 2019 – Bolsonaro takes oath. On the same day, he issues a series of executive orders. An order could potentially remove many LGBTQ civil rights protections by eliminating LGBTQ issues from the list of issues handled by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights. Another ordinance gives the Department of Agriculture the power to designate indigenous lands, clearing the way for agricultural development in areas that were previously off-limits.
January 15, 2019 – Signs an executive order temporarily eliminating a regulation that limits gun purchases only to people who provide justification for owning a gun. The regulations gave police discretion to approve or deny the sale of firearms.
January 28, 2019 – Officials say Bolsonaro underwent successful surgery to remove a colostomy bag he was fitted with after he was stabbed four months ago.
February 28, 2019 – Bolsonaro meets Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó in Brasilia. At a joint press conference, Bolsonaro pledges Brazil’s support to help ensure “democracy is restored in Venezuela.”
May 3, 2019 – A spokesperson for Bolsonaro announces that the president has canceled a trip to New York, where he was to be honored with the personality of the year award from the American-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. The trip was canceled amid political backlash. The event’s original host venue, the American Museum of Natural History, canceled and some corporate sponsors dropped out. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Bolsonaro a “dangerous man”.
May 7, 2019 – Bolsonaro signs executive order easing restrictions on gun control. The decree makes it easier to import firearms and increases the amount of ammunition an individual can purchase each year.
July 11, 2019 – At a press conference, Bolsonaro said he wanted his son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, to be ambassador to the United States. He says Eduardo is friends with the children of US President Donald Trump.
August 23, 2019 – Bolsonaro announces a plan to send in army troops to battle wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest.
August 26, 2019 – At the G7 summit in France, French President Emmanuel Macron announces a $20 million emergency fund to help Brazil cope with the fires. Bolsonaro replies that he cannot accept Macron’s “intentions behind the idea of an ‘alliance’ of G7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if we were a colony or a no man’s land”. The dispute erupts after a Facebook user posted a meme ridiculing Macron’s wife’s appearance on Bolsonaro’s page and the president joked, “Don’t humiliate the guy…haha.”
September 8, 2019 – Bolsonaro is undergoing hernia surgery to deal with complications from earlier operations performed while recovering from a stab wound.
December 24, 2019 – Tells the Band TV network that he was hospitalized overnight after falling in the presidential palace on December 23. He says he had a brief blackout, but recovered.
April 19, 2020 – Bolsonaro joins a rally in the nation’s capital, where protesters called for an end to coronavirus quarantine measures and some called for military intervention to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court. He later defended his involvement, saying he was not calling for military action against the country’s other branches of government.
June 23, 2020 – Bolsonaro is ordered by a federal judge in Brasilia to wear a face mask in public or face a fine. The decision extends to all government employees of the Federal District, where the capital Brasilia is located.
July 7, 2020 – Bolsonaro announces that he has tested positive for Covid-19, after months of downplaying the virus.
March 16, 2021 – A Brazilian court orders Bolsonaro to pay damages to a journalist after he made comments questioning his credibility.
April 27, 2021 – The Brazilian Senate launches an investigation into the federal government’s response to Covid-19 on Tuesday.
July 14, 2021 – Bolsonaro is admitted to hospital to investigate the cause of persistent hiccups that lead to abdominal pain, according to Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Social Communication.
December 3, 2021 – Brazil’s Supreme Court orders an investigation into Bolsonaro’s false claim that people vaccinated against Covid-19 may have a higher risk of contracting AIDS. The investigation is being launched in response to a request from the country’s parliamentary committee that investigated the Bolsonaro government’s response to the pandemic.
January 3, 2022 – Bolsonaro is admitted to hospital with a blockage in his gut, the latest medical issue linked to his 2018 stabbing.
June 29, 2022 – A Brazilian court rules that Bolsonaro must pay “moral damages” of 35,000 reais (about $6,700) to a Brazilian journalist after he made remarks with sexual innuendo about him in 2020.