Jair Bolsonaro, who is a leading candidate in the polls in Brazil's presidential race, is out of danger but is in a serious condition after being stabbed while campaigning a month before the election.
Bolsonaro was rushed to the Santa Casa de Misericordia hospital in Juiz de Fora. He was stabbed by a man who rushed up to him while he was being carried on a supporter's shoulder, the Guardian said. “The trajectory of the wound provoked various injuries. Mr Jair Bolsonaro arrived in a very serious condition at hospital with low pressure due to blood loss,” Glaucio Souza, one of the surgeons who operated on the candidate told the Guardian.
A press conference held by the hospital revealed the extend of wound suffered by the candidate. A surgeon said the knife had caused a deep wound. It cut a vein in Bolsonaro's abdomen and caused two other injuries in his intestine. “The patient is now in intensive care. It is naturally a serious state because of the magnitude of the trauma but he is stable,” Borsato said. The doctor said Bolsonaro was now conscious and had recognised his sons.
Reports suggest that Bolsonaro will have to stay in the hospital for at least 10 days.
A video of the attack showed Bolsonaro being carried on the shoulder of a supporter inthe midst of heavy crowd. The stabbing takes place in fraction of a second and Bolsonaro can be seen clutching his abdomen while crying in pain. He falls backward into the arms of his supporters. According to a news report, he was stabbed right below a bulletproof vest.
The attacker was beaten up by Bolsonaro's supporters, police reported and later taken into custody. The attacker's motive is yet to be revealed.
Bolsonaro's lead in polls is being attributed to his far right approach. He is known to make speeches that incite hate and rape and is also facing a trial in the supreme court for such a speech. Bolsonaro has polarised opinion with his homophobic comments, calls for looser gun laws, attacks on the left and praise for Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which tortured thousands of its opponents and executed hundreds more.
Brazil's exasperation over rising crime, repeated corruption scandal and Bolsonaro's efficient social media handling has given him an edge over other candidates and is only behind ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in poll numbers. Lula has been barred from running for presidency over his conviction in a corruption case.