Haddad and the PT look for their comeback in the Street of Tears

Doña Porcina left the misery of the state of Piauí fifty years ago and moved to Heliopolis, the largest favela in Sao Paulo. His bar, located on Calle de las Lágrimas, became today the meeting point for hundreds of Brazilians who rely on the comeback of the progressive candidate Fernando Haddad.

In the favela, Porcina says, 80% of the neighbors vote for the Workers' Party (PT), the formation that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva created in the 1980s, when he was still a union leader leading factory strikes of Sao Paulo.

On Calle de las Lágrimas, one of the main streets of this community of more than 100,000 inhabitants, there is talk of Haddad and the legacy left by the PT after 13 years of government truncated in 2016 with the dismissal of President Dilma Rousseff .

"The great conquests in Heliopolis have the hand of the PT," says Efe Georahanna Barbosa, a transgender community leader who coordinates an LGBT movement.

Barbosa "fears" the victory of far-right Jair Bolsonaro, favorite in the polls to win the presidential elections on Sunday, and considers it "a backwardness, not only for LGBT, but for the entire country."

"I am very afraid, we can take a shot in the head at any moment and things will get worse," warns Barbosa about the vulnerability of the collective in one of the countries in the world with the highest number of homosexual murders.

From one of the alleys of the favela, the fruit vendor Perpetua Coelho observes the walk carried out by Haddad and his followers in the last act of the campaign before the elections.

She will vote for the former mayor of Sao Paulo because Bolsonaro, he says, "humiliates" the blacks and the people of the impoverished northeast, like her.

He believes that life in the favela has improved in the last decade, but when asked about the violence, he passes his fingers through his mouth making the symbol of the zipper.

A few meters away, in a small food trade, Valmir Francisco da Silva says that most of the residents of this neighborhood support the PT and if it does for the far right, he says, "it is not publicly assumed."

On the red walls of his business he has posted various posters that warn about the "risks" for workers in the event of a victory by Bolsonaro, a captain of the Army reserve nostalgic for the military dictatorship (1964-1985) and controversial over his incendiary statements.

In one of the many hairdressers opened in a street next to the Tears, Douglas Santos, 23, says he has not yet decided his vote, although he feels more identified with the program of Bolsonaro, mainly on the subject of safety, a sensitive issue in the favelas of Brazil.

The ultra-rightist has promised a strong hand against crime and offers as a recipe to release the sale of weapons for all "good citizens", reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 years and harsher penalties for criminals.

The young Matheus Galdino, of the Right movement Sao Paulo, is also a neighbor of Heliopolis and proudly affirms that he will vote for Bolsonaro because he is "conservative", as "the majority of Brazilian society", which is "against the bandits and in favor of the family "

Brazil "is a peaceful country that appreciates democracy, which Haddad does not represent in any way," says Galdino.

Cleyton, meanwhile, declares himself "anarchist" and says that much has improved in recent years in Heliopolis, especially the fight against violence, but says that there are still open fronts, such as public sanitation and housing.

"I do not vote, I only observe, but here we only see the politicians in the year of election," he stresses.

In a building next to a hairdressing salon, while the followers of Haddad pass in demonstration, a phrase written on a poster seems to reflect the discourse of the candidate, who resists the defeat that the polls predict: "Dream, never give up, have Faith is not easy, nor will it be. "


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