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Brazil's Lula lambasts far-right VP candidate's remarks on crime

© AFP/File | Brazil's jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva recently gave up his audacious bid to stand in the October 2018 first-round presidential election from prison

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - 

Brazil's jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday strongly criticized the far-right vice presidential candidate who blamed social problems among youth on the absence of a father figure.

Reserve general Hamilton Mourao is running alongside far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, a frontrunner in the heated upcoming election for president.

On Monday he said "social problems" take root "from the moment a family is broken up."

"The poor areas, where there is no father or grandfather, but mothers and grandmothers, are factories for non-integrated individuals who tend to enter the ranks of drug traffickers," he said.

On Wednesday Lula -- who recently gave up his audacious bid to stand in the October 7 first round-presidential election from prison -- struck back.

"General Mourao, do not judge grandmothers and poor mothers with your mediocre ideas about the human race," he said in a letter written from his cell that was released by his Worker's Party.

"My seven brothers and I were raised by an illiterate woman named Dina Lindu, and I do not think anyone in Brazil has ever educated her children better than she."

"General, take lessons in humanism."

Mourao has been on the front lines of his party's campaign since ex-army captain Bolsonaro -- accused by his detractors of racism, sexism and homophobia -- was hospitalized after being stabbed on the campaign trail.

The right-wing vice presidential hopeful in 2017 made headlines after saying that if corruption scandals continued to plague Brazilian politics the army would be forced to step in.

Bolsonaro has spoken fondly of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

© 2018 AFP