Daniel Silveira, ultra-Bolsonarian MP, sentenced to eight years in prison for his repeated attacks on democracy in Brazil
Brazilian MP Daniel Silveira attends the swearing-in ceremony for new ministers at Planalto Palace.  In Brasilia, March 31, 2022.

He physically and even caricatured the worst of the Brazilian far right. Shaved head, build of a wrestler, black eyes and sinister gait, the deputy Daniel Silveira often intimidated his interlocutors. But, since Wednesday, April 20, this disturbing colossus has suddenly ceased to be scary. The Federal Supreme Court (STF) sentenced him to eight years and nine months in prison for his repeated attacks on democracy. A heaviest sentence which, less than six months before the presidential election, sounds like a new disavowal for Jair Bolsonaro.

And for good reason: ten of the eleven members of the highest court in the country voted in favor of the conviction of Daniel Silveira. Among them is André Mendonça, an evangelical and ultra-conservative magistrate, appointed by Jair Bolsonaro himself to his post last December. After some hesitation, the latter finally rallied to his colleagues. ” You have to separate the wheat from the chaff,” he painfully justified himself on Twitter, instantly attracting the wrath of the far right.

Because, since his election in 2018, Daniel Silveira has become a symbol. It represents “the most radical thing in Brazil”insists David Magalhaes, political scientist specializing in the local far right: “He is a man who glorifies violence as a tool to destroy democracy. » Considered by many to be a genuine fascist and pure “Homo bolsonarus”his putting behind bars is excellent news”insists Socialist MP David Miranda.

Repeated attacks on democracy

At 39, there are no more sulphurous characters than Daniel Silveira. A former policeman from Rio (one of the most corrupt and violent organs in Brazil), the latter is used to excesses. In September 2018, he participated in a public rally, where a plaque was broken in tribute to Marielle Franco, a left-wing municipal councilor, assassinated the same year. A few months later, we find him in the company of his “big guys” invading a college to remove supposed “communist” posters from the walls. Conspiracy theorist, the MP will constantly put the Covid-19 epidemic into perspective, going so far as to refuse to wear a mask in public – and was for this reason prevented from boarding a commercial flight.

Also read the archive (2019): Article reserved for our subscribers Assassination of Marielle Franco: one of the suspects would be linked to the militias of Brazil

But the recent condemnation of Daniel Silveira by the STF stems primarily from his repeated attacks on democracy. In question: a series of videos published between 2020 and 2021, where this assumed nostalgia for the military regime calls for the closure of institutions and attacks judges directly. One of its members, Edson Fachin, is notably treated “kid”, “marginal”, “tramp, cretin, scoundrel”, accused of being a left-wing activist “lobotomized” serving “narcodictatorships”. The deputy then goes so far as to make physical threats against the most powerful magistrates in Brazil, evoking a “thrashed” administered ” in the street “.

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