In Brazil, supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace in the capital Brasília on Sunday. Police arrested over 400 of the rioters as they cleared them from the government buildings after the mob trashed offices, broke windows, and destroyed computer equipment and artwork that was on display. The attack came one week after the inauguration of returning President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who spoke following the attack.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “All those people who did this will be found and punished. They will realize that democracy guarantees the right to freedom and free speech, but it also demands that people respect the institutions created to strengthen democracy. And these people, these vandals, what could we say? They’re fanatical Nazis, fanatical fascists. They did what has never been done in this country.”
Bolsonaro supporters have refused to accept his election loss, and Bolsonaro never formally conceded, instead leaving Brazil for Florida, as some U.S. lawmakers are now calling for him to be extradited. Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered all pro-Bolsonaro protest camps around the country to be dismantled within 24 hours, for roadblocks to be lifted, and for police to arrest any protesters defying the orders. The court also suspended the governor of Brasília as security flaws around the government buildings are investigated. As nations around the world condemned the attack, the day’s events drew immediate comparisons to the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C.