Candidates in a local Rio de Janeiro election continue to be murdered by vigilantes from multiple other parties. The killings have been widespread and seemingly unconnected. The most recent victim, Souza, was shot on Monday by men in masks. With 15 candidates killed, only two arrests have been made in connection. Police deflect claims that the violence is politically motivated, as fear among candidates grows. Several candidates have dropped out of the race out of fear for their lives. The government has now stepped in in an attempt to guarantee voter safety.
This escalating violence comes at a time when Brazil’s economy is in peril, and corruption rates rampant. Brazil has not had an easy year, with the impeachment and criminal trial of their president, Petrobras, and fiscal crisis, all while hosting the 2016 Olympics. Brazil is in a very difficult situation. It is incredibly hard to operate as a country when corruption is so prevalent. The current situation with candidate murders is no different.