Brazil: Enhanced Security Ahead of New Bolsonarist Demonstrations

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Vice- Justice Minister Ricardo Cappelli oversees security measures in Brasilia.

Security measures were reinforced on Wednesday in Brasilia and other cities to avoid further excesses in the context of the call to demonstrate by Bolsonarists, three days after the ransacking of places of power in the capital.

On social networks, messages from supporters of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro call for demonstrations on Wednesday evening in several major Brazilian cities, including Brasilia , to regain power.

Police, riot trucks and a helicopter were deployed in the capital on Wednesday, but no protesters were present during the first hour of the mobilization which was to begin at 6 p.m.

In Rio de Janeiro, where police forces are monitoring the planned location of the rally, the demonstrators have not moved either.

In Sao Paulo, only two young people appeared on Paulista Avenue wearing yellow and green t-shirts, the colors of the national flag that have become emblematic of pro-Bolsonaro protests.

I came to defend the freedom of expression of the Brazilian people, Luis Augusto Machado, 20, told AFP.

Despite opposing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Machado spoke forcefully about his rejection of Sunday's actions that rocked Brasília.

Security forces in action as supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate against President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 8, 2023.

A poll published this Wednesday by the company Atlas Intelligence showed that, while the majority of Brazilians reject what happened, 18.4% say they agree with the violent demonstration that has affected the capital and 10.5% believe that the invasion of the seat of government was entirely justified.

The Deputy Minister of Justice, Ricardo Cappelli, announced at a press conference that the area of ​​the Esplanade des Ministries, a large green space that surrounds the government buildings and the Congress, would be closed to vehicle traffic and that barriers and filter dams with search had been erected for pedestrians.

All personnel have been mobilized […] There is not the slightest possibility that the unacceptable events of January 8 will be repeated in the capital, a- he assured.

Mr. Cappelli was appointed on Sunday evening by left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to take over command of security in Brasilia after the staggering remakeof the invasion of the Capitol in Washington two years earlier.

Hords of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro rejecting his electoral defeat by Lula in late October have wreaked havoc in the capital, invading the presidential palace, the Supreme Court and Congress, and destroying everything in their path, including works of art.

Several hundred people have been arrested and the authorities are investigating to identify those who financed and organized these excesses.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva

It's a group of berserk who haven't yet understood that the election is over, President Lula said Wednesday, during a meeting at the presidential palace with congressional representatives. , including the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes announced at the same time heavy penalties for invading public buildings or blocking roads, which will be punished by heavy fines or prison terms, depending on the offence.

This magistrate, who is the bane of the Bolsonarists, promised on Tuesday to firmly fight terrorism, these putschists who want to establish an exceptional regime.

He issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday evening for Anderson Torres, former justice minister of Jair Bolsonaro, for alleged collusion with rioters as the capital's security secretary, post from which he was removed after the Troubles.

Mr. Torres is in the United States, like Jair Bolsonaro, who left Brazil two days before Lula's inauguration, refusing to hand him the presidential sash on January 1.

Denying any collusion with barbarism, Mr. Torres said on Twitter that he was going to return to Brazil to face justice and take care of his defence.

The former president, for his part, was released on Tuesday evening from the Florida hospital where he had been admitted the day before for abdominal pain.

He then shared on Facebook a video of a prosecutor questioning Lula's victory in the second round of October 30, before deleting it a few hours later late.

On Wednesday, Ana Priscila Azevedo, suspected of being one of the organizers of the riots, was arrested in Luziânia, near Brasilia, according to the Brazilian press.

This far-right activist has written numerous messages inciting violence on social media, where she posted a series of selfies taken during the invasion of places of power.

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