Brazilian Highway Police Set up over 500 Roadblocks to Prevent Voting in Lula Strongholds

Brazilian military police arrest a Lula activist in Jacareí, Sáo Paulo (Twitter)

The threat of action by armed forces and police to block the election now appears more real.

Earlier today, federal Brazilian highway police set up over 500 roadblocks across the country to prevent people from getting to voting locations. The Brazilian army helped in some of these locations, including setting up roadblocks across the main bridge in Rio. 

According to O Globo, the roadblocks were planned earlier this month at the presidential palace in Brasilia. 

Likewise, in the north of Rio, there have been reports of widespread military police raids in favelas. Often, raids by police in favelas cause residents to hide rather than go outside. 

The fear of the dreaded military police here is very real. Across the country, there have been reports of military police arresting Lula supporters.  There have also been reports of military police openly campaigning for Bolsonaro. 

(The Brazilian Report has more details in English. )

Even if Lula wins tonite, many Brazilians here in Rio tell me that they would be scared to go to street parties tonite because of the fear of violence. The violence that they fear will come from these same military police. who are deployed as regular police officers across the country. 

Payday will have more updates later, but follow my twitter @mikeelk for the latest

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered everything from Lula & the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball. He spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian and was labeled by the New York Times as an "abrasive gadfly" for exposing within the labor movement. Raised in a UE union family in Pittsburgh, Elk was illegally for union organizing at Politico in 2015 and used his NLRB settlement to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and is fluent in both Pittsburghese and Portuguese, which he learned when attending journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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