Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Brazilian Congress, Supreme Court over Election Results

Supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s presidential offices, Congress, and Supreme Court on Sunday amidst widespread refusal to accept his electoral defeat.

Bolsonaro was defeated by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who served as president from 2003 until 2010, and was inaugurated last week. Since the election in October, Bolsonaro has consistently cast doubt over the integrity of the results.

“This absurd attempt to impose their will by force will not prevail…The government of the Federal District has ensured there will be reinforcements. And the forces at our disposal are at work,” the Brazilian justice minister Flavio Dino wrote on Twitter.

Protesters reportedly prevented police from entering several properties using barricades and struck a law enforcement officer on horseback with clubs and sticks. Footage from inside the National Congress shows men clad in Brazilian flags walking through offices filled with smoke.

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Officials across the political spectrum in Brazil have condemned the violence as anti-democratic.

“The National Congress will not tolerate these attacks on democracy! Let’s be firm and investigate those responsible for the events of January 8th. Each of them must be punished…Every one of them must be prosecuted and arrested! There will be no tolerance,” senator Jean Paul Prates of Lula’s Workers’ Party tweeted following the news.

Prates called the protesters “terrorists.”

Prates’ sentiments were echoed by Rodrigo Pacheco, president of the Brazilian senate and member of the Social Democrat Party. “I’m vehemently against these antidemocratic actions which should be punished according to law urgently,” Pacheco noted in a statement.

PHOTOS: Bolsonaro Supporters Protest

Bolsonaro is living at the home of a former mixed martial artist in Orlando, Fla. He cautioned supporters against violence in response to the rioting.

“We live in a democracy or we don’t…No one wants an adventure,” Bolsonaro said in a recorded statement, the New York Times reports.

The widespread rioting, driven by a refusal to accept the results of an election, mirrored the events of January 6, 2021, when thousands of supporters of former president Trump overran the U.S. Capitol. Top Brazilian officials had warned for months that Bolsonaro’s supporters may react violently if he was defeated.

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