Born on 21 March 1955 in Campinas, Jair Bolsonaro (Jair Messias Bolsonaro) is a reserve military man and federal deputy. He is in his seventh term in the Chamber of Deputies, elected by the Progressive Party. He was the most voted deputy of the State of Rio de Janeiro in the general elections of 2014, with 464,565 votes. In this legislative session, Bolsonaro is the head of the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense and alternate member of the Committee on Public Security and Combating Organized Crime, in addition to being a member of the Commission on Human and Minority Rights in other sessions.
He is the father of Carlos Bolsonaro, councilman in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Flávio Bolsonaro, deputy state of Rio de Janeiro, and Eduardo Bolsonaro, federal deputy for São Paulo elected by the PSC, party association to which all are currently affiliated. Jair Bolsonaro is known for his positions in defense of the family, national sovereignty, the right to property and the social values of work and free enterprise. Their political banners are strongly opposed by leftist ideology parties.
In its parliamentary mandates, it stood out in the fight against the eroticization of children in schools and by a greater disciplinary rigor in these establishments, by the reduction of the criminal majority, by the armament of the citizen of good and right to the self defense, by the legal security in the police action and for Christian values. He was the creator of the printed vote, which will certainly contribute to the holding of more reliable and auditable elections.
Jair Bolsonaro Full Biography and Profile
When Jair Bolsonaro was a young man, Brazil was governed by a military dictatorship, which overthrew the elected left-wing government of João Goulart in 1964. Bolsonaro served as an army captain under a regime whose 21 years in power were marked by human-rights abuses and suppression of freedom of speech.
Brazil began the process of returning to a civilian government in 1985, but against the backdrop of economic contraction and soaring inflation. After Bolsonaro was elected to Congress in 1991, he called for the return of military rule. In 1999, he followed up by calling for a “civil war” in Brazil that would kill “about 30,000,” starting with then President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He also pledged to close down Congress if elected President. “There would be a coup the same day,” he said.
Asked about those statements now, Bolsonaro says he has moved on. “People evolve. I am not a troglodyte,” he says. “It’s been a long time since I touched the subject.”
In the early years of the 21st century, Brazil began to benefit from democratic rule. Under the eight-year presidency of Lula–once dubbed the world’s most popular politician by President Obama–the economy boomed and millions were lifted out of poverty. But the country began to fall apart soon after the re-election of Lula’s chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff, to a second term in 2014. Operation Car Wash, a federal investigation into the state-controlled conglomerate Petrobras, grew into possibly the world’s largest corruption probe and exposed billions of dollars in breathtaking graft, igniting public anger. Scores of politicians, officials and businessmen were caught up in allegations of bribery involving cash payouts, sports cars, private jets and high-class prostitutes.
The effects of that corruption, combined with Brazil’s worst-ever recession, crippled many public services. In Rio de Janeiro, where Bolsonaro is the most popular of 46 federal deputies, police had no fuel for patrol cars, hospitals lacked basic medication and street crime soared. Public anger was enough to sweep Rousseff to impeachment in 2016 on the suspicion that she must have been complicit.
Her successor, Michel Temer, reined in the police pursuing Car Wash while twice dodging a corruption trial himself. His approval rating stands at 4%. Lula, meanwhile, was jailed in April after a prolonged televised standoff. He says his prosecution is intended to stop him from becoming President.
As the corruption crisis and the economic downturn has played out over the past four years, Bolsonaro has found his popularity spiraling upward. Highly active on social media, he has built upon the base of police and military voters that has kept him in Congress for almost three decades.
“Although there is a certain popular outcry for military intervention, from what I see, no one in the armed forces wants to launch it, as for us it would be an adventure,” Bolsonaro says. “I think politicians and the people have to find a solution for Brazil in the democratic way.”
He does, however, plan to significantly increase the role of armed forces in government and society. “We intend to have 15 ministers, and about five or six would be generals, for sure,” he says, citing defense, transportation, infrastructure and education. “You have to show that you want a government with seriousness.” By convention, military personnel have largely stayed away from top ministerial roles since the dictatorship. He also recently proposed increasing the number of Supreme Court Justices from 11 to 21, in a move that echoes a 1965 diktat of the dictatorship.
Bolsonaro has pledged to aggressively strengthen law and order in a country where a record 63,880 people were murdered last year, a rate some six times as high as in the U.S. He says he wants to loosen gun-control laws and give police more power to kill suspects in “self-defense.” He adds, “Nobody wants to let a cop kill, but I want to give him carte blanche not to die.” Some might say Brazilian police already kill with impunity: they were responsible for 5,144 deaths in 2017; most were young, black males. 367 police were also killed.
Our values, beliefs and culture can not be misrepresented so that strangers to the Brazilian people can be reached. We are a country that is proud of our colors and we do not want to import ideologies that destroy our identity – Jair Bolsonaro
- Jair Messias Bolsonaro Biography and Profile (Jair Bolsonaro / Time / Goodreadbiography)