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Brazil: 1,200 Bolsonaristas arrested after assault

Brazilian authorities vowed to protect democracy and on Monday were preparing to impose punishments after thousands of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congress, the Federal Supreme Court and the presidential palace and vandalized the country's main seats of power.

Protesters on Sunday called for a military intervention to reinstate the far-right Bolsonaro in power or oust leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, newly installed in office, in scenes of chaos and destruction reminiscent of the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Rioters dressed in the green and yellow colors of the national flag smashed windows, knocked over furniture and threw computers and printers to the ground. They punctured a huge painting by Emiliano Di Cavalcanti at five points, overturned the U-shaped table where Federal Supreme Court justices meet, ripped off a judge's office door and vandalized an iconic statue in front of the court. The interiors of the monumental buildings were left in a state of ruin.

So far 1,200 people have been arrested, the Justice Ministry said Monday. Police reacted remarkably slowly, even after the arrival of more than 100 buses, leading many to wonder whether the authorities simply ignored numerous warnings, underestimated the strength of the protesters or were complicit in some way.


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