Brazil Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro Is Stabbed at Campaign Rally


RIO DE JANEIRO — Representative Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in Brazil’s presidential election, was stabbed on Thursday afternoon during a campaign event, the local news media reported, citing police officials.

It was not immediately clear how seriously the candidate was wounded. Mr. Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, has been a divisive figure in Brazil, where he is both adored by some for his tough talk and reviled by others for his diatribes against women, gays and minorities.

Mr. Bolsonaro was being carried by supporters through a throng of people in Juiz de Fora, a city in southeastern in Minas Gerais State, when a person lunged toward him and appeared to jab a knife into his abdomen, according to a video of the attack shared on social media.

One of his sons, Flavio Bolsonaro, said on Twitter that the wound reached part of his liver, his lung and his intestine.

The candidate lost a lot of blood and his blood pressure dropped, the son said, adding, “His state appears to have stabilized now.”

Mr. Bolsonaro, 63, has an ample lead in the most splintered presidential contest in generations. A new poll by Ibope issued this week puts him ahead of the pack with 22 percent of voter support. His closest rivals are tied with 12 percent. The vote is expected next month.

Mr. Bolsonaro has earned a fiercely loyal following among a segment of Brazilians who find his unfiltered style refreshing. He has promised to restore order to a country suffering from an increase of violence by making it easier for civilians to bear arms and for the police to kill criminals.

But his discriminatory verbal attacks have led to his being charged by the attorney general this year with inciting hatred against blacks, women and indigenous people.

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