Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro came out in public to support a rally that defended military intervention, amid the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
The president, hence, infringed his own ministry’s recommendation to maintain social distancing, prompting criticism across the political spectrum.
On the day Brazil celebrates its army, Bolsonaro made an appearance at the protest held in front of the army’s headquarters on Sunday in the capital city of Brasilia. He is a former army captain who waxes nostalgic for the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship.
There, dozens of tightly-packed protesters, many of whom were not wearing masks, were calling for the Supreme Court and Congress to be shut down.
“I am here because I believe in you. You are here because you believe in Brazil,” said Bolsonaro.
Many Brazilians were also angered at Bolsonaro’s defiance of the stay-at-home measures introduced by several states governors.
Bolsonaro has multiplied public appearances in recent weeks, meeting with supporters, protestors, passersby or business owners.
On Saturday, hundreds of people denouncing pandemic restriction measures opposed by Bolsonaro snarled traffic in major Brazilian cities.