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Brazil Might Elect An Ultra-Right Wing Former Military Man For President (HBO)

RIO DE JANEIRO — On a recent Sunday morning, a few hundred shirtless men wearing camo pants tucked into army boots got together to run in formation down the beach to Copacabana.

As they ran, with tourists and Brazilians alike gawking from the sand, they yelled “Cazuca,” the name of a young army sergeant killed in February during an armed robbery in western Rio.

Marcelo Soares Corrêa, a retired paratrooper and congressional candidate, led the men — all active or retired members of Brazil’s armed forces — in an anti-communist call-and-response: “Our flag will never be red!”

Corrêa is one of nearly 100 military veterans seeking office in Sunday’s national elections in Brazil. Nearly all of them are aligned with Jair Bolsonaro, the ultra-right wing, authoritarian presidential frontrunner famous for a long history of sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks. And like Bolsonaro, military candidates such as Corrêa say their hardline approach is needed to eradicate the twin problems afflicting Brazil: rampant political corruption and violent crime.

“The only good criminal is a dead criminal,” Corrêa told VICE News. “If you let the armed forces really get to work, they will completely eliminate the crime that has taken over the country.”

This turn toward militarism is raising alarms in a country that emerged only 33 years ago from a military dictatorship notorious for torturing, disappearing, and exiling its opponents. Yet rather than run away from Brazil’s ugly past, Bolsonaro and his allies have appropriated it as a symbol of better days. On the campaign trail, these soldiers-turned-politicians routinely and explicitly praise the military regime. Bolsonaro counts as a personal hero Colonel Carlos Brilhante Ustra, who was found by Brazil’s National Truth Commission to have supervised the torture of more than 500 people during military rule.

Though Brazil has always had ultra-nationalist hardliners, what makes this year’s election different is that their rhetoric has much broader appeal.

“This nostalgia for military order is a response to both political corruption and urban violence,” said Bryan McCann, a historian at Georgetown University. “But it’s completely misplaced. The dictatorship was characterized by widespread corruption, and military enforcement, where it’s been tested within Brazil, has not been a successful constraint on urban violence.”

To many observers, Bolsonaro’s rise, whether he prevails in Sunday’s election or not, represents a deeper threat to a democracy made already fragile by a corrupt political establishment. Some even fear an outright military takeover — a possibility that, although unlikely, is not unreasonable: Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential running mate, a retired army general named Antonio Hamilton Mourão, has on at least two occasions said that a coup may be the only solution to Brazil’s problems.

In an interview with VICE News, Mourão insisted that he didn’t think a coup was necessary at this moment. But he didn’t discard the possibility. “If the country is the Titanic that’s sinking, will we, the military, behave like the orchestra? Will we start playing and go down with the country?” He said. “I think not.”

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Brazilian women in Rio protest against frontrunner Bolsonaro

Women in Rio de Janeiro protest against the candidacy of the right-wing frontrunner in next week’s presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro. IMAGES

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Bolsonaro arrives in Rio after leaving hospital

Brazilian right-wing frontrunner in the forthcoming Brazilian presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro arrives in Rio de Janeiro after leaving the hospital in Sao Paulo where he was treated for a stab wound following an attack at a campaign rally. IMAGES

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Brazilian women organise pro-Bolsonaro rally in Rio

Supporters of right-wing frontrunner in next week’s presidential elections Jair Bolsonaro participate in a pro-Bolsonaro rally in Rio’s Copacabana, as women across Brazil launched a wave of nationwide protests against him. IMAGES

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Neymar backs former Brazil forward Romario for Rio governor

Brazil’s football star Neymar is getting involved in politics and has given his backing to former fellow international forward Romario in his bid to become Governor of Rio.

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Brainhackers & Fall Of Rio (Trailer) | VICE on HBO

Advancements in neurotechnology are blurring the line between biology and technology. There is an emerging push to implant electronic devices inside the human body, hardwire them to our brains, and allow us to not only overcome disadvantages or injury, but open up entirely new avenues of human experience. VICE News’ Thomas Morton gets an inside look at what might be the next evolutionary step for humankind. Then…

“Pacification” in Rio, carried out ahead of the 2012 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, was meant to spread the affluence and security of the city’s wealthy, mostly white neighborhoods to the poor, mostly black favelas. But with those events gone, Brazil is in a financial crisis, its government consumed with a monumental corruption scandal and violence is rising again as drug trafficking gangs fight for control. VICE News’ Ben Anderson returns to Rio to see what happened.

See it Friday 9/21 at 7:30 PM and 11 PM on HBO.

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#VICEonHBO #HBO

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Brazilians watching military parade react to attack on Bolsonaro

Military parades are held throughout the country to celebrate Brazil’s Independence Day. Right-wing presidential candidate and former military Jair Bolsonaro usually attended the parade in Rio, but following the attack he was absent this year. Brazilians in Rio react to his absence and the significance of the attack for them and for the country.

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National Museum fire: a new “murder” for the indigenous people

The indigenous people of the Maracana camp in Rio helplessly watched as the National Museum burned. Just days after the massive blaze ripped through the entire museum, which housed a vast collection of objects and archives of Brazilian indigenous history, they say they’re experiencing the loss as a new assassination of their memory.

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Drone images of Rio’s National Museum, devastated by fire

Smoke continues to escape from Rio’s National Museum two days after a fire devastated the treasured edifice and destroyed most of its collection.

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Fire crews try to save relics from Rio museum fire

(3 Sep 2018) A huge fire engulfed Brazil’s 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, lighting up the night sky with towering flames as firefighters and museum workers raced to save historical relics from the blaze. (Sept. 3)

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