More than 1,200 arrested as Brazilian police clear camps of pro-Bolsonaro protesters

Brazilian police surrounded and began clearing camps of protesters supporting former president Jair Bolsonaro in the capital on Monday. Local media reported more than 1,000 arrests over the weekend as the country’s Supreme Court ordered the immediate demolition of pro-Bolsonaro camps after protesters stormed government buildings.

At least 1,200 people have been arrested in makeshift camps outside the army headquarters in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, and authorities are using dozens of buses to transport detainees to police headquarters. According to a Brazilian report.

Members of the Brazilian military are seen dismantling tents set up at the camp by Bolsonaro supporters and the demonstrators themselves ahead of the noon local time deadline set by authorities for protesters to leave. was seen

Epoch Times photo
Demonstrators react next to members of the security forces as supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro leaving a camp outside the army headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, January 9, 2023. (Amanda Perobelli/Reuters)

Thousands of suspected Bolsonaro supporters broke into the Brazilian parliament, supreme court and presidential palace on January 8, prompting a massive police response.

Brasilia’s governor told Reuters that all security forces were in action to confront the protesters.

Federal District Governor Ibanez Rocha wrote on Twitter that he had dismissed the district’s chief of security and “deployed all security forces into the streets with the determination to arrest and punish those responsible.”

Police recaptured the public building about three hours later and dispersed the crowd with tear gas.

Bolsonaro supporter
Security forces detain a supporter of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a demonstration against President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva outside the Brazilian National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, December 8, 2023. To do. (Adriano Machado/Reuters)

In the wake of the case, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that the immediate sanctions of the pro-Bolsonaro camp occurred after the run-off election on October 30, 2022, when Bolsonaro was narrowly defeated by socialist Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. ordered demolition.

Lula was sworn in as president on January 1 and held a cabinet meeting inside the presidential palace on Monday, the day before a flood of protesters.

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ordered the “complete eviction and dissolution” of pro-Bolsonaro camps set up in front of Brazilian military headquarters in the capital and in front of army garrisons in major cities across the country.

The High Court also ordered the arrest of protesters.

Demonstrators break into Brasilia’s National Assembly on January 8, 2023. (Sergio Lima/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Indignation and injustice’

Bolsonaro has not conceded defeat to Lula, but the former president gave presidential advisers the power to initiate the transition in November, saying he would comply with the Brazilian constitution.

Large-scale protests have dominated Brazil since the runoff, with Bolsonaro’s supporters questioning the credibility of the election results and calling for military intervention.

Bolsonaro has not directly alleged election fraud, but said in November that the protests were the result of “outrage and a sense of injustice.”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro makes a statement at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, November 1, 2022. (Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images)

Bolsonaro denounces January 8 breach of government building Series of posts on Twitter While peaceful demonstrations within the bounds of the law are “part of democracy”, “invasion of public buildings” goes one step further.

Lula, who was traveling to Brazil’s most populous state of São Paulo when the government building was razed, declared a “federal security intervention” until the end of January.

“All these people who did this will be found and punished,” he said at a press conference.

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva addresses the government’s first cabinet meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 6, 2023. (Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images)

Lula condemned Bolsonaro’s incident, saying in a series of Twitter posts that Bolsonaro made several speeches “encouraging this” and that the violations were “his responsibility and the parties who supported him.” said.

Bolsonaro pushed back against Lula’s claims.

“I deny the unsubstantiated accusations against me by the current Chief Executive of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said on Twitter.

“During my tenure, I have always stood within the four lines of the Constitution, respecting and defending law, democracy, transparency, and our sacred freedoms.”

Another part of the order issued by Brazil’s Supreme Court on Sunday was to suspend Brasilia’s governor Ibanez Rocha for 90 days. This is based on allegations that local law enforcement under his command failed to respond to threats from pro-Bolsonaro protesters.

Authorities seek to punish pro-Bolsonaro protesters

At a press conference late Sunday, Brazil’s minister of institutional relations said the damaged buildings would be inspected for evidence, including fingerprints and images, to hold people accountable.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said the acts incited terrorism and a coup, and authorities had started tracking those who paid for the buses that transported the protesters to the capital.

“They will not succeed in destroying Brazilian democracy. “I will not accept the criminal path to conduct political struggle in Brazil. Criminals are treated as criminals.”

At a press conference from the state of São Paulo, Lula read out a newly signed decree for the federal government to manage security in federal districts. He said the protesters he called “fascist fanatics” and those who funded their activities must be punished.

Lula also said at a press conference that there was “incompetence or malice” on the part of the police, and promised that some of them would be punished.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tom Ozimek

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. He has an extensive background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.