1,200 protesters arrested after pro-Bolsonaro camp broken up

Brasilia, Jan 9 (EFE).- At least 1,200 supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro were arrested on Monday at a camp they had set up outside the Brazilian army’s headquarters in the capital.

Supporters of the far-right firebrand Bolsonaro, who had set up the camp in October to protest the election victory of the left-wing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on Sunday stormed Congress, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court, in the worst attack on Brazil’s democratic and civilian institutions since the 1964 military coup.

Police surrounded the protest camp on Monday morning and transferred the detained protesters on 40 buses to the Federal Police headquarters, according to the justice ministry.

The alleged rioters will be identified and questioned over Sunday’s violent attacks, the statement added.

Almost 300 people were also detained on Sunday.

Dismantled barriers near the Congress building in Brasilia

The eviction came after the Supreme Court ordered all the camps set up by Bolsonaro supporters to be dismantled.

Magistrate Alexandre de Moraes, one of 11 Supreme Court judges who has led several probes into Bolsonaro’s government, said in his order that “absolutely nothing justifies the existence of full camps of terrorists, sponsored by various financiers and with the complacency of civil and military authorities in total subversion of necessary respect for the Federal Constitution.”

The Bolsonaro supporters’ camp in Brasilia was set up the day after Lula prevailed in the second round of the presidential elections on October 20.

Although the number of protesters in the camp had been dwindling since Lula’s inauguration on January 1, thousands traveled by bus from across the country to join the protesters calling for a military intervention over baseless claims that Lula defeated Bolsonaro due to electoral fraud.

They stormed Congress and then the Supreme Court and Planalto Palace, all located around the Plaza de los Tres Poderes.

Lula has ordered the federal government to take over policing in Brasilia until January 31 and riot police, using tear gas and stun bombs, took control some four-and-a-half hours after the start of the attack. EFE

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