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Break-in expert in Brazil: “a group of hooligans”

– It seems that the protesters copied the storming of the Capitol building before Donald Trump Supporters backed by conspiracy theories in 2021, he says Jose BackasvirtaProfessor of Regional and Cultural Studies at the University of Helsinki.

On Sunday, thousands of supporters of the former president took part Jair Bolsonaro They gathered in Praça dos Três Poderes, the square in the capital Brasília around which the Congress, the Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court are located.

Suddenly, rioters broke through barricades, smashed windows and entered the Congress building, which was empty on Sunday. Protesters also attacked the presidential palace and the Supreme Court buildings.

A few hours later, the police again took control of the situation. According to Brazilian authorities, around 400 people were said to have been arrested in connection with the break-in.

Some of Bolsonaro’s supporters refused to accept the election results. In recent months, supporters of the former president have, among other things, built camps in different parts of the country.

in the October waters Luiz Inacio “Lola” da Silva Presidential election by a margin of less than 2%. He took office as the country’s president on January 1.

Protesters have acted violently and long opposed the election results, Bacasvirta says, so Sunday’s events weren’t entirely unexpected.

– Among other things, truck drivers blocked roads to show resistance, he says.

After storming the conference area Alexandre de MoraesA Supreme Court judge has ordered all camps of Bolsonaro supporters to be demolished by the military within the next 24 hours.

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A military coup is unlikely

Bacasvirta estimates that the risk of the protests culminating in a military coup is small.

Neither the army nor the police support the protesters, nor the country’s economic elite. In parliament, even the right-wing parties do not support them. I don’t know how this group could pull off a coup. There are simply no resources. Instead, it is about a gang of hooligans reminiscent of those who stormed the United States Capitol.

Former President Jair Bolsonaro also disapproved of the violent actions of his followers.

– Bolsonaro said he is allowed to protest, but not if he becomes violent.

– It is clear that the police and army in Brazil condemned the break-in as illegal and that the incident is now under investigation, says Professor José Bacasvirta.

How widespread is support for the protesters in Brazil?

– Admittedly, the election result in the presidential election was very even between Bolsonaro and da Silva. But the right-wing populist movement behind the storming is made up of a rather small and extremist group. It consists, among other things, of different religious movements and people who oppose Lula because they consider him a communist, he says.

Da Silva himself visited the congressional grounds Sunday evening after the break-in and said all those involved would be held accountable.

According to Professor José Bacasvirta, it is still possible that Bolsonaro supporters will carry out similar attacks against the authorities in Brazil in the coming months.

– In Brazil, dozens of years ago, there were episodic similar events, not a direct intrusion into the congress area but other disturbances.

Read also: Several hundred arrested after the storming of Brazil
Bolsonaro supporters stormed Congress in Brasilia