The man who stabbed a far-right Brazilian presidential candidate who has been described as “Brazil’s Donald Trump” is reportedly a socialist on a self-described “mission from God.”
In a shocking moment caught on video, Brazil’s leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed with a knife while being carried by a crowd during an afternoon rally in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, in south east Brazil on Thursday.
Bolsonaro, 63, was rushed to a hospital and underwent what turned out to be life-saving surgery for what officials say were serious internal injuries. He is currently in stable condition.
The suspect, a 40-year-old man, was arrested by police, who say he declared himself to be “on a mission from God.”
The Daily Mail provides some more details on the attacker: “[The suspect] was said to be a member of the left-leaning PSOL party from 2007 to 2014. On his Facebook page, the attacker recently posted messages criticizing Bolsonaro and supporting the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.”
His lawyer, Pedro Augusto Lima Possa, told the press Thursday that his client has “confessed and claimed responsibility for the attack,” but added that “he had not intended to kill” Bolsonaro.
“He told me that there were religious and political motivations and that he hated the prejudice that the Bolsonaro openly spoke about and held against different races, religion and women,” Possa said.
The suspect is unmarried, and though he reportedly has a teacher’s degree, “is believed to be currently unemployed but has been working as a waiter and is apparently estranged from his family.”
Hospital officials said in a press briefing Thursday night that Bolsonaro suffered a “blunt abdominal trauma” which damaged several organs and caused him to lose 2 to 2.5 litres of blood.