Lula recalls coup attack, promises to unite, rebuild Brazil

Brasilia, Jan 8 (EFE).- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday recalled the coup attempt a month ago against the three branches of government perpetrated by thousands of supporters of ultrarightist former President Jair Bolsonaro and promised to “unite” and “rebuild” the country.

“On Jan. 8, the seat(s) of our government branches were invaded and vandalized by people who don’t respect the public or Brazil. A month later, we’re firmly continuing to work to defend democracy, the union and the reconstruction of the country,” said Lula on the social networks.

The leftist president accompanied his message with a video almost five minutes long, released on the government’s official channels, that shows the violent assault on the headquarters of the presidency, the Congress and the Supreme Court carried out by radical followers of Bolsonaro on Jan. 8.

The incident, characterized by the government as “an attempted coup d’etat,” occurred a week after Lula took office for the third time after defeating Bolsonaro in the October 2022 presidential runoff.

The former president is currently being investigated for inciting his backers to attack the government institutions.

The video shows the destruction caused by the mob of ultrarightists, who the current administration is linking with “terrorism,” “criminal association” and “crimes against cultural heritage.”

The video also includes statements by Lula promising to punish all those responsible for the attack on Brazil’s institutions and accusing the police and military personnel tasked with providing security for the three government branches with “negligence,” a charge that is under investigation.

In addition, the video discusses the meetings Lula held with the heads of the legislative and judicial branches and the great majority of governors of Brazil’s 27 states.

Finally, the video includes the unexpected firing of the then-army commander, Gen. Julio Cesar de Arruda, and the naming of his successor, Gen. Tomas Paiva, a decision whereby Lula wanted to end the “confidence gap” opened up between the government and the army command after the Brasilia assault.

EFE cms/mp/bp

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