Here’s a look at the life of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Birthday date: March 21, 1955
Birth place: Campinas, Brazil
Birth name: Jair Messias Bolsonaro
Father: Percy Geraldo Bolsonaro, dentist
Mother: Olinda Bonturi Bolsonaro
Marriage: Michelle Bolsonaro; Ana Cristina Valle (divorced); Rogeria Bolsonaro (divorced)
Kids: With Michelle Bolsonaro: Laura; With Ana Cristina Valle: Jair Renan; With Rogéria Bolsonaro: Flavio, Carlos and Eduardo
Education: Agulhas Negras Military Academy, 1977
Military: Navy, Captain
Religion: Roman Catholic
A conservative provocateur, Bolsonaro has a penchant for inflammatory statements. His rhetorical targets are women and the LGBTQ community. In 2003, he told a congressman that he did not deserve to be raped. In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2011, Bolsonaro said that he would not be able to love a gay son. He expressed a feeling of nostalgia for Brazil’s past as a military dictatorship.
Bolsonaro served seven terms as a congressman in the Chamber of Deputies. While in Congress, his priorities included protecting citizens’ rights to own firearms, promoting Christian values, and getting tough on crime. In 2017, he said, “A cop who doesn’t kill isn’t a cop.”
Bolsonaro changed party affiliation several times, eventually campaigning for president as a member of the Liberal Social Party.
When Bolsonaro took office, Brazil was suffering from a long period of economic malaise and growing insecurity. His rise was preceded by a corruption scandal that rocked political and financial institutions. In his inauguration speech, Bolsonaro vowed to make Brazil “a strong and powerful country”.
1986 – Bolsonaro writes an opinion column for the magazine Veja criticizing the Brazilian Army’s salary system. He is then disciplined for insubordination.
1989-1991 – Councilor of Rio de Janeiro.
1991-2018 – Congressman representing Rio de Janeiro in the Chamber of Deputies.
July 22, 2018 – Bolsonaro has announced that he will run for president.
August 15, 2018 – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has announced that he has submitted the necessary paperwork to register as a Workers’ Party candidate to run against Bolsonaro. Lula da Silva campaigns from prison, where he is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption.
September 1, 2018 – Brazil’s top electoral courts bar Lula da Silva from running for re-election while in prison. Finally, a former mayor of São Paulo nominated Fernando Haddad as the candidate of the Workers’ Party.
September 6, 2018 – Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach during the campaign rally. He spends more than three weeks recovering in the hospital.
October 7, 2018 – Voters cast their ballots in the first round of the election. Although Bolsonaro won more votes than Haddad, he did not exceed the 50% threshold. The leak is set for the end of the month.
October 28, 2018 – Bolsonaro has won the elimination. The latest balance shows Bolsonaro with 55.13% and Haddad with 44.87%.
January 1, 2019 – Bolsonaro has taken the oath of office. On the same day, he issues some executive orders. An order could remove many LGBTQ civil rights protections by removing LGBTQ issues from the list of issues handled by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights. Another order gives the Ministry of Agriculture the power to designate indigenous lands, paving the way for agricultural development in previously off-limits areas.
January 15, 2019 – He signs an executive order that temporarily eliminates regulations that limit firearm purchases to only people who can provide proof of possession of a firearm. The regulations gave police discretion to approve or deny gun sales.
January 28, 2019 – Officials say Bolsonaro has undergone successful surgery to remove a colostomy bag that was placed on him after he was stabbed four months ago.
February 28, 2019 – Bolsonaro met with Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó in Brasilia. In a joint news release, Bolsonaro pledged Brazil’s support to help ensure “democracy is restored in Venezuela.”
May 3, 2019 – Bolsonaro’s spokesperson has announced that the president has canceled his trip to New York, where he will receive the Person of the Year Award from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. The trip was canceled due to a political backlash. The event’s original host, the American Museum of Natural History, was canceled and some corporate sponsors dropped. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Bolsonaro a “dangerous man”.
May 7, 2019 – Bolsonaro signs executive order relaxing gun control restrictions. The executive order makes it easier to import guns and increases the amount of ammunition a person can buy each year.
July 11, 2019 – In a press conference, Bolsonaro said that he wants his son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, to be the ambassador of the United States. Eduardo claims to be friends with the children of US President Donald Trump.
August 23, 2019 – Bolsonaro has announced a plan to send army troops to fight fires raging through the Amazon rainforest.
August 26, 2019 – At the G7 summit in France, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a $20 million emergency fund to help Brazil with the fires. Bolsonaro replied that he cannot accept Macron’s “idea of an ‘alliance’ of G7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if we were a colony or nobody’s land”. The controversy erupted after a Facebook user posted a meme on Bolsonaro’s page mocking the appearance of Macron’s wife, with the president joking: “Don’t humiliate the guy…haha.”
September 8, 2019 – Bolsonaro undergoes a hernia operation to treat complications from a previous operation he underwent while recovering from a stabbing.
December 24, 2019 – He tells Band TV that he was hospitalized overnight after collapsing at the presidential palace on December 23. He says he had a brief memory loss, but has since recovered.
April 19, 2020 – Bolsonaro has joined a demonstration in the country’s capital, where protesters called for an end to coronavirus quarantine measures and some called for military intervention to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court. He later defends his involvement, saying he was not calling for military action against the country’s other branches of government.
June 23, 2020 – A federal judge in Brasilia has ordered Bolsonaro to wear a face mask in public or face a fine. The decision extends to all government employees of the Federal District, where Brasilia is the capital.
July 7, 2020 – Bolsonaro has announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19, after months of downplaying the virus.
March 16, 2021 – A Brazilian court has ordered Bolsonaro to pay compensation to a journalist after he made remarks that cast doubt on his credibility.
April 27, 2021 – The Brazilian Senate launched an inquiry on Tuesday into the federal government’s response to Covid-19.
July 14, 2021 – Bolsonaro is admitted to the hospital to investigate the cause of persistent hiccups that cause abdominal pain, according to Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Social Communication.
December 3, 2021 – Brazil’s Supreme Court orders an investigation into Bolsonaro’s false claim that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 may be at greater risk of contracting AIDS. The inquiry was launched in response to a request by the country’s parliamentary committee investigating the Bolsonaro government’s response to the pandemic.
January 3, 2022 – Bolsonaro is hospitalized with a blockage in his intestines, the latest medical problem linked to the 2018 stabbing.
June 29, 2022 – A Brazilian court has ruled that Bolsonaro must pay 35,000 reais (roughly $6,700) in “moral damages” to a Brazilian journalist after he made sexually explicit remarks about her in 2020.
October 2, 2022 – In the presidential election, Bolsonaro finished with 43.2% to Da Silva’s 48.4%. Both candidates had to pass 50% to be elected in the first vote, so both will face each other in the vote that will take place on October 30.