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Brazil: Lula says Bolsonaro fanned violence in capital

December 14, 2022

Lula's incoming justice minister has also vowed to prosecute protesters who caused damage and violently torched cars and buses in Brasilia on Monday.

A burning bus in Brasilia
Brazil faces a tense political and social climate following elections in OctoberImage: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has accused outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of inciting violent riots in the capital, Brasilia.

On Tuesday, the incoming leftist president — known universally as Lula — said Bolsonaro "still hasn't recognized his defeat and continues inciting these fascist activists protesting in the street."

After the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of a pro-Bolsonaro Indigenous leader on Monday for organizing anti-democratic protests, supporters of the outgoing president took to the streets of Brasilia, setting vehicles on fire and attempting to storm the police headquarters.

Although Bolsonaro greenlit the transition of government, he has not explicitly endorsed the results of the election. He has instead issued sporadic and vague statements about the military and the handover of power.

"He's following the same script as all the world's fascists," Lula added.

Bolsonaro supporters face off against military police in Brasilia
The supporters clashed with authorities and attempted to invade the police headquartersImage: Adriano Machado/REUTERS

Protesters to be prosecuted

Flavio Dino, Brazil's incoming justice minister appointed by Lula, has vowed to hold the protesters accountable for the violence and damage they caused.

There would also be no "magic amnesty" for authorities who failed to contain the rioters, he said in an interview with the GloboNews television channel.

Brazil's police and judiciary have been under increasing pressure to reign in Bolsonaro supporters who deny the outcome of the election. The protesters set up a large camp in the capital complete with a food street, makeshift hairdressers and even Catholic and Evangelical churches.

"It's over, the page has been turned, let's look ahead," Dino said. "In 2026, there will be fresh elections."

zc/wd (AFP, LUSA, Reuters)