Editorial Note: Seeing Red Nebraska only rarely publishes anonymous contributions. In this case, international sources have provided us with the following, and have reasonable safety concerns that necessitate anonymity.
Seeing Red Nebraska has previously written about the neo-Nazi affinities of Omaha’s 88 Tactical, and about its strange relationship with the Bolsonaro regime in Brazil, including the fact that close friends of the Bolsonaro sons are on staff at the Nebraska shooting range.
Since that coverage was published, international activists concerned with the Bolsonaro regime and its fascist aspirations have dug more deeply into the strange network of relationships among 88 Tactical employees, the Trumps, the Bolsonaros, and the high-ranking aides and far-right propagandists who serve the two families. In this piece, our contributors simply seek to reveal connections among Eduardo Bolsonaro, his aide Julia Zanatta, her ex-boyfriend and 88 Tactical employee Tony Eduardo, the 2018 attempted assassination of Jair Bolsonaro, and far right propagandists Steve Bannon and Olavo de Carvalho, both of whom are currently under legal scrutiny by their respective governments for their roles in provoking far right insurrection.
Steve Bannon, Olavo de Carvalho, and a Bolsonaro Operative Named Julia Zanatta
Julia Zanatta is a friend and aide to politician Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazil’s president, and a follower of Olavo de Carvalho, a self-proclaimed philosopher, guru of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and mentor of the far right in Brazil. Olavo’s agenda includes opposing immigration and generalizing all people on the left as communists. His method ranges from constant harassment of enemy forces to lawfare. Olavo has thousands of followers in his online philosophy course. Some of his students landed top jobs in Bolsonaro’s government, including former Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araújo.
In May 2019, Zanatta lied twice to a radio journalist from her home town in South Brazil when she said that Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, had never met personally with Olavo de Carvalho before the beginning of that year. She also concealed the information that Steve Bannon visited Olavo’s house in Petersburg, Virginia, while she and Eduardo Bolsonaro frequented the same place for at least a week in January 2019. According to another guest, filmmaker Josias Teófilo, Steve Bannon was there to get updated about the political scenario in Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro had just started his term as the country’s president.
Zanatta visited Olavo with Eduardo Bolsonaro, who had actually been there before, two years earlier in January 2017, when he stopped over before going to Shot Show in Las Vegas. The Shot Show is the largest annual trade show for gun enthusiasts in the US.
Images documenting Eduardo Bolsonaro’s long relationship with Olavo de Carvalho, which Bolsonaro’s operative Julia Zanatta lied about in 2019.
Zanatta and the Stabbing of Jair Bolsonaro
In September 2018 Zanatta was the romantic partner of 88 Tactical Employee Tony Eduardo, owner of shooting club Clube de Tiro .38 based in South Brazil, when the club made headlines after the stabbing of then presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The club, which was frequented by Bolsonaro’s sons Eduardo and Carlos, had also been visited by Adelio Bispo, the man who stabbed Bolsonaro, two months prior to the stabbing.
Zanatta stepped forward as the club spokesperson and told the media that Adelio Bispo and Carlos Bolsonaro had never met each other at the club and that Adelio merely completed the one-day shooting course offered by one of their instructors. The media accepted her statement without further questions. No one seems to have asked the club to provide surveillance camera footage that could show possible interactions between Carlos and Adelio, and no one interviewed the instructor who trained Adelio that day.
Coincidentally or not, on August 4, 2018–one month before the stabbing of Jair Bolsonaro–Eduardo Bolsonaro met with Steve Bannon in New York. In an Instagram post, Eduardo Bolsonaro wrote, “Mr. Bannon, strategist in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, is an enthusiast of Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign and we are joining forces especially against cultural Marxism.”
The meeting between Eduardo Bolsonaro and Bannon is significant. On November 5, 2016, just three months after Trump appointed Bannon as his campaign CEO, a false alarm occurred at one of Trump’s rallies. When someone at the Reno, Nevada rally shouted that a man had a gun, Trump was rushed off the stage by security and returned minutes later to triumphantly announce “nobody said it was going to be easy for us”. Carlos Bolsonaro, Eduardo’s brother, commented that day on his Facebook page that what had happened to Donald Trump was a sign that something similar could occur to his father in the future.
Tony Eduardo, Eduardo Bolsonaro and NRA
Tony Eduardo and the Bolsonaros had worked together since 2015 on their shared goal of changing Brazilian gun control legislation to facilitate gun access to civilians in the country. They joined forces to weaken the gun control law in Brazil known as “Estatuto do Desarmamento” (an act sanctioned by former president Lula in 2003). Through Tony Eduardo and his connection with 88 Tactical in Omaha, Nebraska (Tony Eduardo is also one of their instructors), Eduardo Bolsonaro was invited to visit the Shot Show in Las Vegas for the first time in January 2016. At the following year’s Shot Show, Eduardo Bolsonaro got closer to the NRA and to the American gun industry, with help from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu celebrity Royce Gracie. At the 2018 Shot Show, Gracie, accompanied by 88 Tactical’s Tony Eduardo, introduced Eduardo Bolsonaro to Donald Trump Jr. We are making an assumption that Steve Bannon connected to Eduardo Bolsonaro after the Donald Trump Jr. introduction. Six months after this meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Eduardo Bolsonaro met Steve Bannon in New York in August 2018.
The connection between NRA, the US gun industry and the funding of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign in 2018 is something that requires further research and investigation by authorities.
Zanatta’s Career Takes Off
After Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed, his popularity soared and he won the election in October 2018. The stabbing also seems to have accelerated the career of Julia Zanatta, who seems to have risen through the ranks of Brazilian politics after talking to the media on behalf of Clube de Tiro .38. Indeed, Zanatta appears to have never been an employee of Tony Eduardo’s club when the stabbing happened, and despite Tony’s previous experience talking to media, Zanatta stepped into the role of PR management for the club and immediately boosted her political career.
Zanatta is from Criciuma, a city in the State of Santa Catarina, South Brazil, where her father is a wealthy industrialist. Her education in law and journalism included a stint at the Institute For US Law (IUSLAW) in Washington. For most of her professional career she worked for family members who were state congressmen in Santa Catarina, including her cousin Ricardo Zanatta Guidi and his father, Altair Guidi.
Zanatta travelled to the US many times while she was with Tony Eduardo in 2017 and 2018. They visited USBR, the Texas firearm training facility operated by Tony Eduardo and his friend and 88 Tactical colleague Yves Sousa. Also in attendance were Eduardo Bolsonaro and his partner Heloisa.
After her relationship with the Bolsonaros was established, Julia and Tony Eduardo split but her involvement with Brazil’s top political family continued.
In December 2018 Heloisa and Eduardo Bolsonaro invited Zanatta to join them at the event Eduardo was organizing, the Cúpula Conservadora das Américas, similar to the American CPAC – Conservative Political Action Conference. A month later, Eduardo Bolsonaro took her to Olavo de Carvalho’s house in Petersburg, Virginia, where Steve Bannon turned up. Upon her return, she and her new partner continued visiting and working with the Bolsonaros.
In June 2019 Julia Zanatta promoted a lecture by Allan dos Santos to far right supporters in her hometown of Criciuma. Dos Santos is currently a fugitive living in the US and wanted by Interpol. He is one the most important followers of Olavo de Carvalho who got involved in the organized spread of fakenews during the elections of 2018 and also in promoting antidemocratic acts in Brazil in 2021. Dos Santos once advised Eduardo Bolsonaro to hire Julia Zanatta for a top executive role at the Ministry of Communications so that they would get government funds for his social media channels.
In February 2020 Zanatta travelled again to Virginia to meet with Olavo de Carvalho, this time with her own young family and the Bolsonaros. Julia spent most of that year campaigning–she had joined the Liberal Party (PL) and had become the party’s candidate for mayor of her home town after Eduardo Bolsonaro demanded the party leader Senator Jorginho Mello advance Zanatta or lose Bolsonaro’s support for Mello’s own campaign for Santa Catarina governor in 2022. Zanatta finished the election in third place.
In April 2021, she was invited by president Jair Bolsonaro, seemingly upon the advice of Eduardo Bolsonaro, to work as the Coordinator for Tourism in South Brazil.
On the night of September 6, 2021, Zanatta was with Eduardo Bolsonaro in the streets of Brasilia when Bolsonaro supporters planned to invade both Congress and the Supreme Court to inflict a “self coup.” (Speaking of coups, it is worth remembering that Eduardo Bolsonaro was in Washington on January 5, 2021, the day before the Capitol invasion, to meet with the Trump family in the so-called War Room. On the invasion day he liaised with My Pillow head Michael Lindell.)
Zanatta has been campaigning to run the elections to get a seat in the Congress in 2022. She has been supported by Eduardo Bolsonaro and his father Jair. Based on her home town radio interviews and social media interactions, it is notorious that she doesn’t have much grey matter to contribute to Brazilian people. As a person from the fascist hard core of Bolsonaro supporters, all she does is to advocate for guns, shooting clubs and pro-gun associations, as well as to promote her usual and shallow prejudice against feminism and socialism by the continuous spread of misinformation.