Jair Bolsonaro's 'prostitute' remarks on Venezuelans sparks row

Published on Oct 16, 2022 03:27 PM IST

Jair Bolsonaro will face left-wing former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in the second round of a presidential election on October 30.

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazilian President and presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro speaks to his supporters during a rally.(AFP)
Jair Bolsonaro: Brazilian President and presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro speaks to his supporters during a rally.(AFP)
AFP |

Brazil's opposition slammed President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday as "depraved" for suggesting a group of Venezuelan girls that he visited in their home were prostitutes, as the country gears up for a presidential run-off.

Bolsonaro will face left-wing former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in the second round of a presidential election on October 30, with the expectation of a close contest pushing both sides to intensify their attacks in the run-up.

Local media aired an interview with Bolsonaro about the situation in Venezuela in which he recalled a visit last year to a poor neighborhood in Brazil's capital where he met a group of Venezuelan girls.

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The president said he had asked a group of "three or four very pretty 14 or 15-year-olds" if he could "come in your house", where he found "15 or 20 girls" getting ready "to earn a living."

The leader of Lula's opposition party, Gleisi Hoffmann, quickly slammed Bolsonaro's comments as "depraved" and "criminal," while Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, coordinator of Lula's campaign, expressed "disgust."

Bolsonaro has repeatedly said that Brazil would suffer the same fate as Venezuela if Lula wins the election.

According to polling organizations, Lula has a lead over the president.

In the interview, Bolsonaro said: "I parked my motorcycle on a street corner, took off my helmet and started looking at the girls, three or four very pretty 14 or 15-year-olds, dressed up as you might be on a Saturday in a neighborhood community.

"There were 15 or 20 girls (in the house), all Venezuelans aged 14, 15, getting ready on a Saturday. Why? To earn a living," he said.

"That's what you want for your daughter?"

Bolsonaro has responded to the criticism, saying he had entered the house with other people and in the presence of a film crew.

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