Brazil’s president calls Bolsonaro protesters ‘fascists’ and says they will be ‘found and punished’

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro storm the National Congress building in Brasilia, Brazil on Sunday. (Eraldo Perez/AP)

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro broke through security barriers set up by the armed forces on Sunday and gained access to the country’s Congress building, the Supreme Court and the Planalto presidential palace, according to images shown in Brazilian media.

Footage shows huge crowds in Brazil’s capital climbing a ramp that leads to the building of Congress, where they reached the Green Room, located outside the chamber of the lower house of Congress, 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 riot police and the Brazilian armed forces

The violations come about a week after the inauguration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose return to power after a 12-year hiatus comes after he defeated Bolsonaro in an October 30 runoff election.

Supporters of Bolsonaro – who left Brazil before taking office and is currently in the United States – have camped out in the capital since then. Justice Minister Flavio Dino authorized the armed forces to set up barriers and guard the congressional building on 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 president-elect was working inside the palace at the time the protesters entered, CNN Brasil reported. Employees at the Planalto Palace are waiting for the air force to evacuate them from the building, according to CNN Brasil.

Dino, who said he was at Justice Department headquarters, condemned the actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters in a statement on Twitter, saying: “This absurd attempt to impose will by force will not prevail.”

Federal District Security Secretary Anderson Torres – and a former justice minister under Bolsonaro’s government – similarly called the scenes “deplorable”, adding that he had ordered “immediate steps to restore order in central Brazil”.

Glazey Hoffman, president of the Workers’ Party, called the violations “a declared crime against democracy” and “against the will of the voters.”

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