There was chaos in Brazil over the weekend. Supporters of the country’s ousted President Jair Bolsonaro stormed buildings in the capital as they refused to accept his defeat to now President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. At least 400 people have been arrested after rioters smashed windows, climbed on the roofs and flooded parts of Congress.
Demonstrators also forcefully invaded the Supreme Court and Brazil’s presidential palace, demanding the newly elected leftist President Lula be taken out of power. After firing tear gas, Brazilian authorities later took control.
Many are drawing comparisons of what happened in Brazil’s capital to the Capitol attack in the U.S. two years ago. Former President Bolsonaro has been called the “Trump of South America,” as he similarly questioned the voting systems and refused to accept his defeat following Brazil’s general elections back in October.
Ahead of the formal inauguration, he flew to Florida. Critics say he has since inspired domestic terrorism in his home country. Short after some of his supporters stormed the capital, Bolsonaro appeared to rebuke the attacks, saying the invasion of public buildings crosses the line.
Bolsonaro was later admitted to a hospital in Orlando, Florida, on Monday with “abdominal pain,” as reported by Reuters.
Still, U.S. lawmakers are calling for him to be sent back to Brazil and denied safe refuge in the U.S., where he remains right now. Meanwhile, President Lula says the country will absolutely punish the thousands of protesters who stormed the nation’s highest seats of power.
All of this amounts to one of the worst attacks in Brazil since the military coup of 1964.