Jair Bolsonaro, the conservative populist candidate to the 2018 brazilian presidential election (and Brazil’s most probable future president according to the polls ), wrote a short message in Italian on his Twitter account on October 16.
In his tweet, he indicated that if he was elected Brazil’s 38th president, he would immediately deport notorious communist Cesare Battisti, an Italian convicted terrorist who was sentenced to life imprisonment back in 1988.
“I reaffirm my engagement to deport the terrorist Cesare Battisti, loved by the Brazilian left, immediately after the elections in case of victory. We will show the world our total repudiation and our engagement in the fight against terrorism. Brazil deserves respect!” said Mr Bolsonaro.
Relations are good between Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Jair Bolsonaro. Back in early September, Mr Salvini tweeted his support to Mr Bolsonaro, who had just been stabbed by a communist during one of his meetings. He then said he was hoping the Brazilian conservative would be able to heal his wounds quickly and be elected president. A few other tweets were made by Salvini, in which he expressed a continuous support for Jair Bolsonaro, saying that things were changing in Brazil as well and that a new breath of fresh air was brought by the debacle of the Brazilian left.
Mr Bolsonaro thanked him for his support, and with his promise to deport Battisti back to Italy, there is much to think that if he was to be elected to the presidency in two weeks time, a new era of reinforced cooperation and friendship between Brazil and Italy would open.
Cesare Battisti was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Italian justice in 1988 for double-murder and complicity in two other murders. Having spent an early life of committing multiples petty crimes, he was convicted of armed robbery in 1974. While serving his sentence in prison, he met communist activists and was recruited by the Armed Proletarians for Communism after release.
The Armed Proletarians for Communism was a violent communist group, operating during the Italian years of lead, that according to its members, was involved in an armed combat against capitalism. In practice, the terrorist group was essentially committing armed robberies, more than 60 in total, and killing shopkeepers who refused to comply. The group took credit for 4 murders committed between 1976 and 1979, in which Battisti was involved according to various Italian courts of justice. He was first sentenced to 13 years in prison for being a member of an armed criminal organisation. Unfortunately, Battisti was able to escape from prison thanks to the help of his comrades, after serving 2 years.
Even more scandalous, he was then allowed to live in France for more than 15 years, being protected by the socialist President, who wished to shelter all convicted Italian communist activists. In the early 2000s however, the French justice decided to deport him back to Italy to serve his sentence (where he was sentenced to life imprisonment). Once again, he managed to escape and flee to Brazil, according to him thanks to the help of French Secret Services.
The Brazilian socialist President Lula (now serving a 12 years sentence for corruption) then made sure he would be allowed to stay in Brazil by cancelling the order of deportation issued by the Brazilian justice court.
Since then, Battisti has lived most of his time as a free man in Brazil, despite the confessions from 3 of his former APC comrades declaring he was personally involved in the murders, several unsuccessful appeals in Italy, a formal demand from the European parliament calling for his deportation, and an unanimous statement from the European Court of Human Rights that he was sentenced in Italy in absolute due and fair process.
Consequently, this declaration from Mr Bolsonaro ensuring Italy he would deport Battisti as soon as he would become president will surely delight all true lovers of justice.