Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Brazil highway police blockades fan voter-suppression fears

Brazil highway police blockades fan voter-suppression fears

Widespread allegations of illegal roadblocks by Brazil's Federal Highway Police (PRF) in the poor northeast of Brazil sparked fears of potential vote suppression that could benefit far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in Sunday's tense runoff election.
Brazilians cast their votes on Sunday in a fraught second-round vote between Bolsonaro and leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The president wants to consolidate his conservative overhaul of the country, while Lula vows more social spending and state-run economic policies.

From early on Sunday, reports began to surface that the PRF was conducting illegal roadblocks of buses carrying voters across the northeast, despite an order by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) preventing such operations.

The northeast is a stronghold of Lula voters, and surveys suggest Bolsonaro will need to make major inroads there to come from behind in the polls and clinch victory.

Critics allege the PRF has become overtly pro-Bolsonaro over the last four years, and that its officers were potentially seeking to suppress the vote in Lula strongholds.

In a statement, the PRF said it had ordered its top officials in each state to "faithfully comply with the decision" from the court. It did not make any mention of the accusations of voter suppression it has faced.

In a news conference shortly before voting ended, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who is also head of the TSE, poured cold water on allegations of vote suppression. He said there had been "innumerable" road blocks, but he said none of them had prevented anyone from voting.

Moraes said he had ordered the blockades to stop, and each one would be investigated, but he saw no reason to extend voting past the 5 p.m. cutoff.

Despite his assertions, the mood in Brazil remained tense.

Local media reported that the director general of the PRF, Silvinei Vasques, had published a Twitter post, since deleted, advocating for the re-election of Bolsonaro.

In an internal Oct. 30 PRF document seen by Reuters, Vasques wrote to his agents that they should continue to conduct massive operations across Brazil's highways, as long as they did not contradict the TSE's ban on stopping buses carrying voters.

A PRF source, who shared the document, said Vasques seemed to be complying with the court order while giving agents ample discretion on Election Day.

"He left it to the police to inspect whatever they wanted. And he also kept the hundreds of extra officers out, saturating the highways with police officers who are mostly Bolsonaro supporters," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Related Articles

Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police