Lula’s Brazil Seeks Prosecution after Presidential Palace Riot

Louis Savarino, Staff Writer

On January 8, supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro came to Brazil’s Three Powers Plaza, the country’s main legislative, judicial, and executive buildings. temporarily overrunning the area in a large-scale riot. While these rioters originally aimed to overturn the 2022 election, theysaw the return of the left-wing Lula da Silva to power.ultimately only managed to vandalize the area, ruining priceless paintings and littering the area with trash. While the major event that came to pass was the invasion of the congress building, the rioters who saw Lula as an illegitimate president, sought to call to Brazilian Military in to stage a coup to “save Brazil.” All of this comes after then President Bolsonaro had previously stoked fears of election fraud, and possibly could have used former military connections to pre-emptily take over Brazil. Many feared that the military would step in to reinstate Bolsonaro as many in the country still remember and are aware of the US-backed military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985. This most recent coup attempt likely is part of the strategy of the Brazilian right wing to discredit or remove influential left-wing figures from power. Famously in 2014, Operation “Car Wash ” was originally thought to be a bold anticorruption move. However, much of the prosecution was revealed to be politically motivated with the goal of discrediting and removing left-wing figures (such as Lula) from politics in Brazil that even suspiciously involved secret help from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In the aftermath of riots and invasion of the congress building, around 1,500 people have been arrested, with many being held in jail until charges are brought against them. As of the 29, around 40 people have been charged, with many more in custody awaiting charges. While formal investigations are still ongoing, prosecutors have concluded that no major military officials were ultimately involved in a potential coup, several low-ranking members of the capitol police force have been dismissed regarding complicity and support for the riot. Lula’s government however is seeking the prosecution of several ex-Bolsonaro government officials, such as the former Justice Minister in connection with planning and organization of the capitol riot. Brazilian officials allege they found a draft of a decree at the Minister’s home that could have paved the way for the ousting of Lula’s democratic victory, according to Al Jazeera. For the moment, it appears that Brazil has avoided catastrophe.