A Brazilian politician has accused left-wing protesters of physically and verbally abusing her wedding guests over her family’s support for President Michel Temer. Maria Victoria Barros, 25, is a member of the state assembly in Parana and daughter of Mr Temer’s health minister. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the church where the ceremony was taking place on Friday evening.
Pelted with eggs, she had to leave the church in an armoured vehicle. The lavish ceremony attracted the state’s political elite, including her father, Ricardo Barros, and her mother, Cida Borghetti, Parana’s deputy governor. At least 30 member of the Brazilian Congress were invited to travel from the capital Brasilia for the wedding in the Parana state capital, Curitiba.
Demonstrators carried anti-government signs and shouted slogans at Ms Barros, accusing her of being a “coup plotter”. Footage posted on YouTube shows security guards opening umbrellas to try to protect the bride and groom as they left the Church of the Rosary.
A detachment of riot police was eventually called in to protect the newly-weds and their guests. Ms Barros said the protest was linked to her mother’s recent decision to run for state governor and had been “financed by left-wing parties and unions”. She regretted the attacks against some of the guests but added: “This is the price of democracy”. The incident is another illustration of how split and bitter Brazilian politics has become since the impeachment last year of Mr Temer’s predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. During the impeachment trial, Ms Rousseff described the move as a right-wing coup, supported by her vice-president at the time, Mr Temer. Supporters of her Workers’ Party were further angered by the conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday to nine years and six months in jail for corruption.
Lula has rejected claims that he received an apartment as a bribe in a corruption scandal linked to state oil company Petrobras. He has appealed against the verdict, saying the trial was politically-motivated, aimed at preventing him from running for office again next year.
Lula served eight years as president until 2011. Federal Judge Sergio Moro, from Parana state, ruled that he could remain free pending an appeal.