“My Son Can’t Live in a Communist Country” — Inside Brazil Election Protests

CURITIBA, Brazil—A family sits around a small makeshift fireplace. In southern Brazil it is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They camp there in shifts for days, almost a week. It was Friday’s scene with Luis Enrique and his relatives. Because, in their own words, they reject the possibility of the country returning under the Workers’ Party, which led Lula da Silva to a new term. The left-wing candidate won by a narrow margin in his October 30th run-off, which he served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, more than a decade after he stepped down. His appointment is scheduled for January.

Enrique’s family is not an isolated case. Hundreds of families have pitched their tents around the Pinerinho Fortress in the city of Curitiba. More people are protesting around army headquarters around the country. Most sought help or intervention from the military, many questioned whether the elections were free and fair, and the last to prevent Brazil from following the same path as the socialist government of neighboring Venezuela. Some say they want the chance of , Argentina and beyond.

Henrique and his family drink ‘mate’, also known as ‘chimarán’, a conical traditional drink from southern Latin America.

Epoch Times photo
Luis Enrique and his family drink ‘mate’, also known as ‘chimarán’, a traditional Latin American conical drink in Curitiba, Brazil, on November 4, 2022. (Frederico Vidovix/The Epoch Times)

“What we want is… I have children. I have grandchildren. I don’t want them to suffer. I don’t want Brazil to go through that either,” Enrique said.

He explained: Me and my relatives take turns. Some of us have businesses to run, while others have day jobs. Some stay in the morning, others in the afternoon.we [right now] I’m on the night shift. We coordinate among families. …at least our family…we are doing our part, as most Brazilians are. ”

Epoch Times photo
Luis Enrique poses in front of the Brazilian flag next to his family’s tent in Curitiba, Brazil, November 4, 2022. (Frederico Vidovix/The Epoch Times)

Da Silva befriended and eventually supported many Latin American socialist dictators. Among them were Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, whose persecution of Christianity and the media became the topic of the presidential debate leading up to the October elections. Elected in alliance with the United States, there have been concerns that he might lean towards authoritarianism and stifle free enterprise.

“We are in a situation where you do [something now]Otherwise, we’ll never do it again,” another protester told the Epoch Times. “The hard part is what happens if we don’t. [something] And will our country be like Venezuela? I’m not saying anything bad about Venezuela, but they are facing poverty right now. [the hard-left] Acquisition. “

On November 2, hundreds of thousands of people took part in protests across Brazil during the national holiday of Finados. Interviewees cited police data that up to more than 170,000 people had joined the police in the city of Curitiba alone. There will be more strikes over the weekend, with the strikes starting on November 7th, and this trend won’t end anytime soon.

Some called it a struggle for freedom.

“My son cannot live in a communist country. My son was born to be free,” Fernanda said as she hugged her school-age Joaquim. “Our country was born to be free! And that’s why I brought him here. That’s why I’m here. There are no red flags in my country. Such a country That is why I am fighting here for my country and for his freedom.”

The boy accompanied his mother to the demonstration, calmly observing the concerns of the adults around him.

Epoch Times photo
Mother and Son: Fernanda and Joaquim are examples of countless people who voluntarily attended meetings with relatives. They stand next to the Bacacheri military complex in Curitiba, Brazil, November 4, 2022. (Frederico Vidovix/The Epoch Times)

‘No vandalism’

Protesters are exercising their constitutional right to protest legally, supporting themselves financially and receiving donations from others who support their cause.

“No theft, no vandalism, not even a single car, no fights have been recorded here,” said Ivo, one of the early organizers of the 24/7 protests in Curitiba. “This is a fairly democratic act. From children to the elderly to families. And nothing is going on. Businessmen are helping us…and ordinary people as well.” .”

Epoch Times photo
Ivo, third from right in the top row, holds the Brazilian flag and is surrounded by protesters near Fort Pinerinho in Curitiba, Brazil, November 4, 2022. His 24/7 protests in southern Brazil spontaneously pitched a tent on October 30, just as the votes were being tallied. (Frederico Vidovics/Epoch Times)

Legal experts, local left-wing politicians, activists and others called the protests “illegal” and “anti-democratic,” and military intervention that could overturn the election results violates Brazil’s constitution and institutions. Protesters claimed they were orderly and peaceful and had committed no crimes, a claim denied and dismissed.

Illegal Claims Regarding Election Disputes

Protesters told the Epoch Times they felt this was not a fair election process. Corruption and Money After he was convicted of laundering charges, Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin vacated the penalties against him on procedural grounds, not on proof of his innocence. Fatin was nominated by Lula’s successor, former communist guerrilla Dilma Rousseff, to campaign for the Labor Party before assuming his duties.

“I want to show the powers of the republic that I don’t agree with the way this election process went or the way the winner won,” said Eiko, one of the protesters, holding the Brazilian flag. He with his wife in front of the military building.

“In many ways, we noticed that one of the candidates had more access to free speech than the other candidate, and this is what we are wondering,” he added. “It’s not about the outcome. There are always losers and winners. But the point is how this played out.”

Following Lula’s release, conservatives argue that there is little level playing field like we have seen in Brazil. Avoid specifically reporting on da Silva being a convicted criminal or his historical and well-documented ties to Latin American dictatorships, as the targeted media companies themselves say. faced censorship with.

This pressure from Brazil’s electoral courts fostered a sense of distrust in the local judicial system among the assembled crowd. It is shared with the reinstated Supreme Court.

A press conference broadcast from Argentina on Friday, which contributed to tensions in Brazil, said an independent audit had shown statistical anomalies that could point to fraud in the October vote. Electoral Court President and Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Demoraies has threatened to criminalize any attempt to challenge the election results. Those who broadcast the press conference said this was part of the reason for the broadcast from Argentina.

Reports of the audit sparked controversy in Brazil, with experts and da Silva supporters dismissing them as unsubstantiated or misleading. The reluctance to divulge the topic has led to an increasing number of objections.

Epoch Times photo
A protester stands apart from the crowd in front of the Bacacheri military infrastructure in Curitiba, Brazil, holding a banner that reads “We do not trust the Supreme Court or the Electoral Court” on November 4, 2022. person. (Frederico Vidovix / The Epoch Times)

Concerns about media coverage

As the Epoch Times reporter moved through the crowd, he was asked by locals to “tell the truth” about the protest. There was widespread distrust of the domestic and foreign media. The slogan was displayed in English for the international press.

Epoch Times photo
Protesters hold a banner reading in English “Brazilian people fighting communism” near the Pinerinho fortress in Curitiba, Brazil, November 4, 2022. (Frederico Vidovix/The Epoch Times)

“If this becomes communist, where are we going? [country]?” said one protester. “Where are my grandchildren going? Whether or not depends on the foreigner.”

Marcos Shotgs