Thousands of supporters of Brazil’s right-wing former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed the country’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices in Brasília, the capital, yesterday to protest what they falsely claim was a stolen election. After more than five hours, the authorities said that the military police had retaken control of the site.
The assault was the violent culmination of incessant rhetorical attacks on the nation’s electoral systems by Bolsonaro, who lost a close runoff to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, in October. Lula, who was in São Paulo when the protests erupted, signed an emergency decree allowing the federal government to take additional measures to restore order, The Times reports.
Brazil’s justice minister said that about 200 people had been arrested. Local officials said that the authorities were investigating reports of rioters attacking journalists, smashing windows of ministry buildings and carrying bladed weapons.
Bolsonaro: The former leader has been staying in Florida, where he traveled late last month as his presidency was coming to a close. Since his election loss, his supporters have been camped outside military bases across the country and had called on the armed forces to take control of the government and halt Lula’s recent inauguration.