BRAZIL: On Monday, a man was murdered in Sao Paulo after gunfire was heard interrupting a campaign event for a close ally of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Tarcisio Freitas, a candidate for governor of Sao Paulo, claimed the incident didn’t seem to be connected to his campaign. Political motives did not initially seem to be present. Officials have confirmed that a man has been killed in the city’s Paraisopolis neighbourhood close to the event, but they have not revealed his identity.
Joao Camilo Campos, the secretary of public security for Sao Paulo, said that although investigators had not ruled out any possibilities, early information suggested that Freitas had not been the target of an attack. The incident occurs during a tense period leading up to Brazil’s presidential elections when political violence is on the rise, and presidential campaigns are tightening up security.
As of right now, in the first round of the race for governor of Sao Paulo, former Bolsonaro infrastructure minister Freitas is decisively ahead of a supporter of leftist presidential contender Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. On October 30, a runoff election will be held for both candidates.
Shortly after the bullets were fired, Freitas claimed in a tweet that he had been accosted by criminals to scare him. Later, though, he stated that he didn’t believe the incident had anything to do with his campaign.
”We were attacked by criminals while visiting the First University Hub in Paraisopolis, but we are all fine,” he said, adding that police had arrived right away.
Later on Monday, he stated at a news conference, ”The situation has nothing to do with an electoral issue; it is a territorial issue here in slums in communities in the state of Sao Paulo.”
Afterwards, during a press conference in Brasilia, President Bolsonaro stated that regardless of whether Freitas was the target of an attack, the incident demonstrated that he needed to show more concern for his safety.