Brazil’s President Lula criticizes police for protesters’ breach of government buildings

10 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

brazil World

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva criticised the police on Monday (local time) for allowing protestors to enter official facilities, including the presidential palace, Con...

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva criticised the police on Monday (local time) for allowing protestors to enter official facilities, including the presidential palace, Congress, and the Supreme Court, in the city of Brasilia on Sunday, according to CNN.

“The Brasilia police neglected (the attack threat), Brasilia’s intelligence neglected it,” Lula said during a meeting with governors. “It is easy to see in the footage of the police officers talking to the attackers. There was an explicit connivance of the police with the demonstrators,” he said. He also vowed to find out who financed the protesters.

Protesters rallying in favour of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro encircled government facilities on Sunday, urging the military to intervene and depose socialist icon Lula da Silva, who returned to power after a 12-year sabbatical after a narrow run-off victory against Bolsonaro last October.

According to CNN, footage from the raid appeared to show soldiers standing by and watching demonstrators march into government facilities.

Prior to the attack, Bolsonaro supporters had been camping out in front of army facilities around the country, pleading for a military intervention to overturn his defeat in the 2022 presidential election.

Police made more than 1,500 arrests and Lula stated they were investigating individuals who sponsored the ‘coup acts’.

The government is also investigating the financiers and organizers of the protests, Dino said, adding that a tip-off email account had since received 13,000 messages.

The attack bore similarities to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington DC, when supporters of ex-US President Donald Trump — a close ally of Bolsonaro — stormed Congress in an effort to prevent the certification of his election defeat.

Meanwhile, Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted a photo of himself on a hospital bed in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, saying it was related to injuries from a 2018 knife attack during a political rally, reported CNN.

Bolsonaro left Brazil for the US on Dec. 30, 2022 — just two days before Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s inauguration — and was admitted into the Florida hospital after suffering from abdominal ‘discomfort’, according to an Instagram post from his wife Michelle Bolsonaro.

In the latest development, Brazil police found five hand grenades on the premises of the Supreme Court and Congress after the Sunday attacks on government buildings in Brasilia, Brazilian Sen Randolfe Rodrigues told CNN Brasil on Monday.

Rodrigues, who will be leading President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government in Congress, said three of the grenades were found in the Supreme Court and two in Congress.

The senator branded the perpetrators of the attacks as “terrorists” who sought to destroy the Supreme Court, the Presidential Palace, and Congress in a tweet that he subsequently deleted.

In a separate tweet, he urged security officials to identify all individuals engaged in the government building assaults.