Police on Tuesday arrested a 42-year-old man who killed his roommate over a political disagreement about Brazil’s presidential runoff election. The crime occurred in Itanhaém, a coastal city in the southern state of São Paulo.
Luis Antônio Ferreira da Silva admitted to the police that the crime happened after his friend, José Roberto Gomes Mendes, 52, said “every [supporter of Lula’s Workers’ Party] is a thief.”
The killer said the victim threw a pan in his direction and picked up a knife to attack him. Mr. Silva says he removed the knife from Mr. Mendes’s hands, and used it to attack him.
Police officers found Mr. Mendes’s body with eight stab wounds to his back, neck, and face. He was wearing a T-shirt with the image of President Jair Bolsonaro.
According to a police report, the “reason and number of stab wounds rule out, for the time being, the possibility of self-defense.”
It was not the only murder motivated by the 2022 presidential race.
On July 9, a pro-Bolsonaro penitentiary officer shot a local-level Workers’ Party treasurer, killing him. The victim was throwing a Lula-themed birthday party in the southern city of Foz do Iguaçu.
In September, another two high-profile cases saw the killings of a pro-Lula rural worker in Mato Grosso and a bar patron in the state of Ceará.
The electoral investigation group at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Unirio) tallied at least 212 episodes of political violence during Q3 2022, including 21 murders. The numbers represent a 70-percent rise from Q3 2020 — which came before that year’s municipal elections.