Jair Bolsonaro: Brazilian president says he briefly lost memory after fall

By Reuters

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, said on Tuesday night that he briefly lost his memory after falling at his presidential residence in Brasilia, the capital, earlier this week.

The president’s office disclosed on Monday that Bolsonaro, 64, had suffered a fall and was taken to a hospital Monday night for a brain scan, which detected no abnormalities. Bolsonaro spent the night in the hospital and was discharged on Tuesday.

“I had partial memory loss. This morning I managed to recover a lot of stuff,” Bolsonaro told the Band TV network Tuesday night. “Now I am fine. I did not know, for instance, what I had done in the previous day.”

Since September 2018, Bolsonaro has undergone four surgeries because of a knife attack he suffered during the election campaign.

Recently, the rightwing president also told journalists he potentially had skin cancer, but a biopsy ruled out the disease.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has signed into law an anti-crime bill that toughens measures to stem a rampant deadly crime wave, although he vetoed some parts of the bill, the government said on Wednesday.

The anti-crime package, which was approved by Brazil’s senate earlier this month, toughens laws to tackle corruption, organized crime and violent crime practiced by criminal gangs. It also simplifies sentencing in some cases.

The package was a major promise by Bolsonaro, a former army captain who surged to power last year on a campaign vowing to end years of corruption and spiraling violent crime. Brazil has the world’s highest number of murders.

The bill eliminates the restriction on the collection of genetic material only in cases of willful crime committed against life, sexual freedom or sexual crime.

Bolsonaro, who ran on a law-and-order platform, won support from Brazilians tired of the warring drug gangs that have come to terrorize large swaths of the country.

But he has greatly alarmed progressives and environmentalists with his aggressively conservative approach to social equality, disregard for indigenous rights and libertarian attitude to protections for the Amazon rainforest.