Youngest Bolsonaro son a chip off the old block

. May 18, 2020
Jair Renan Bolsonaro, 22, Jair Renan Bolsonaro, 22, a.k.a. "Bolsokid." Photo: Instagram/bolsonaro_jr

“I’d rather die having sex than die coughing.” This crude declaration was uttered by Jair Renan Valle Bolsonaro, the 22-year-old son of President Jair Bolsonaro, on the morning of April 30, as Brazil saw its Covid-19 death records shoot up. “What pandemic, man? That’s just the media trying to make you stay at home and think the world’s ending. It’s just a little flu, brother. I got it, it passed. I’d rather die coughing than die having sex … I mean, I’d rather die having sex than die coughing,” he said, during a live broadcast on videogame streaming platform Twitch.

</p> <p>Presented to the country by his father as his Son #04 — #01 is <a href="">Senator Flávio Bolsonaro</a>; #02 is Rio de Janeiro city councilor Carlos Bolsonaro, and #03 is Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro — Jair Renan is following in the footsteps of the other male members of the president&#8217;s brood, gaining followers on social media and preparing himself to enter politics.</p> <p>Jair Renan has quickly become the most public of the Bolsonaro brothers. He has no qualms about exposing his private life on social media, which involved everything from his workout routine to his alcohol-soaked nights out.</p> <p>On the morning of December 18, Jair Renan uploaded a story to his Instagram account showing off his latest haircut at a barbershop in his upper-middle-class neighborhood in Brasilia. At the same time, over in Rio de Janeiro, Federal Police officers were searching the homes of nine of his relatives, including his mother, President Bolsonaro&#8217;s ex-wife Ana Cristina Valle. The operations were in connection to an alleged embezzlement scheme in the Rio de Janeiro state legislature — all nine of Jair Renan&#8217;s family members in question were employed at the office of Senator Flávio Bolsonaro when he was a state lawmaker. </p> <p>Later that afternoon, Jair Renan posted more videos on his <a href="">social network</a>, highlighting the virtues of his tailor.</p> <h2>&#8220;Your piece of shit son&#8221;</h2> <p>Much of Brazil first heard of Jair Renan in 2017, when an exchange of messages between then-congressmen Jair and Eduardo Bolsonaro was leaked, exposing the future president&#8217;s teenage son. Angered by Eduardo&#8217;s absence at the election for House Speaker, Jair wrote: &#8220;You&#8217;re being a son of a bitch to me. And you think you have the right to talk about Renan? Irresponsible.&#8221;</p> <p>Eduardo hit back: &#8220;You want to give me into trouble, that&#8217;s fine. It was my mistake. I thought the election was next week. But comparing me to your piece of shit son? Calm down.&#8221;</p> <p>Jair Renan&#8217;s name returned to the spotlight between the first and second round of the 2018 presidential election, when it came to light that Jair Bolsonaro had requested intervention from the Foreign Affairs Ministry back in 2011 to prevent his ex-wife and Jair Renan from traveling to Norway, where Ms. Valle&#8217;s second husband was born. Ms. Valle told the Foreign Affairs Ministry that she had received death threats from Jair Bolsonaro, which caused her to leave Brazil in 2009. She even spoke of seeking asylum in the European country.</p> <p>In March of last year, the youngest Bolsonaro son&#8217;s name cropped up in the investigation into the assassination of Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco the previous year. Police chief Giniton Lages reported that Son #04 had dated the daughter of former military policeman Ronnie Lessa, accused of murdering Ms. Franco and who lived in the same housing complex as the Bolsonaro family in Barra da Tijuca. When asked by his father, Jair Renan reportedly replied that he had &#8220;dated the whole complex,&#8221; saying he didn&#8217;t remember the Lessa girl.</p> <p>Despite his love of handling firearms and frequent exaltation of the Armed Forces, Jair Renan dodged compulsory military service when he lived with his mother and stepfather outside Rio de Janeiro. He moved to Brasilia in 2018, after his father was elected president. Since then, he has lived in the apartment that Jair Bolsonaro occupied when he was a congressman, in a rich neighborhood to the southwest of the capital.</p> <p>This same property was the center of some controversy in January 2018, when an article in newspaper <em>Folha de S. Paulo</em> revealed that, despite owning the apartment outright, Jair Bolsonaro continued to receive BRL 3,000 a month in housing allowances.</p> <p>&#8220;What did I do with the money?&#8221; said Mr. Bolsonaro. &#8220;As I was single at that time, I used it to sleep with people.&#8221;&nbsp;</p> <p>After the negative repercussions of his statements, Mr. Bolsonaro declared that the property had been put up for sale. However, two years later, it is still in his name. And to make it clear who owns it, Jair Renan put up a framed official photo of his president father in the living room.</p> <h2>Joining the family business</h2> <p>As well as moving city, #04 made some professional changes upon arriving in Brasilia. He dropped out of a law degree during his fourth year at a private college in Rio and began studying systems analysis and development at a private institution in the capital. This choice was made after a suggestion of one of the president&#8217;s friends, who convinced him that this training could help his father in the upkeep of his social media accounts, a job done for years by the president&#8217;s second-oldest son, Rio city councillor Carlos Bolsonaro.</p> <p>Jair Renan definitively entered the political game at the end of last year, with the announcement of the creation of the Alliance for Brazil political party. Founded by the Bolsonaro family — with President Jair and Senator Flávio to act as chairman and vice-chairman — the Alliance will also have Jair Renan on its provisional working committee.</p> <p>Until then, the president&#8217;s youngest son was the only one of the president&#8217;s adult children to have kept his distance from politics. Jair Renan&#8217;s passions lie elsewhere, he is keen on firearms, working out, and playing video games. With the screen name ‘Bolsokid,’ he streams long sessions playing multiplayer battle arena game League of Legends, until he was <a href="">banned from major streaming platform Twitch</a>, for his controversial video belittling the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Renato Alves

Renato Alves is a Brazilian journalist who has worked for Correio Braziliense and Crusoé.

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