Brazil: Lula wants to find backers – Bolsonaro leaves the hospital

After attacks on government quarters
President Lula declares war on backers – Bolsonaro released from hospital

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, speaks during a meeting with governors. “We won’t be lukewarm towards anyone either,” promises the 77-year-old afterwards

© Eraldo Peres/AP/DPA

Even on day two after the storming of the government district, Brazil does not come to rest. President Lula promises to find the backers and has support from US President Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Lula’s predecessor Bolsonaro greets from the hospital.

After radical supporters of Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the government district in Brasília, head of state Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised to identify and apprehend those behind the action. “In the name of defending democracy, we will not be authoritarian towards anyone, but we will also not be lukewarm towards anyone,” Lula said on Brazilian television on Monday (local time) after meeting more than 20 governors in Brasília. “We’re going to investigate and find the people who funded it.” Around 1,500 Bolsonaro supporters had been arrested for the time being.

Lula meets with governors

TV also showed Lula and governors walking from the government seat, Palácio do Planalto, to the Supreme Court in the evening. Radical Bolsonaro supporters stormed the government district in the Brazilian capital on Sunday. They briefly brought the control centers of the country’s most important state powers under their control. They invaded Congress, the Supreme Court and the seat of government, rioting and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. It took hours for the security forces to bring the situation back under control. Thousands demonstrated against the action in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo on Monday.

After a short stay: Jair Bolsonaro released from hospital in Florida

Ex-President Jair Bolsonaro has been released from the hospital after a short stay. Bolsonaro announced this himself on Twitter on Monday evening (local time). According to media reports, shortly after the riots of his supporters in his home country, the former president was treated in a hospital in the city of Orlando, Florida. According to the Brazilian newspaper “O Globo”, Bolsonaro said he suffered from severe abdominal pain.

It is not the first time that right-wing politicians have come to the clinic, even in politically critical situations. Two days before the end of his term on New Year’s Day, he flew with his family to the United States, where he has been in the state of Florida ever since.

At an election campaign event in September 2018, a mentally disturbed man stabbed Bolsonaro and inflicted serious abdominal injuries on him. The ex-military then continued the election campaign from the hospital. The following month he was elected President. Bolsonaro has been hospitalized since then, including after taking office in early 2019, and has had to undergo multiple surgeries.

US President Joe Biden pledges support for Lula

After the chaos in Brasília, US President Joe Biden also pledged his support to his counterpart Lula. The White House released a joint statement by the two presidents on Monday (local time) after they spoke on the phone. It said Biden had condemned the violence and attack on Brazil’s democratic institutions and pledged “the United States’ unwavering support for Brazilian democracy.” The two also agreed to meet in Washington in early February. Biden is currently in Mexico and spoke to Lula on the phone during his visit there.

The outbreak of violence in Brazil is a grim reminder of the attack on the US Capitol two years ago almost to the day. On January 6, 2021, supporters of the then US President Donald Trump violently stormed the seat of parliament in Washington. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump had previously incited his supporters in a speech with the unsubstantiated claim that he had been deprived of a victory by massive election fraud.


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