Camps of election-denying protesters in Brazil seen as threat ahead of Lula inauguration
Brazil’s incoming justice minister said Sunday, a day after police detonated an explosive device and arrested a suspect they allege had links to the Brasilia camp, protesters protested against the protests. Election camps outside Brazil’s military bases have become “incubators of terrorism”.
supporters President Jair Bolsonaro camped outside military bases in Brazil for weeks, calling on the army to overturn the leftist victory President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvawho took office on January 1.
“Yesterday’s serious events in Brasilia prove that the so-called ‘patriotic’ camp has become a breeding ground for terrorists,” Flavio Dino, the incoming minister, wrote on Twitter. “There will be no amnesty for the terrorists who support and finance them.”
Dino said arrangements for Lula’s inauguration would be “re-evaluated, in order to tighten security.”
In another tweet, Dino said he would propose the creation of “special groups to fight terrorism and irresponsible weapons. The rule of law is incompatible with these political militias.”
News of the bombing added a new dimension to post-election violence in Brazil, where tensions remain high after the most intense election in a generation.
Jair Bolsonaro won’t admit defeat in October election
Bolsonaro, who has yet to concede defeat, has made baseless claims about the reliability of Brazil’s voting system and many of his staunch supporters believe him. The head of Brazil’s electoral court last month refuse to complain from Bolsonaro’s allies to challenge the presidential election.
Camp Brasilia, outside the military headquarters, has become one of the most extreme places in the country. On December 12, the day Lula’s victory was certified, several camp residents attacked the federal police headquarters in Brasilia.
Robson Candido, head of the Civil Police in Brasilia, said a 54-year-old man from the northeastern state of Para was arrested and confessed to placing the device in a fuel truck near the airport. Brasilia to cause chaos.
“He came to participate in the protests, outside the military headquarters, and he was part of a movement that supported the incumbent president,” Candido told reporters. “They’re carrying out that mission, which they say is ideological, but it’s spiraling out of control.”
Police also found assault-style rifles and other explosives at an apartment the man rented in Brasilia. Candido said the suspect is a registered gun owner, known as the CAC, a group that has grown sixfold to nearly 700,000 people since Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and began to relax gun laws.
Candido said the man and his helpers tried to detonate the explosive device, but it didn’t explode. It is not yet clear how many others were involved, he said.
“We’ve never had a bomb in Brazil,” he said.