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Supporters of former Brazilian President Bolsonaro storm the country’s congressional building, the Supreme Court

Supporters of former Brazilian President Bolsonaro storm the country’s congressional building, the Supreme Court

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, refusing to accept his electoral defeat, stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the Senate on Sunday, just a week after the inauguration of his left-wing rival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Presidential Palace in the capital.

Thousands of protesters bypassed security barricades, climbed onto rooftops, smashed windows and entered all three buildings linked by Brasilia’s vast Three Powers Square. Some are calling for military intervention to restore far-right Bolsonaro to power.

Images from TV channel Globo News showed protesters roaming the presidential palace, many wearing green and yellow, the colors of the flag that have also become a symbol of the Bolsonaro government.

The incidents were reminiscent of the January 6 invasion of the US Capitol, which many political analysts and the judiciary have been warning Bolsonaro about for months. But in this case, it was likely that Congress and the Supreme Court would have limited staff in the buildings on a Sunday.

Bolsonaro supporters have been protesting Lula’s election victory since October 30, blockading roads, setting fire to vehicles and gathering outside military buildings to call on the armed forces to intervene. Many felt the election results were falsified or unreliable.

“This absurd attempt to enforce their will by force will not prevail,” Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on his Twitter account. “The federal district government has provided reinforcements. And the forces at our disposal are at work.”

Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said he was in constant contact with Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha and that the entire police force had been mobilized to bring the situation under control.

Bolsonaro, who flew to the US ahead of Lula’s inauguration, has not yet condemned or commented on the current situation.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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