Find out more about the Global Business Forum series here.
H.E. Jair Messias BolsonaroPresident The Federative Republic of Brazil Government
HE Jair Bolsonaro, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, has been a politician in the country since 1988 when he was elected as municipal councillor for the city of Rio de Janeiro. He then served as federal deputy in Rio de Janeiro for seven terms before his election to the presidency in 2018. Prior to politics, he had a career in the military after graduating from the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras and is still a Captain of the Brazilian Army Reserve.
Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of the Republic in the October 2018 race with 57,797,847 votes (55.13% of the Brazilian electorate). His political career began in 1988, when he won a seat for municipal councillor for the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1990, two years after that election, he would win the first of seven consecutive terms as a federal deputy.
In 2014, he was the most voted candidate for federal deputy in Rio de Janeiro with 464,565 votes, according to data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Throughout his mandates as a parliamentarian, he stood out especially for his defense of the rights of on-duty, off-duty and pension-earning military officers.
He defended the reduction of the age of criminal responsibility, the possession of firearms for good citizens, the right to legitimate defense, the assurance of legal certainty during police action, and Christian and family values. He is the sponsor of the printed ballot bill (currently pending in Congress), which he believes will contribute to the holding of more reliable and auditable elections in the country, and is a staunch congressional advocate of the fight against corruption.
Jair Messias Bolsonaro graduated in 1977 from the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras (AMAN), located in Resende (RJ), and finished his military skydiving course with the Rio de Janeiro Pratrooper Brigade. He decided to follow a military career in 1970, when he met army troops that went to Eldorado after Carlos Lamarca, who had deserted the military and was commanding guerrilla actions at the Ribeira Valley.
He earned a degree in Physical Education from the Army School of Physical Education in 1983, and would later become a master of parachute jumping from the Paratrooper Brigade of Rio de Janeiro.
His studies were at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy (AMAN), which offers solid background in exact sciences, at a complexity similar to that of an Engineering degree. It is one of the most sought-after educational institutions in Brazil, which is similar to the US Military Academy (also known as West Point).
He won first place in a class of 45 students at the Army Physical Education School, as well as first place in the autonomous diver course offered by the Search and Rescue Group of the Rio de Janeiro Fire Department.
Because he wrote an article defending young people who had just entered the Army, he was considered to be in breach of military regulations and subject to disciplinary arrest. The punishment provoked reactions from active and reserve officers, including General Newton Cruz, former head of the central agency of the National Information Service (SNI) in the João Figueiredo administration.
At the time, he received more than 150 telegrams of solidarity from the most varied regions of the country, in addition to the support of officers of the Military Engineering Institute (IME) and female officers, who staged a demonstration in front of the Praia Vermelha Military Complex in Rio de Janeiro.
The atmosphere of discontent among the military continued to resonate. On that occasion, Veja magazine reported a plan called “Dead End Operation,” which had as its objective “to blow up bombs in various units of the Military Village, the Agulhas Negras Military Academy (…) and several barracks.” The operation, however, would only be executed if the stipend raise granted to the military by the federal government was kept below 60%, in an alleged attempt to “frighten” Minister of the Army General Leônidas Pires Gonçalves.
Authorship of the plan was attributed to Bolsonaro, who at the time was attending the Officer Improvement School (EsAO), and captain Fabio Passos da Silva. In June 1988, after a long process that included penmanship forensic analyses, Bolsonaro was acquitted by the Superior Military Court (STM) of all charges. To this day, he is still a Captain of the Brazilian Army Reserve.
Councilman for Rio de Janeiro/RJ, PDC Party, 1989 to 1991.
Chamber of Deputies:
Federal Deputy (Constitutional Review Legislature), 1991-1995, PDC Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/1991;Federal Deputy, 1995-1999, PPR Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/1995;
Federal Deputy, 1999-2003, PPB Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/1999;
Federal Deputy, 2003-2007, PPB Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/2003;
Federal Deputy, 2007-2011, PP Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/2007;
Federal Deputy, 2011-2015, PP Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/2011;
Federal Deputy, 2015-2019, PP Party, Rio de Janeiro. Date of Inauguration: 02/01/2015.