Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has toured the wreckage of his presidential palace after an extraordinary day of political violence in the capital, Brasília, saw thousands of far-right extremists run riot through the country’s democratic institutions in a failed attempt to overthrow his week-old government.
The massed attack by supporters of the ex-president Jair Bolsonaro was a stunning security breach that was immediately compared to the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by followers of Donald Trump in 2021. Lula was not in Brasília at the time of the attack but he gave an angry speech blaming Bolsonaro for the chaos and promising that “anyone involved will be punished”.
Calling those who took part in the attacks “vandals, neo-fascists and fanatics”, Lula ordered a federal intervention in the capital, bringing policing under the control of the central government. “What we are witnessing is a terrorist attack,” the news anchor Erick Bang announced on the GloboNews television network as word of the upheaval spread. “The three buildings have been invaded by coup-mongering terrorists.”….