Brazil Looks to Punish Rioters Who Support Bolsonaro

Following the attacks on Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidential residence in Brasília, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil pledged to prosecute those liable for the violence. During a three-hour riot on Sunday in the capital region of Brasília, thousands of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro damaged artwork, tossed furniture, broke windows, stole items, and swamped workplaces. They were trying to reinstall Bolsonaro in power, and they were dressed in green and yellow, the colors of the national flag. The acts resembled the 2021 January 6 attack on the US Capitol building, according to observers.


According to the Associated Press, one video depicted a group of demonstrators barely struggling to get past a police line. Pepper spray, which is frequently used to disperse crowds, was only employed by a small number of officers. Another showed police watching as demonstrators surrounded Congress, one of them taking pictures with his phone. After a hotly contested election, Lula emerged victorious over Bolsonaro, declaring, “These vandals…did what has never been done in the history of this country.” “All these people who did this will be found and they will be punished.” Lula accused Bolsonaro of encouraging his followers by making unverified allegations about potential election tampering. He said, “Everybody knows there are various speeches of the ex-president encouraging this.”


On Sunday, Bolsonaro kept silent for about six hours regarding the events in Brasília before dismissing Lula’s accusation. He denied stirring up his followers. The rioters, he claimed, had “crossed the line”. Now residing in the US state of Florida, Bolsonaro has refused to acknowledge that he was defeated in the race. Without providing any supporting data, he asserted that Brazil’s electronic voting system was simple to abuse. Additionally, the court rejected his party’s attempt to have the votes set aside. Professor of political science at the University of Brasília is Paulo Calmon. Referring to Bolsonaro as the “Trump of Latin America,” he contrasted the conduct of his followers in Brasília on January 8 with the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.


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