Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazilian Congress

By Alfonso Serrano, Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Heather Chen, Sana Noor Haq and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 8:59 p.m. ET, January 9, 2023
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3:43 a.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Bolsonaro supporters attacked reporters in Brasilia, journalist groups say

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso

Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro clash with security forces as they raid the Congress in Brasilia on January 8.
Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro clash with security forces as they raid the Congress in Brasilia on January 8. (Joedson Alves/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

At least 12 journalists were attacked when supporters of Brazil's former leader Jair Bolsonaro stormed major government buildings in the capital Brasilia on Sunday, according to the Union of Professional Journalists in the Federal District. 

The union condemned the violence against members of the press which “prevented them from carrying out their work safely,” it said in a statement Monday. 

Earlier, the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association (ABRAJI) reported that journalists had been physically attacked and said some reporters also had their equipment stolen by Bolsonaro supporters.

Among them was a photographer who was assaulted by protesters shouting they would "take over Brazil," the statement from ABRAJI said.

ABRAJI recorded 77 attacks of political violence against the media in the country in the past two years “without the government and security forces taking adequate measures” to address violence by far-right groups, the statement added.

This post has been updated to reflect the latest figures.

3:10 a.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Brazil is reeling after Bolsonaro supporters stormed government buildings. Here's what you need to know

Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as security forces operate outside Brazil’s National Congress in Brasília on Sunday.
Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as security forces operate outside Brazil’s National Congress in Brasília on Sunday. (Mateus Bonomi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Brazilian authorities say they have restored order in the capital Brasilia after hundreds of supporters of former leader Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings to protest against his successor and rival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The breaches came about a week after the inauguration of Lula da Silva, who returned to power following a 12-year hiatus that ended when he defeated Bolsonaro in a run-off election in October.

Here's the latest:

  • What happened: Hundreds of Bolsonaro supporters smashed windows and used furniture to form barricades against security forces as they raided the congressional building, the Supreme Court and the Planalto Presidential Palace on Sunday. At least 400 people have been arrested, authorities said.
  • What's happening now: It's early morning in Brasilia and the riots are over, according to an official appointed by the president to manage the unrest. The justice minister said security has been tightened in the capital.
  • What Lula da Silva said: Visiting the scene, the President promised to punish those involved in the violence. Earlier, Lula da Silva described events in the capital as “barbaric” and said “a lack of security” had allowed Bolsonaro’s “fascist” supporters to breach barriers set up by security personnel.
  • How Bolsonaro responded: Writing on Twitter, Bolsonaro also denounced the actions of his supporters, saying that although peaceful and lawful demonstrations were part of democracy, “depredations and invasions of public buildings as occurred today, as well as those practiced by the left in 2013 and 2017, escape the rule.”
  • How the world reacted: US President Joe Biden condemned “the assault on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil” and expressed support for Lula da Silva. He was joined by a chorus of world leaders in condemning the violence, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “The will of the Brazilian people and the country’s institutions must be respected,” Guterres said.
  • What happens next: A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has ordered the military to dismantle all Bolsonaro supporters’ camps across the country within 24 hours and told police to arrest any protesters still on the streets. Commanders from the armed forces, police and the defense minister will be held accountable in court if the camps are not dismantled, the judge said, adding that all highways in the country must be cleared on Monday.
1:18 a.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Brazilian official says riots in the capital are over

From CNN’s Rodrigo Pedroso

Riots in Brazil that culminated with pro-Bolsonaro protesters storming Congress on Sunday are now over, according to an official appointed by the president to manage the unrest.

In a tweet Monday, Federal District intervenor Ricardo Cappelli said the situation is "under control" in the region, which includes the capital Brasilia.

"In a few hours, we will restart operations. Everything will be duly investigated. Criminals will continue to be identified and punished,” he said.

Some context: Cappelli was appointed intervenor on Sunday by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The role was created to manage the security situation in the Federal District following the attack by supporters of former leader Jair Bolsonaro on key government institutions.  

1:37 a.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he is "deeply concerned" by unrest in Brazil 

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi 

Narendra Modi attends the Quad Leaders’ summit in Tokyo on May 24, 2022.
Narendra Modi attends the Quad Leaders’ summit in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack on Brazil’s federal government Sunday, calling for “democratic traditions” to be respected. 

"Deeply concerned about the news of rioting and vandalism against the State institutions in Brasilia," Modi said in a Tweet Monday. "Democratic traditions must be respected by everyone. We extend our full support to the Brazilian authorities."

Modi joins a chorus of world leaders in condemning the violence in Brazil’s capital.

US President Joe Biden said earlier that "the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined."

7:29 a.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Brazil Supreme Court orders pro-Bolsonaro camps to be demolished, protesters arrested

From CNN’s Rodrigo Pedroso

Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro leave a camp outside the Army Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 9.
Supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro leave a camp outside the Army Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 9. (Amanda Perobelli/Reuters)

Brazilian Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes has ordered the military to dismantle all Bolsonaro supporters’ camps across the country within 24 hours and told police to arrest any protesters still on the streets, according to a court order.

"Absolutely nothing justifies the existence of full camps of terrorists, sponsored by various financiers and with the complacency of civil and military authorities in total subversion of necessary respect for the Federal Constitution," the order reads.

At least 400 people have been arrested after supporters of former Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro stormed key government buildings in Brasilia Sunday, according to Brazilian authorities. Bolsonaro supporters had been camped out in the capital since his presidential election defeat in October.

Commanders from the armed forces, police and the defense minister will be held accountable in court if the camps are not dismantled, Moraes said, adding that all highways in the country must be cleared on Monday.

11:41 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023

Governor of Brazil's Federal District temporarily removed from post, Supreme Court says

From CNN’s Marcia Reverdosa and Teele Rebane

Gov. Ibaneis Rocha visits the neighborhood of Sao Sebastiao in Brasilia on April 5, 2021.
Gov. Ibaneis Rocha visits the neighborhood of Sao Sebastiao in Brasilia on April 5, 2021. (Mateus Bonomi/AGIF/AP)

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has ordered the governor of the country's Federal District to temporarily leave his post following the unrest in Brasilia on Sunday.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes handed down a three-month suspension to Federal District Gov. Ibaneis Rocha, according to the Supreme Court.

It comes after supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings in the capital.

Earlier, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said “a lack of security” had allowed Bolsonaro’s supporters to breach barriers set up by the Armed Forces outside the three branches of government

10:54 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023

Brazilian President Lula da Silva visits Presidential Palace and Supreme Court following unrest

From CNN’s Marcia Reverdosa

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visits the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on Sunday.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visits the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on Sunday. (Eraldo Peres/AP)

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Sunday he was at the Planalto Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court in Brasilia after supporters of his rival Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings.

"The coup plotters who promoted the destruction of public property in Brasilia are being identified and will be punished," Lula da Silva posted on Facebook. "Tomorrow we resume work at the Planalto Palace. Always Democracy. Goodnight."

Earlier, Lula described events in the capital as “barbaric” and said “a lack of security” had allowed Bolsonaro’s “fascist” supporters to breach barriers set up by the Armed Forces outside the three branches of government

“These people are everything that is abominable in politics,” he told a news conference.

At least 400 people have been arrested following the unrest, according to Brazilian authorities.

10:23 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023

Facebook says it will remove content that praises the storming of Brazil's government buildings

From CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan

Facebook’s parent company Meta declared the unrest in Brazil a “violating event” on Sunday, adding it would “remove content that supports or praises” protesters who breached government buildings. 

"In advance of the election, we designated Brazil as a temporary high-risk location and have been removing content calling for people to take up arms or forcibly invade Congress, the Presidential palace and other federal buildings," Meta spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN.
"We're also designating this as a violating event, which means we will remove content that supports or praises these actions. We’re actively monitoring the situation and will continue removing content that violates our policies."

Some context: Meta has in the past designated violent events, like terrorists attacks, school shootings, and the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol as so-called “violating events.” The policy allows the company to expedite content removal in these circumstances.

9:41 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023

Brazil will adopt further measures to strengthen the country’s capital, official says

From CNN’s Rodrigo Pedroso

Brazil’s government will adopt more measures aimed at strengthening the capital of Brasília, Justice Minister Flávio Dino said Sunday.

Dino told reporters “there are still people on the internet saying that they are going to continue with terrorist acts. And they will not be able to destroy Brazilian democracy. They won't.” 

He also described Sunday’s events in Brasília as “a coup.”

“We regret that the heritage of the Brazilian people has been squandered in a vile way. This is not about the continuity of the electoral process, it is about coup d'état, terrorism,” the minister said, while adding that “we are not going to accept the path of criminality to carry out a political struggle in Brazil. Criminals will be treated like criminals.”

Dino went on to say "this will never happen again in this country because there is unity among the institutions to guarantee social peace and act against terrorism.”