BRASILIA, Sept 10 — A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hacked a supporter of election rival Lula da Silva to death with an axe in an argument about politics in a rural area of Brazil, police have said.
The victim, identified as Benedito Cardoso, was 42 years old and had been arguing with the alleged perpetrator, a 24-year-old man, ahead of October 2 elections which will see former president Lula challenge Bolsonaro.
The crime occurred on Wednesday night in a farm in Confresa, a municipality of some 30,000 people in the central-western state of Mato Grosso.
Victor Donizete de Oliveira Pereira, of the civil police in Confresa, said that both men were alone in the property when a “politically motivated argument” started.
“The victim was defending Lula and the perpetrator said he was defending Bolsonaro,” he added in a statement Thursday.
Cardoso first threw a punch at the alleged killer, who punched back. The victim then grabbed a knife — but his opponent took the knife from him, chased him and then assaulted him with it.
With Cardoso on the ground, the alleged murderer took an axe and struck him a total of 15 times.
He then tried to hide the weapons and escape, but was arrested after going to hospital to seek medical attention, according to Oliveira Pereira.
The killing comes as Brazil is experiencing its most polarised election campaign in decades.
As tensions rise, police have upped security measures at campaign events.
Both Bolsonaro and Lula have appeared at rallies wearing bulletproof vests and have avoided close contact with supporters. — AFP