Brazil beefs up security as more pro-Bolsonaro protests are expected | Protest news

Brazil’s new government is preparing for more protests by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, just days later Rioters stormed important government offices in the capital in what has been denounced as an “anti-democratic” attack.

Government of the President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ramped up security measures across the country on Wednesday as leaflets appeared on pro-Bolsonaro social media feeds calling for mass protests in Brazilian cities to “regain power.” “.

Lula’s chief of staff, Rui Costa, said late Tuesday after a cabinet meeting: “We have measures in place this Wednesday to strengthen security across the country because of the pamphlets about the meetings. New demonstrations have been circulated.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes also on Wednesday ordered local authorities to prevent road blockades and invasions of public buildings, Reuters news agency reported, citing a court decision. .

Authorities are riot investigation in Brasilia on Sunday as thousands ransacked the National Assembly, Supreme Court and presidential palace in anger over Bolsonaro’s defeat to Lula in last year’s elections.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has claimed for months that Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to rampant fraud. Critics say these false accusations are intended to sow doubt in the election process and undermining democratic institutions in the South American country.

Bolsonaro’s campaign also promotes Protests and barriers in the days following the October 30 vote when many of his supporters called for the military to intervene to prevent Lula from taking office.

Many Brazilians blame the former president for the riots in Brasilia, say my false statement lay the groundwork for the attack.

But Bolsonaro, who leave for the United States two days before Lula was sworn in as president on January 1, dismissed that criticism. He tweeted on Sunday that peaceful protest is part of democracy but vandalism and invasion of public buildings are “exceptions to the rule”.

Bolsonaro was discharged from a hospital in the US state of Florida on Tuesday after being hospitalized with abdominal pain related to a 2018 assassination attempt, the former president told CNN’s Portuguese branch in Brazil. on Tuesday that he would accelerate his return home, originally scheduled for late January.

“I come here to spend time with my family, but these are not peaceful days,” he said. “First, there was a sad story in Brazil and then I had to be hospitalized.”

In the meantime, Brazilian authorities have pledged to investigate what led to last weekend’s attack on the country’s capital and hold accountable anyone who helped the rioters.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said about 50 arrest warrants had been issued for those who participated in the riot but were not arrested at the scene and others who were not present but were accused of organizing the attack. .

Two former senior government officials, including a close Bolsonaro ally, were among those named on Tuesday’s arrest warrant.

A Bolsonaro supporter gives a thumbs up out of a bus window
Bolsonaro supporters board a bus after their camp in front of the army headquarters in Brasilia was lifted on January 10, 2023 [Amanda Perobelli/Reuters]

Anderson Torres, who was Bolsonaro’s justice minister and recently chief of security in the capital, was fired after the riots. Moraes of the Supreme Court called his inaction “likely to commit a crime”.

Moraes also issued an arrest warrant for Fabio Augusto, the head of the military police force in Brasilia and who was also sacked following Sunday’s violence. News reports say he is in custody.

“Brazilian democracy will not be attacked by terrorist criminals, much less destroyed,” the judge wrote in his decision.

The police arrested more than 1,500 people So far, but on Tuesday 599 people have been released on humanitarian grounds, “mostly the elderly, people with health problems, the homeless and mothers with young children”.

Most arrests take place on Mondays when hundreds of police officers and soldiers disperse protest camp in Brasilia, where some 3,000 Bolsonaro supporters had set up tents.

Police said on Tuesday that 527 people remained in custody while others were being processed. Those who were released were put on a bus to a station from where they could return to their homeland.

Agostinho Ribeiro, a freed Bolsonaro supporter, told AFP news agency: “Now we will rest and prepare for another battle because if they thought they would threaten us they would have wrong”.

Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets this week to demand responsibility for the attack, calling on the government not to pardon those involved.

Lula, who previously served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, joined the leaders of the Supreme Court and two houses of Congress in releasing a joint statement on Monday condemned “acts of terrorism and criminal sabotage of the coup”.

On Tuesday, Lula said in a Twitter post that “Brazilian democracy remains solid.”


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