In a press conference this afternoon (17), the Republican candidate for the government of the state of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, ruled out that the shooting occurred near the place of his visit to a social program in Paraisópolis, on the morning of this Monday, fair, in the capital of São Paulo, was a political-partisan attack. In his assessment, what happened was an “intimidation” made by organized crime to demarcate territory.
“In my opinion it was an act of intimidation. It was a clear message from organized crime saying this: you are not welcome here. We don’t want you in here. For me, it’s a territorial issue. It has nothing to do with a political issue, it has nothing to do with an electoral issue. But it is a territorial issue”, said the candidate.
Tarcísio was participating in the morning of the inauguration of the first University Pole in Paraisópolis, a partnership between the Centro Universitário Ítalo-Brasileiro and Casa Belezinha Brasil, when the shooting began. According to the candidate, when he was on the third floor of the building, he heard a burst of gunfire. Minutes later, he said, new shots were heard.
“We started to hear more gunshots and screaming. People started shouting: look, get down, get down, they’re going to shoot here. Until the moment when a person comes in and says the following: you have to get him out of here because the problem is him”. All candidate staff members were safely evacuated.
The shots came, according to Tarcísio, from young people who were on four motorcycles. “Four motorcycles, with two people on each, filming our security team. They photographed, filmed, asked questions and then came back armed,” he said.
The candidate also said that the police were able to quickly repel the threat and establish a secure perimeter, which allowed his team to leave safely. “It was not an attempt on my life. It had no partisan political character. It was an attack, an intimidation,” he added.
Paraisópolis community leader Gilson Rodrigues said on his social media that no representative of the G10 Favelas or the Union of Residents and Commerce of Paraisópolis (UMCP) – an entity that represents the community – was aware of Tarcísio’s agenda at the site.
“Paraisópolis has a hardworking and honest population that needs investments to transform their reality. The community wants to participate in politics and make representatives of public power able to help transform the lives of all who live here, with respect for different partisan views and being open to debate in the broadest spheres”.