Far-Right Brazilian Nationalists Attempt a Coup D’etat in the Name of Jair Bolsonaro


Anderson Riedel

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro.

Hannah Shiflett, Reporter

Only two days after the two-year anniversary of the January 6 Insurrection, Brazil has now faced its own version of an insurrection.

Jair Bolsonaro is the former President of Brazil and yesterday his supporters stormed into Congress. Bolsonaro lost his election to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and supporters of the former president were not happy.

Bolsnaro is a member of the Liberal Party, a right-leaning political group. It has been noted that when Bolsonaro has been affiliated with a few political parties in Brazil, such as the Social Liberal Party.

The Social Liberal Party was initially centered on its ideology. However, in 2018, when Bolsonaro joined the party, it turned into a far-right-leaning group with Brazillian nationalism as one of its main focuses along with Federalism. Bolsonaro was then elected president in 2019 and that same year, left the party. In 2022, the party disbanded and merged with other political parties.

While Bolsonaro was in office he became highly disliked. He has rolled back on protections of the Amazon, and indigenous people, and downplayed the severity of the Coronavirus. He was also found to be promoting misinformation regarding the virus and when the election came, he also caused panic regarding the integrity of the election. Bolsonaro also has strong connections to corrupt individuals and has allegedly partaken in corruption as well.

In 2022, Bolsonaro lost the election to former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula had won the majority of the votes in both rounds of the election in October. In November, Bolsonaro did not acknowledge the defeat however said that he “will continue complying with the orders of the constitution.” Following his defeat, protests took place in Brazil, however, in December, Bolsonaro left Brazil for the United States effectively avoiding the swearing-in ceremony of Lula.

Since Bolsonaro has left the country, further misinformation has taken place. It is believed that due to the statements regarding the integrity of the election, thousands of Brazilian nationalists took to the streets and invaded the National Congress of Brazil, the Planalto Presidential Palace, and the Supreme Court of Brazil. The attempt was to overtake the government, promote a military Coup d’etat, and reinstate Bolsonaro as the president of the country.

As the events unfolded, Bolsonaro tweeted that protestors were demonstrating peacefully and would be justified because of what happened in 2013 and 2017. In a later tweet, Bolsonaro stated that he is not associated with the protestors nor was he the one to plan it.

Once the protests ended, now over 1,200 people have been arrested in Brazil in association with the riot. The military is assisting the police in arresting the protestors. Currently, Brazilian authorities have stated that there will be charges for crimes against a democratic institution and for attempting to remove democratically elected officials.

The events that occurred in Brazil are all eerily similar to what happened in the United States on Jan. 6, 2021. Many people have stated that the world looks to the U.S. on how to act. However in the case of the election, many were left horrified by the actions of Jan. 6. In Brazil, they nearly seem to be a source of inspiration for far-right nationalists.