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ATTACKS on opponents of far-right Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro have escalated since September 30, with at least 50 assaults on left-wing groups and activists reported.
The violence, including a sickening attack when a young woman had a swastika carved into her stomach, has targeted supporters of Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad, journalists and LGBT activists.
Research by independent investigative journalism agency Agencia Publica claimed supporters of Mr Bolsonaro have carried out at least 50 attacks on his opponents since September 30.
The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) warned of more than 60 physical attacks on reporters, which took place “in a political, partisan and electoral context” over the same period.
Workers’ Party supporter Moa del Katende was stabbed to death earlier this month shortly after he debated supporters of Mr Bolsonaro during a public forum.
Opponents of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) candidate said they are afraid because of the rising violence.
However Mr Bolsonaro has accused media of fabricating the attacks in a bid to discredit him in advance of the October 28 second-round run-off against Mr Haddad.
Large demonstrations organised by the non-partisan Women United Against Bolsonaro group have taken place under the slogan NotHim.
They are concerned over the far-right candidate’s misogyny after he told a political opponent she didn’t even “deserve” to be raped and has dismissed claims for equal pay as unnecessary.
As campaigning enters the final stages Mr Haddad warned: “Mr Bolsonaro has always voted against the rights of workers and the poorest. When you know the truth about him, you don’t vote for him.”
Mr Bolsonaro polled 46 per cent in the first round of voting with Mr Haddad finishing on 29 per cent.
Left groups have come together urging people to unite against Mr Bolsonaro to stop his bid for the presidency in its tracks.
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