Bolsonaro attends Brazil’s biggest farm fair

He criticized Lula’s decision to recognize new Indigenous reservations

Former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro stole the show on Monday at Brazil’s largest agribusiness fair where he was acclaimed by supporters from the country’s strong farm sector.

It was Bolsonaro’s first encounter with supporters since he returned from self-imposed exile the United States one month ago, and he was mobbed by an excited crowd that applauded him wildly when he climbed on top of a combine harvester.

Organizers of the annual Agrishow withdrew an invitation for the current agriculture minister in leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government, which complained they had turned the fair into a campaign event.

“We are a big country and we have all the conditions to be a great agricultural power,” Bolsonaro said, speaking alongside the governor of Sao Paulo state Tarcisio de Freitas, his former infrastructure minister.

Bolsonaro criticized the decision by Lula to recognize new Indigenous reservations, a constant complaint by farmers in Brazil’s expanding agricultural frontier.

The deep-pocketed and powerful farm sector was a major supporter of Bolsonaro’s 2018 election. In office, he relaxed environmental controls, took the farmers’ side in land disputes with Indigenous communities, and passed legislation allowing farmers to arm themselves to protect their properties.

Bolsonaro, who never conceded defeat by Lula in the October election, faces a series of investigations for his attacks on Brazil’s election system and alleged role in inciting the storming of the government building in Brasilia on January 8, one week after Lula took office. Bolsonaro faces legal risks that could ban him from running in the 2026 election.

It was the first time since the farm fair in Sao Paulo state started in 1994 that no representative from the federal government in office was present on the opening day of the event, which showcases advances in agricultural technology. Organizers said they expect 190,000 people to attend the five-day fair.    

Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro wished the farmers success and said he looked forward to attending next year.



All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald