Brazil rioters dubbed 'neo-fascists' dispersed, intl. leaders condemn
Riots in Brasilia lasted for approximately three hours as international leaders voiced their support for Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Riots in Brazil that sowed destruction across several government buildings in Brasilia by followers of former leader Jair Bolsonaro lasted for approximately three hours before Brazilian security was able to disperse rioters and take control of Parliament.
A federal security intervention was announced by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva until January 31st after the capital was secured.
Decreto assinado por Lula para intervenção federal no Distrito Federal. #EquipeLula pic.twitter.com/1gHjIuDGLf— Lula (@LulaOficial) January 8, 2023
Bolsonaro had been defeated by leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the latest election. Lula da Silva was inaugurated on January first. However, Bolsonaro supporters defied the democratic process and stormed government buildings, including parliament, where they called for "military intervention." This incident came after Bolsonaro made baseless accusations of possible election fraud that could be paralleled to that of former US President Donald Trump.
Vamos con 🧵 de lo que está ocurriendo en Brasilia en este momento. Grupos fascistas del bolsonarismo violaron sedes gubernamentales: congreso y Palacio de Gobierno, sede del ejecutivo, al parecer con apoyo de las fuerzas de seguridad pic.twitter.com/YK4ofw5SQ3— Roi Lopez Rivas (@RoiLopezRivas) January 8, 2023
It is worth noting that at the time of the riots, Lula was in Sao Paolo on an official trip. The Brazilian President told a press conference following the incident that "these vandals, whom we could call fanatical fascists, did what has never been done in the history of this country," adding that "all these people who did this will be found and they will be punished."
Furthermore, Lula stated "This genocidist [Bolsonaro] ... is encouraging this via social media from Miami," reaffirming that "everybody knows there are various speeches of the ex-president encouraging this."
Ibaneis Rocha, Brasilia's Governor and a Bolsonaro ally, said on Twitter that more than 400 people were arrested and authorities were working to identify more.
Venho informar que mais de 400 pessoas já foram presas e pagarão pelos crimes cometidos. Continuamos trabalhando para identificar todas as outras que participaram desses atos terroristas na tarde de hoje no Distrito Federal. Seguimos trabalhando para que a ordem se restabeleça.— Ibaneis Rocha (@IbaneisOficial) January 8, 2023
As for Bolsonaro, he refuted certain actions by his supporters, rioters, without directly denouncing them in a tweet where he noted, "Peaceful lawful demonstrations are part of democracy. However, looting and seizure of public buildings as occurred today, as well as those practiced by the left in 2013 and 2017, do not fall under this rule."
- Manifestações pacíficas, na forma da lei, fazem parte da democracia. Contudo, depredações e invasões de prédios públicos como ocorridos no dia de hoje, assim como os praticados pela esquerda em 2013 e 2017, fogem à regra.— Jair M. Bolsonaro 2️⃣2️⃣ (@jairbolsonaro) January 9, 2023
Judges condemn the rioters
Images on social media purportedly showed that protestors smashed windows and security cameras as they invaded the Supreme Court, whose Justice Alexandre de Moraes has been a source of contention for Bolsonaro and his supporters.
Os desprezíveis ataques terroristas à Democracia e às Instituições Republicanas serão responsabilizados, assim como os financiadores, instigadores, anteriores e atuais agentes públicos que continuam na ilícita conduta dos atos antidemocráticos. O Judiciário não faltará ao Brasil!— Alexandre de Moraes (@alexandre) January 8, 2023
Moraes and the court's Chief Justice Rosa Weber both promised harsh punishment for the "terrorists" who targeted the nation's democratic institutions. According to persons acquainted with the situation, the leaders of both chambers of Congress publicly condemned the attacks and accelerated arrangements to return to the city.
Nota do STF sobre vandalismo e atos antidemocráticos em Brasília— STF (@STF_oficial) January 8, 2023
Presidente do STF, Ministra Rosa Weber, diz que Suprema Corte não se deixará intimidar por atos criminosos e de delinquentes infensos ao estado democrático de direito. [1/6] pic.twitter.com/Isr1GkI0dn
Rocha, the governor of Brasilia, announced the dismissal of his senior security official, Anderson Torres, who was formerly Bolsonaro's justice minister. Torres has been arrested, according to the solicitor general's office.
Determinei a exoneração do Secretário de Segurança DF, ao mesmo tempo em que coloquei todo o efetivo das forças de segurança nas ruas, com determinação de prender e punir os responsáveis.— Ibaneis Rocha (@IbaneisOficial) January 8, 2023
Também solicitei apoio do governo federal e coloco o GDF à disposição do mesmo.
It is also worth noting that Torres informed Brazilian daily UOL that he was on vacation in the United States with his family and had not met with Bolsonaro. According to UOL, he was in Orlando, where Bolsonaro is now living.
January 9, 2023
In this above Twitter post, Torres confirmed that he was "Abroad, on the second day of the vacation for months dreamed of with my family."
The former security official further noted "I have always guided my life by respect for laws and institutions, whether acting as a police officer, as secretary of security, or
as Minister of Justice. In this regard, I deeply regret that they are raised absurd hypotheses of any kind of connivance of mine with the barbarism we have seen. I am certain that this execrable episode will be totally enlightened, and those responsible exemplarily punished."
Later, Brazilian Supreme Court Judge, Moraes, removed Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha, for three months, accusing him of conspiring with rioters and their storming of government institutions. During this time, the riots will be investigated before a final decision is reached.
Latin America leaders voice support to Brazil's Lula amid riots
Colombian President Gustavo Petro slammed Jair Bolsonaro supporters that raided earlier today Brazil's National Congress building and the presidential palace.
In a Tweet, Petro expressed his support for Brazilian President Lula da Silva and his citizens.
"All my solidarity to @LulaOficial [President Lula da Silva] and to the people of Brazil," he said on his Twitter account.
In reference to the supporters of former far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Petro added that "the rights [right-wing supporters] have not been able to maintain the pact of non-violence."
"It is urgent time for the OAS [The Organization of American States] meeting if it wants to continue to live as an institution and apply the democratic charter," Petro warned.
Toda mi solidaridad a @LulaOficial y al pueblo del Brasil. El fascismo decide dar un golpe.— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) January 8, 2023
Las derechas no han podido mantener el pacto de la no violencia.
Es hora urgente de reunion de la OEA si quiere seguir viva como institución y aplicar la carta democrática.
"We proposed that the inter-American human rights system be strengthened by applying the current norms and expanding the charter to women's, environmental and collective rights, but the response is parliamentary coups or violent coups from the extreme right."
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador commented "The coup attempt by the Brazilian conservatives urged on by the leadership of oligarchic power, their spokespersons and fanatics, is reprehensible and undemocratic. Lula is not alone, he has the support of the progressive forces of his country, Mexico, the American continent, and the world."
Reprobable y antidemocrático el intento golpista de los conservadores de Brasil azuzados por la cúpula del poder oligárquico, sus voceros y fanáticos. Lula no está solo, cuenta con el apoyo de las fuerzas progresistas de su país, de México, del continente americano y del mundo.— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) January 8, 2023
OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro also denounced the attack publicly "We condemn the attack on the institutions in Brasilia, which constitutes a reprehensible action and a direct attack on democracy. These actions are inexcusable and fascist in nature."
Condenamos el ataque a las instituciones en Brasilia, lo cual constituye una acción repudiable y un atentado directo a la democracia. Estas acciones son inexcusables y de naturaleza fascista. https://t.co/kUc0yufHHG— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) January 8, 2023
Furthermore, the Presidents of Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and India a BRICS member, all condemned the anti-democratic riots, which they claimed were neo-fascist and fanatic, and voiced their support for President Lula da Silva.
Western leaders denounce Bolsonaro rioters
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Twitter "We condemn the attacks on Brazil's Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court today. Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable. We join @lulaoficial in urging an immediate end to these actions."
We condemn the attacks on Brazil's Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court today. Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable. We join @lulaoficial in urging an immediate end to these actions.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 8, 2023
The White House's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also remarked that "the United States condemns any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil," adding that "President Biden is following the situation closely and our support for Brazil's democratic institutions is unwavering," and reaffirmed "Brazil's democracy will not be shaken by violence."
The United States condemns any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil. President Biden is following the situation closely and our support for Brazil’s democratic institutions is unwavering. Brazil’s democracy will not be shaken by violence.— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) January 8, 2023
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell tweeted that he was "Appalled by the acts of violence and illegal occupation of Brasilia's government quarter by violent extremists today. Full support to Lula and his government, to Congress, and to the Federal Supreme Court. Brazilian democracy will prevail over violence and extremism."
Appalled by the acts of violence and illegal occupation of Brasilia's government quarter by violent extremists today.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) January 8, 2023
Full support to @LulaOfficial and his government, to Congress and to the Federal Supreme Court.
Brazilian democracy will prevail over violence and extremism.
Portugal's Foreign Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho said "Without a doubt, former president Bolsonaro is responsible. His voice is heard by these anti-democratic demonstrators. It would be very important if he had a message of condemnation in the face of the disorder that is currently happening in Brasilia."
O Governo português condena as ações de violência e desordem que tiveram lugar em Brasília, reiterando o seu apoio inequívoco às autoridades brasileiras na reposição da ordem e da legalidade. Ler comunicado na íntegra ⤵️https://t.co/WfFpvgT2WX— Negócios Estrangeiros PT (@nestrangeiro_pt) January 8, 2023
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, urged the people to respect Brazil's democratic institutions. In parallel, UK Foreign Secretary, Italian Prime Minister, EU President, and Spanish Prime Minister also echoed US condemnations.
Read more: Brazil's Lula: 'Fascists' will be punished with 'full force of law'