Protesters supporting former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began their protests late last year. On January 8, radical supporters of the former president attempted to seize the National Congress building in the capital city of Brasilia.
Although the invasion was short-lived, political analysts believe that during the protests, accompanied by pogroms, not only material damage was caused, but the events in general will affect the country's image.
In Brazil, there are many citizens who do not recognize the results of the presidential election. Meanwhile, in the second round socialist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated the former head of state with a margin of almost 2 million votes. Bolsonaro's supporters attempted to seize government buildings in the capital on Jan. 8, as TASS reported, citing local media. Most of the demonstrators wore green-and-yellow T-shirts. As is known, this is the color of the uniform worn by players of the Brazilian national soccer team. This uniform became a kind of “sartorial statement” of the ex-president's supporters. The protesters chanted excerpts from the Constitution: “Power comes from the people!”
Bolsonaro's supporters arrived in Brasilia as early as Saturday in dozens of buses and hundreds of cars. Police blocked car traffic on the streets leading to the Square of the Three Powers, which is where the buildings of the National Congress and the Palacio de Planalto, the official working residence of Brazil's president, are located. With stones and sticks in their hands, the protesters walked to the Square of the Three Powers. They wreaked havoc in the center of the city, smashing glass in the Parliament, the Supreme Court and also in Palacio de Planalto.
According to Gazeta.ru, the crowd was subdued by Federal District security forces and Congressional police, using tear gas and stun grenades. Moreover, a police helicopter was in the air, dropping light and stun grenades on the crowds of protesters. The resistance was crushed after several hours, forcing the protesters out of government buildings. More than 400 protesters were detained, according to the capital's governor, Ibaneis Roshi. According to preliminary estimates, about 5,000 people took part in the protests.
Local media reported that the attackers defaced or took with them various art objects of historical value, such as statues, paintings, and interior elements. However, the president's office itself was not damaged in the pogroms.
Newly elected Brazilian President Lula da Silva called an emergency meeting and promised to punish the vandals. A state of emergency was imposed in Brasilia until the end of January.
As the media report, Jair Bolsonaro did not stay away from the Sunday riots in the capital and admitted that the protesters, who came out in his support and tried to seize the government buildings in Brasilia, violated the law.
According to TASS, citing political scientist Leonardo Paz Neves of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation think tank, the riots in Brasilia are similar to the events that took place in the US two years ago, when protesters stormed the Congress building. According to him, the incident in the capital of Brazil will affect the country's international image.
As RIA Novosti reports, Konstantin Kosachev, vice-speaker of the Russian Federation Council of Federation, in his turn, agreed that the elections in Brazil were fear and were recognized in the country and in the world. He called the riots in Brazil “a coup d'etat.”
The leadership of many countries of the Organization of American States condemned the riots in Brazil, calling the actions, as reported TASS, “an attempted terrorist coup d'etat” and disrespect for democracy, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the protesters neo-Nazis.
The riots in Brazil were also condemned by the leaders of the U.S. and European countries.