Former Brazilian President Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Congress
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Former Brazilian President Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Congress

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Bolsonaro’s supporters enact violent insurrection on Brazilian Congress, Presidential Palace and Supreme Court buildings

On the afternoon of January 8, supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the Brazilian Congress, the Presidential Palace, and the Supreme Court. This event marked a significant escalation in the ongoing political crisis in Brazil, which has been exacerbated by the false claims of his supporters claiming last year’s election was rigged.

Bolsonaro is often referred to as the Donald Trump of Brazil as he, too, has failed to concede the election. He has gone as far as to still refer to himself as the President of the country, and his rhetoric has orchestrated the insurrection that took place in Brazil.

The protesters, largely made up of far-right and pro-Bolsonaro groups, were reportedly demanding the impeachment of current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The protesters clashed with police and federal troops, and several people were injured in the ensuing violence.

The origins of the crisis can be traced back to Bolsonaro’s presidency, which was marked by controversy and divisive policies. Bolsonaro, a far-right politician known for his inflammatory rhetoric and his support for the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, was elected in 2018 on a platform of law and order and economic reform.

However, his presidency was marred by allegations of corruption, human rights abuses, and a failure to address the country’s economic problems. Bolsonaro’s approval ratings plummeted, and he faced widespread protests and calls for his impeachment.

The situation was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Brazil hard and led to a sharp economic downturn. Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis was criticized as inadequate and irresponsible, and his popularity plummeted even further.

In October 2022, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a member of the left-leaning Workers’ Party, was elected as the new President of Brazil. However, Bolsonaro and his supporters refused to accept the results of the election, alleging voter fraud and calling for him to be removed.

The events of January 8 have sparked widespread condemnation from the international community, with many leaders calling for calm and for the rule of law to be upheld. Canada, The United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of American States have all issued statements condemning violence and calling for peace.

The situation in Brazil remains tense, and it is unclear how the crisis will be resolved. However, it is clear that the events of January 8 represent a significant escalation in the ongoing political crisis, and it is vital that all sides work together to find a peaceful resolution.

Image credit Twitter @Piamonte feed

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