Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have stormed the congress in the capital Brasília. They smashed the windows of the facade and entered the entrance hall, as was seen on Globo TV on Sunday.
Hundreds of demonstrators had previously entered the Parliament premises and climbed onto the roof of the building. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades but were unable to stop supporters of former right-wing leader Bolsonaro.
"I condemn these anti-democratic acts that urgently need to be punished with the harshness of the law," Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco wrote on Twitter. “I was on the phone with Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha, with whom I am in regular contact. The governor informed me that the entire police force is focused on bringing the situation under control.”
A photographer from the AFP news agency saw police use tear gas to push back hundreds of protesters. The incident came a week after the inauguration of new left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
After the attack on Congress, Bolsonaro supporters also moved to the Supreme Court. The news portal G1 reported that they threw in windows and entered the lobby. Later they moved accordingly to the seat of government Palácio do Planalto. The images brought back memories of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Right-wing President Bolsonaro lost to left-wing politician Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the runoff last October and left office at the turn of the year. He had never explicitly acknowledged his electoral defeat. Even after the election, radical supporters of the ex-military had repeatedly protested against Lula's victory and called on the country's armed forces to stage a military coup.
Contrary to custom, Bolsonaro did not attend the inauguration of his successor Lula on New Year's Day and flew to the United States with his family.
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