• STV
  • MySTV

Brazilian presidential candidate stabbed at campaign event

Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro is in a serious but stable condition and in intensive care.

Adelio Bispo de Oliveira was arrested over the incident.
Adelio Bispo de Oliveira was arrested over the incident. Handout via AP

A leading presidential candidate in Brazil has been stabbed at a campaign event, suffering serious abdominal injuries.

Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro was in a serious but stable condition on Thursday night and was expected to remain in intensive care for at least seven days, according to Dr Luiz Henrique Borsato, who performed emergency surgery.

The first round of Brazil's presidential election takes place on October 7.

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, is second in the polls to jailed ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been barred from running but continues to appeal.

Dr Borsato said a two-hour procedure stopped serious internal bleeding and repaired most of the damage from the knifing.

The candidate will need further surgery within months for a part of his intestines that was temporarily fixed with a colostomy, the surgeon said.

"We can't say when he will be able to leave hospital," Dr Borsato said. "But in the first hours after the surgery his recovery has been very satisfactory."

The knife that was allegedly used in the stabbing.
The knife that was allegedly used in the stabbing. Handout via AP

Numerous videos on social media showed Mr Bolsonaro, who has promised to crack down on crime in Latin America's largest nation, being stabbed with a knife to the lower part of his stomach while campaigning in Juiz de Fora, a city about 125 miles north of Rio de Janeiro.

At the moment of the attack, Mrr Bolsonaro was on the shoulders of a supporter, looking out at the crowd and giving a thumbs up with his left hand.

After the attack, he is seen flinching and then goes out of view. Other videos show supporters carrying him to a car and hitting a man who was apparently the suspect.

Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed that 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Mr Bolsonaro's son, Flavio Bolsonaro, initially posted on Twitter that the injury was superficial and his father was fine. However, an hour later he posted another tweet saying the wound was "worse than we thought."

He arrived at the hospital "almost dead," Mr Flavio wrote. "His condition now seems stabilized. Please pray."

Flavio Bolsonaro Twitter
Flavio Bolsonaro Twitter Twitter screengrab

A statement from federal police said the candidate had bodyguards. In the videos, Mr Bolsonaro does not appear to be wearing a protective vest. Such measures are rare for candidates in Brazil.

"This episode is sad," President Michel Temer told reporters in Brasilia. "We won't have a rule of law if we have intolerance."

Despite being a congressman since 1991, Mr Bolsonaro is running as an outsider ready to upend the establishment by cracking down on corruption in politics and reducing crime, in part by giving police a freer hand to shoot and kill while on duty.

While Mr Bolsonaro has a strong following, he is also a deeply polarising figure. He speaks nostalgically about the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders.

People light candles in support of Jair Bolsonaro.
People light candles in support of Jair Bolsonaro. AP

Earlier this week, Mr Bolsonaro said during a campaign event that he would like to shoot corrupt members of the leftist Workers' Party, which made da Silva its candidate.

The comment prompted an immediate rebuke from the attorney general, who asked Mr Bolsonaro to explain that comment.

His vice presidential running mate, Hamilton Mourao, is a retired general who blamed leftists for the knife attack.

Other presidential candidates quickly denounced the stabbing and many of them decided to suspend their campaign events on Friday.

"Politics is done through dialogue and by convincing, never with hate," tweeted Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of Sao Paulo who has focused negative ads on Mr Bolsonaro.

Geraldo Alckmin Twitter
Geraldo Alckmin Twitter Twitter screengrab

Fernando Haddad, who is expected to take da Silva's place on the Workers' Party ticket, called the attack "absurd and regrettable".

It was not immediately clear how the attack on Mr Bolsonaro might reshape a presidential race very much up in the air with the front-runner, da Silva, in jail.

A handful of Bolsonaro supporters held a vigil in Sao Paulo on Thursday night, and briefly exchanged insults with leftists.

"They made Bolsonaro a martyr,' said Jonatan Valente, a student. "I think the left shot itself in the foot because with this attack they will end up electing Bolsonaro'."

Jair Bolsonaro
AP

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.