Police politicization fuels Brazil’s institutional crisis

Concerns are growing over the role of the police in planned pro-Bolsonaro protests on September 7

President Bolsonaro has bent over backwards to earn the support of police officers. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

“The Supreme Court told me to mind my words,” André de Souza Costa posted on social media. “Fuck ’em.” 

André Costa works as a special press secretary for President Jair Bolsonaro and is a colonel in the Brasília Military Police – having been on active duty until May this year. Perhaps better than anyone else, Col. Costa encapsulates the convergence between Bolsonarism and state police forces — and how one is radicalizing the other.

Brazil is no stranger to political turmoil. It has seen major political stakeholders exposed in graft probes, one former president impeached, two others momentarily jailed — and...

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