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Bolsonaro ally throws grenades at police days before Brazil presidential election

Brazilian politician set off grenades against federal police officers trying to arrest him. It caused an hour-long siege on Sunday.

Roberto Jefferson, an ex-government official and supporter President Jair Bolsonaro also fired a gun at two police officers in Rio de Janeiro’s municipality Comendador Levy Gasparian.

Jefferson sent a WhatsApp message to his supporters in which he stated that he would not surrender and refused to shoot anyone. No. I shot their car, and they were right next to me. They were four and ran away. I told them to get out because I was going to get you.

“I’m setting an example, I’m planting my seed: resist oppression, resist the tyranny. God bless Brazil

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He was taken into police custody in the early hours of the evening. This arrest came just days before Brazil‘s runoff presidential elections on October 30th.

According to Brazil’s federal police, Jefferson was also taken into custody for attempted murder.

The Supreme Court is working to curb disinformation and anti-democratic rhetoric in preparation for Brazil’s upcoming elections.

More on Brazil

This has prompted Mr Bolsonaro’s Committee to react, who see these new restrictions as censorship. Jefferson was among the vocal critics, having been imprisoned preventatively after making threats against justices.

Mr. Jefferson was released from house arrest in January with some conditions.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered Jefferson’s return to prison after he violated multiple times the terms of his house arrest.

Jefferson made the comment that one female justice was a prostitute via social media.

Image Roberto Jefferson sent a WhatsApp video message out to his supporters in which he stated that he would not surrender

Live on social media, Bolsonaro quickly renounced Jefferson and criticised his threats to the Supreme Court, leading to his first arrest as well as his attack on Sunday.

He also tried to distance himself from his former ally. “There’s no single picture of him or me,” he stated, despite the fact that his opponents posted multiple photos of them together on social media.

Bolsonaro said that he also sent Justice Minister Anderson Torres on the scene, but did not clarify what his duty would have been.

Daniel Silveira was also convicted earlier this year by the Supreme Court for inciting physical attacks against the court and other authorities. After Mr Silveira’s vote in the first round of the election on 2 October, Bolsonaro issued a pardon and allowed him to appear alongside him.

Although some people may be used to far-right activists and politicians disrespecting Supreme Court Justices, Jefferson’s extreme actions shocked many.

Arthur Lira (the president of Congress’ Lower House, an ally to Mr Bolsonaro) tweeted: “Brazil was terrified watching events this Sunday reach the height of absurdity. We won’t tolerate any setbacks or attacks on our democracy.

Reactions to the events were mixed. Some hailed Mr. Jefferson as a hero for his bravery in standing up to the Supreme Court. To show their support, dozens of people gathered outside Jefferson’s house during his arrest.

Luiz inacio Lula do Silva said that Mr. Jefferson was “not of the right behaviour”. This is not normal behavior.

The 30th October is the date set for the runoff vote between Mr Bolsonaro & Mr da Silva.

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