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Brazil vows swift justice, arrests hundreds after former president Jair Bolsonaro supporters storm government

Rio de Janeiro — Brazilian authorities were picking up pieces and investigating Monday after thousands of former president Jair Bolsonaro supporters storm Congress It destroyed the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace, destroyed the highest seat of power in the country. Protesters will either return far-right Bolsonaro to power or newly inaugurated leftist Luis Inacio Lulada in a scene of chaos and destruction reminiscent of the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. It called for military intervention to expel Silva.

Mobs sporting green and yellow flags on Sunday smashed windows, overturned furniture and threw computers and printers to the ground. They pierced a huge Emiliano di Cavalcanti painting in five places on him, overturned his U-shaped table where the judges of the Supreme Court gathered, and opened the door of one judge’s office. Tear up and destroy the iconic statues outside the courtroom. The interior of the monumental building was left in a state of disrepair.

At a press conference late Sunday, Brazil’s Minister of Institutional Relations said it plans to inspect buildings for evidence such as fingerprints and images to ask people for an explanation, and the mob apparently followed similar actions nationwide. Minister of Justice Flavio Dino said these acts instigated terrorism and a coup, and that the authorities wanted to track down those who paid for the buses that transported the protesters to the capital. said to have started

“They will not succeed in destroying Brazilian democracy. “We will not accept the criminal path to wage political struggle in Brazil. Criminals are treated like criminals.”

Brazil - Politics - Bolsonaro - Supporters - Demonstration
Supporters of Brazil’s far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro remove a camp set up in front of Brasilia’s army headquarters on Jan. 9, 2023, a day after former presidential patrons broke into parliament, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court. soldiers. .

Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty

300 people have been arrested so far, the federal district’s civil police said on Twitter.

According to BBC News’ Katie Watson, ‘CBS Morning’ reported on Monday that demonstrators had been cleared from government buildings by dusk on Sunday, while police had cleared people from the surrounding streets early in the morning. At best, she said, Brazilian authorities were unprepared for the siege, and at worst, some suspect a possible involvement.

Peace has returned, but the political divisions that erupted in spectacular fashion on Sunday have not changed.

In the months following Bolsonaro’s October 30 election defeat, Brazil was in a state of tension. I was uneasy about the avenues Bolsonaro might pursue to cling to power. Bolsonaro had fueled the belief among his hardcore supporters that the electronic voting system was prone to fraud, but he offered no evidence. , held several meetings with former President Donald Trump, longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon, and his senior campaign adviser Jason Miller.

Brazil’s election results, the closest in more than 30 years, were quickly recognized by a variety of politicians, including some Bolsonaro supporters, and dozens of governments around the world. And Bolsonaro quickly disappeared, much to the surprise of most people. He and his party filed a request to invalidate millions of votes, but he was quickly turned down, though he did not admit defeat or highlight fraud.

Brazil - Politics - Bolsonaro - Supporters - Demonstration
A man looks through a hole in a shattered window at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, one day after supporters of Brazil’s far-right ex-President Jair Bolsonaro broke into the parliament, presidential palace and Supreme Court on January 9, 2023.

Karl de Souza/AFP/Getty

Brazilians have been using electronic voting since 1996. Election security experts consider such systems less secure than handwritten paper ballots because they leave no auditable paper trail. However, the Brazilian system has been under close scrutiny, and national authorities and international observers have found no evidence that it has been misused for fraud.

Still, Bolsonaro’s supporters refused to accept the results. They blocked roads and camped outside military buildings, prompting the military to intervene. While the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, isolated terrorist threats, including a bomb found in a fuel truck en route to Brasilia’s airport, have raised security concerns.

Two days before Lula’s January 1 inauguration, Bolsonaro flew to the United States and took up temporary residence in Orlando. Many Brazilians refused to participate in the transition of power, but expressed relief that in his absence the transition went without a hitch.

Paulo Calmon, professor of political science at the University of Brasilia, said: “Bolsonalism mimics the same strategy as Trumpism. January 8, unprecedented in Brazilian politics, is evident from January 6 in the Capitol. It has been copied to the . “Today’s sad episode destabilizes democracy, as Brazil’s far-right authoritarian and populist radicalism continues to thrive under the leadership of former President Bolsonaro, the ‘Trump of Latin America’. It shows that there is

US President Joe Biden said on Twitter that the riots were “an attack on Brazil’s democracy and peaceful transfer of power” and looked forward to continuing to work with Lula.

At a press conference from the state of São Paulo, Lula read out a newly signed decree for the federal government to manage security in federal districts. He said the so-called “fascist fanatics” and those who funded their activities must be punished, and accused Bolsonaro of fostering their uprising.

Bolsonaro denied the president’s accusations late Sunday. He wrote on Twitter that while peaceful protests are part of democracy, vandalism and breaking into public buildings are “exceptions to the rule.” did not specifically mention.

“He’s clearly an intelligent leader of what’s going on, so you can’t separate it from it,” said Mario Sergio Lima, a political analyst at Medley Advisors. was created by him by the radicalism he imposed on politics.There is no way to undo it…it seems that his group has already crossed the Rubicon.”

Bolsonaro speaks after losing to Lula in presidential runoff
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, second from right, looks on during a press conference two days after he lost the presidential election run-off to Lula da Silva at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, November 1, 2022. increase.

Andressa Amholete/Getty

Unlike the attacks in the United States in 2021, few officials would have been working in government buildings on Sunday. This has led many people in Brazil to question whether the police ignored the flood of warnings, underestimated their capabilities, or were in some way complicit.

One video showed a group of protesters breaking through a police barricade in a limited struggle, with only a few police officers deploying pepper spray. Another video showed police officers standing by as demonstrators stormed parliament, some even recording images on their mobile phones.

“This was a grave mistake by the federal district government. It was a foretold tragedy,” said Thiago de Aragão, director of strategy at Brasilia-based political consultancy Arko Advice. “Everyone knew they (the protesters) were coming to Brasilia. It was expected that the federal government would launch a response to defend the capital. They did nothing of it.”

At a press conference, Lula said the police were “incompetent or malicious” and promised that some would be punished.

Federal District Governor Ibanez Rocha confirmed on Twitter that he had fired Anderson Torres, the capital’s chief of public security. Local media reported that Torres was on vacation in Orlando and denied meeting Bolsonaro there.

Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted, “Two years from Jan. 6, Trump’s legacy continues to poison our hemisphere,” inciting Bolsonaro to act. He added that he accused him of doing so. “It is imperative that we protect democracy and hold bad actors accountable,” he said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brazil-bolsonaro-protest-news-bannon-trump-january-6-us-capitol-insurrection/ Brazil vows swift justice, arrests hundreds after former president Jair Bolsonaro supporters storm government

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