Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is facing growing calls to explain his family’s alleged links to the heavily armed and notoriously violent paramilitary gangs that control large swaths of Rio de Janeiro. Questions over possible connections between the Bolsonaros and Rio’s so-called “militias” were swirling even before the former army captain took office in January – so much so that revellers at this year’s carnival penned a song satirising the president’s supposed criminal ties. But those concerns intensified this week when a photograph emerged in which a grinning Jair Bolsonaro appears with his arm around Élcio Queiroz, one of the two men arrested on Tuesday for the 2018 assassination of the Rio councillor Marielle Franco. Police also confirmed that one of Bolsonaro’s sons had dated the daughter of the other murder suspect, Ronnie Lessa, and that Lessa lived in the same beachside compound where Brazil’s president lived until moving to the capital following his election last year. “These relations between paramilitaries and the president of the republic must be explained,” demanded Humberto Costa, a Worker’s party senator from north-east Brazil. Bolsonaro has played down the image’s significance, claiming he has taken thousands of such photographs with police officials. “I don’t… Read full this story
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