Thousands of supporters of Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed the nation’s Congress and presidential offices on Sunday as they protested what they claimed was a stolen election.
The breach comes after Bolsonaro repeatedly attacked the integrity of the country’s recent presidential elections, in which Bolsonaro lost to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula was inaugurated last week.
The demonstrators overran security barriers, climbed on roofs, and vandalized the buildings, the Associated Press reported.
Bolsonaro, who has been hiding out in Florida in recent weeks, has not yet made any comments condemning the incident.
“This absurd attempt to impose their will by force will not prevail,” said Justice Minister Flavio Dino on his Twitter account. “The government of the Federal District has ensured there will be reinforcements. And the forces at our disposal are at work.”
Brazil’s Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco wrote on Twitter that Brazilian officials are focused on using the full extent of the law to get the situation under control.
Pacheco tweeted, “I vehemently repudiate these anti-democratic acts, which must urgently undergo the rigor of the law.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on Sunday, “We condemn the attacks on Brazil’s Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court today. Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable. We join @lulaoficial in urging an immediate end to these actions.”
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