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LATIN AMERICA | 03-01-2022 11:08

Brazil's Bolsonaro rushed to hospital with intestinal blockage

Brazilian president rushed to hospital after feeling "abdominal discomfort" that doctors found was caused by an intestinal blockage.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was rushed to hospital early Monday after feeling "abdominal discomfort" that doctors found was caused by an intestinal blockage, his office and medical team said.

Bolsonaro, 66, was on vacation at the beach in the southern state of Santa Catarina when the pain started, leading to a rushed evacuation to São Paulo in the presidential plane.

The far-right leader has had a series of health problems since being stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 presidential campaign that brought him to power.

"After feeling abdominal discomfort, the president was admitted to Vila Nova Star hospital in São Paulo early Monday to undergo examinations," his office said in a statement. "The president is doing well. Further details will be released after his medical bulletin is updated."

Bolsonaro's medical team said he was suffering from an "intestinal subocclusion," a partial blockage of the intestinal tract.

"He is stable, undergoing treatment and will be reevaluated throughout the morning," his doctors said in a statement. "At the moment, there is no forecast for his release."

TV Globo showed images of Bolsonaro walking unassisted as he disembarked from his plane with his entourage.

 

Jet ski holiday

Doctor Antonio Luiz Macedo, the surgeon who heads the medical team and has operated on Bolsonaro in the past, told news site UOL the president would undergo a battery of tests.

In July, Bolsonaro spent four days receiving treatment for an intestinal obstruction.

Since the knife attack, Bolsonaro has undergone abdominal surgery at least four times.

He regularly tears up when speaking about his stabbing in September 2018, perpetrated by a lone assailant who was found to be psychologically unfit for trial.

Doctors said Bolsonaro lost 40 percent of his blood in the attack, which nearly killed him.

But he survived and went on to win the presidency that October, fuelling supporters' die-hard faith in the man they call "Mito" – "The Myth."

Bolsonaro's aura of invincibility has faded since then, however.

His approval rating is at an all-time low as he prepares to seek re-election this October.

The far-right leader trails far behind his likely top opponent, leftist ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), whom recent polls indicate could win the election in the first round.

Bolsonaro's beach vacation, which started on December 27, triggered controversy in recession-hit Brazil.

With the northeastern state of Bahía battered by deadly floods, the president ignored calls to interrupt his holiday, instead posting videos of himself soaking up the sun and jet skiing through crowds of cheering supporters.

– TIMES/AFP

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by Eugenia Logiuratto, AFP

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