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TOPIC: political violence

Geopolitics

Capitol Riot, Brazil Style? The Specter Of Violence If Bolsonaro Loses The Presidency

Brazilian politics has a long history tainted with violence. As President Jair Bolsonaro threatens to not accept the results if he loses his reelection bid Sunday, the country could explode in ways similar to, or even worse, than the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol after Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat.

-Analysis-

SÂO PAULO — Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro delivered a message to his nation this year on the anniversary of its independence day, September 7. He recalled what he saw as the nation’s good times, and bad, and declared: “Now, 2022, history may repeat itself. Good has always triumphed over evil. We are here because we believe in our people and our people believe in God.”

It was a moment that’s typical of how this president seeks to challenge the democratic rules. Bolsonaro has been seen as part of a new populist global wave. Ahead of Sunday's first round of voting, the sitting president is trailing in the polls, and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva could even tally more than 50% to win the race outright and avoid an Oct. 30 runoff. Bolsonaro has said he might not accept the results of the race, which could spark violence from his supporters.

However, Brazil has a tradition of political violence. There is a national myth that the political elite prefer negotiation and avoid armed conflicts. Facts do not support the myth. If it did all major political change would have been peaceful: there would have been no independence war in 1822, no civil war in 1889 (when the republic replaced the monarchy) and, even the military coup, in 1964, would have been bloodless.

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Women, Life, Freedom: Iranian Protesters Find Their Voice

In the aftermath of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police mid-September for not wearing her hijab properly, many Iranians have taken the streets in nationwide protests. Independent Egyptian media Mada Masr spoke to one of the protesters.

On September 16, protests erupted across Iran when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody after being arrested and beaten by morality police for her supposedly unsuitable attire. The protests, witnesses recount, have touched on all aspects of rights in Iran, civil, political, personal, social and economic.

Mada Masr spoke to a protester who was in the prime of her youth during the 2009 Green Movement protests. Speaking on condition of anonymity due to possible security retaliation, she walked us through what she has seen over the past week in the heart of Tehran, and how she sees the legacy of resistance street politics in Iran across history.

MADA MASR: Describe to us what you are seeing these days on the streets of Tehran.

ANONYMOUS PROTESTER: People like me, we are emotional because we remember 2009. The location of the protests is the same: Keshavarz Boulevard in the middle of Tehran. The last time Tehranis took to these streets was in 2009, one of the last protests of the Green Movement. Since then, the center of Tehran hasn’t seen any mass protests, and most of these streets have changed, with new urban planning meant to make them more controllable.

Remembering 2009 triggers many things, such as street strategies, tactics and the way we could find each other in the middle of the chaos. But this is us now, almost at the back. Up front, there are many younger people, especially girls. They are extremely brave, fearless and smart.

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Troll Next Door: How Iran Is Provoking Political Violence Inside Iraq

Iran's brazen meddling in Iraqi politics has provoked a parliamentary impasse and clashes between rival militias. And while Tehran may be losing influence in Iraq, it won't let go easily.

-Analysis-

Political violence has been spreading in recent weeks in Iraq, in the form of both street clashes and targeted killings. The situation in Iran's neighboring country is explosive as a showdown between Shia factions threatens to spark a civil conflict. Yet tensions in Iraq go beyond differences over who will form the next government or a power struggle between parties that favor or oppose Iran, the Shia power next door.

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Shinzo Abe's Killing Is Part Of Japan's Long, Dark History Of Political Violence

There have been countless cases of Japanese politicians targeted over the past century, including Abe’s own grandfather, Kishi Nobusuke, who survived an assassination attempt.

Our reaction upon hearing the news of the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was one of shock and incredulity in equal measure. What followed was a frenzy of trying to piece news reports and gossip together to make sense of events, until his eventual death was announced a few hours later.

At first glance, Abe’s assassination harks back to the 1920s and 1930s when the assassination of sitting and former prime ministers (Hara Kei, Hamaguchi Osachi, Inukai Tsuyoshi, Takahashi Korekiyo, Saitō Makoto) was a feature of Japanese politics. We do not readily associate political assassination and violence with democratic and pacifist post-war Japan.

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EL ESPECTADOR
Reinaldo Spitaletta

In Latin America, Politics Of Fear Makes A Comeback

Countries like Colombia, traumatized by decades of violence, have yet to shake off the tyrant's favored arm of fear. Now it also spreads on social networks.

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — While working at the Crisis magazine in Buenos Aires in the 1970s, the writer Eduardo Galeano received a phone call from someone in the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance (Alianza Anticomunista Argentina), a paramilitary gang also known as Triple A. The caller told him: "We'll kill all you, you sons of bitches." Galeano replied without missing a beat: "The hours for threats, sir, are six till eight," and hung up. In Latin America, fear and threats are both a part of its history and a tool of power used (by all sides) to thwart opposition.

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Migrant Lives
Alexandre Kauffmann

MV-Liemba, How An Iconic World War I Battleship Floated Into Burundi Crisis

KIGOMA — The outline of the MV-Liemba looms on the horizon. The oldest ferry in the world drops anchor off the coast of Kagunga, a Tanzanian village just three miles from Burundi's border. Around 600 Burundian passengers are subsequently brought on board after arriving from the shore on small fishing boats. The MV-Liemba will steam off in the direction of Kigoma, its home port in Tanzania, some 25 miles away.

No downtime is allowed: Kagunga's humanitarian crisis has grown worse over the years with the massive influx of migrants. The village has faced constant water shortages, as well as multiple health epidemics. More than 50,000 refugees have already landed in Kagunga since the beginning of political tensions in Burundi after Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April that he will be running for a third term in apparent violation of the constitution. A failed coup attempt and violent demonstrations have left at least 20 people dead.

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