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The violent attack on the Brazilian government took months to prepare. This is what you should know


Brazil was recovering on Monday after hundreds of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the seats of power in the capital, Brasilia.

The before and after building of the Supreme Court of Brazil 1:52

(CNN) --

Brazil was reeling on Monday after hundreds of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the seats of power in the capital Brasilia, destroying offices and drawing condemnation from the government and international community.

More than a thousand people have been arrested.

Brazil's Justice Minister Flavio Dino told reporters Monday that there have been "around 1,500" arrests in Brasilia since the riots on Sunday.

  • "Terrorism" and an "attempted coup": this was the day in which Bolsonaro's followers tried to attack the democracy of Brazil

The irruption came a week after the inauguration of Lula da Silva, who returned to power after a 12-year hiatus following a victory over Bolsonaro in a runoff election on October 30.

The attack bore similarities to the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, when supporters of former President Donald Trump, a close ally of Bolsonaro, stormed Congress in an effort to prevent certification of their electoral defeat. .

This is what you should know about what happened in Brazil.

What happened?

Footage on Sunday showed huge crowds in Brasilia walking down a ramp towards the Congress building, where they had arrived at the Green Room, located outside the lower house of Congress, interim Senate president Veneziano Vital do told CNN Brazil. beg.


Other media showed Bolsonaro supporters entering the Supreme Court and the presidential palace, where CNN Brazil showed the arrival of riot police and the Brazilian Armed Forces.

The floor of the Congress building was flooded after the sprinkler system was activated when protesters tried to set the carpet on fire, according to CNN Brazil.

Additional videos showed protesters inside the building taking gifts received from international delegations and destroying works of art.

The Minister of Communications of the Brazilian Presidency, Paulo Pimenta, described how blood, feces and urine were found in the rooms of the palace.

“Viewers said they seemed beside themselves with hate, like a horde of zombies.

They ran through the corridors, they broke things, they urinated, they defecated in the corridors and in the rooms in a destruction spree ”, he stated.

  • Latin American governments describe protests in Brazil as "attacks on democracy", "fascism" and "coup attempt"

By Sunday night, several hours after the break-ins, all three buildings had been cleared of protesters, CNN Brazil reported.

At least 400 people had been detained, according to the governor of the Federal District, Ibaneis Rocha.

Those detained “will pay for the crimes committed,” Rocha tweeted, adding that they are “working to identify everyone else who participated in these terrorist acts this afternoon.”

Why were the protests in Brazil so severe?


Hours later, however, Rocha was suspended from office for 90 days by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

Who are the protesters?

Several stalwart supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro have made clear their resentment of Lula since he won the October election, and those grievances have intensified in recent weeks, culminating in Sunday's takeover of Brazil's democratic institutions.

Spurred on by unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, supporters dressed in Brazil's national colors and national soccer team jersey (both became central fixtures of Bolsonaro's campaigns) entered major government buildings, smashed windows and they used furniture to form barricades against security forces.

But the events of Sunday did not come out of nowhere.

Bolsonaro's supporters had camped out in the capital since his electoral defeat.

Justice Minister Dino had authorized the armed forces to set up barriers and protect the Congress building on Saturday due to their continued presence.

Bolsonaro supporters earlier clashed with security forces in Brasilia on December 12 after a group tried to break into the federal police headquarters, according to a police statement at the time.

Several camps full of the former president's supporters have also appeared outside Brazilian military bases, with some calling for a coup by the armed forces reminiscent of the two-decade military regime that has ruled Brazil since 1964.

Marcelo Longobardi analyzes the irruption in the Brazilian Congress 1:03

Dino said on Twitter on Christmas Day that those camps had become "terrorist incubators" after a man was arrested for attempting to detonate a bomb in protest against the results of Brazil's elections.

Of those arrested so far in connection with the riots, 209 people were detained on Sunday and "around 1,200" were arrested on Monday in the area of ​​the protesters' camp, Dino told reporters on Monday.

What was Bolsonaro's role in the riots?

In the months leading up to his electoral defeat, Bolsonaro repeatedly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote, citing no evidence for his various claims.

His effort to suggest that any defeat was the result of fraud was immediately compared to that of his ally Donald Trump, who employed similar tactics during the 2020 US presidential election.

After a narrow defeat in the final round, Bolsonaro escalated those complaints but struggled to win any vindication from Brazil's regulators and institutions.

The head of Brazil's electoral tribunal rejected Bolsonaro's request to annul the ballots, calling the outgoing president's accusation that some voting machines had malfunctioned "ridiculous and unlawful" and "apparently conspiratorial towards the democratic rule of law."

And Brazil's Defense Ministry found no evidence of fraud or inconsistency in the electoral process in a report published in November.

Bolsonaro, however, refused to explicitly acknowledge defeat in the vote, while insisting that he would abide by Brazil's constitution during the handover of power to Lula.

He finally fled the country on the eve of Lula's inauguration and has stayed in Florida ever since.

Bolsonaro denounced Sunday's actions in a tweet, although it was ambiguous in its historical nature and attempted to draw comparisons with previous actions by "the left."

The former leader said that although peaceful and lawful demonstrations were part of democracy, "depredations and invasions of public buildings like those that occurred today, as well as those practiced by the left in 2013 and 2017, are beyond the rule."

Attack on Congress in Brazil, could it be prevented?


But despite his efforts to break away from Sunday's protests, experts say Bolsonaro's months-long campaign to sow doubt about the election laid the foundation and ultimately encouraged his supporters to launch Sunday's protests.

Did January 6 inspire the riots in Brazil?

The events on Sunday immediately drew comparisons to the storming of the US Capitol building by Trump supporters nearly two years ago.

And like that event, the riots followed months of incendiary comments by Bolsonaro about the legitimacy of Brazil's elections and Lula's electoral victory.

The two former leaders employed eerily similar playbooks before, during and after their electoral losses, raising concerns in each country about the robustness of their electoral processes and democratic institutions.

Bolsonaro complained about alleged “fake news” about his presidency, insisted that polls showing him trailing Lula were rigged or unreliable, and claimed that the voting machines used on election day were not in working order, all which Trump also defended.

While Trump spoke directly to his supporters hours before the insurrection in Washington and then remained at his residence as it unfolded, Bolsonaro was not physically in Brazil during the riots on Sunday.

In both cases, the riots drew worldwide condemnation and failed to affect the election results: in Brasilia, Lula had already taken office and the protesters were unable to disrupt any process.

“I condemn the assault on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil,” US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter.

"Brazil's democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined."

This was the destruction left behind by Bolsonaro supporters in Brasilia 1:14

Pimenta, the communications minister of the Brazilian presidency, said that "the episode that occurred in Brazil is more serious than what happened in the Capitol," because the protesters broke into the house of the three branches of power.

He called the attacks a coup attempt.

“From our point of view, what happened here was not an act against the Executive Power.

It was an attack on democracy, on the Constitution.

It was an attempted coup, which did not materialize," Pimenta said.

What's next now?

In a press conference, Lula da Silva described the events in the capital Brasilia as "barbaric" and said that "the lack of security" had allowed Bolsonaro's "fascist" supporters to break through the barriers set up by the military outside the building of the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace of Planalto.

“These people are everything abominable about politics,” he said, adding that “all the people who did this will be found and punished.”

Commanders of the armed forces, police and the defense minister would be liable in court if the camps were not dismantled, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes said, adding that all roads had to be cleared by Monday.

The Brazilian Attorney General's office (MPF) said it was investigating all those involved in the violations.

"The Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, monitors and follows with concern the acts of vandalism to public buildings that occurred in Brasilia this Sunday (8)," the MPF said in a statement.

Analyst: Breaking into the Brazilian Congress was not accidental 5:59

Aras has also "requested the Federal District Attorney General's Office (PRDF) to immediately open a criminal investigation procedure aimed at holding those involved accountable."

CNN's Flora Charner, Marcia Reverdosa, Rodrigo Pedroso, Dakin Andone, Alaa Elassar and Heather Chen contributed to this report.

Jair Bolsonaro

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-01-10

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