Brazil’s lower house set to vote on whether to formally investigate Bolsonaro for genocide

Lawmakers in Brazil’s lower house will vote on Monday on a nonbinding resolution that would formally call on the country’s attorney general to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for crimes against humanity. The proposal comes…

Brazil’s lower house set to vote on whether to formally investigate Bolsonaro for genocide

Lawmakers in Brazil’s lower house will vote on Monday on a nonbinding resolution that would formally call on the country’s attorney general to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for crimes against humanity. The proposal comes after an anti-government party accused Bolsonaro, who has been in office for two weeks, of seeking to politicize the murder of 19-year-old homeless man and protestor Dilmar Marconi, a feat now commonly attributed to his military background.

“For the president of the republic to think that he is above the law is an insult to us all,” the lawmaker who proposed the resolution, Natalia Xavier, said. “This is a key moment for the president-elect.”

It is unclear what kind of charges a criminal investigation might produce in Bolsonaro’s case. The New York Times reported that, according to the president’s own account, he came close to attending a meeting of the Falange, a fascist vigilante group that is linked to the Marconi killing, but he did not have legal representation and had been warned by relatives that the meeting could be used against him politically.

Bolsonaro, a congressman for 17 years, was elected president in January following a campaign largely driven by his military background and fealty to the populist right. Despite the nature of his support base, he was nevertheless considered a serious threat to the status quo and widely expected to rule the way of his predecessor, the centrist Fernando Haddad. Bolsonaro was acquitted in 2016 of charges of incitement to rape and incitement to racism leveled against him by Haddad’s Workers’ Party. But within a week of taking office, he tweeted a photo of himself firing a rifle that many viewed as an attempt to vilify his political opponents. He later said the rifle was a fluke and had been accidently fired by someone else at a military ceremony.

Read the full story at The Times.

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