RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian police are investigating three people for their alleged ties to the attack on presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro though evidence indicates the attacker acted alone.
Minister of Public Security Raul Jungmann told reporters that police are treating the attack as an isolated case, saying that the attacker was a “lone wolf,” however they were investigating two others.
“According to the information we have up till the moment, the act is concentrated on the one who committed the attack. There are others who could be implicated, but until the moment there is no evidence or proof, although they remain as suspects and continue to be investigated,” he said.
Jungmann said the police are working with intelligence department to reconstruct the attacker’s steps as well as those around him.
The suspect, Adelio Obispo de Oliveira, was arrested immediately after the attack and will remain jailed until his first court appearance.
The 40-year-old said he acted for “personal reasons” and “by order of God,” as stated in the report of the Military Police (PM), a body that acts under the authority of each state.
“He told us that the reason for the attempt was for personal reasons, which we could not understand, also saying at certain times that it was by order of God,” explains the report of the Military Police of Minas Gerais, released after the attack on the candidate in a street walk in the city of Juiz de Fora.
Bolsonaro underwent emergency surgery at a hospital in Juiz de Fora in the state of Minas Gerais. On Friday morning, he was transferred to a hospital in Sao Paulo where he is expected to remain a week to 10 days in recovery.
Former army captain and 63-year-old federal deputy, Bolsonaro is an admirer of the military dictatorship (1964-85) and has a propensity to launch racist, misogynist and homophobic outbursts. A witness interviewed by the agents said that the assailant approached Bolsonaro “with the knife rolled in one of the hands, apparently in a light colored shirt”.
After the attack, the officers saw “a large crowd screaming ‘you are going to die’ towards the aggressor, who was first reduced and beaten by the demonstrators, as seen in the videos, and then transferred to a police station of the Federal Police.
In his Facebook profile, Bispo de Oliveira recently posted several highly critical messages with Bolsonaro and is very active with messages aligned with the leftist parties in Brazil and support for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
As confirmed by the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Bispo was affiliated with the leftist Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL, left) of Uberaba (Minas Gerais) between 2007 and 2014.
He was charged with personal attack for political nonconformism. If convicted he could serve three to 10 years in prison.
Brazilian law stipulates that if the attack results in grave injury, the sentence could be doubled.