Media outlets have gone dark concerning fierce protests sweeping Brazil after what many are saying was a fraudulent election last week. Former president and ex-convict Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was announced the winner of last Sunday’s election, ousting incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.
But some Brazilians are calling foul after independent analyses of the voting provided by the electoral authorities indicated that machines that were not audited had a statistically significant difference (p=10-18) in voting outcome in favor of Lula, amounting conservatively in the 1st round to 2.4% of the votes transferred and, in the 2nd round, 3.3%.
Lula, who spent 580 days in prison for corruption, won by the narrowest margin for a presidential election in the country’s modern history. Many Brazilians are now contesting the legitimacy of the election, saying the electronic voting machines were rigged in favor of the Left-wing former president.
As reported by America’s Frontline News, protests promptly erupted throughout the country in favor of Bolsonaro, blocking over 300 roads, including major highways between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the road to Santos and the road to the São Paulo airport. Protesters reportedly used cranes and farm equipment to block roads connecting Western Brazil to the Amazonian region, as well as the road from Brazil to Paraguay.
Even the northeast region which is predominantly Left-wing saw mass protests in favor of Bolsonaro, with thousands gathered in Fortaleza, Ceará.
Some law enforcement officials were also reported to have joined in the protests.
While Bolsonaro himself asked his supporters to stop blocking roads, sources continue to report road blockages in Mato Grosso do Sul and Pará, as well as large crowds demonstrating in front of Brazilian Army headquarters in major state capitals around the country.
The protests appear to be organized organically and spontaneously via social media, without being driven by politicians or any political party.
Brazilian resident Ana Selaender told America’s Frontline News that anyone who questions the legitimacy of the election “risks facing jail on the orders of Supreme Court President Minister Alexandre de Moraes,” which is why the subject is not being discussed in the media.
Indeed, Superior Electoral Court (TSE) President Moraes announced Thursday that anyone who questions the results of last week’s election will be treated as a criminal.
"There is no way to contest the democratically obtained result with illicit, anti-democratic and criminal movements, which will be fought and held accountable. Democracy has won again in Brazil [...] This is democracy, this is alternation of power, this is a democratic state, and those who criminally are not accepting it will be treated as criminals and their responsibilities will be established," threatened Moraes, according to Brasil Sem Medo.
After being sentenced to prison for 12 years on corruption charges, a sentence which was upheld on appeal, Lula’s convictions were annulled last year by Brazil’s Supreme Court, a decision which mainstream media gleefully reported as “opening the path to the presidency.”
Federal inmate populations, who were permitted to vote in the election, cheered Lula’s victory.
But Lula’s ascendency may spell trouble for those who challenged the COVID-19 narrative and questioned the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Sources say Lula has promised to conduct tribunals of COVID dissenters for the crime of “genocide,” which includes those who recommended alternative early treatments such as ivermectin.
Bolsonaro, on the other hand, has remained skeptical of the vaccines and opposed the injections being given to children.
Last year, Lula told supporters not to follow Bolsonaro’s “moronic decisions”.
"Do not follow a single one of the president or health minister's moronic decisions. Get vaccinated," he said.