Newly minted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro drew global attention for being a far-right hardliner who promised to crack down on drugs. Interestingly, a member of Bolsonaro's air crew was arrested in Seville on June 25 after police found 89 pounds of cocaine in his luggage.
The air force officer identified as Sgt. Manoel Silva Rodrigues was accompanying Bolsonaro to the G20 summit in Japan. The crew member was flying ahead of Bolsonaro on a separate plane and attempted to claim that the substance was cheese, according to NPR. Bolsonaro tweeted that the arrested officer has "no relationship" with his team and called the incident "unacceptable" on Twitter.
"I demanded immediate investigation and severe punishment of the person responsible for the narcotic material found on the FAB plane," he wrote. "We will not tolerate such disrespect to our country!"
Brazil's Defense Ministry told the BBC that they are "investigating the facts and launching a military police enquiry."
The discovery of cocaine among Bolsonaro's convoy to G20 is particularly embarrassing for the leader who campaigned on an extreme, no-tolerance stance on drugs and criminality. Bolsonaro famously said that "the only good criminal is a dead criminal" while campaigning and his allies in Brazil spout similar black and white rhetoric.
Rio de Janeiro governor and Bolsonaro ally Wilson Witzel nodded toward mass execution as an appropriate punishment for the countries criminals.
"There will be no shortage of places to send criminals,” he said, according to the New York Times. “We’ll dig graves, and as to prisons, if necessary we’ll put them on ships.”
A zero tolerance politician getting caught in such close quarters with massive amounts of cocaine was bound to lead to jokes and Brazilians began sharing them under the hashtag #AeroCoca.