Lula’s position strengthened a week after Brasilia riots

By María Angélica Troncoso

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 15 (EFE).- Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has strengthened his position in power while his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro faces an investigation and finds himself increasingly isolated a week after a far-right insurrection rocked Brasilia.

Some 93% of Brazilians condemn last Sunday’s riots at the seats of power in Brazil and another 55% believe Bolsonaro bears some responsibility for the incident, according to a poll carried out by Datafolha.

The acts of vandalism carried out at the Congress building, the Supreme Federal Court and the presidential palace in Brasilia were denounced at home and abroad while the quick restoration of order by Lula’s government was also lauded

World leaders were united in their condemnation of the assault on the three national institutions and offered Lula their backing just a week after he came to power following a close-fought election with Bolsonaro.

Support even came from those who have traditionally leaned toward Bolsonaro, including Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Colombia’s former president Álvaro Uribe.

Lula’s progressive government also got the backing of the United Nations and the European Union.

The Organization of American States (OEA) called for an extraordinary meeting of its 34 member nations and Unesco offered to help repair the damage caused by the pro-Bolsonaro protesters.

On a domestic level, the support offered to the government by the judicial and legislative powers was immediate and key in taking back control after the riots began.

The following day, Lula was joined by members of the supreme court, parliament and several government agencies as he inspected the damage at the site of the insurrection, a symbolic act in defense of Brazilian democracy.

Brazilian authorities have since opened seven investigations into the riots and have detained 1,800 in connection with the attack, including Anderson Torres, a former justice minister under Bolsonaro who at the time of the alleged coup attempt was head of security in Brasilia.

Bolsonaro, on the other hand, has been in the United States since the end of last year but is firmly in the gaze of the judiciary after the supreme court on Friday named in its investigation into the insurrection.

Bolsonaro, who during his four years in government lashed out at the country’s highest court and has questioned the effectiveness of the electronic voting system, which he baselessly claims is fraudulent, was included in the probe after he posted — and swiftly deleted — a video two days after the riots.

The footage seemingly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the October presidential election result and the legitimacy of Brazil’s state institutions.

Things could become more complicated for the former president following the arrest of Torres on Saturday after the former justice minister turned himself into the authorities after the supreme court issued an arrest warrant, raising the chances that he enters negotiations. EFE


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