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Tipsheet

Why We Could Hear a Lot About Brazil This Week From the Liberal Media

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lost his bid for another term to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in October. Silva, a socialist, was president between 2003 and 2010. Neither candidate won a majority of the vote on October 2, so a runoff was held twenty days later, where Bolsonaro lobbed allegations of voter fraud. Bolsonaro is considered a Trump-like candidate, but that’s not why we could be hearing a boatload about Brazil in the coming days. Supporters of Bolsonaro had their own ‘January 6’ moment when they flooded the capital and seized control of some government buildings. Hundreds have been arrested as a result (via Associated Press):

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Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who refuse to accept his election defeat stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential palace Sunday, a week after the inauguration of his leftist rival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. 

Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, smashed windows and invaded all three buildings, which were believed to be largely vacant on the weekend. Some of the demonstrators called for a military intervention to either restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power or oust Lula from the presidency. 

Hours went by before control of the buildings on Brasilia’s vast Three Powers Square was reestablished, with hundreds of the participants arrested. 

In a news conference from Sao Paulo state, Lula accused Bolsonaro of encouraging the uprising by those he termed “fascist fanatics,” and he read a freshly signed decree for the federal government to take control of security in the federal district. 

[…] 

Bolsonaro, who flew to Florida ahead of Lula’s inauguration, repudiated the president’s accusation late Sunday. He wrote on Twitter that peaceful protest is part of democracy but vandalism and invasion of public buildings are “exceptions to the rule.”

Police fired tear gas in their efforts to recover the buildings, and were shown on television in the late afternoon marching protesters down a ramp from the presidential palace with their hands secured behind their backs. By early evening, with authorities’ control of the buildings restored, Justice Minister Flavio Dino said in a news conference that roughly 200 people had been arrested and officers were firing more tear gas to drive away lingering protesters. 

But with the damage already done, many in Brazil were questioning how the police had ignored abundant warnings, were unprepared or were somehow complicit.

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It could be just a few days of media coverage and articles, or this could become a week-long marathon in a pathetic and futile exercise to make Americans care about that little riot in January of 2021, which no one cares about anymore except liberals and Liz Cheney. The initial headlines are already outrageous.

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