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Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate against President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
The protesters had demanded the reinstatement of President Jair BolsonaroImage: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

Brazil police carry out raids over January 8 insurrection

Richard Connor
February 3, 2023

Police have carried out new raids as part of their probe into the storming of government buildings. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has reiterated that his predecessor prepared the attacks as part of a coup attempt.


Police in Brazil on Friday said they had carried out fresh raids as part of a probe into the storming and ransacking of the country's Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court.

The swoops are the latest phase of an operation aimed at identifying people who participated in, funded or fomented the uprising, which President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva insists were prepared by his predecessor.

What we know so far

Police said they were serving three preventive arrest warrants and 14 search and seizure warrants that had been ordered by the Supreme Court.

The operation took place in five states — Rondonia, Goias, Espírito Santo, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso — as well as the federal district where the capital, Brasilia, is located.

"The facts investigated constitute, in theory, the crimes of violent abolition of the democratic state of law, coup d'etat, qualified damage, criminal association, incitement to crime, and the destruction, deterioration or disablement of specially protected property," a police statement said.

Bolsonaro supporters storm government buildings in Brasilia

The statement did not disclose the names of the people targeted by the raids. 

Demonstrators who attacked the seats of power were protesting Bolsonaro's defeat by Lula in an October election, urging the military to oust Lula and restore the far-right leader.

Fresh claims of Bolsonaro's involvement

Lula, who was not in the capital at the time of the riots, on Thursday repeated his claim that Bolsonaro was responsible for the violence in Brasilia.

"Today I am well aware and will say it loud and clear: That citizen [former president Bolsonaro] prepared the coup," Lula told broadcaster RedeTV!.

 "I am certain that Bolsonaro actively participated in that and is still trying to participate," Lula added. The president has also accused the local militarized police force of not doing enough to stop the advance of the protesters.

The president's renewed allegations against Bolsonaro, who left Brazil for the United States in December, came the same day that a Brazilian senator said the former president had attended a meeting on preventing the handover of power, and fired scores of guards at his own residence.

Senator Marcos do Val said that he had been invited to attend a meeting in which Bolsonaro had "sat in silence" while the plot was laid out to him by former lawmaker Daniel Silveira.

Do Val's account is the strongest testimony yet to support the claim that Bolsonaro tried to have the result of the October election overturned.

The plan was to force Superior Electoral Court president Alexandre de Moraes to say something incriminating while secretly recording him. Bolsonaro supporters have targeted De Moraes, who allege that he interfered in the election to help Lula. 

Silveira was arrested on Thursday on a warrant issued by Moraes, who accused him of "complete disrespect and mockery" of the judiciary and disregarding court rulings.

Edited by: Sean Sinico

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