Brazil issues arrest warrants for security chiefs after pro-Bolsonaro riots
Brazilian authorities seeking to punish the mob that stormed the town hall in Brasilia issued arrest warrants on Tuesday for two former senior officials, one of whom is a close ally of the former president. far-right Jair Bolsonaro.
One of them is Anderson Torres, who used to be Bolsonarominister of justice and more recently chief of security in the capital.
He was fired after Sunday’s Incredible Violencereminiscent of the January 6, 2021 uprising in Washington and was condemned globally.
Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Moraes said Torres’ inaction as thousands of Bolsonaro supporters flooded parliament, the presidential palace and the supreme court was “potentially criminal”.
He also issued an arrest warrant for Fabio Augusto, the head of the military police force in Brasilia who was also removed from his post following Sunday’s mob violence. News reports say he has been detained.
“Brazilian democracy will not be attacked by terrorist criminals, much less destroyed,” the judge wrote in his decision.
Torres was on vacation in the United States on Sunday when the crowds rioted. On Tuesday, he denied any complicity in the events and said he would return to Brazil and defend himself.
Bolsonaro also came to the US from the end of December, skipping the inauguration of his successor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro left a Florida hospital, where he had been treated for intestinal problems caused by a stabbing in 2018.
Most prisoners are released
Security forces in Brasilia were harshly attacked for their initial response to the riots. Videos posted on social media show some of them filming the violence instead of intervening to stop it.
Justice Minister Flavio Dino said about 50 arrest warrants had been issued for those who were not arrested for the looting and others who were not present but accused of organizing the attack.
Police have arrested more than 1,500 people so far but on Tuesday said “599 people have been released, mostly elderly people, people with health problems, the homeless and mothers with children” for reasons due to humanity.
Most of the arrests took place on Monday as police cleared protest camps set up in the capital.
Lula condemned “acts of terrorism and crime, attempted coup d’etat” as he returned to work at the looted presidential palace on Monday.
But on Tuesday, he said “Brazilian democracy remains solid,” in a Twitter post.
“Recover the country from hatred and disunity,” said the 77-year-old former union member, who took office January 1 for a third term as president after defeating Bolsonaro in a divisive election. deep.
Police said 527 people remained in custody while others were being processed.
Those who were released were put on buses to the bus station from where they could return to their hometowns.
From one of the buses, passengers shouted: “Victory is ours!” Some people reach out of the car with a clenched fist – a symbol of resistance – or make a “V” victory sign.
An AFP reporter said the other detainees were taken to the police station to be later transferred to the Papuda prison complex.
Agostinho Ribeiro, a freed Bolsonaro supporter, told AFP: “Now we will rest and prepare for another battle because if they think they will threaten us they are wrong they are wrong. “.
He said the treatment of detainees at a police gym where they were detained was an insult and compared it to a Nazi concentration camp, while blaming to the left-wing “intruders” who caused the riots.
Hundreds of soldiers and police were mobilized to dismantle a makeshift camp outside the army headquarters in Brasilia on Monday.
There, about 3,000 Bolsonaro supporters set up tents – which were used as a base for the sea of protesters who rioted for about four hours on Sunday.
Bolsonaro has accused his electoral defeat of a conspiracy against him by Brazil’s courts and electoral authorities.
Lula, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, met with leaders of both houses of Congress and the chief justice of the Supreme Court on Monday.