Bolsonaro supporters sow chaos in the places of power in Brasilia
Hundreds of demonstrators refusing the election of Lula stormed the presidential palace, the Supreme Court and the Congress in Brasilia on Sunday. More than 150 people were arrested.
In Rio de Janeiro
Many Brazilians had been expecting their own invasion of the Capitol for months. Fear for some, hope for others, they finally materialized on Sunday January 8 in the afternoon, when several thousand supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro infiltrated inside the Congress, but also the presidential palace and the Supreme Court in Brasilia, the capital.
The demonstrators, who refuse to accept the victory of leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on October 30, succeeded in a demonstration to break the weak security cordons of the Three Powers Square. They then continued their march towards Congress, before climbing the ramp of the presidential palace and entering the main courtroom of the Supreme Court.
HAVE – In Brazil, hundreds of Jair Bolsonaro supporters invade Congress, the Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court
Scenes of anarchy and destruction
Images of demonstrators, often dressed in yellow and green, the colors of the Brazilian flag that have become emblematic of Bolsonarism, are quickly making the rounds on TV channels and social networks. They smash bay windows, throw furniture on the ground, smash everything in their path and flood the floors with water extinguishers; all recorded on their cell phones. These scenes of anarchy and destruction which strike Brazilian democracy in the heart, sadden the TV commentators who, not even a week ago, hailed the very symbolic takeover of Lula.
The left-wing leader hastened on Sunday evening to decree a federal intervention by the police in the capital until the end of January, calling the demonstrators “fascist vandals” . “There is no precedent for what they have done and these people must be punished.“, he said from the state of São Paulo, where he was traveling. “They will realize that democracy guarantees the right to freedom, to freedom of expression, but it also requires that people respect the institutions that were created to strengthen democracy.»
HAVE – Lula condemns the invasion of “fascist vandals” in Brasilia
Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha fired Brasilia Public Security Secretary and former Bolsonaro Justice Minister Anderson Torres. Torres is accused of being too lenient towards far-right protesters. Many Brazilians questioned the limited presence of military police in the capital on Sunday when a large pro-Bolsonaro demonstration was planned for that day and several buses had made the trip to the capital on this occasion.
Shortly before his rival’s January 1 inauguration, Bolsonaro left Brazil for Florida, USA, where he is currently.
Beyond the local authorities, the security forces present around the Place des Trois Pouvoirs have also been accused of not having done enough to block the road to the demonstrators. Several images of passive officers, watching the crowd go by, were doing the rounds on social networks.
The president also condemned his predecessor, Bolsonaro, saying he had repeatedly stimulated his electorate, during anti-democratic speeches aimed at discrediting the Brazilian electoral process and the election result. For more than a year, Bolsonaro regularly questioned electronic voting introduced in the mid-1990s, claiming, without offering any evidence, that the machines were prone to fraud. Following his defeat at the end of October, in a particularly tight election which was decided by less than 2%, his most fervent supporters blocked hundreds of roads, set fire to numerous vehicles and organized large camps. at the doors of military buildings across the country, calling on the armed forces to intervene. Shortly before his rival’s January 1 inauguration, Bolsonaro left Brazil for Florida, United States, where he is currently. Sunday evening, he still had not commented on the ongoing clashes.
Around 5:30 p.m. local time, three hours after the start of the incidents, the security forces regained control of the Planalto, the presidential palace, and the Supreme Court, giving rise to more than 150 arrests among the thousands of demonstrators. still found around and inside Congress
HAVE – Brazil: “We want new elections, clean ballot boxes”, testifies a demonstrator in front of Congress