BRASILIA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Supporters of Brazil’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro invaded and defaced the nation’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court docket on Sunday, in a grim echo of the U.S. Capitol invasion two years in the past by followers of former President Donald Trump.

There have been no quick experiences of deaths or accidents from their rampage, however the invaders left a path of destruction, throwing furnishings via the smashed home windows of the presidential palace, flooding elements of Congress with a sprinkler system and ransacking ceremonial rooms within the Supreme Court docket.

The sight of 1000’s of yellow-and-green clad protesters working riot within the capital capped months of rigidity following the Oct. 30 presidential vote.

The rebellion, which lasted a little bit over three hours, underlined the extreme polarization that also grips the nation days after the inauguration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro within the October election.

“These vandals, who we may name … fanatical fascists, did what has by no means been performed within the historical past of this nation,” mentioned Lula in a press convention throughout an official journey to Sao Paulo state. “All these individuals who did this might be discovered and they are going to be punished.”

Lula, who introduced a federal safety intervention in Brasilia lasting till Jan. 31 after capital safety forces had been initially overwhelmed by the invaders, blamed Bolsonaro for inflaming his supporters after a marketing campaign of baseless allegations about potential election fraud.

The president’s allies additionally raised questions on how public safety forces within the capital Brasilia had been so unprepared and simply overwhelmed by rioters who had been planning on social media for days to collect for weekend demonstrations.


Bolsonaro, an acolyte of Trump’s who has but to concede defeat, peddled the false declare that Brazil’s digital voting system was vulnerable to fraud, spawning a violent motion of election deniers.

“This genocidist … is encouraging this through social media from Miami,” Lula mentioned, referring to Bolsonaro, who flew to Florida 48 hours earlier than the tip of his time period and was absent from Lula’s inauguration. “Everyone is aware of there are numerous speeches of the ex-president encouraging this.”

Bolsonaro, whose presidency was marked by divisive nationalist populism, was silent for practically six hours in regards to the chaos in Brasilia earlier than posting on Twitter that he “repudiates” Lula’s accusations towards him.

The previous president, who has hardly ever spoken in public since shedding the election, additionally mentioned peaceable demonstrations are a part of democracy however invading and damaging public buildings “crosses the road.”

The violence in Brasilia may amplify the authorized dangers Bolsonaro faces. It additionally presents a headache for U.S authorities as they debate easy methods to deal with his keep in Florida. Outstanding Democratic lawmakers mentioned the USA may not grant Bolsonaro “refuge” within the nation.

The Bolsonaro household lawyer, Frederick Wassef, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

By 6:30 p.m. native time (2130 GMT) safety forces had managed to retake the capital’s most iconic three buildings.

Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha, a longtime Bolsonaro ally going through powerful questions after Sunday’s safety lapses, mentioned on Twitter greater than 400 individuals had been arrested and authorities had been working to establish extra.

The invasions had been condemned by leaders world wide.

U.S. President Joe Biden known as the occasions an “assault on democracy and on the peaceable switch of energy,” including that Brazil’s democratic establishments had full U.S. assist.

Removed from the capital, Brazilian industries had been on alert for a recent spherical of unrest from Bolsonaro supporters, whose post-election freeway blockades have disrupted grains shipments and meatpacking operations in current months.

State-run oil firm Petrobras stepped up safety at its refineries, in a cautionary measure after assault threats towards property together with Brazil’s largest gasoline plant.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), as the corporate is formally identified, mentioned in an announcement that every one its property and refineries are working usually.

Analysts warned the unrest may set off extra volatility in Brazil’s monetary markets, which have swung sharply in current weeks on doubts about how Lula will reconcile large spending guarantees with stretched public funds.


The Supreme Court docket, whose crusading Justice Alexandre de Moraes has been a thorn within the facet of Bolsonaro and his supporters, was ransacked by the invaders, in accordance with pictures from social media which confirmed protesters clubbing safety cameras and shattering the home windows of the modernist constructing.

Each Moraes and the court docket’s Chief Justice Rosa Weber vowed punishment for the “terrorists” who had attacked the nation’s democratic establishments. The heads of each homes of Congress denounced the assaults publicly and moved up plans to fly again to the capital, in accordance with individuals aware of the matter.

Rocha, the Brasilia governor, mentioned he had fired his high safety official, Anderson Torres, beforehand Bolsonaro’s justice minister. The solicitor common’s workplace mentioned it had filed a request for the arrest of Torres.

Torres advised web site UOL he was along with his household on vacation in the USA and had not met with Bolsonaro. UOL reported he was in Orlando, the place Bolsonaro is now staying.

On Saturday, with rumors of a confrontation brewing in Brasilia, Justice Minister Flávio Dino licensed the deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Power. On Sunday, he wrote on Twitter, “this absurd try to impose the need by power won’t prevail.”

In Washington in 2021, Trump supporters attacked police, broke via barricades and stormed the Capitol in a failed effort to stop congressional certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Trump, who has introduced a 3rd bid for the presidency, in 2024, had pressured his vice chairman, Mike Pence, to not certify the vote, and he continues to say falsely that the 2020 election was stolen from him via widespread fraud.

Reporting by Adriano Machado, Anthony Boadle, Lisandra Paraguassu, Ricardo Brito, Peter Frontini, Gabriel Araujo; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Modifying by Brad Haynes, Daniel Wallis, Lincoln Feast and Michael Perry

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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