On 3 June, Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão branded those protesting against the government as “troublemakers” who are “abusing” democracy, echoing comments made by President Jair Bolsonaro the previous day.
This comes as movements and protests against the government and in defence of democracy are beginning to spread across Brazil. Mourão and Bolsonaro’s strong condemnations of their critics, and attempts to paint them as a threat to social order, reflect concerns that these movements might gather momentum and reach proportions seen in the social uprisings in Chile last October, or the anti-racist protests currently shaking the US – which would increase pressure on the government at a time when it is already politically weakened by the police investigations surrounding Bolsonaro and his allies, and by its poor management of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
- In an opinion piece for the national daily O Estado de São Paulo, published yesterday, Mourão described recent anti-government protests as “very closely linked...to international extremism”, and condemned their pro-democracy discourse as perverting the very values of democracy.
- On the evening of 2 June, Bolsonaro had similarly branded self-described anti-fascist demonstrators as “outcasts” and “terrorists”, comments which were caught on video and widely circulated yesterday.
- Bolsonaro and Mourão were notably referencing pro-democracy and anti-racist demonstrations which took place in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on 31 May, and in Curitiba, Paraná state, on 1 June. All demonstrations registered clashes between protestors and the police. There were acts of vandalism in Curitiba, including the burning of a Brazilian flag, which has become a symbol of ‘bolsonarismo’.
- “We can’t let Brazil turn into what Chile was not so long ago,” Bolsonaro said on 2 June. He repeated the previously-discussed possibility of re-creating the public security ministry, which was merged with the justice ministry at the beginning of his presidency.
Bolsonaro has asked his supporters, who have been demonstrating regularly since the start of the pandemic, to stay at home on 7 June, as pro-democracy and anti-fascist demonstrations are being planned in several major cities.
In brief: Brazil issues bonds on the international market
* The Brazilian treasury has announced that it has issued bonds on the international market, for the first time this year. The five-year and 10-year US dollar bonds were issued yesterday (3 June), part of the treasury’s objective “to promote liquidity of the sovereign yield curve in dollars, provide a benchmark for the corporate sector, and meet maturing foreign currency debt”. The bonds raised a total US$3bn, according to official news agency Agência Brasil, offering a 4% yield on the debt maturing in 2030, and a 3% yield on the bonds maturing in 2025.