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Brazilian authorities clear govt offices of protesters, at least 170 arrested

Police said authorities have taken control of three main government buildings — Supreme Court, presidential palace and Congressional.


At least 170 people were arrested after supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed government offices, CNN reported citing CNN Brasil. Police said the authorities have taken control of three main government buildings — the Supreme Court, the presidential palace and Congressional buildings.

According to the police, the government buildings involved in Monday’s breach have been cleared of protesters. Executive secretary of the Brazilian Justice Minister, Ricardo Cappelli, vowed to punish all those involved in breaching the government buildings. “I’m in the field, walking on the streets and personally commanding the security forces, fulfilling the mission I received from the President of the Republic. Nobody will go unpunished. The democratic rule of law will not be walled up by criminals,” CNN quoted Ricardo Cappelli as saying.

On Sunday, supporters of Bolsonaro breached security barriers and broke into Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and the Planalto Presidential Palace, CNN reported citing images shown in Brazilian media.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was not in the building at the time. However, a team of officials gathered for the newly-elected President was working inside the palace when the protesters entered the building.

The raid by Bolsonaro supporters comes after Brazil’s Justice Minister Flavio Dino on Saturday authorised the country’s armed forces to set up barriers and guard the congressional building due to the continued presence of Bolsonaro supporters, as per the news report.

The report said supporters of Bolsonaro have been camping out in Brasilia since Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took over as Brazilian President. Since Bolsonaro’s defeat in the elections, thousands of his supporters have gathered at military barracks in Brazil, calling on the army to step in as they claim that the election was stolen.

Meanwhile, Minister-Chief of the Secretariat of Social Communication for Brazil’s President Paulo Pimenta shared a video on Twitter giving a walking tour of his office after Bolsonaro supporters entered the Planalto palace. The video shows overturned furniture, destroyed computers and monitors and damaged artwork.

According to CNN, Paulo Pimenta in a video posted on Twitter said, “I’m in my office on the second floor of the Planalto Palace. As you can see everything was destroyed.”

He asserted that those involved in the act need to be treated as “criminals.”

Paulo Pimenta further said, “This is a criminal thing that was done here, this is a revolting thing. Works of art … Look what the vandals did here, the chaos the vandals made here. Destroyed works of art, the country’s heritage,” according to CNN. He stressed that it is “unbelievable what has been done in the Palace.”