Supporters of Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro broke through security barriers set up by the armed forces on Sunday and gained access to key buildings in each of the three branches of government, including the Congress building, the Supreme Court and the Planado presidential palace. Shown in Brazilian media.
Footage showed crowds of people in Brasilia’s capital walking down a path leading to the congressional building, where they reached the Green Room, located outside the chamber of the lower chamber of Congress, Interim Senate President Veneziano Vital do Roco told CNN Brazil.
Other outlets 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. Inside, protesters used furniture to build barricades to prevent police from entering, CNN Brazil reported.
Violations A week after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office, he returns to power after a 12-year hiatus after defeating Bolsonaro in a run-off election on October 30.
Bolsonaro’s administration It has previously said it would support the transition of powerBut the far-right leader stopped short of openly acknowledging his election defeat, and he fled the country for the United States ahead of Lula’s inauguration.
Bolsonaro’s supporters have since camped out in the capital. Justice Minister Flavio Dino has authorized the armed forces to barricade and secure the Congress building on Saturday as pro-Bolsonaro supporters continue.
Both Houses of Congress are currently not in session. And while President Lula is not currently in the building, a team assembled for the newly elected president was working inside the palace when protesters entered, CNN Brazil reported. Officials at Planaldo Palace are waiting for the air force to evacuate them from the building, CNN Brazil reported.
President Lula described Sunday’s events as “barbaric” and called Bolsonaro protesters who smashed government buildings “fascists”.
“These are the disgusting people in politics, invading the headquarters of the government, the headquarters of Congress and the headquarters of the Supreme Court, destroying everything in their path like true vandals,” Lula said.
Lula said there was a “lack of security” and that “all those who did this will be found and punished”.
The President held a press conference in Araraguara, Sao Paulo, where he was surveying the areas affected by the heavy floods.
Brazilian authorities condemned the demonstrators’ actions, recalling the January 6, 2021, when rioters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of the 2020 election and President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.
“The National Congress has never given voice to those who want to protest peacefully. But it will never give way to turmoil, destruction and vandalism,” said Congress Lower House President Arthur Lira. He said on Twitter. “Those responsible for encouraging and encouraging this attack on Brazilian democracy and its main symbols must be identified and punished in accordance with the law.”
Brazil’s Attorney General’s Office (MPF) said in a statement that it was investigating all those involved in the violations.
“The Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Arras, is monitoring and following with concern the acts of vandalism of public buildings occurring in Brasilia this Sunday (8),” the MPF said.
Aras has requested “the Office of the Attorney General in the Federal District (PRTF) to immediately initiate a criminal investigation process aimed at holding those involved accountable.”
Dino, who said he was at Justice Ministry headquarters, condemned the actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters in a statement on Twitter, saying, “This ridiculous attempt to impose a will will not succeed.”
Federal District Security Secretary Anderson Torres – and a former justice minister under Bolsonaro’s government – similarly called the scenes “deplorable” and he ordered “immediate measures to restore order in the center of Brasília”.
Labor leader Gleisi Hoffman called the breaches “a declared crime against democracy” and “against the will of the referendum”.