In 10 weeks as president, Jair Bolsonaro made one false statement per day

. Mar 13, 2019
false statements brazil jair bolsonaro

Since being sworn in on January 1, 2019, President Jair Bolsonaro has made 149 checkable statements, of which 82 were completely false or had some degree of error. This means that of every 10 declarations made by the president during the first 10 weeks of his term, almost six were false or inaccurate. It also means that Jair Bolsonaro has spread an average of one falsehood per day since becoming president.

</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This statistic is updated daily by fact-checking site </span><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aos Fatos</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which maps social media and the press and—as of this Monday—will begin publishing regular rundowns of the veracity of the president&#8217;s statements, all of which will be accumulated in this database.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The organization of this statement aggregator came from an idea originally conceived by </span><a href=";tid=a_inl&amp;utm_term=.753db876d949"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fact Checker</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the renowned fact-checking column of American newspaper </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Washington Post</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">. As their U.S. counterparts have maintained oversight on President Donald Trump, journalists from </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aos Fatos </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">have systematically monitored the statements made by Jair Bolsonaro. The method arises from the premise that checking each one individually—as there are many—is counter-productive. Therefore, it has gathered everything said by Mr. Bolsonaro into one database, with the respective fact checks and context.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Until March 10, </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aos Fatos </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">noted that out of the 149 checkable statements made by Jair Bolsonaro, 67 contained true information, 52 had some degree of error, and another 30 contained entirely false data.</span></p> <h2>Bolsonaro&#8217;s errors and false statements, in-depth</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The false statements are more often in the field of the economy: the president made mistakes and spread falsehoods at least 15 times with respect to such matters as the construction of highways, subsidies for milk production, and public spending on education. Since taking office, Mr. Bolsonaro has made six completely false declarations about the matter, and another nine which were inaccurate or contradictory.</span></p> <div id="banner_short" style="padding: 20px 100px 25px 100px;background: #fedd3d;margin: 10px 0 30px 0;"> <img src="/wp-content/themes/brazilian_report_2019/assets/images/logo_banner.jpg" style=" margin-bottom: 12px; height: 26px; "> <h1 style=" font-family: Oswald; color: #2c2c2e; font-size: 22px; ">BRAZILIAN ON THE RECORD</h1><p style=" font-family: dincond-mediumregular; font-size: 20px; color: #2c2c2e; "> Every 15 days, the most important laws, decrees, administrative acts, and executive orders approved by the Brazilian government and publish on the Federal Register (The Diário Oficial da União)</p> <a href="" style=" text-decoration: none; background: #2c2c2e; padding: 7px 49px; color: #fff; font-size: 14px; font-family: oswald; font-weight: 400; ">READ FIRST ISSUE</a> </div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jair Bolsonaro also makes frequent false statements about ideology—or that which he classes as &#8220;ideological bias&#8221; or even &#8220;the training of minds enslaved by the ideas of socialist domination.&#8221; Statements of this kind were made at least 11 times. As </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aos Fatos</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has shown in the past, Mr. Bolsonaro&#8217;s discourse about socialism harks back to a dichotomy between capitalism and socialism which was common during the Cold War, but has slowly lost meaning since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of socialist economies such as China&#8217;s. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As an example, the last World Bank report to use the term &#8220;socialist&#8221; to describe economies came in 1987. Furthermore, Article 170 of the Constitution establishes that Brazil&#8217;s economic order is guided by the principles of private property and free competition, two characteristics crucial to capitalist regimes. Another trait of past socialist regimes, the one-party state, is also not provided by the Constitution, which consecrates the principle of a multi-party system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other recurring incorrect statements concern the makeup of his government team. According to the president, his cabinet and secretaries were not chosen by political appointments. At least four times he has stated that he managed to &#8220;build a government without political conspiracies or agreements,&#8221; which has proven to be false. In the Bolsonaro government, a recent example is the appointment of a political ally to the National Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DNIT), as well as maintaining political appointments from previous governments, including those who were selected by politicians accused or jailed for acts of corruption.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The wealth of falsehoods of the president is still inconsistent, but we can notice that he makes more mistakes when he is given more space to make statements. Thirty-five false or inaccurate statements were made in interviews, 23 in speeches, 11 in official tweets, and eight in live Facebook broadcasts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We can see in detail which are the most repeated statements by Jair Bolsonaro, as well as filtering them by topic and medium in the Aos Fatos special: </span><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Todas as declarações de Bolsonaro, checadas</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">—All Bolsonaro&#8217;s statements, fact-checked. As the </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aos Fatos </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">team fact-checks new information from the president, the database will be updated automatically.

Written by Tai Nalon, Ana Rita Cunha, and Bárbara Libório

Aos Fatos

Aos Fatos is a Brazilian independent fact-checking agency and a partner institution of The Brazilian Report. Aos Fatos is a signatory-member of the International Fact-Checking Network.

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