Jair Bolsonaro claims to be under media attack after a news site reported members of the president’s family bought 51 properties for $4.7M. Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform, bolstered by the rejection of the tarnished left. (Reuters Archive) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has claimed to be under attack from the media as he brushed aside allegations of corruption levelled against his family a month before he seeks reelection.
The online news site Uol published claims on Tuesday that members of the Bolsonaro family had bought 51 properties, paid partly or fully in cash, for a total of $4.7 million between 1990 and 2022.
“Why are they doing this against my family? Half of these assets belong to my ex-brother-in-law. What do I have to do with him? We have not seen each other for ages,” the far-right president told the pro-government Jovem Pan radio on Thursday.
Uol said in reply that eight of the 51 properties cited in the report belonged to Bolsonaro's brother-in-law.
Making large cash payments is not a crime in itself, but can raise questions about the legality of the origins of the money.
'Looking for way to get at me'
“They are looking for a way to get at me 30 days before the election, but they won't succeed,” said Bolsonaro, who is lagging in the polls behind leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of a first election round on October 2.
Lula's camp has asked the Supreme Court to open an investigation into the latest claims.
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform, bolstered by the rejection of the tarnished left after a massive graft scandal involving state oil company Petrobras.
Lula's convictions in relation to that scandal were later overturned.