Brazil: Intervention Decreed as Protesters Breach Govt. Buildings

On Sunday, Brazilian authorities said supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro breached the country's congress, supreme court, and presidential palace — many calling for military intervention to remove Brazil's Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Brazil: Intervention Decreed as Protesters Breach Govt. Buildings
Image credit: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Sunday, Brazilian authorities said supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro breached the country's congress, supreme court, and presidential palace — many calling for military intervention to remove Brazil's Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
  • Video footage shows thousands of protesters destroying barricades, attacking police vehicles, damaging windows and furniture, and destroying artworks inside the government buildings in the capital Brasília.
  • According to local media, at least 200 demonstrators were arrested, and around 40 buses reportedly used to transport Bolsonaro supporters to the capital were seized. The violent protests came days after Lula was sworn in as Brazil's president on Jan. 1.
  • Lula announced a federal security intervention in Brasília following the riots.
  • Police regained control of the buildings by Sunday evening, while Brazil's Supreme Court removed the governor of Brasília, Ibaneis Rocha, for 90 days for failing to prevent the riot. He will not be reinstated until his role has been fully investigated.
  • Bolsonaro, who flew to Florida ahead of Lula's inauguration claiming the vote was rigged, condemned the riots and compared them to actions he said were "committed by the left in 2013 and 2017."

Sources: Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC News, Guardian, and Bloomberg.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The New York Times. Echoes of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot are undeniable in this mob violence caused by supporters of Brazil's Trump-like former Pres. Bolsonaro. Far-right Brazilians have followed the same playbook, baselessly claiming election fraud before threatening democratic institutions. Now, they must face the same fate as those who inspired them and be held to account.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Breitbart. Sunday's protests began peacefully, but this outcome shouldn't be surprising as Brazilian society has long been under immense pressure. Fueled by discontent over the Supreme Court's intervention in the elections to undemocratically favor Lula, as well as unanswered questions about the electoral process swept under the rug, protesters' expression of discontent ended in violence as a result of the injustice governing their society.