September 22, 2023

A Bolsonaro supporter marches in Brazil 2021

Thousands of Brazilians invaded government buildings Sunday in the capital of Brasilia.

In defiance of the election of newly inaugurated president Lula Inácio Lula da Silva, a swell of former president Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters who view the October 30th election as illegitimate flooded the city, storming the National Congress, Supreme Court buildings and the Presidential Palace.

American lawmakers likened the protest to the events of January 6th and blamed the civil unrest on Bolsonaro, who absconded to Miami before Lula’s inauguration. Some, including New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas’ Joaquin Castro have gone so far as to demand Bolsonaro be extradited and charged.

Though Bolsonaro did attempt to get his Supreme Court to discount Lula’s votes, he was notably absent from the country during the clashes – the AP reports he’s been “mostly silent since losing the election” – a stark contrast from Donald Trump’s verbosity during and proximity to the events of January 6th.

Bolsonaro tweeted Sunday evening: “Peaceful demonstrations, in the form of the law, are part of democracy. However, depredations and invasions of public buildings as occurred today, as well as those practiced by the left in 2013 and 2017, escape the rule.”

When asked if Bolsonaro had been stoking the flames of the protests, the World Bank’s Pyotr Kurzan said “No, not at all. He’s in Florida.”

Brazilian authorities report over 200 arrests, with that number undoubtedly set to rise as Lula, who was not in the capital but in Sao Paulo administering aid following a bad storm, issued a decree to “bring them to justice.”

Lula has since returned, arriving to the capital Sunday evening according to TV Globo.

Lula appeared to place blame at the feet of the city’s law enforcement saying they acted with “either incompetence and bad faith”

Lula’s Attorney General ordered the Supreme Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of Brasilia’s former security minister Anderson Torres, who was dismissed by the Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha and is reportedly now also in Miami with Bolsonaro.

Hours after Ibaneis tweeted out that he had dismissed Torres, Ibaneis was himself dismissed from his position as governor.

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