In today’s Brazil, a knock-on effect of President Jair Bolsonaro moving even further to the far-right inevitably means that anyone ever-so-slightly to his left will be erroneously singled out as a moderate. One of these false moderates is military police major-turned-senator Sérgio Olímpio Gomes, known around Brazil as simply Major Olímpio.
A staunch advocate for Brazilians’ right to arm themselves to the teeth, for harsh punishments for criminals, and for the denial of treatment to prisoners with Covid-19, Major Olimpio is perhaps as reactionary as they come. Yet, after distancing himself from the Bolsonaro government due to spats with the president and his sons, he is now carefully presenting himself as a hard-line right-winger, while keeping the current administration at arm’s length.
“I have not distanced myself from my proposals, the president did this. When he gets back in line, I’ll support him again. I feel disgusted with how things are being done, but I help in whatever way I can. However, no one will make me indulge crazy people,” says the senator, who received over 9 million votes in the 2018 election.
Major Olímpio gave an exclusive interview to The Brazilian Report this week, the highlights of which you can read below: