Rioters Storm Brazilian Government


Lydia Brady, Reporter

On January 8th, thousands of supporters of Brazil’s far-right former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed government buildings in Brasília due to the recent inauguration of Brazil’s current president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The rioters swarmed the country’s Supreme Court, Congress, and Presidential palace, violently destroying the buildings and their contents. 

The protestors believed that the election of Lula was unfair as the vote was extremely close, and because the Brazilian government has a reputation for being corrupt (BBC News: Brazil corruption scandals). Due to Bolsonaro’s close relationship with the military when he was president, Lula has suspected that the armed forces and military police are complicit with the former president. Some of the military police were seen conversing with the demonstrators at the riot, leading to Lula believing that they were in favor of the protests, saying, “police officers talking to the attackers. There was an explicit connivance of the police with the demonstrators” (CNN: Security Failures in Brazil). 

Even just by hearing a few details, it is an automatic reaction to compare Brazil’s recent protests with the January 6th protests in the United States. In both instances, supporters of a far-right former president attacked government buildings as a form of protesting recent elections. Thousands of protesters conspired against the elected government to install a government that they believed was superior. 

Despite both riots in the United States and Brazil, democracy prevailed and the government was brought into its rightful power over its citizens. Although the protests were not effective in terms of overturning the government, these protests can be seen as a test for a functional democracy. Any sort of riot or attack on the government would not be permissible in an authoritarian country such as Russia, where protestors would not even reach the point of conspiring against the government. Although there was an immense amount of damage in both instances, each event brought the proper elected officials into power and gave them a chance to stand their ground within the government.