Bolsonaro supporters attack police headquarters in Brazil
Supporters of the outgoing president have been calling for military intervention since he lost the election to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Supporters of Brazil’s outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro have attempted to invade federal police headquarters in the capital, in a burst of post-election violence on the day Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was certified as the country’s next president.
Witnesses saw Bolsonaro supporters, many in their trademark yellow national football jerseys or draped in Brazilian flags, confronting security forces on Monday night at police headquarters in Brasilia.
Police fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd, the Reuters news agency reported, and nearby buses and cars were set on fire.
Federal police said “disturbances” near the headquarters were being handled with support from capital security forces.
Brasilia’s public security secretariat said that the unrest began after police carried out a temporary arrest warrant for Indigenous leader and Bolsonaro supporter José Acácio Serere Xavante, on suspicion of participating in anti-democratic protests.
Since Lula won the election run-off on October 30, Bolsonaro has failed to concede, and some of his supporters have gathered outside military barracks across the country, demanding the armed forces intervene.
Monday’s clashes took place after Lula and his vice president were officially certified as winners of the closely-fought election.
“The depredation and attempted invasion of the Federal Police building in Brasilia is unacceptable,” said Flavio Dino, who will be Justice and Public Security Minister in Lula’s administration.
Lula, whose inauguration is scheduled for January 1, broke down in tears at the ceremony ratifying his election victory.
Speaking after receiving the official “diploma” declaring him the winner, the 77-year-old ex-metalworker was overcome with emotion as he praised “the boldness of the Brazilian people in handing this document to someone who’s been attacked so many times for not having a university diploma”.
While Bolsonaro has not explicitly conceded defeat, he has authorised the transition process to go ahead.