Bolsonaro Family Hit With Political Lawfare Raids

Carlos Bolsonaro, son of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro, found himself in the eye of a storm stirred by a Federal Police raid on Monday. The operation targeted his residence and his parliamentary office, significantly escalating the country’s rising political tensions.

The raid, authorized by Supreme Federal Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, a known supporter of leftist domestic policies, is part of a broader investigation into alleged illegal surveillance activities during the elder Bolsonaro’s presidency. This move has been viewed by many as a direct affront to the conservative faction in Brazil, especially since it comes under the purview of the current government led by the leftist Lula da Silva.

The probe, named “Operation Close Surveillance,” delves into the activities of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) under Bolsonaro’s term. Carlos Bolsonaro stands accused of utilizing intelligence obtained through a supposed parallel ABIN structure for illegal espionage. This supposed parallel structure is alleged to have engaged in espionage to create false narratives against political opponents, utilizing Israeli-made software “First Mile.”

The operation occurred a day following a live broadcast featuring Jair Bolsonaro and his sons, where the elder Bolsonaro discussed strategies for conservative voters in upcoming local elections. This timing has raised eyebrows among conservative circles, fueling the belief that the operation is politically motivated.

In the broader context, this raid is not an isolated incident but part of a series of actions targeting conservative figures in Brazil. Recently, two deputies from Bolsonaro’s party also faced similar police operations. These events, occurring under a government with communist leanings, have led to accusations of the Federal Police being used as a tool against conservative opposition.

Jair Bolsonaro himself has been vocal in his criticism of these developments. He labeled the Federal Police as the “Gestapo,” drawing parallels to oppressive regimes. His statement came as he returned from a fishing trip with his sons, only to be met by federal agents at his home.

The essence of the allegations revolves around unauthorized access to computer systems, involvement in a criminal organization, and interception of telecommunications without legal sanction. Critics, including conservatives, see these accusations as a “fishing expedition” by the Supreme Federal Court, a prohibited practice in Brazil. This term is particularly poignant, given the nature of the allegations and the methods employed.

Furthermore, the actions of Justice de Moraes have also been under scrutiny. Notorious for issuing censorship rulings against then-President Bolsonaro during the 2022 presidential campaign, de Moraes has been viewed as instrumental in the legal challenges that have barred Bolsonaro from office until 2030 for allegedly spreading “misinformation.”

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