Photo: Getty Images
  /  01.08.2023

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters have stormed government buildings in the country’s capital, Brasília.

Footage of the chaotic scene that broke out Sunday (Jan. 8) afternoon has flooded social media. Thousands of people breached security at the Supreme Court, where Congress was in secession, the congressional building and the Planalto Presidential Palace. A week ago, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva marked his return to power following a runoff against Bolsonaro. Lula previously held office from 2003 to 2011.

The scene is eerily similar to the one that took place in Washington, D.C. when then-President Donald Trump was accused of inciting his supporters to wreak havoc on the capital. At the time, Congress was in the process of certifying the presidential electoral vote on Jan. 6, 2021.  Bolsonaro’s followers also believed the Brazilian election was stolen.

CNN reported that Bolsonaro’s supporters have been camped outside of the capital since Oct. 30. Brazil’s Armed Forces and anti-riot units had barriers, but they were an insufficient means to thwart demonstrators from moving forward with their mission to disrupt order. Their actions include throwing chairs out of windows and barricading themselves inside government buildings. “What we are witnessing is a terrorist attack. The three buildings have been invaded by coup-mongering terrorists,” said Erick Bang, GloboNews news anchor.

Several world leaders have taken to social media to condemn the abhorrent actions threatening the country’s democracy. “In the wake of the events in Brazil, we express Mexico’s full support for President Lula’s administration, elected by popular will. We reject any attempt against democratic institutions,” tweeted Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. Chile’s President Gabriel Borin tweeted, “The Brazilian government has our full support in the face of this cowardly and vile attack on democracy.” Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, wrote that “The United States condemns any effort to undermine democracy in Brazil. President Biden is following the situation closely, and our support for Brazil’s democratic institutions is unwavering. Brazil’s democracy will not be shaken by violence.”

View footage of the turmoil below.

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