by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Brazil’s Bullet democracy

08 Feb, 2019

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The exile of Jean Wyllys, like the assassination of Marielle Franco, points to the point of extreme tension between the feminist, anti-racist and LGTBI struggles and a democracy that has been occupied since Bolsonaro (Brazil’s elected President) came to power.

Bolsonaro came to power in 2019 promising regeneration, a strong hand and a democracy of bullets - the gesture of machine-gunning everyone around him served as the branding of his electoral campaign. Things, however, are very, very difficult in Brazil at the moment.

Before he even turned one month in the office, the evidence of the alliances of Bolsonaro and his family with mafia militias are coming to light. Especially with ex-participants of the special task group called BOPE who run dirty businesses - drugs, real estate operations, etc. - and who wash their lives at the same time with the invocation of God, the family and the redeeming sanctity of the Father and his "hard hand." That is what the "regeneration" promised by Bolsonaro is actually made of.

In January 2019, a lecturer, politician and journalist Jean Wyllys announced his decision to leave Brazil behind and start a new life somewhere else. It does so by invoking good reasons: given the volume of threats that he has been receiving daily, for more than a year Wyllys lives with a permanent guard, and just leaves his home to do his job (in fact, even his last electoral campaign was mainly online .)

The execution of Marielle Franco (as you can read here together with the plan, denounced in December, to assassinate Marcelo Freixo (leader of the party to which Wyllys belongs, the PSOL) give an insight of the degree of reality of the threats that Wyllys was constantly receiving.

The protection of the State - in the hands of his political enemies, both nationally and locally - offers few guarantees: Wyllys knows that he is a target. For two reasons: because it is the incarnation of what the bolsonarismo hates - the gay congressman- but also because the defence of rights of popular sectors - including the black population, women, trans and LBGTI - - especially in the peripheries, directly confronts the economic and political interests of the militias empowered by Bolsonaro.

Marielle Franco condensed this and was executed on a street in Rio. Her crime remains unpunished. Other people such as Wyllys are still on the hit list.

The exile of Wyllys speaks mainly of two things. In the first place, it denounces a democracy that begins to be occupied, without any filter or dissimulation, by militias that are willing to take innocent lives in the name of what they believe is right or wrong. A democracy of bullets, endorsed by a government that gives free rein to the possession of weapons.

That armed male, that has absolute power to do whatever he wants and everybody else will applaud him because he is the definition of power, ‘’safety’’ and well-being.
The one that embodies the permission to kill to attack indigenous people and appropriate their lands, to secure their pacts with a hyper-corrupt police, to persecute and eliminate those who live in favelas, typically young blacks.

So, no wonder Wyllys had to escape his country. He was the first openly gay man who ran for Congress, and who actually won, especially in a country such as Brazil.