Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who refuse to accept his election defeat stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace Jan. 8, a week after the inauguration of his leftist rival, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, smashed windows and invaded all three buildings in Brasilia. Some of the demonstrators called for a military intervention to either restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power or oust da Silva from the presidency.
In a news conference from Sao Paulo state, da Silva accused Bolsonaro of encouraging the uprising by those he termed “fascist fanatics,” and he read a freshly signed decree for the federal government to take control of security in the federal district.
“There is no precedent for what they did and these people need to be punished,” da Silva said.
Bolsonaro, who flew to the United States days before his term in office ended, was admitted to a hospital in Florida on Jan. 9 with stomach pains as 1,500 of his supporters were rounded up in Brasilia.
The Jan. 8 incident recalled the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. (AP, Reuters)