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2023 invasion of the Brazilian Congress

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On 8 January 2023, after the victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2022 Brazilian general election, supporters of the former president, Jair Bolsonaro, attacked the Supreme Court of Brazil, the National Congress of Brazil and the Planalto Presidential Palace in the Praça dos Três Poderes plaza in Brasília, the federal capital. The protesters had entered the Chamber of Deputies's Green Hall and tried invade the Planalto Palace. Lula was not in Brasília at the time of the attack.[1][2][3]

The event was compared to when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed and attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.[4][5]

Attack[change | change source]

The attack happened a week after Lula's inauguration and after many weeks of unrest from Bolsonaro's supporters. The Supreme Court, Congress, and Presidential Palace were reported as cleared later that evening. That same day, Lula announced that he had signed a decree allowing a federal state of emergency in the Federal District through the end of January.[6] Brazilian security forces cleared all three buildings later that night. At the time of the attack, Bolsonaro was in the United States.[7]

During the attack, many works of art, like paintings, vases and historical objects were damaged, stolen or destroyed during the attack.[8][9] In the Planalto, former president Juscelino Kubitschek's desk was destroyed. A copy of the original 1988 constitution book was initially taken by a protester, but was later found near the building of the Supreme Federal Court.[10]

The offices of the Workers' Party and of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party in the Congress building were also invaded and vandalized by the mob.[11] Rioters urinated and defecated in the press areas of the Congress building.[12]

Response[change | change source]

Lula[change | change source]

Lula declares federal intervention in the Federal District

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called the attackers "fascists" in a tweet.[13] He said that "there was, I would say, incompetence, bad will, bad faith, on the part of the people who take care of public security in the Federal District".[14] Lula returned to Brasília after the buildings were cleared and visited the Supreme Court and the presidential palace.[15]

Arrests[change | change source]

After the attack, Justice Alexandre de Moraes of the Supreme Court ordered the removal of all anti-democratic posts by Bolsonaro supporters from Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.[16] After the attack, 1,500 people were arrested, however almost 600 of them were released the next day.[17][18]

On 10 January, arrest warrants were sent for former public security secretary of Brasília Anderson Torres, and the Federal District Military Police chief, Fabio Augusto Vieira.[19] The Justice Ministry said that the police had found a draft presidential document giving Bolsonaro power to overturn the 2022 elections by using "state of defense" as a reason.[20] On 13 January, Bolsonaro was included as part of the investigation into the riots.[21] Torres was arrested on the next day after returning to Brasília.[22]

The Superior Electoral Court blocked Bolsonaro from seeking office until 2030 for his claims of voter fraud and his role in the 2023 congressional attack.[23]

References[change | change source]

  1. Phillips, Tom (8 January 2023). "Jair Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazil's presidential palace and supreme court". theguardian.com. The Guardian.
  2. Rocha, Lucas. "Manifestantes furam bloqueio, entram na Esplanada e invadem o Congresso Nacional" [Protesters break through the blockade, enter the Esplanade and invade the National Congress]. CNN Brazil.
  3. "Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazilian Congress". BBC News. 8 January 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  4. Gortázar, Naiara Galarraga (8 January 2023). "Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazil's Congress". EL PAÍS English Edition. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  5. "Pacheco convoca Congresso para votação do decreto de intervenção na segurança do DF" [Pacheco summons Congress to vote on the decree to intervene in the security of the DF]. Portal da Câmara dos Deputados (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  6. "Lula decreta intervenção federal na segurança do DF e diz que terroristas serão punidos" [Lula decrees federal intervention in the security of the DF and says that terrorists will be punished]. CartaCapital (in Brazilian Portuguese). 8 January 2023.
  7. "Brasil, en directo | Seguidores de Bolsonaro asaltan las instituciones en contra de Lula". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 8 January 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  8. Lawson-Tancred, Jo (9 January 2023). "Here Are the Artworks Destroyed by Pro-Bolsonaro Rioters in the Storming of Brazil's Oscar Niemeyer-Designed Capital Buildings". Artnet News.
  9. "Conheça o relógio de dom João 6º destruído por golpistas no Congresso". br.noticias.yahoo.com (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2023-01-09.
  10. "Exemplar original da Constituição não foi roubado por golpistas, diz STF | Radar". VEJA (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2023-01-09.
  11. "Escritórios do PT e do PSDB na Câmara ficaram destruídos". Estadão (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2023-01-09.
  12. Phillips, Tom (10 January 2023). "'Bottles, glass, bullets': inside the wreckage of Brazil's failed coup". The Guardian.
  13. da Silva, Luiz Inácio Lula [@LulaOficial] (8 January 2023). "Vocês devem ter acompanhado a barbárie em Brasília hoje. Aquelas pessoas que chamamos de fascistas, o que há de mais abominável na política, invadiram a sede do palácio e o Congresso. Achamos que houve falta de segurança" (Tweet) (in Brazilian Portuguese) – via Twitter.
  14. "Lula decreta intervenção federal na segurança pública do Distrito Federal". Gazeta do Povo (in Brazilian Portuguese). 8 January 2023. Archived from the original on 8 January 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  15. "Lula tours destruction at presidential palace, Supreme Court". The Washington Post. 9 January 2023. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  16. "Brazil's top court removes Brasilia governor over pro-Bolsonaro riots". Reuters. 8 January 2023. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  17. "Lula slams far-right 'terrorism' as Brazil clears protest camps". Agence France-Presse. France 24. 9 January 2023. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  18. "Brazilian troops clear Bolsonaro supporters' camp after capital stormed". Reuters. 9 January 2023. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  19. "Lula government braces for new protests in Brazil". Reuters. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  20. "Brazil police find draft decree intended to overturn election result in former Bolsonaro minister's home". CNN. 13 January 2023. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  21. "Brazil Supreme Court includes Jair Bolsonaro in riot probe". BBC. 2023-01-14. Retrieved 2023-01-14.
  22. Malu Cursino (2023-01-14). "Brazil riots: Brasília's ex-security chief arrested on return to city". BBC. Retrieved 2023-01-14.
  23. Nicas, Jack (June 30, 2023). "Brazil Moves to Bar Bolsonaro From Office for Election-Fraud Claims". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2023.