World

Here’s what to know about the protest fueled by false claims of electoral fraud.

Thousands of supporters of Brazil’s right-wing former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed the country’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices on Sunday to protest what they falsely claim was a stolen election. It was the violent culmination of incessant rhetorical attacks on the nation’s electoral systems by Mr. Bolsonaro, who lost a close runoff to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in October. It took more than five hours for the authorities to clear protesters from the seat of government.

These are the key developments:

  • Protesters in Brasília, the capital, streamed into the presidential offices, with some using a barricade to hold back the police. Protesters also entered the Congress and could be seen destroying windows inside the Supreme Court building.

  • After several hours, the authorities said that the Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices had been cleared of rioters. Protesters massed in front of the Justice Ministry, where the police shot tear gas canisters from helicopters to disperse the crowd.

  • Brazil’s justice minister said that more than 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.

  • Mr. Lula, who took office on Jan. 1 after edging Mr. Bolsonaro by less than two percentage points in October’s runoff, said Mr. Bolsonaro’s questioning of the election’s legitimacy had “triggered” the assault. Mr. Bolsonaro criticized the protests, saying on Twitter that peaceful demonstrations were part of democracy, but “destruction and invasions of public buildings, like what occurred today,” were not. He also repudiated Mr. Lula’s comments that he bore some responsibility for the riots, saying those accusations were “without proof.”

  • Mr. Bolsonaro 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 Brazil, and they had called on the armed forces to take control of the government and halt the inauguration of Mr. Lula.

  • Governments in Latin America and beyond were swift to condemn the unrest in Brazil’s capital and to express support for Mr. Lula. President Biden, who was visiting the southern U.S. border, called the protests “outrageous.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Close
Back to top button