Brazil authorities investigate video of crowd doing apparent Nazi salute



Brazilian authorities say they are investigating video of a rally in the Brazilian city of Sao Miguel do Oeste, in which people are seen performing a “Nazi salute.”

The rally, which took place in front of a military office in the city, appeared to be one of several rallies organized outside military bases on Wednesday as supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro protested the results of Sunday’s presidential run-off vote, which saw Bolsonaro’s bid for reelection defeated by leftist former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The video, which was posted to Twitter, shows a crowd of people, some carrying and others draped in the Brazilian flag, with many apparently performing a Nazi salute as the Brazilian national anthem plays.

It’s unclear who posted the video and CNN has not been able to verify its authenticity.

Nazi incitement is a crime in Brazil. The Federal Prosecutor’s office of Santa Catarina State said in its statement that is already working “to identify people who gave the Nazi salute during rallies that were supposed to be democratic and peaceful.”

“Once identified, a report will be produced and the information will be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor for accountability of those involved,” prosecutor Marcela de Jesus Fernandes said.

CNN has reached out to Bolsonaro’s office for comment.

A Brazilian Jewish organization, the Brazilian Israeli Confederation, released a statement condemning the image as “disgusting.”

“Brazilian society cannot tolerate gestures like this. Making this gesture while wearing the Brazilian national team shirt is also an offense to our Armed Forces, which fought bravely against Nazi forces in Europe during World War II,” the group tweeted.

In addition to the Bolsonaro supporters calling for “federal intervention” in front of Brazilian military headquarters, protesters across the country have blocked roads and highways since the release of the election results.

On Tuesday, the Brazilian Supreme Court judge ordered military police to intervene in clearing roads, but the blockades continued into Wednesday – a day after Bolsonaro spoke publicly for the first time since the results were announced, saying he would abide by the constitution.

Bolsonaro on Wednesday called on protesters to clear the roads in a video released on his official Facebook account, where he also said he was not involved in starting the demonstrations.

“The blocking of highways in Brazil impairs people’s right to come and go, it is in our constitution,” Bolsonaro said, adding that “from the beginning” his government had sent “our Federal Highway Police to unblock” the roads.

“I want to appeal to you, clear the highways,” the outgoing leader said.

There are currently at least 146 partial or total roadblocks across Brazil’s highways, according to the latest report from the Federal Highway Police. That is down from the more than 320 roadblocks in place earlier this week.

Bolsonaro said that while he understands the legitimate concerns of the protests, “you have to respect the rights of other people who are moving, in addition to affecting our economy.”

“Brazilians who are protesting all over Brazil – I know you are upset, you are sad. You expected something else. I’m also just as upset, as sad as you are,” Bolsonaro said.

He encouraged Brazilians to “feel free” to protest and continue with demonstrations that are happening in other parts of Brazil, such as in public squares. “It is, I repeat, part of the democratic game,” Bolsonaro said.

Santa Catarina – a largely pro-Bolsonaro state – and Mato Grosso are among the states most affected by demonstrators’ roadblocks.

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