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A political argument over Brazil’s October presidential election turned deadly when a man stabbed his co-worker with a knife and then hit him in the neck with an axe.
Civilian police chief Víctor Oliveira of the central rural town of Confresa said the killers, Rafael Silva, 22, a supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro, and Benedito Cardoso, 42, a supporter of presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva , had had an argument on Wednesday.
The men, who work together cutting firewood on a farm, were discussing the October 2 presidential election when Cardoso punched Silva in the face.
The men struggled during the fight with Silva snatching Cardoso’s knife, according to Oliveira.
Rafael Silva, 22, who supports the re-election of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, faces a murder charge after he confessed to killing Benedito Cardoso, a 42-year-old supporter of presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during a discussion about politics on a farm in the central rural town of Confresa on Wednesday.
President Jair Bolsonaro will seek a second term on election day on October 2. He is 10 points behind former president and current candidate Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, according to a poll released this week.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is making a second career as president of Brazil. He held the presidency from 2003 to 2010.
At one point, Silva ran up behind Cardoso and began punching him in the back. Cardoso was lying on the ground when Silva stabbed him at least 15 times in the eyes, neck and forehead.
Silva then walked over to the shed and retrieved an ax before returning to decapitate Cardoso, hitting him in the neck.
Silva hid the knife and ax on the farm and visited a local hospital for treatment for cuts to his hand and forehead, telling doctors that he had been injured in a robbery.
Arrested and Charged
The authorities were alerted and Silva was taken to the police station, where he confessed to killing his co-worker.
He was taken into custody on a murder charge. A judge granted the prosecutor’s request to put Silva in preventive detention.
‘Intolerance should not and will not be allowed, under penalty of going back to times of barbarism,’ opined the judge. ‘Freedom of expression of thought, whether political, religious or otherwise, is a fundamental and inalienable guarantee.’
The murder comes as Brazilian politicians had already raised concerns about the violent atmosphere that preceded the October 2 election day.
On August 31, police officer Vitor da Silva was attacked by Davi de Souza, 40, and shot in the leg during a political discussion in a church in the central state of Goiás.
Marcelo Arruda, a 50-year-old father of four, was shot dead by police officer Jorge da Rocha, a supporter of President Bolsonaro, on July 9 in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná.
Da Rocha showed up uninvited in a room where Arruda was celebrating his birthday and confronted him and his guests, shouting “this is Bolsonaro” and called the president a legend.
Da Rocha allegedly warned Arruda and said: ‘I am going to come back and I am going to kill them all.’ He drove up and back, firing two shots before charging into the building.
He was approached by a woman, but managed to fire another shot, hitting Arruda, who also responded with several shots before dying.
Lula da Silva, who was president from 2003 to 2010, has a 10-point lead over Bolsonaro before October, according to a Genial/Quaest poll published this week.
Benedito Cardoso Quick and Facts
- Rafael Silva is facing a homicide charge after he confessed to killing his coworker Benedito Cardoso at a farm in Confresa, Brazil on Wednesday
- Police said Cardoso punched Silva during an argument about the October 2 presidential election
- Cardoso reached for a knife but Silva took it away from him before he ran after him and stabbed him in the back
- Silva used the knife to stab Cardoso 15 times in the eyes, forehead and neck, then hit him on the neck with an axe