Chaos in Brazil

The chaos in Brazil demonstrates how power-drunk dictators and their unhinged supporters can hold their own country to ransom if the public mandate in a democratically held election goes against them. The supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro went berserk on the streets of Brasilia recently, storming the presidential palace and the buildings of the National Congress, as well as the Supreme Court. The hooligans hit the streets, unable to digest the defeat of their leader in the election which saw Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, coming to power. The rioting started a week after Lula was sworn in. There are uncanny parallels between the scenes in Brasilia and the attack on the US Capitol by the supporters of Donald Trump on 6 January, 2021.

Bolsonaro, the right-wing former president of Brazil, had for months sought to undermine the results of an election that he lost, in much the same manner that Trump did after his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. The supporters of Bolsonaro are seeking to overturn the results of Brazil’s election and restore the former president to power. Similar to the 6 January attack on the Capitol, the mob that descended on the Brazilian capital overpowered the police at the perimeter of the building that houses the Congress, and swept into the halls of power. Bolsonaro’s supporters railed online about a supposed “communist takeover” – exactly the same type of rhetoric that drove the rioters in Washington two years ago.

In another parallel with the Capitol riot, some supporters of the former president attempted to shift the blame by pinning the storming of government offices on outside agitators or supporters of President Lula.