Brazil riots: More than 1,200 to be charged for Brazil riot

todayJanuary 11, 2023

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A Lady Justice statue's head is seen on the floor following Brazil's anti-democratic riots, at the Supreme Court building in Brasilia, Brazil, January 10, 2023.Image source, Reuters

By Bernd Debusmann Jr


More than 1,200 people have been formally arrested and are being charged in relation to the riot at Brazil’s Congress.

Authorities have five days to charge suspects who have been formally arrested.

In total, more than 1,500 people were detained after the riot.

Concerns about potential further protests have prompted a large security forces deployment in Brazil’s capital.

Brazilian Federal Police sources say those being formally charged are being held at the force’s academy in Brasilia – where most of the arrested were taken after the riot – and some have been moved to other facilities.

The authorities have warned that some of the detainees who have been released may ultimately be arrested amid the ongoing investigation.

And they have expressed concern that more rallies could be organised by hardline supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

According to a memo from federal prosecutors seen by the BBC, pro-Bolsonaro groups have been calling for “mega” demonstrations to take place across Brazilian state capitals.

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

Security forces have been deployed at key locations in Brasilia

The document also outlines a number of additional security measures being taken, including the immediate arrest of suspects blocking roads and “invading” public buildings, as well as stiff fines of 20,000 Brazilian Reais ($3,830, £3,168) an hour for participants.

Companies that provide logistical and financial support to people carrying out these activities are liable for fines of up to 100,000 Brazilian Reais ($19,181, £15,828).

The government is also asking that social media platforms take steps to suspend accounts that have been involved in planning criminal behaviour.

On Tuesday, Brazilian lawmakers approved a federal “intervention” that has seen military forces deployed to carry out police and security duties in Brasilia.

On Wednesday morning, there were dozens of troops from Brazil’s Force National on duty near Brazil’s presidential palace and Congress.

Their deployment has met the approval of many local residents, who say they are wary of another riot like the one that happened on 8 January.

“This is all necessary, so that we get back to work,” said Brasília resident Anderson Rodrigues. “When they attacked [the Congress and presidential palace] I felt as if I couldn’t do anything about it.”

“They should charge everyone involved [in the riot] with a crime,” he added. “Not just the people who were here, but the people who financed it as well.”

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