Brazil's President declares state of emergency in capital until end of month due to unrest

Geopolitics Materials 9 January 2023 09:05
Moscow, Russia TASS
Brazil's President declares state of emergency in capital until end of month due to unrest

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declared a state of emergency in the country's capital due to the riots staged on Sunday by supporters of former head of state Jair Bolsonaro. He read out the relevant decree, speaking to reporters.

"[There is a]decree on federal intervention in the [capital] Federal District in order to contain large-scale violations of public order <...> until January 31, 2023," the President said. He specified that for this period the federal authorities will assume the functions of managing public security agencies.
Da Silva said that security functions in Brasilia are legally assigned to the military police of the Federal District, which, in his opinion, "did nothing."

"I would call it incompetence, unwillingness or even malice on the part of those responsible for public safety in the Federal District. This is not the first time," he added.

According to the head of state, such inaction of law enforcement officers should not go unpunished. "They cannot serve in the department, because the Brazilian society does not trust them," Lula da Silva stressed.
On Sunday, the supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro clashed with police in the country's capital and broke into the National Congress (Parliament) and other state institutions. The few security guards at the empty sites on Sunday were unable to rebuff the protesters who did not recognize the results of the October presidential election.

According to preliminary estimates, about 5,000 people participated in the riots. To disperse the demonstrators, the security forces used smoke bombs and tear gas grenades, including dropping them from a helicopter. Law enforcement officers are successfully regaining control over the buildings attacked by vandals, the detainees are sent to police stations. There have been no official reports of possible casualties yet.

Socialist Lula da Silva took office as President of Brazil on January 1, defeating Bolsonaro in the second round of elections. The gap between them was 2.1 million votes. The conservative did not admit defeat, and his supporters massively took to the streets and to the garrisons of the armed forces demanding that Lula da Silva not take office. At the end of December 2022, Bolsonaro left for the United States.