Brazil: Leaders call for calm after killing of party official

RIO DE JANEIRO – A federal prison guard and suspected supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro has killed a local left-wing Labor Party official in Brazil’s Parana state, according to state police. The shooting comes ahead of a highly polarized presidential election in October.

On Saturday night, Jorge Jose da Rocha turned up uninvited at the birthday party of local Labor Party official Marcelo Arruda and shot him dead, Parana State Police said. Citing multiple witnesses, police said Da Rocha shouted his support to Bolsonaro before firing at the victim.

During the attack, Arruda, also a city guard, fired back at the attacker, who is now in hospital, the secretary of state for public security said.

Politicians condemned the attack.

“The Brazilian people are a people of peace. And we need to get back to normal in our country,” former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote on Twitter on Monday. Da Silva is expected to face Bolsonaro in October.

Lamenting “a tragedy resulting from the intolerance of these people,” Gleisi Hoffmann, leader of the Labor Party, shared several photos of Arruda, a father of four, at his birthday party wearing a black T-shirt with an image of Da Silva.

Bolsonaro condemned the attack. “We are against any act of violence,” he said in an interview at the presidential palace in Brasilia on Monday, according to the newspaper O Globo. Bolsonaro reminded reporters that he was stabbed and nearly died during the 2018 election campaign.

The far-right president repeatedly accused the left of fomenting political violence. Brazil: Leaders call for calm after killing of party official

Dustin Huang

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