Brazil Congress: Lula vows to punish supporters of Bolsonaro after riot

 Brazil Congress: Lula vows to punish supporters of Bolsonaro after riot

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has vowed to punish supporters of the country's ex-leader, Jair Bolsonaro, after they stormed Congress.

Brazil Protests
Brazil Protesters

Supporters of the ousted far-right leader also stormed the Supreme Court and surrounded the presidential palace.

But police regained control of the buildings in the capital Brasilia on Sunday evening after hours of clashes.

Arriving in the city, Lula toured the Supreme Court building to see the damage for himself.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino told local media that some 200 people had already been arrested.

The Governor of Brasilia, Ibaneis Rocha, has been removed from his post for 90 days by the Supreme Court. Justice Alexandre de Moraes accused him of failing to prevent the riot and of being "painfully silent" in the face of the attack.

Pro-democracy rallies are being called by leftist leaders and groups across Brazil.

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The dramatic scenes - which saw thousands of protesters clad in yellow Brazil football shirts and flags overrun police and ransack the heart of the Brazilian state - come just a week after Lula's inauguration.

The veteran left-wing leader was forced to declare emergency powers before dispatching the national guard into the capital to restore order.

He also ordered the closure of the centre of the capital - including the main avenue where governmental buildings are - for 24 hours.Mr Dino said some 40 busses which had been used to transport protesters to the capital had been seized and he called the invasion an "absurd attempt to impose [the protesters'] will by force".

Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly refused to accept that he lost October's election and last week left the country instead of taking part in inaugural ceremonies, which would have seen him hand over the iconic presidential sash.


The 67-year-old - who is believed to be in Florida - condemned the attack and denied responsibility for encouraging the rioters in a post on Twitter some six hours after violence broke out.

Speaking before he arrived in Brasilia, Lula said there was "no precedent in the history of our country" for the scenes seen in Brasilia and called the violence the "acts of vandals and fascists".

And he took aim at security forces whom he accused of "incompetence, bad faith or malice" for failing to stop demonstrators accessing Congress.

"You will see in the images that they [police officers] are guiding people on the walk to Praca dos Tres Powers," he said. "We are going to find out who the financiers of these vandals who went to Brasilia are and they will all pay with the force of law."

Video shared by the Brazilian outlet O Globo showed some officers laughing and taking photos together as demonstrators occupied the congressional campus in the background.



  1. Pro-democracy rallies are being called by leftist leaders and groups across Brazil.

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