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Brazil: Bolsonaro supporters riot in Brasilia

December 13, 2022

Jair Bolsonaro backers confronted police in the Brazilian capital as Lula da Silva was ratified as the country's new president. The rioters at one point attempted to storm the federal police headquarters.

Bolsonaro supporters cause unrest following the arrest of Indigenous leader Jose Acacio Serere Xavante
Bolsonaro fans remain defiant despite Lula's win Image: Adriano Machado/REUTERS

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro clashed with police on Monday, setting fire to several vehicles and attempting to invade the federal police's headquarters in Brazil's capital city Brasilia.

Brasilia's public security secretariat said in a statement that unrest occurred after police carried out an arrest warrant. Earlier that day, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the temporary arrest of Jose Acacio Serere Xavante, suspected of taking part in anti-democratic protests. 

Bus set on fire Brasilia
A bus was set on fire by Bolsonaro's supporters in the capitalImage: Adriano Machado/REUTERS

Since far-right Bolsonaro lost re-election to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on October 30, many of his supporters have gathered outside military barracks across the country, refusing to concede defeat and asking for the armed forces to intervene.

Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly claimed the country's electronic voting system is vulnerable to fraud, has not admitted defeat. However, he greenlit the transition process to go ahead.

Lula ratified as Brazil's next president

Meanwhile, Brazilian President-elect Lula Inacio Lula da Silva broke down in tears at a ceremony ratifying his election win.

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva greets Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin during a ceremony as their election victory was ratifiedImage: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

The 77-year-old ex-metalworker was overcome with emotion as he praised "the boldness of the Brazilian people in handing this document to someone who's been attacked so many times for not having a university diploma."

Lula is set to be inaugurated on January 1. He has already begun naming members of his cabinet

Lula described Monday's ceremony as a victory for democracy amid Bolsonaro's baseless fraud claims.

dh/wd (AP, AFP, Reuters)