Brazil: Gunfire near Bolsonaro ally’s Sao Paulo campaign leaves one dead

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A man was killed near a campaign event for a close ally of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday following a gunfire, authorities have said. The sound of gunfire interrupted the event. Tarcisio Freitas, the candidate running for governor of Sao Paulo, said that the incident does not appear to be linked to the event.

The identity of the man who died in the city’s Paraisopolis neighborhood has not been revealed by the police. Sao Paulo Public Security Secretary Joao Camilo Campos said that investigations into the matter will be conducted regarding whether Freitas was the intended target or not. However, right now they believe that Freitas was not being targetted. 

Brazil is currently in the grips of a presidential election, with campaigns on and a rising tide of political violence leading to security being upped. Freitas previously served as Bolsonaro’s infrastructure minister and has a strong lead in the first round of Sao Paulo’s gubernatorial race over an ally of leftist presidential challenger Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Both races now go to a runoff vote on October 30.

Just after the shots were heard, Freitas took to Twitter and said that he was attacked by criminals in an attempt at intimidation. But he later said he believed the incident was not related to his campaign.

“First of all, we are all fine. During a visit to the 1st University Hub of Paraisopolis, we were attacked by criminals,” he said, adding that police had responded quickly.

“A criminal was shot. We are looking into details of the situation,” he wrote.

At a news conference later on Monday, he added, “It has nothing to do with an electoral issue; it is a territorial issue here in slums in communities in the state of Sao Paulo.”

President Bolsonaro also held a conference later and said that whether or not Freitas was the target of an attack, the incident showed that his security was a matter of concern.

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