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Riots in Brazil’s Congress: Lula Fires Army Commander

Two weeks after unrest in the nation’s capital, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has fired the country’s army leader.

Just prior to former president Jair Bolsonaro’s term expiring on 30 December, general Julio Cesar de Arruda had only recently assumed the position.

According to President Lula, he believes that military personnel conspired with demonstrators.

In recent days, he has fired a large number of military officers.

On January 8, thousands of Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters seized government facilities in Brasilia after marching through the city virtually unopposed.

The rioting resulted in the injuries of several police officers, and after rioters gained entry, the presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court were vandalized. The federal police in Brazil said that approximately 1,200 people are still being held in custody after being detained on that particular day.

Jair Bolsonaro is a party to the Supreme Court’s investigation into what transpired. After broadcasting a video questioning the validity of the presidential election from the previous year, prosecutors claimed the far-right former leader may have incited the disturbance.

He has disavowed any responsibility or role for the rebellion on the part of his supporters.

General Tomás Ribeiro Paiva, a military leader who is close to the president, will take over for General Arruda. He urged soldiers to accept the outcome of the presidential election in a speech he gave earlier this week.

Many Bolsonaro supporters who participated in the storming were motivated by unfounded claims of election fraud in October. The fact that President Lula, who was convicted of corruption in 2017 and imprisoned before his convictions were overturned, was back in office infuriated many people as well.

In addition to directly blaming Mr. Bolsonaro for the unrest, President Lula also strongly accuses “those inside the armed forces” of complicity, according to BBC Latin America journalist Will Grant.

Having previously served as an army captain, Mr. Bolsonaro is reported to have the backing of a number of military leaders. According to our correspondent, Lula’s dismissal of the army commander and a number of officers in charge of the president’s protection are probably moves toward reestablishing faith in the military troops who serve in his immediate vicinity.

After such a turbulent beginning, Lula now has the difficult task of trying to govern in a hostile and intensely divisive environment.

José Mcio, Brazil’s defense minister, stated on Friday that it was time to move past the past and concentrate on the future of the nation and added that the military as a whole was not participating in the unrest.

Jair Bolsonaro has been residing in Florida ever since he decided not to attend President Lula’s inaugural ceremony.

Anderson Torres, a former justice minister and important Bolsonaro ally, was detained last week on suspicion of “sabotaging” police operations to defend the city’s buildings.

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