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Gauging the Fallout From Brazil's Capital Insurrection

MIN READJan 9, 2023 | 23:04 GMT

Members of Brazil’s Federal Legislative Police stand next to a vehicle that crashed into a fountain as supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro invade the National Congress in Brasilia on Jan. 8, 2023.

Members of Brazil’s Federal Legislative Police stand next to a vehicle that crashed into a fountain as supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro invade the National Congress in Brasilia on Jan. 8, 2023.

(SERGIO LIMA/AFP via Getty Images)

In the wake of the capital insurrection, Brazil's government will likely increase efforts to monitor inflammatory rhetoric online and the spread of misinformation, but the ensuing investigations and arrests of public officials involved in the riots could still trigger more disruptive far-right protests. On Jan. 8, supporters of Brazil's former right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro broke into and vandalized the headquarters of the country's three branches of government -- including the presidential palace, the Congress building and the Supreme Court -- after overwhelming security forces in the capital of Brasilia. Once inside the buildings, the rioters smashed windows, broke furniture and destroyed artwork in protest of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's electoral victory in October 2022, which many Bolsonaro supporters (and the ex-president himself) believe was fraudulent despite several international audits saying otherwise. Organizers and attendees of the demonstrations likely hoped the tumult would force the military to intervene and...

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