By Arming Brazil’s Farmers Centrist Alckmin Aims for Mass Appeal

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s market-favorite presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin will work to liberalize gun ownership for rural workers if he wins the election in October, his running mate has told Bloomberg.

Senator Ana Amelia, from the Partido Progressista, formally joined Alckmin’s ticket as his vice-presidential candidate on Saturday. "Organized crime has migrated from urban areas to the countryside, where there is no defense, no protection," she said. "And it’s this farmer who I defend who has the right to keep a weapon in his house for his defense."

Loosening Brazil’s gun laws is one of the flagship policies of Jair Bolsonaro, the ex-Army captain currently performing strongly in the opinion polls for the presidential race. Alckmin’s pick of Amelia, a woman with close ties to the agricultural community in Brazil’s south may help to lure potential supporters away from the far-right candidate. Amelia’s appeal to the security concerns of farm owners and agricultural workers could strengthen Alckmin’s standing among those voters.

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