Bolsonarism: investigate, judge and punish

Image: Elyeser Szturm


You cannot normalize barbarism, authoritarianism, hate speech, calls for a military coup and Nazi salutes

Jair Bolsonaro was defeated. Even with all the use of the public machine in his favor, whose apex were the Federal Highway Police blockades on election day. Even with a good part of the employers blackmailing their employees. Even with the flood of fake news. Even with church pulpits becoming Bolsonarist platforms. All this was not enough. Jair Bolsonaro was the first president who ran for re-election and lost.

But his electoral defeat does not mean the end of Bolsonarism, as shown by the pathetic coup demonstrations of recent days. The rise of the extreme right is a worldwide phenomenon whose multiple reasons go beyond the scope of this article. The fact is that the fight against this political strand that defends dictatorship, discrimination against blacks, LGBTs and women, physical elimination of the left and other divergent groups will need to continue. The election result leaves us in better conditions for this fight. Lula's victory expressed a democratic movement as important as the unity to face the dictatorship imposed from 1964 to 1984.

Many lessons for today can be rescued from that process. One of the most important is not to repeat impunity. Brazil did not carry out the criminal prosecution and accountability of politicians and public agents who acted criminally during the dictatorship as it should. This was, without a doubt, one of the elements that allowed a coup-mongering, reactionary, violent and authoritarian extreme right to prosper.

The list of crimes committed by Jair Bolsonaro and his followers is wide: deliberate and denialist omission in the fight against the pandemic, political and electoral violence, corruption scandals covered up by 100-year-old secrecy, attacks on the work of the press, the attempt to hold a halter vote through from business pressure on its employees and coup mobilizations after Lula's victory.

Jair Bolsonaro is directly responsible for the state of political delinquency installed in the country. We need to investigate his crimes and make sure he answers for everything he did. But not just him: all national and regional leaders who have been involved in crimes must be investigated, from politics to the private sector, in an effort that involves society as a whole and its organizations.

This is not about revanchism, much less about revenge. It is about the defense of democratic freedoms and the civilizing advances that we have conquered so far and that are put in check by the political delinquents of the extreme right. You cannot normalize barbarism, authoritarianism, hate speech, calls for a military coup and Nazi salutes. It is necessary to act: to investigate, to judge and to punish. Truth, Memory and Justice, so that it never happens again!

*Luciana Genro is a lawyer, state deputy and president of PSOL-RS.


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