January 6th-style Insurrection in Brazil on 1/09

Sydney Beard, Editor

On January 9th, the far-right protesters in support of Jair Bolsonaro, the former Brazilian president, stormed the main buildings of the three branches of Brazil’s government. This occurred a week after President Luiz Inacio Lulua da Silva was inaugurated. The rioters were looking for a military intervention to either make the far-right Bolsonaro come back to power or oust the newly inaugurated leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in scenes of chaos and destruction. 

In contrast to the U.S Capitol January 6th occurrence, the Brazilian rioters were unable to put an end to the transfer of power and could not target specific lawmakers. The insurrection took place over the course of several hours. The so-called “Bolsominions” overtook the police. They put up a flag asking for “Intervention,” which is a call for the military to get rid of their new president that defeated Bolsonaro in October. The rioters took photographs of themselves within the legislative chamber. In the Congress building, the floor was completely flooded after protesters accidentally activated the sprinkler system in an attempt to set the floor on fire. Several videos revealed protesters within the building destroying artwork and stealing gifts that were from international delegations. “Democracies of the world must act fast to make clear there will be no support for right-wing insurrectionists storming the Brazilian Congress,” Representative Jamie Raskin wrote on Twitter. “These fascists modeling themselves after Trump’s Jan. 6 rioters must end up in the same place: prison.” There was a statement signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, acting Senate President Veneziano Vital do Rego, and Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira and Chief Justice Rosa Weber condemning the actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters as terrorist acts. “We are united so that institutional measures are taken under the terms of Brazilian laws,” the leaders said, adding a call for “serenity and peace” in the politically divided nation. 

A news conference was held late Sunday where Brazil’s minister of institutional relations implied that the buildings will be inspected for evidence. This includes them tracking down fingerprints and images to insure that the rioters are held accountable. Justice Minister Flávio Dino said the acts amounted to terrorism and coup-mongering. He noted that authorities have started the tracking process for those who paid for the buses which transported the protesters over to the capital. “They will not succeed in destroying Brazilian democracy. We need to say that fully, with all firmness and conviction,” Dino said. “We will not accept the path of criminality to carry out political fights in Brazil. A criminal is treated like a criminal.” 

As of January 11th, around 300 people have been arrested, which was reported by the federal district’s civil police on Twitter. Hours after the riot in Brazil was initiated, Mr. Bolsonaro posted a message on social media calling for peace, which was very similar in the way former President Trump did. Authorities had made an announcement that the situation is now under control.