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More than 1,200 people charged in attack on Brazilian Congress

Protesters storm Brazil's government buildings on Sunday, Jan. 8. (Video/Released)

Brazilian authorities have charged more than 1,200 people with crimes in connection with Sunday’s attack on government buildings in the nation’s capital, Brasilia.

Supporters of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro launched the assault on Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace nearly two years to the day after crazed supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Over 1,500 people were initially detained, but closer to 1,200 will face charges, the BBC reported.

Bolsonaro, once described as “The Trump of the Tropics,” lost his reelection bid against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, best known as Lula, in October. Like Trump, Bolsonaro refused to concede the election. He flew to Florida before Lula was inaugurated and was hospitalized Monday.

On Jan. 8, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed buildings in Brasilia. Unlike in the U.S., the new government had already taken office. Though the “Bolsonaristas” smashed windows and generally wreaked havoc throughout the buildings, no one was killed in the chaos.

Security forces were blamed for their weak reaction to the demonstrators.

“Brazilian authorities had two years to learn the lessons from the Capitol invasion and to prepare themselves for something similar in Brazil,” Maurício Santoro, a political science professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, said Sunday.

“Local security forces in Brasilia failed in a systematic way to prevent and to respond to extremist actions in the city.”

Authorities eventually responded with a federal “intervention” in which military personnel secured the streets of Brasilia. Troops were out in force on Wednesday in front of government buildings.

Despite the arrests, Bolsonaro supporters continued to call for “mega” demonstrations in state capitals throughout Brazil, according to the BBC.


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