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Supporters of Brazil’s Bolsonaro rally against alleged political persecution and coup concerns

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The rally in São Paulo on Feb. 25 was organized by former president Jair Bolsonaro in support of his allies for Brazil’s 2024 mayoral elections and in response to the investigations against him.

Crowds gathered in São Paulo, with Bolsonaro supporters estimating around 1 million people present, although official estimates have not been released.

Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” described the event as a testament to the support for him and conservatism in Brazil, with various congressmen and state governors joining him on the stage.

The rally took place amid political tension following police raids on Bolsonaro’s home and his associates, who are being investigated for an alleged coup plot. Bolsonaro and his supporters claim that these actions are politically motivated.

The purpose of the event was to showcase political strength, gather support for Bolsonaro’s allies in the upcoming elections, and address the allegations against him.

Bolsonaro emphasized the importance of having the people’s support, contrasting it with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s smaller engagement.

Growing Pressure

Bolsonaro, who narrowly lost to Lula da Silva in the 2022 elections, faced controversies and protests following the election results.

The movement culminated in violent riots reminiscent of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach, sparking further debate about a supposed coup led by Bolsonaro’s critics.

Bolsonaro and his allies criticized the police operations as politically motivated, with concerns about growing authoritarianism in the country.

The rally on Feb. 25 marked a significant right-wing protest following the Jan. 8 riots, where protesters expressed their support for freedom and democracy.

A Diplomatic Crisis

Prior to the rally, a diplomatic crisis unfolded as President Lula compared Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip to the Holocaust, leading to public reprimands from Israeli officials and calls for impeachment.

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