From 24 September to 1 October, during the week preceding the elections, a series of violent events took place, including the assassination of three people allegedly for political reasons and cases of aggression. This indicates an escalation in incidents of political violence and crimes, which continued on the election day.

More and More Incidents

In the week preceeding the election’s first round several incidents were reported. On 24 October, in Cascavel (CE), a man was stabbed to death at a bar after declaring that he was going to vote for Lula. In the same state, but two days later, in Fortaleza, the driver of State Deputy Sabrina Veras (MDB-CE) was shot to death, during a political event. In Rio do Sul (SC), a man wearing a shirt with a mention of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) was also stabbed to death in a bar. A few other incidents are highlighted below:

  • On October 25, a teenager member of MBL (Free Brazil Movement) – right-wing political group – was attacked by PSOL – left-wing party – supporters on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, after recording a video taunting Guilherme Boulos, candidate for federal deputy
  • The car of President Jair Bolsonaro’s ex-wife, candidate for district deputy Ana Cristina Valle, was vandalized, and her house was spray-painted on 29 October, in Brasília
  • In São Caetano, Salvador (BA), a man wearing a green and yellow shirt fired several shots in front of Edson Carneiro State School, which is the 15th electoral zone. A 85-year-old woman was injured
  • In Cidade Dutra, São Paulo (SP) South Zone, non-identified men shot two military policemen inside an electoral zone
  • Several cases of attacks against electronic voting machines were recorded
  • In Xavier de Brito Square, Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro (RJ) North Zone, a large group of Bolsonaro’s supporters fought against a group of Lula’s supporters. Fireworks, stones, wooden slats and other objects were used as weapons

Violence Despite Extra Security

All these events took place despite the authorities’ effort to reinforce the security during this extremely polarized election. R$100 million were invested on security, extra personnel from local police forces were put on duty, weapons were prohibited in the electoral zones, and cell phones were banned from voting booths.


The scenario of fear because of politics was portrayed by a survey by Datafolha at the request of the Brazilian Public Security Forum and Raps (Political Action Network for Sustainability), released two weeks ago. According to the study, seven out of ten people say they are afraid of being attacked because of their political choices. The institute heard 2,100 people in around 130 cities between 3 and 13 of August.

Electoral Crimes

According to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, on 2 October, 663 electoral crimes were recorded and 250 people were arrested. The authorities also seized R$1.9 million in cash, which would be used to buy votes, and nine weapons.

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