RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who refuse to accept his electoral defeat stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace in the capital on Sunday, just a week after the investiture of his left-wing rival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Thousands of protesters bypassed security barricades, climbed onto rooftops, smashed windows and invaded the three buildings, which are connected by the vast Three Powers Square in Brasilia. Some are calling for military intervention to bring the far-right Bolsonaro back to power.
Footage on the Globo News television channel showed protesters wandering around the presidential palace, many wearing green and yellow, the colors of the flag that has also become the symbol of the Bolsonaro government.
The incidents recalled the invasion of the US Capitol on January 6, which many political analysts and the Bolsonaro judiciary have been warning about for months. But in this case, it’s likely that Congress and the Supreme Court had limited staff inside the buildings on a Sunday.
Bolsonaro supporters have been protesting Lula’s election victory since October 30, blocking roads, burning vehicles and gathering outside military buildings, demanding the armed forces intervene. Many believed that the election results were fraudulent or unreliable.
“This absurd attempt to impose their will by force will not prevail,” Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on his Twitter account. “The government of the Federal District has assured that there will be reinforcements. And the forces at our disposal are at work.
Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said he was in constant contact with the governor of Brasilia, Ibaneis Rocha, and that the entire police apparatus had been mobilized to control the situation.
Bolsonaro, who flew to the United States ahead of Lula’s inauguration, has yet to condemn or comment on the current situation.
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