At least 1,200 protesters were detained after the storming of government buildings in Brazil’s capital, Brasília, the police said yesterday. The authorities began dismantling the tent city where supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president, had been camping out since he lost October’s election. As of yesterday, the dispersal of the protesters had been peaceful.
Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters broke into the government buildings on Sunday to protest what they falsely claim was a stolen election. In the weeks after the vote, Brazil’s military and independent experts said they had found no credible evidence of fraud. Official counts on the number of people arrested ranged from at least 200 to more than 400.
The protesters will be questioned by law enforcement officials, and some could be charged with committing crimes against democratic institutions or attempting to unseat a democratically elected government.
Brazil’s Congress was called back from recess for an emergency session. Lawmakers could decide to start an investigation into the attacks.
A Supreme Court judge suspended Ibaneis Rocha, the governor of the Federal District, which includes Brasília, for 90 days while investigations take place into security failures on Sunday.
Bolsonaro criticized the protests, saying on Twitter that peaceful demonstrations were part of democracy but that “destruction and invasions of public buildings, like what occurred today,” were not.