Protester seen at desk of Brazil’s Congress president in lower house building
From CNN's Karen Smith
A male protester was seen sitting at the desk of Brazil’s Congress president on Sunday after pro-Bolsonaro supporters broke into the lower house's building.
Video footage from Brazilian media showed pro-Bolsonaro supporters going through the palace and holding up Brazilian flags in a large window to groups of supporters who are on the ground.
CNN Brasil is airing pictures of anti-riot police and Brazilian Armed Forces arriving at the Planalto Presidential Palace.
Scenes showing confrontations with police have been surfacing across Brazilian media after pro-Bolsonaro supporters breached security barriers and broke into Congress Sunday.
While President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is not currently in the building, a team assembled for the newly-elected president was working inside the palace at the time the protesters entered, CNN Brasil reports. Officials at Planalto Palace (the presidential home) are waiting for the Air Force to evacuate them from the building, according to CNN Brasil.
CNN's Maija Ehlinger and Marcia Reverdosa contributed reporting
4:11 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023
US Embassy in Brazil issues warning on pro-Bolsonaro protests
From CNN's Flora Charner
The US Embassy in Brazil issued a warning to US citizens to avoid the areas surrounding the country’s government buildings in Brasilia.
“Media and police report that an antidemocratic protest has turned violent and is now occupying areas of central Brasilia including the Brazilian National Congress and areas surrounding the Plaza of the Three Powers. Brazilian police forces are responding. U.S. citizens are warned to avoid the area until further notice,” according to the written statement, which was sent to US citizens in Brazil via email.
The embassy issued similar warnings on its official Twitter account in English and Portuguese.
See the tweets:
4:00 p.m. ET, January 8, 2023
Bolsonaro supporters breach security barriers, break into Brazilian Congress and presidential palace
From CNN's Flora Charner
Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro breached security barriers set up by the Armed Forces on Sunday and gained access to the country’s congressional building, the Supreme Court and the Planalto Presidential Palace, according to images shown in Brazilian media.
Footage showed massive crowds in the capital of Brasília walking up a ramp that leads to the congressional building, where they had reached the Green Room, located outside the lower House of Congress’ chamber, Interim Senate President Veneziano Vital do Rogo told CNN Brasil.
Other outlets showed Bolsonaro supporters entering the Supreme Court and the presidential palace, where CNN Brasil showed the arrival of anti-riot police and the Brazilian Armed Forces
The breaches come about a week after the inauguration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose return to power after a 12-year hiatus comes after he defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff election on October 30.
Supporters of Bolsonaro – who left Brazil prior to the inauguration and is currently in the United States – have been camped out in the capital since then. Justice Minister Flavio Dino had authorized the Armed Forces to set up the barriers and guard the congressional building Saturday due to the continued presence of Bolsonaro supporters.
Neither house of Congress is currently in session. And while President Lula is not currently in the building, a team assembled for the newly-elected president was working inside the palace at the time the protesters entered, CNN Brasil reported. Officials at Planalto Palace are waiting for the Air Force to evacuate them from the building, per CNN Brasil.
Dino, who said he was at the Ministry of Justice headquarters, condemned the actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters in a statement on Twitter, saying, “This absurd attempt to impose the will by force will not prevail.”
Federal District Security Secretary Anderson Torres – and the former justice minister under Bolsonaro’s government – similarly called the scenes “regrettable,” adding that he had ordered “immediate steps to restore order in the center of Brasília."
Gleisi Hoffman, president of the Worker’s Party, called the breaches “a crime announced against democracy” and “against the will of the polls.”