Lula: Police, soldiers were complicit in assault on Brazil government

Brasilia, Jan 12 (EFE).- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday that members of the police and armed forces were complicit in the Bolsonaro supporters’ attack last weekend in which they briefly took over the seats of the executive branch, Congress and the Supreme Court.

“I want to see the videos recorded inside the Supreme Court, inside (Planalto) Palace. There were many complicit people. There were many complicit members of the police, many complicit members inside the armed forces…” said the progressive leader at a breakfast with reporters.

Lula said that he still had not talked with his collaborators about his suspicions because he is waiting for the situation to calm down a bit, but he added that he is convinced that the complicit insiders opened the doors of the institutions for the anti-democratic protesters last Sunday.

“I’m convinced that the door to Planalto Palace was opened so that those people could enter because there’s no door that’s broken. That is, someone facilitated the entry here,” the leader of the leftist Workers Party (PT) said.

Security at Planalto Palace, the seat of Brazil’s executive branch, is in the hands of the Presidential Guard, an army battalion and agents of the Militarized Police, some of whom appear in videos fraternizing with the attackers.

According to his allies, in viewing the attack by television from Sao Paulo, Lula complained about the inaction of the armed forces and their inability to prevent that situation from going as far as it did.

“The image I have is of some members of the armed forces who know that their role is defined in the Constitution. … Their role is defined in the Constitution and that is what I want them to do well,” he said.

The thousands of supporters of former ultrarightist President Jair Bolsonaro, who do not acknowledge Lula’s victory in the Oct. 30 presidential runoff, attacked the seats of the three branches of government in an attempt to pressure the military to stage a coup d’etat to remove the newly inaugurated leftist president from office.

The violent and unprecedented attack concluded with the arrest of about 1,800 people, of whom a third were released for humanitarian reasons although they will remain linked to the attack and to the investigation into it.

Lula said that the process to select personnel to replace Bolsonaro supporters working for the President’s Office has already been launched.

“The truth is that the Palace was filled with Bolsonaristas, with military personnel, and we’re seeing if we can correct that to be able to put career officials in there, with a preference for civilians who were here and were transferred” when Bolsonaro came into office, he said.

Regarding criticism of Defense Minister Jose Mucio for not taking measures to prevent the attacks that, apparently, had been foreseen, Lula said that he has confidence in him and will keep him in his current post.

“If I have to remove every minister the moment they make a mistake, it will be the biggest payroll rotation in the history of Brazil. We all make mistakes,” Lula said.

EFE –/bp

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