9th January: There has been an attack on three brazilian congressmen and other civilian buildings. Thousands of supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace on the 8th of January. It is stated that Bolsonaro was ousted from the election which saw the return of leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The attacks are being compared with those of the January 6th, 2021; assault on USA Capitol. The attackers were seen beating the police while breaching the security perimeter of the building.
Who was behind the storming on Brazilians Buildings’?
There were thousands of supporters of Bolsonaro who share his extreme right-wing agenda. According to Rafael Ioris, an expert in Brazilian politics at the University of Denver; Bolsonaro was not at the place of attack, he was in Florida but still, he was in charge and in power to carry out these attacks. There were other big funders with him such as large landowners and business groups who helped pay for the busing in of thousands of Bolsonaro supporters to the capital, Brasilia. The leading military figures have been supportive of Bolsonaro’s extreme right agenda for a long time and even did support it.
Attacks speaking on democracy followed by Brazilians
The Bolsonaro presidency saw the country relapsing on democracy due to the erosion of trust in institutions that were under attack from the president himself. Even half of the country voted, but the election of Lula seems that he even wants to rebuild democratic institutions in the country. The media in Brazil has come out strongly opposing the actions of protestors. There will be investigations into what happened and hopefully some degree of accountability, in the coming days and weeks.
Comparisons of the Brazilian attack to Jan 6, 2021, on the USA capitol
An important difference is the role of the military. The former military personnel was in Washington D.C. on Jan 6. 2021; the top U.S. military figures condemned it. In both, we saw extreme right-wing, powerful groups and individuals refusing to accept the direction of a country and trying to storm institutions of power. In the USA, the authorities have done a commendable job in punishing a lot of people involved. Rafael Ioris said, “I’m not sure we will see the same in Brazil, as they might need to confront powerful groups within the military and police forces around the country. So, democratic actors within and outside of the county will be essential in supporting the task of defending democracy in Brazil.”
Where the rioters did come from to storm Brazilian buildings?
Authorities say that more than 100 buses arrived in the Brazilian capital carrying rioters who were non-local; went to attack the Congress building, the Supreme Court, and the Presidential Palace. BrazilianJustice Minister Flavio Dino said, “The police already know who hired the buses and will now investigate all passengers who were on them.” Some of the protesters have been camping outside army barracks across Brazil. These camps are well organized and some supporters of Bolsonaro have been living in them since October’s election. They want a military intervention againstLula’s government. The Brazilian government said that they will dismantle all camps and will discharge those responsible for financing them.
The destruction caused in the Brazilian buildings
Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidential palace were left in ruins after a storm of protesters invaded the monumental buildings. Videos viral on social media showed protesters trashing offices, smashing windows and doors, flipping furniture, and tossing computers and printersto the ground. Riotersalsodamaged artworks and a historic object like Emiliano Di Cavalcanti’s painting waspunctured and an iconic statue outside the Supreme Court was damaged. Police have regained control of the site and have made hundreds of arrests. President Luiz viewed the damage at the presidential palace and the Supreme Court earlier and said that he plans to work from the palace today despite the destruction.
Prime Minister Modi concerned about the Brazil riots
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern about the riots in Brazil and extended support to government authorities today. He underlined that “democratic traditions must be respected by everyone.”He wrote a tweet, tagging Lula “Deeply concerned about the news of rioting and vandalism against the State institutions in Brasilia. Democratic traditions must be respected by everyone. We extend our full support to the Brazilian authorities.” The Prime Minister’s response came hours after hundreds of supporters of Bolsonaro. President Bolsonaro has denied any role in the violence and condemned the devastations and invasions.