Bolsonarist extremism had a shocking consequence at the end of Saturday night, June 9, in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, the western region of Paraná state, southern Brazil. A Workers’ Party-themed birthday celebration organized by friends and relatives of municipal guard Marcelo Arruda, who had turned 50, ended tragically.
According to André Alliana, a victim’s friend, moments after guests had sung “Happy Birthday” to Marcelo, an unknown man barged into the location where the party was taking place while shouting and insulting everybody who were attending the event. “It was a celebration whose theme was the Workers’ Party. About 11 p.m., a man that nobody knew turned up insulting the guests, calling [former President] Lula a bastard and yelling Bolsonaro’s name. This crazy guy said he would come back to kill everybody there. And so he did”, explained Alliana.
In face of such a fragrant death threat, Marcelo went to his car to take his gun. Minutes after it, the federal prison guard Jorge José da Rocha Guaranho came back waving a gun and shooting Marcelo. Other witnesses that saw what happened said the attacker looked as if under the influence of drugs. His wife and daughter were in the car at the moment of the attack.
“We listened to his wife begging him to go away, but he was very disturbed, very angry. He cursed Workers’ Party supporters and said Bolsonaro would be [re]elected. [He] Said Lula is a criminal and that all Workers’ Party supporters should die. It was a tragedy. It makes no sense. We are all shocked”, said a guest who asked for anonymity. According to witnesses, Guaranho was not known by any of the guests.
“The truth is that he went there intending to shoot everybody. The only reason more people didn't die was that the guy wasn’t a good shot. Marcelo died and because of him the tragedy wasn’t even worse", adds the witness under the condition of anonymity.
Marcelo Arruda was a Workers’ Party official in the city of Nova Iguaçu. During the 2020 municipal elections, he ran as deputy mayor. With almost 30 years’ experience as Nova Iguaçu's municipal guard, he was the director of the Public Servants Union and treasurer of the Workers' Party city directory. He was married and had four kids, the youngest a 1-month-old infant.
In his Facebook account, André Alliana wrote about his friend’s death: “When I say people are sick and that the lack of respect and dialogue is a tragedy, some think I’m exaggerating. People are attacking each other because of politics and now we know that they also throw bombs and kill. Today, I lost one of my best friends”.
Parliamentarians, politicians, and internet users lamented the murder of the Workers’ Party treasurer in Nova Iguaçu
Last Sunday (10), parliamentarians, pre-candidates, journalists, and human rights defenders lamented the murder of Marcelo Arruda, municipal guard and Workers’ Party treasurer in the city of Foz do Iguaçu.
In a statement released on Sunday (10), the Workers’ Party paid tribute to Arruda and expressed its sympathies for the victim’s family. “Another dear comrade passed away this morning, a victim of intolerance, hatred, and political violence," the text read.
In response, the party called on security forces authorities and the judiciary to “firmly curb any situation that stocks a climate of violent dispute outside of the framework of democracy and civility”.
“Anyone maddened by this project of death and destruction, encouraged by hatred speech, and armed by the policies of the current president, is turning into aggressors or murderers”, adds the statement of the Workers' Party.
On social media platforms, candidates, political leaders, militants, and online users also expressed their sympathies for Marcelo Arruda’s family and repudiated the act of violence
Nosso companheiro Marcelo Arruda comemorava o seu aniversário de 50 anos com a família e amigos, em paz, em Foz do Iguaçu. Filiado ao Partido dos Trabalhadores, sua festa tinha como tema o PT e a esperança no futuro; com a alegria de um pai que acabou de ter mais uma filha.— Lula (@LulaOficial) July 10, 2022
É triste, muito triste, a tragédia humana e política que tirou a vida de dois pais de família em Foz do Iguaçu. O ódio político precisa ser contido para evitar que tenhamos uma tragédia de proporções gigantescas.— Ciro Gomes (@cirogomes) July 10, 2022
A intolerância, a violência e o ódio são inimigos da Democracia e do desenvolvimento do Brasil. O respeito à livre escolha de cada um dos mais de 150 milhões de eleitores é sagrado e deve ser defendido por todas as autoridades no âmbito dos 3 Poderes.— Alexandre de Moraes (@alexandre) July 10, 2022
"Meu pai conseguiu evitar o pior, antes de morrer" - Leonardo, filho do guarda municipal Marcelo Arruda, morto durante a comemoração do aniversário de 50 anos. Marcelo era ex-candidato a vice-prefeito na chapa do PT em Foz do Iguaçu (PR) pic.twitter.com/uKFGAhzwbQ— Cecília Olliveira (@Cecillia) July 10, 2022
Marcelo Arruda left a wife and four children. Before dying, he managed to shoot Guaranho, who survived. Outside the event, witnesses said that the wife of the bolsonarista could be heard screaming, begging her husband not to commit the crime.
That is not the first time that violence caused by Bolsonaro supporters has led to victims in an election period. In October 2018, a supporter of the then-candidate Bolsonaro killed capoeira master Moa do Katendê after an argument about politics in a bar.
Moa do Katendê was 63-years-old and died due to 12 stabs on his back in the city of Salvador, Bahia state. Caught in the act and arrested, the attacker admitted that he decided to attack Moa because of the argument about the presidential elections.
Edited by: Flávia Chacon