Brazil has been thrown into chaos amid reports of rampant election tampering and the ousting of former President Jair Bolsonaro. Peaceful protests have devolved into violent rioting.
The former president left the country on Dec. 30 in advance of the inauguration of the new president.
On Monday, O Globo newspaper reported that Bolsonaro had been admitted to a hospital in Orlando, Florida, due to “abdominal pain.”
The medical update comes a day after Bolsonaro’s supporters rioted and entered government buildings in Brasilia to protest the inauguration of incoming President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Rioters reportedly targeted Brazil’s Supreme Court building, facilities used by Congress, and the presidential palace.
Bolsonaro condemned the violence but commended those who continue to fight for election reform and transparency in government. A Saturday statement read:
“Peaceful protests, according to the law, are part of democracy. However, destruction and invasion of public buildings like those that happened today, just as those committed by the left in 2013 and 2017, are out of line. Throughout my mandate [presidency], I was always within the confines of the constitution, respecting and defending the law, democracy, transparency, and our sacred liberty.”
This is not Bolsonaro’s only hospitalization in recent years. The former president has a history of health problems after suffering intestinal damage when he was stabbed at a 2018 campaign rally. He has been hospitalized several times for intestinal blockages since 2020.
Bolsonaro continues to contest election results, noting that he was winning the election the night ballots were counted only to lose when suspicious waves of opposition votes were tabulated in the final hours.