Lula supporter murdered by Bolsonaro fan with an axe: Police
The two men were arguing about the upcoming October 2 elections, which will see former President Lula and Bolsonaro facing off.
A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro killed a supporter of election rival Lula da Silva to death with an axe in an argument about politics in a rural area of Brazil, police have said.
The victim, identified as Benedito Cardoso, was 42 years old and had been arguing with the alleged perpetrator, a 24-year-old man, ahead of the October 2 elections which will see former President Lula challenging Bolsonaro.
The crime occurred on Wednesday night on a farm in Confresa, a municipality of some 30,000 people in the central-western state of Mato Grosso.
Victor Donizete de Oliveira Pereira, of the civil police in Confresa, said that both men were alone on the property when a "politically motivated argument" started.
"The victim was defending Lula and the perpetrator said he was defending Bolsonaro," he added in a statement Thursday.
Cardoso first threw a punch at the alleged killer, who punched back. The victim then grabbed a knife -- but his opponent took the knife from him, chased him, and then assaulted him with it.
With Cardoso on the ground, the alleged murderer took an axe and struck him a total of 15 times.
He then tried to hide the weapons and escape but was arrested after going to the hospital to seek medical attention, according to Oliveira Pereira.
The killing comes as Brazil is experiencing its most polarized election campaign in decades.
As tensions rise, police have upped security measures at campaign events.
Both Bolsonaro and Lula have appeared at rallies wearing bulletproof vests and have avoided close contact with supporters.
A similar incident occurred on July 11, when Marcelo Arruda, while celebrating his 50th birthday, was shot by a federal prison guard shouting slogans in favor of the current far-right president and candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. Arrudo is a leading member of the Brazilian Workers' Party.
Arruda's murder came two days after another Bolsonaro supporter threw a crude homemade device containing feces on a Lula crowd in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil's political leaders later called for calm following the killing of Arruda, which prompted concerns that further political violence will erupt ahead of October’s presidential election in the country.
Read more: Bolsonaro a 'cheap copy' of Donald Trump: Lula
The Brazilian President adopted extremist views against women, Afro-Brazilians, and the left.
In 2018, he told a crowd in Acre that he wanted to “strafe” leftists and “run them out” of the state.
During the televised presidential debate on August 29, which included six of Brazil's 12 presidential candidates, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro portrayed former President and candidate Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva as a corrupt former politician seeking to regain power, while the former accused his right-wing opponent of dragging the country’s economy to rock bottom.
In his opening speech, Bolsonaro labeled Lula a “thief" and shed light on the so-called “Car Wash” scandal, a scheme that allegedly included kickbacks to politicians and officials of the majority-state-owned Petrobas oil company in exchange for profitable contracts.
Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, has maintained his innocence and was controversially convicted in 2017 of money laundering and corruption linked to the scheme but was later released from prison in 2019 and the Supreme Court annulled the conviction in 2021.
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