SAO PAULO ( Associated Press) – At the edge of Brazil’s Amazon jungle, the Rowaris family epitomizes the historic success of pioneers in that region.
The family came to the state of Mato Grosso as part of agricultural expansion promoted by the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil in the 1970s. In a short time, the Rowaris family amassed enormous wealth while agronomists discovered ways to grow soybeans in the inhospitable tropical climate.
Today, a descendant of the family, Attilio Rowaris, is under investigation for the way supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro tried to dismantle Brazil’s democracy by blocking roads and temporarily seizing government buildings after the election. Is. In early January.
Rowaris, a fan of motorsports, has made no secret of his support for Bolsonaro. According to publicly available election data, he was one of the largest donors to the campaign, giving nearly $100,000.
Although no evidence has emerged of a link between him and the insurgency that ransacked the presidential palace and Congress is investigating allegations that he blocked major highways in the country for weeks in an effort to restore Bolsonaro to power. supported the protests. The fact is that he lost the October elections.
In November, a bank account of the Rowaris trucking company was one of 43 accounts frozen by the Supreme Court as part of an investigation into possible attacks against Brazil’s democracy. In all, 30 of the frozen accounts belonged to individuals or companies in Mato Grosso, evidence of Bolsonaro’s deep support in that economic hub of Brazil.
Bolsonaro lost the October election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but many of the former president’s supporters refused to accept the result.
Much of the investigation focused on the northern portion of the BR-163 highway built in the 1970s. It links two centers of strong support for Bolsonaro. In Mato Grosso, there are rowaris and other businessmen from affluent towns such as Souriso, Brazil’s largest soybean producer. Pará has land grabbers, illegal gold miners and loggers who support poorer towns such as Novo Progresso, 700 kilometers (438 mi) north of Sorriso.
The Associated Press’s climate and environment coverage is supported by several private foundations. Associated Press is solely responsible for the content.