Political unrest, protests and hundreds of arrests in Brazil have led one Brazilian man living in Kelowna man to speak out.
He has asked to be kept anonymous due to fear of political persecution and asked to be referred to as Pedro.
“Currently there is a moment of uncertainty,” said Pedro.
The tension from the Oct. 30, Brazilian presidential election had grown into large-scale protests across, the country, recently culminating in a destructive insurrection on Jan. 8, days after the leftist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sworn into power on Jan. 1.
Supporters of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro took to the streets and stormed the Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace. Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, smashed windows and invaded all three buildings, which were believed to be largely vacant and sit on Brasilia’s vast Three Powers Square.
More than 400 protestors have been arrested.
Pedro said that Lula da Silva was not popular with Brazilians and his victory shocked the country.
He also explained that people are being punished for speaking out against the new government.
“Brazilian police are imprisoning all the protesters,” said Pedro.
“It is a complicated situation because the protesters were dissatisfied that the current president was acquitted of crimes in a very suspicious way by the supreme court.”
Lula da Silva was facing charges of corruption and money laundering and spent 580 days in prison before being acquitted of all charges in 2021. He then ran in the 2022 presidential election and shocked the nation with a victory over Bolsonaro, according to Pedro.
Lula da Silva’s suspicious past and his political views on crime and punishment worry Pedro and his fellow citizens.
“My greatest concern is related to the serious consequences that are occurring after the Supreme Court closed the corruption proceedings that accused Lula da Silva since it seems that there is no commitment to honesty in the Brazilian Supreme Court,” said Pedro.
He said that there is discontent among the population in Brazil who want a government free of corruption. Pedro said that the people of Brazil took to the streets because they are tired of asking for reform and are tired of corruption within the government.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press