03 Oct

National debates involving MT did not leave the ‘bubbles’ in this election, but the right wing had more reach with “agrofascist”

by Olhar Direto

Por Isabela Mercuri

Updated 21 de October, 2022 at 11:29 am

At least two issues of the national debate have involved Mato Grosso in this electoral campaign for President of the Republic: the death of Benedito Cardoso dos Santos in Confresa, murdered by a Bolsonaro supporter with 70 stab wounds; and the speech made by candidate Lula (PT) during his interview on Jornal Nacional, when he said that part of agribusiness was ‘fascist’. This latest discussion is not limited to the state, but has provoked reactions in many rural producers in Mato Grosso.


Politicians addressed the issues



In the case of the murder of Benedito Cardoso dos Santos, 44, by Rafael Silva de Oliveira, 24, on September 7, the discussion on Twitter was guided mainly by a post by former president Lula (PT) himself. Besides him, the posts by Ivan Valente (PSOL), Eduardo Suplicy, Juliano do PSOL, and journalist Emilio Moreno (from Firma Preta) were also relevant.

In total, over the past 4 weeks, there have been 4.2 thousand tweets on the subject. The associated words were: Confresa, murder, hate, benedito, santos, cardoso, rural, intolerance, life, feelings.

The crime happened on the evening of September 7, after a working day. The two were alone in the house when they started an argument over political differences. At one point during the fight, Benedito punched Rafael in the jaw, and Rafael fought back.

Next, the Lula supporter grabbed a knife and went after his rival, who managed to take the weapon and hit him. Benedito tried to escape, but was chased by the supporter of Bolsonaro and killed with extreme cruelty.

Rafael Silva has already been arrested for the alleged practice of fraud and forgery of a private document, in Cuiabá. He is also accused of attempted robbery against a taxi driver in Cuiabá. He, according to the prosecution, got into the victim’s car and used a knife to announce a robbery. Crime was not completed because the victim reacted and managed to take the weapon used by the suspect.

Right wing influencers



In relation to another discussion that was at the center of the Twitter debate, Lula’s speech about agribusiness in an interview on Jornal Nacional, the number of posts was over 1300% higher. In this case, starring not political actors, but right wing influencers and communicators, such as former volleyball player Ana Paula, Somas economist Eduardo Cavendish, writer and cultural entrepreneur Bernardo P Küster, Localiza businessman Salim Mattar, and others, such as former Culture Secretary Mario Frias.

The repercussion arose after the Jornal Nacional interview, in which Lula answered journalists William Bonner and Renata Vasconcellos about the support of agro-businessmen to president Jair Bolsonaro (PL), despite the fact that the sector had benefited from the PT’s agricultural policy. “I will tell you why, our policy in defense of the Amazon, our policy in defense of the Pantanal, our policy in defense of the Atlantic Forest, that is, our fight against deforestation turns them against us”.

Lula also said that, in his view, there are businessmen who work in agribusiness and defend the environment, but there is also a “fascist and right wing” group, mentioning Bolsonaro’s former environment minister, Ricardo Salles, “who said it was to invade with cattle to deforest the Amazon.” The PT candidate also linked the release of weapons to the sector’s support for Bolsonaro.

The speech was not well received in social media. The words associated with the tweets on the topic were: fascist, agro, Lula, MST, sector, agribusiness, called, Brazilian, people, call. There have even been publications in other countries, such as the United States. The ‘peak’ of mentions of the topic was on August 26, the day after the interview.


The Digital Democracy Room at FGV ECMI is an initiative to monitor and analyze the public debate on the internet. Currently, it has partnerships to help monitor politics on the networks in Brazil and in Latin America. This content was produced by the partner Olhar Direto.