Major concerns have been raised by Human Rights groups following the election of Brazil’s new far right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro, with fears that the rights of LGBTI people and other minorities in the South American nation, could be reversed.
Bolsonaro, who has been described by some political commentators as a neo-fascist, received over 55% of the vote in Brazil’s recent election.
Promising to take Brazil out of its economic slump and tackle corruption, Bolsonaro found him self-resonating with many voters, despite his hate speech attacks on minorities and support for the autocratic rule, state torture, and restricting the media.
Fearing that Bolsonaro’s open homophobia may make Brasil’s murder rate of LGBTI people (which was the highest in the world in 2017) even higher, Activists are urging other Brazilians to stand up against any efforts by the new government in encouraging homophobia or going backwards on human rights.
Disappointingly initial reports are already suggesting that the 2018 LGBTI murder rate will be considerably higher, notably in recent weeks where there have been a number of alarming incidents, including, thugs beating transgender singer, Julyanna Barbosa in Nova Iguaçu with an iron bar.
According to news reports, the attackers allegedly stated, “I hope Bolsonaro wins to kill this piece of trash.”
Another transgender woman was stabbed to death during an argument in São Paulo by men who shouted Bolsonaro’s name. There have further been reports of football fans chanting “Bolsonaro will kill all queers” during matches.
Speaking on the issue, Beto de Jesus, who is a veteran LGBTI activist and the founder of São Paulo Pride explained to the Guardian that, “It’s as if the gates of hell have been opened as if hunting season had been declared.”
“It’s barbarism,” He added.
Bolsonaro who has compared homosexuality to pedophilia has in the past suggested that most homosexuals who are murdered are sex workers and not worthy of protection through legislation. He has also said the state should not pay for drugs for people living with HIV.