The demonstrators clashed with law enforcement after an activist’s arrest
Radical supporters of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil tried to break into the HQ of the Federal Police after one of them was arrested on the order of the Supreme Court. Some Bolsonaristas believe his election loss was the result of a rigged vote and called for a military coup.
The incident happened on Monday night in the capital, Brasilia. A crowd of pro-Bolsonaro protesters, who were wearing their signature T-shirts of the national football team, gathered around the administrative building in the apparent belief that the officers who arrested the activist took him there, according to local media.
The law enforcement agency called on fellow officers from the Military Police for help. During the ensuing clash, police deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets at the crowd of stone-throwing vandals confronting them.
Amid the violence, there was some damage to public and private property. Several cars and at least one bus parked in the area were torched by the protesters. Some reports claimed that the driver was inside when the bus was set on fire, but managed to escape unharmed.
Polícia Militar chegou com tudo.
Confronto em plena capital do BRASIL. O POVO está revoltado💪🇧🇷
BRASÍLIA está em ritmo de guerra. pic.twitter.com/LrIgPhtKJL
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The authorities also evacuated a nearby shopping mall due to concerns that the disturbance could spread there. After the clashes, the streets were left littered with rubble, according to footage from the scene.
The riot took place after Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the ten-day arrest of a pro-Bolsonaro activist, who is also the leader of the indigenous Xavante group. Jose Acacio Serere Xavante was taken into custody for using his influence to incite violence and criminal behavior.
AGORA: Manifestantes bolsonaristas atacam sede administrativa da Polícia Federal, queimam carros, ônibus e depredam edifícios em Brasília. Confusão começou após prisão de indígena que incitou ataque contra juízes e o presidente eleito. O cenário na região é de guerra. pic.twitter.com/RB2xNmKI3G
— Renato Souza (@reporterenato) December 13, 2022ADVERTISEMENT
According to Brazilian media, the man is a vocal advocate for overturning the outcome of the October 30 presidential election, which the incumbent leader lost to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro never publicly conceded defeat and claimed without providing evidence that Brazil’s electronic voting system was vulnerable to tampering.
Some Bolsonaristas believe that the election was stolen from their candidate and have openly called on the military to stage a coup to prevent Lula from taking office. On Monday, his victory was certified by the Federal Electoral Court (TSE), a development that the Xavante leader sought to prevent.
Police have boosted security around a hotel in Brasilia where Lula is staying.
December 13, 2022 at 02:56PM