President Lula Dismisses Army Chief and Arrests Key Ally of Former President Bolsonaro After Violent Riots in Brasília

8 january, thousands of supporters of former brazilian president jair bolsonaro stormed government buildings in brasília, the country’s capital. president lula responded by sacking the army chief, general julio cesar de arruda, and replacing him with general tomás ribeiro paiva, a military commander close to the president. several police officers were injured in the violence, and the presidential palace, congress and supreme court were vandalised.

Rioting occurred two weeks after president lula’s inauguration ceremony, which former president bolsonaro refused to attend. unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in the october election were a driving motivation for many of the protesters, as well as anger that president lula, who was found guilty of corruption in 2017, was back in power.

Supreme court is investigating what happened and is including jair bolsonaro in the probe. prosecutors said the far-right former leader may have incited the riot after posting a video that questioned the legitimacy of the election. last week, the former justice minister and a key ally of mr bolsonaro, anderson torres, was arrested after being accused of “sabotaging” police efforts to protect the buildings. president lula has also suggested that some members of the armed forces may have colluded with the protesters. some 2,000 people were detained on the day, and nearly 1,200 remain under arrest.

By Evey Lovelace

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