Lula vows to punish Brazilian Congress invaders
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says perpetrators will be found and punished after supporters of Brazilian far-right ex-President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congress. The dramatic scenes come a week after the left-wing veteran's inauguration. Supporters of Mr Bolsonaro - who refuse to accept that he lost the election - broke through police barriers in the capital, Brasília. Police used tear gas but failed to repel the demonstrators. Mr da Silva - better known as Lula - said there was "no precedent in the history of our country" for the scenes seen at Congress and at the Supreme Court. He called the violence the "acts of vandals and fascists". Protesters have smashed windows, while others reached the Senate chamber, where they jumped on to seats and used benches as slides. It is unclear if they are still in the building. Footage on social media shows protesters pulling a policeman from his horse and attacking him outside the building. Lima, a 27-year-old production engineer, said: "We need to re-establish order after this fraudulent election. "I'm here for history, for my daughters," she told the AFP news agency.
Many are drawing comparisons with the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 by supporters of Donald Trump, an ally of Mr Bolsonaro. Mr Bolsonaro's supporters are calling for military intervention and the resignation of Lula, who defeated his far-right rival in October's election. Many of them created camps in cities across Brazil, some of them outside the military barracks. That's because his most ardent supporters want the military to intervene and make good elections that they say were stolen. It looked like their movement had been curbed by Lula's inauguration - the camps in Brasilia had been dismantled and there was no disruption on the day he was sworn in. But Sunday's scenes show that those predictions were premature. Justice and Public Security Minister Flavio Dino called the invasion "an absurd attempt to impose [the protesters'] will by force". "It will not prevail," he wrote on Twitter. Leaders from Latin America have condemned the violence. Chilean President Gabriel Boric said Brazil has its "full support in the face of this cowardly and vile attack on democracy". Colombian President Gustavo Petro said "fascism has decided to stage a coup", while Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico expresses "full support for President Lula's administration, elected by popular will". Lula is currently on an official trip in São Paulo state. In his inauguration speech, he vowed to rebuild a country in "terrible ruins". He decried the policies of his predecessor, who went to the US to avoid the handover ceremony. Source