Brasilia, Dec 12 (EFE).- Supporters of Brazil’s outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro rioted Monday at a federal police headquarters in Brasilia and set fire to vehicles in protest of the arrest of a fellow supporter.
The protesters set fire to an urban bus circulating through the center of the capital and several cars in the parking lot of the police building.
The military police used tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters who, according to local media, tried to force their way into one of the administrative headquarters of the federal police.
The riots took place in the center of Brasilia near the hotel where president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will assume power on Jan. 1, is staying. Police officers set up a security fence around the hotel after the riots broke out.
The demonstrators protested the arrest of an indigenous chief, who was detained on Monday by court order, suspected of supporting anti-democratic acts calling for a coup against Lula.
Supreme Court magistrate Alexandre de Moraes ordered the arrest of José Acácio Serere Xavante, for his alleged involvement in “undemocratic acts.”
The indigenous leader is being investigated for the crimes of “threat, persecution and violent abolition of the democratic rule of law,” said a statement from the Supreme Court.
The future justice minister in Lula’s government, Flávio Dino, condemned the riots and violence.
“The depredation and attempted invasion of the Federal Police building in Brasilia are unacceptable. Court orders must be complied with by the Federal Police,” Dino wrote on Twitter.
“Those who consider themselves harmed must offer the appropriate resources, never practice political violence.”
Since the election runoff on Oct. 30, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters have taken to the streets to protest against the result and to demand the “intervention” of the military to prevent Lula’s investiture.
Lula won with 50.9 percent of the votes, compared to 49.1 percent for Bolsonaro, who has not publicly acknowledged his defeat, although he has allowed the start of the transition.
On Monday, Lula received the certificate that accredits him as president-elect, a procedure prior to inauguration. EFE