SAO PAULO (AFP) – Far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva went on the attack on Friday, trading accusations of drunkenness and eating human flesh as hostility escalated ahead of Brazil’s October 30 presidential runoff.
The already polarising campaign veered deeper into negative territory as ex-president Lula aired a campaign ad with excerpts from a 2016 interview Bolsonaro gave to The New York Times in which he talked about participating in supposed cannibalism.
Describing a planned visit to a Yanomami Indigenous community, then-congressman Bolsonaro said in the interview that a villager had recently died.
”They cook them for two or three days and eat them with bananas. I wanted to see the man being cooked. They told me, ‘If you go, you’ll have to eat him.’ Well, I’ll eat him!” Bolsonaro said.
A spokesman for the Yanomami people, Junior Hekurari, denied in statements to local media that the group practices cannibalism.
After several days striking a moderate tone in an apparent bid to appeal to moderate voters, Bolsonaro also escalated his rhetoric, calling Lula a “drunk”.