Brazilian judge orders arrests of top security officials after protesters stormed Congress
Government officials accused some police forces of colluding with protesters to help them gain access to the government buildings
A Brazil judge ordered the arrest of two top security officials on Tuesday after protesters stormed Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court on Sunday.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva claims former President Jair Bolsonaro backers colluded with police to execute the riots that vandalized buildings and lasted for hours. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the arrests of Anderson Torres, the public security chief for the federal district of Brasília, and Col. Fábio Augusto, commander of military police in the district, The Washington Post reported.
De Moraes also announced $4.3 million fines against the parties in Bolsonaro’s coalition “for what the court described as bad faith litigation,” per The Guardian.
“They’re not going to go after their own relatives,” Communications Minister Paulo Pimenta told The Post, implying that some law enforcement officials were related to some of the protesters storming the government buildings.
Government leaders and Lula supporters have questioned how rioters were able to enter the buildings, seemingly with ease, so the arrests are likely the beginning of more investigations into the riot.
At least 400 protesters were arrested following the unrest, per Deseret News.
Why did Bolsonaro supporters storm Congress in Brazil?
Supporters of Bolsonaro started the riots, upset by the results of an October runoff election where Lula beat Bolsonaro for the presidential bid. Lula was inaugurated on Jan. 1.
The protesters claim the election results were fraudulent, despite lacking evidence to support the claim.
Since the October election results were announced, Bolsonaro backers have camped outside of military bases and other government buildings, demanding action from armed forces to enforce their perceived results, keeping Bolsonaro in power, as reported by Deseret News.
Lula was out of the politics game for 12 years, after undergoing treatment for throat cancer and also going on trial for corruption allegations. At first, he was convicted in 2017 and began his prison sentence in 2018. But in 2021, the Supreme Court ultimately declared it a mistrial, releasing him and making him available to run for office again, CNN reported.
“I promise to maintain, defend and fulfill the constitution, observe the laws, promote the general good of the Brazilian people, support the unity, integrity and independence of Brazil,” Lula said during his inauguration speech, per CNN.