Power

The man who could cost Bolsonaro the election

An ally of Jair Bolsonaro, Roberto Jefferson sent the president's campaign in a spin when he launched gunfire and grenades at Federal Police officers this weekend.

election Roberto Jefferson during the national convention of his Brazilian Labor Party (PTB). Photo: Gabriela Biló/Folhapress)
Roberto Jefferson during the national convention of his Brazilian Labor Party (PTB). Photo: Gabriela Biló/Folhapress)

Many years later, as he fired a military-grade rifle at a Federal Police squad, former Congressman Roberto Jefferson was to remember that distant election during which he bragged about being an advocate for disarmament. In the early 1990s, Brazil was a very different country than it is now. But Mr. Jefferson, as we will see, was not that different a man.

Roberto Jefferson Monteiro Francisco was born in 1953 in Petrópolis, a historic city nestled in the mountains some 70 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. The city was constructed in the 19th century by order of Emperor Dom Pedro II...

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