Jair Bolsonaro, the rise and fall of the ultra leader

Former President Jair Bolsonaro suffered this Friday the biggest setback of his long political career: his disqualification for eight years for systematically attack the foundations of Brazilian democracy with “heinous lies”as dictated by the Electoral Justice.

The Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) determined, by 5 votes in favor and 2 against, to condemn the leader of the Brazilian extreme right for abuse of political power in the 2022 elections, in which he unsuccessfully tried to stay in power and won Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and strip him of his political rights until 2030.

The 68-year-old retired Army captain may only run for elective office or hold positions in the public administration when he is 75.

His desire to be a candidate in the 2026 presidential electionsas he stated during the trial, has vanished for the moment, as there is still an appeal to reverse the sentence.


Evangelicals, the military, defenders of arms and extreme economic liberalism have remained united with Bolsonaro under his motto: “God, homeland, family and freedom”.

A motto traced to the one used by the “green shirts”fascists who tried to emulate in the Brazil of the 1930s the doctrines of Benito Mussolini.

Bolsonaro found inspiration in his “friend” Donald Trump and ideologically connects with other ultra-conservative leaders, such as the Italian Giorgia Meloni, the Hungarian Viktor Orbán, the Chilean José Antonio Kast or the Spanish Santiago Abascal.

The visceral hatred of “communism”, the rejection of “gender ideology”, The lack of commitment to the environment, denialism in the face of the covid-19 pandemic and his unfounded suspicions against the electoral system made his term (2019-2022) controversial.


Nostalgic for the dictatorship (1964-1985), the far-right leader applauds and smiles at his followers when they cheer him on to close Parliament and the Supreme Court, demonstrations that he protects under freedom of expression.

To his silence after the elections, Without openly acknowledging defeat and without appeasing his followers who remained outside the barracks asking for a military intervention to overthrow Lula, the anti-democratic acts of January 8 followed.

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That day, a week after Lula assumed power, thousands of radical Bolsonaros stormed and looted the headquarters of the three powers in Brasilia, while Bolsonaro was in the United States, where he traveled two days before leaving the Presidency.

His outbursts and foul language, which he attributes to his direct and spontaneous style, were his style in the Presidency and caused repeated altercations with the press.

In an electoral propaganda, he said he was sorry for the controversial expressions he used during the pandemic, when laughingly he came to imitate a person suffocating.


Descendant of Italian immigrants, Jair Messias Bolsonaro was born on March 21, 1955 into a humble family in the interior of Sao Paulo, a key period to understand his anti-communism.

They were times of dictatorship and the confrontations between guerrillas and the military that took place in that region would mark him forever.

That was the seed that led him to enlist in the Agulhas Negras Military School, in Rio de Janeiro. He was formed in 1977. He joined the paratrooper brigade and was promoted to captain.

In 1986, with democracy already back, he wrote an explosive article in the press in which he demanded better salaries for the category, almost calling for insubordination. Shortly after he would leave the barracks to start his political career.

He was a councilor for Rio de Janeiro and for almost three decades a federal deputy.

In 2018 he appeared in person and won them in the second round after a campaign marred by the knife he received from a mentally ill person.

In 2022 he lost re-election to his greatest political adversary, the progressive Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Today he is disabled after stretching Brazilian democracy to the extreme.

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