Supporter of far-right President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro desecrated a beachside memorial to the victims of Covid-19 when the death toll in the country’s coronaviruses exceeded 40,000.
Activists from civil society group Rio de Paz dug 100 symbolic shallow graves on Copacabana Beach before dawn Thursday to represent the lost Brazilian lives.
At least 40,276 people have died, according to a media coalition that has been compiling an independent count since the Brazilian health ministry was accused of hiding complete figures last week.
But the founder of the NGO, Antônio Carlos Costa, said Bolsonaristas has begun harass activists as they stood next to the fake cemetery.
Shortly after a man was filmed knocking over wooden crosses demonstrators had placed in the sand near a banner: “Brazil, land of graves”.
“They feel such rage – and I think they reproduce the behavior of the person occupying the highest position in the country,” Costa said of the attackers in his group.
Among those watching vandalism was a grieving father who activists say lost his 25-year-old son to Covid-19. The man raised the crosses and shouted, “Respect the pain of others. “
Costa said he was angry at this deeply disrespectful act – the first such attack he had known in 13 years to protest politicians from all walks of life.
But he said he mostly felt sorry for man and other hardcore Bolsonaristas, who were “so blinded by ideological passion that they had turned a blind eye to reality.”
Polls show that millions of people have turned to Bolsonaro for his handling of the internationally condemned coronavirus, which he called “the little flu.” But the right-wing populist maintains a solid support base of around 30%.
“Bolsonaro’s mistakes are not so subtle that only the most perceptive people can detect them. Everything is so clear, “said Costa, a Presbyterian church leader. “So how is it that some people can’t see this?” “
Costa said Brazil is going through “the worst crisis in its history”.
“Thousands have died. Families are in mourning. People are unemployed. At a time like this, you might expect the president to offer words of hope, show compassion, behave soberly, and point the way forward. Instead, we see him joining anti-democratic protests, telling reporters to shut up, ride horses, drive jet skis [and] organize barbecues. ”
As he destroyed the symbolic cemetery, the Bolsonarista left-wing terrorist activists.
Costa said the memorial had nothing to do with the left or the right. “What drives us is a commitment to life. They use this speech to delegitimize anti-Bolsonaro demonstrators – as if only those on the left were able to notice the senseless and anti-democratic acts of this government. “