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Bolsonaro's gun-club friends: Brazil bracing for possible election unrest

By Marian Blasberg

29 Sep 2022 · 14 min read

Editor's Note

Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro is behind in polls ahead of an election on Sunday. Der Spiegel’s on-the-ground deep dive examines whether his heavily armed supporters can accept his loss.

n one of those days when the term "civil war" comes out of his mouth with rising frequency, Rildo Anjos is standing under the cold, neon light of his shooting range cradling an Israeli Masada in his arms, a model that has only recently become available on the Brazilian market. One of his customers has brought the weapon along with him and Anjos – a wiry, 56-year-old Navy reservist with a carefully trimmed beard who is frequently found wearing a 9 mm Glock in his belt – couldn't help himself. He was simply too curious.

"Let's see how convincing she is,” he says as he chambers a couple of rounds before the eager eyes of his fellow gun enthusiasts. He then pulls on his hearing protection and takes aim at a cardboard silhouette of a body set up toward the back against a pile of car tires.

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