Brazil’s former president Jair Bosonaro will be investigated over allegedly encouraging protests that led to his supporters storming several government offices.
The scenes were reminiscent of the US Capitol Riots nearly two years ago. Last Sunday, thousands of protesters invaded the country’s supreme court and presidential palace as well as the Congress building and ministries’ buildings.
More than 1,500 people were detained. President Lula Da Silva promised that all those involved would be punished with the “full force and effect of the law”.
Brazil has agreed to open an inquiry into whether the scenes were incited and facilitated by the president’s predecessor. This is similar to the US politicians holding an inquiry into Donald Trump’s role in the events in Washington.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes agreed to federal prosecutors’ request and stated: “Public figures that continue to cowardly plot against democracy trying to establish an exception will be held responsible.”
Prosecutors claim that Mr Bolsonaro is being investigated for “instigation” and intellectual authorship of anti-democratic acts which resulted in vandalism or violence.
Continue reading: Who were the protestors that stormed Brazil’s capital?
Bolsonaro’s attempt to discredit the election
The 67-year old, a far right former military officer , who has been likened to Mr Trump posted a Facebook video in which he claimed that Lula’s narrow win in October’s election wasn’t legitimate.
Bolsonaro claimed that he was not elected, but instead chosen by the supreme Court.
Prosecutors claimed that even though Bolsonaro had posted the video after the riots, the content was sufficient for authorities to investigate his conduct before.
Leftist Lula (77), who was previously president from 2003 to 2011, won with 50.9%.
Bolsonaro left the country after that and didn’t attend his rivals’ inauguration. He hasn’t returned yet.
Anderson Torres (his former justice minister) also traveled to the US but has stated that he will be returning to face allegations that he permitted the protests.
They are both currently in Florida, and neither man has been extradited.
Brazil is confronted with the reality of democracy being fragile
Bolsonaro’s Team ‘fears he will not be allowed to run again’
According to Reuters, Bolsonaro’s party, The Liberal Party, has increased its legal team in preparation to defend him against riots and other allegations.
Bolsonaro is facing several investigations over anti-democratic statements made during his presidency, including unfounded claims about the fraudability of the electoral system.
According to party officials, they fear that he might not be arrested but could be banned from running for the presidency.
The 2026 Brazil election is the next scheduled.