Brazil: Bolsonaro's Supporters Attack Police HQ

On Monday, violent unrest broke out in several points of Brasília, including in front of the Federal Police HQ, after Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued an arrest warrant against pro-Bolsonaro indigenous leader José Acácio Serere Xavante at the request of the Prosecutor General.

Brazil: Bolsonaro's Supporters Attack Police HQ
Image credit: Associated Press

Facts

  • On Monday, violent unrest broke out in several points of Brasília, including in front of the Federal Police HQ, after Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued an arrest warrant against pro-Bolsonaro indigenous leader José Acácio Serere Xavante at the request of the Prosecutor General.
  • Police stated that protesters lit vehicles on fire, blocked roads, and "attempted to invade" the Federal Police building, where Serere Xavante was being held for allegedly inciting people "to try to abolish the rule of law and to impede the swearing-in of the president and vice-president elect."
  • These clashes also came after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was certified as the country's next president after winning a closely-fought election run-off on Oct. 30. Despite not explicitly conceding defeat, outgoing Pres. Jair Bolsonaro has authorized the transition process to go ahead.
  • Hundreds of Bolsonaro supporters gathered outside the presidential residence on Monday afternoon to call for "military intervention," claiming the election was rigged. Bolsonaro joined them for a public prayer but didn't address the crowd.
  • On Friday, he told supporters that the armed forces are "the last standing barrier to socialism in Brazil," adding that the military is loyal to the people. Last month, his Liberal Party sought to annul votes, but the case backfired as the court fined it for allegations made in "bad faith."
  • The outbreak of violence, which reportedly subsided on Tuesday, has sparked concerns about further upheaval in the lead-up to Lula's inauguration on Jan. 1 — an event expected to be attended by thousands of his supporters.

Sources: Folha, BBC News, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Bloomberg, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. Bolsonaro has repeatedly incited violence against anyone who doesn't blindly support his government. Since losing the 2022 election, his supporters have wreaked havoc. What Brazil desperately needs is a de-radicalization process that will only ever truly be completed if Bolsonaro and his followers are held accountable for their actions.
  • Right narrative, as provided by FOX News. These protests reflect widespread doubts in Brazil, as the corrupt Lula is set to return to office by a narrow margin of support over Bolsonaro. Brazilian institutions are to blame for this distrust, as they have screened questions about both the electoral process and results. It's as if they were trying to hide something while failing to make the country's electoral system auditable.

Predictions