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Fundraisers and Shooting Ranges Raise Money for Pro-Bolsonaro Ads

02/01/2018 - 15h30

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JOÃO PEDRO PITOMBO
FROM SALVADOR
MARCO RODRIGO ALMEIDA
FROM SÃO PAULO

A fireworks display can be seen in the skies of the Sertão in Ceará. Cars line up behind one another as a group of people dressed in green and yellow shouts out the name of Congressman Jair Bolsonaro (PSC - Rio de Janeiro).

The group isn't campaigning. It's just "launching" a billboard with an ad in support of the presidential hopeful along one of the main avenues in Sobral, the fifth largest city in the state of Ceará, and a stronghold for another presidential candidate: Ciro Gomes (PDT).

In Garanhuns (Pernambuco), the hometown of former president Lula (PT), a welcome sign reading "You'd better get used to Jair" can be seen by the town entrance.

Several ads in honor of Mr. Bolsonaro, who, in the event that Lula doesn't run, appears in first in the polls, were spotted throughout the country.

Folha reporters have tallied up at least 100 cities that have already received billboards featuring the congressman along with phrases highlighting his career.

The movement has had greater strength in Northeastern Brazil - 17 cities in the state of Pernambuco alone have set up billboards, among them, a digital screen in the state capital, Recife.

The advertisements have been paid for by right-wing groups who use online fundraisers and sell t-shirts and stickers in order to raise money.

However, some of the ads have been paid for by civil entities such as Atire (Recife Gun Association) which paid for the digital screen in Recife.

The movements that were asked to comment all said that Bolsonaro was in no way involved in running the ads, nor did he support them financially.

LEGALITY

In some states, the Electoral Public Ministry, a branch of the Public Prosecutor's Office, has taken issue with such tributes, classifying them as pre-campaign ads. Campaign ads may only be released from August 16th onward.

During the campaign, however, billboards are considered off-limits.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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