400 Arrested When Supporters of Former President Bolsonaro Stormed Brazil Government Buildings


Chaos struck Brazil’s capital on Sunday as supporters of far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro descended on government buildings, raped them, climbed on a roof and smashed windows.

The video showed damage to an office in the presidential palace, as well as broken windows in the country’s highest court.

Leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, sworn in on January 1, responded by authorizing federal intervention in the Federal District until the end of January.

He called those who attacked Congress «fascists,» according to translations from his tweets Sunday.

“Whoever did this will be found and punished. Democracy guarantees the right to free expression, but it also demands that people respect the institutions,” Lula tweeted. “There is no precedent in the history of the country for what they did today. That’s why they should be punished.»

Authorities used tear gas and clashed with protesters, according to video of the scene distributed by the Reuters news organization.

Many of the protesters wore Brazil’s national colors of yellow and green, associated in recent years with Bolsonaro supporters.

Lula visited the site of the riots on Sunday night, Brazil’s TV Globo reported.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva walks at the Planalto Palace after supporters of Jair Bolsonaro stormed him in Brasilia on Sunday. Eraldo Perez / AP

Ibaneis Rocha, Governor of the Capital District of Brazil, saying more than 400 people involved in the demonstrations and violations have been arrested.

He said authorities continued to work to restore order. Rocha described the events of the day as acts of terrorism.

The incidents, which recalled the invasion of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, come amid misinformation about the elections, directed mainly at Lula.

“The election cycle was marked by the use of public resources for campaigning and a sophisticated network of disinformation,” the nonprofit Carter Center said in November after observing the presidential election.

«Most of the attacks were directed at Lula’s campaign,» he said.

Lula accused the mafia of taking advantage of Sunday’s quiet while his government was still becoming a government. So he pointed directly at Bolsonaro.

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