Dario Di Martino

Dario Di Martino

Dario Di Martino, Jr. is a Brazilian journalist and politician. He is a long-time supporter of Brazilian Integralism, an extreme right-wing political doctrine preached by the Brazilian Integralist Action party in the 1930s. Di Martino is the founder of the God, Homeland and Family Association, a political club dedicated to the resurrection of Integralism.

Di Martino asserts hard-line ideas about public security, police action and human rights, and some observers accuse him of being neo-fascist. His ideas, when placed in the face of the difficult situation of security and crime in Brazil, have attracted a new following since 2000.

The God, Homeland and Family Association's popularity grew greatly in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, for a few years between 1999 and 2005, and some foresaw the rebirth of Integralism. But after a few months of a small peak in popularity, during which integralists went in full uniforms to some history seminars, the movement disappeared.

As a politician, Di Martino ran in three elections: 2000 for the City Chamber of Porto Alegre, 2002 for state deputy and 2004 for the City Chamber again. Di Martino's party, the Party for Rebuilding of National Order (PRONA), gained six seats in the Brazilian National Chamber of Deputies in 2002. One of these six, Deputy Enéas Carneiro, was elected with 1,500,000 votes, the largest number of votes ever cast for a Brazilian deputy. Di Martino attempted to follow in Enéas's footsteps, but after his great showing in 2002, he suffered a complete defeat in 2004, getting no more than 260 votes. In 2006, Eneas obtained only a little more that 300 thousand votes and was still elected, but he "pulled" only one more congressman with him, and not the six he pulled four years prior to that. The great downsizing in Eneas´ number of votes can be explained by his weak and ineffective work as a congressman. Even his far-right ideas were almost forgotten in his sparse speeches in Brasilia. Many people believed that Eneas's loss of popularity would affect all PRONA's candidates.

However, in 2006 Di Martino achieved results that are the exact opposite to those of Enéas: Martino received over 4000 votes for State Deputy, and there were almost 2000 more votes declared for the PRONA (the "generic party vote" is recognized in Brazil). Martino was the only candidate PRONA had in Rio Grande do Sul that year, so those generical votes were probably targeted to Martino by voters who could not remember his full voting number. In a full count, he received about 6000 votes. This didn't grant him a chair in the State Chamber, but surely served as a proof of his growing popularity. The most incredible aspect of Martino's results in 2006 is that he did not spend any money on his campaign, and only appeared on TV and radio in his free granted time. He did not pay for any extra time on TV and did not spend any money on printed materials. Yet he overcame dozens of candidates who actually spent thousands of Reals on their campaigns and even some who spent hundreds of thousands.

Martino's speeches always emphasize the need to promote the victim's human rights, instead of the criminal's human rights. This discussion is a difficult topic in Brazil, where human rights organizations are often accused of favoring criminals in their attempts to evade punishment, while restraining the actions of the police against crime.

It would be later disclosed to the common people that Eneas´ lack of action was mostly due to his weak health. The PRONA's national leader would die of leucemia shortly after being re-elected. This left Martino and his party without a clear direction.

In 2007, Martino's party, the PRONA, was officially disbanded when it joined forces with the former Liberal Party. The two old groups together founded the Party of Republic and swore an alliance with leftist president Lula da Silva. This led Martino to leave the party, and he has not joined the Party of Republic. Instead, he preferred the Christian Social Party (Partido Social Cristão, PSC) and started his pre-campaign efforts seeking a victory in 2008 elections. Still nobody knows if he is going to run for Mayor or a chair in the City Chamber.

Martino's chances in this new election are also uncertain. He has been traditionally seen as a midcard candidate, but if he earns 6000 votes again (like he did in 2006), it would be enough to get him elected for the City Chamber.

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